I AuntJulia and the Scriptwritert 12) Peter Falk slips out ofhis trademark raincoat and into some eccentric garb as the flamboyant scriptwriter of a radio soap-opera who likes to use details from his friends private lives as the basis for his fiction. See review.

¢ , IThe CommitmentsHS) Alan Parker‘s hilarious look at the lives ofa struggling lrish soul band. based on the debut novel of Booker shortlisted author. Roddy Doyle. ‘Rapid‘ and ‘deadly‘ as the tossers would say. See feature.

I Doc Hollywood f 12) Fairly predictable but good-natured comedy has would-be l.A plastic surgeon Michael J. Fox stuck for a while in mythical small-town America. Local boy Michael (‘aton-Jones handles the directorial chores. See review.

I The Fountain ( ii) A crumbling apartment block with terminally bad plumbing becomes the metaphor for the political decay of the Soviet Union in this dark. but outspoken. satire.

I Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man ( is) Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson get to act out their childhood fantasies as. respectively. a motorbike-riding drifter and a rodeo-riding drifter in this

buddy action comedy of bank robberies gone wrong.

I Julia Has Two Lovers

(15) An interesting examination of ' contemporary attitudes to intimate relationships ensues when a wrong number conversation with ‘l astrangercausesJuliato a question herlife with her

bossy live-in lover. See




‘lt's so hard to get a movie made in the conventional way when your actors are unknown. when your director's unknown and your story‘s totally bizarre. A whole movie set in two apartments? Sex on the phone? It sounds kinda weird.‘ Judging by writer and leading lady Daphna Kastner‘s description it‘s hardly surprising that she and director Bashar Shbib ended up making Julia Has Two Lovers by the most deterrninedly independent ofmeans. but the film‘s unexpectedly vigorous critical and financial success (32m of foreign sales alone from a microscopic final budget of $150,000) has come as something of a vindication for all concerned. Kastner herself plays the eponymous Julia. tied down in an unsatisfying relationship with the insensitive Jack (David Charles) until one day she gets a wrong number that might just have Mr Right. the very personable Daniel (David Duehovny). on the other end. A half-hour phone conversation later and the two agree to meet, but will the flesh match up to the attractiveness of the voice? ‘The message in this movie is do it yourself.‘ reckons the Montreal-born actress and screenwriter. ‘whether that‘s in terms of making a movie or just on a personal level. I think it goes for women even more so than men. but you shouldn‘t settle for anything less than you deserve‘. More of an audience pleaser than a critic's film. the final results may be uneven Julia and Daniel‘s lengthy phone

lines of O

l l

chat rather surpassing in inspiration the workaday passages succeeding it but Kastner and Shbib‘s never-say-die attitude got the film made in conditions that would have defeated lesser souls.

‘We shot in my boyfriend’s apartment and Bashar's house. but we couldn't afford any lighting rig so it‘s all done in natural light. We couldn’t afford whole reels of film so we used short ends. the scraps left

over. It really forces you to live in the

moment when you don't know how

much film you've got in the camera. Everything in the movie is first take. and a lot oftimes the film would


actually run out before I‘d finished speaking my lines. To quote ()rson Welles. ‘The enemy ofart is the absence oflimitation' and our budget certainly forced us to be creative within the realm ofwhat we

could and couldn‘t do. like when we

shot on the beach. we put on US(‘ sweatshirts so the security men

would think we were students and we

wouldn‘t have to pay a fee for the location. We had a lot offun really.‘ (Trevor Johnston)

Julia Has Tim Lovers ( 15) (wells (11 (ilasgmt' Film T/zealre on Sun I} October and Film/rouse, Edinburgh on Mon 2/ October.

One man’s poison

‘I don’t know if l’ll ever be the same again,‘ reflects filmmakerTodd Haynes. ‘1 now know what to do when I pick up Variety. I go straight to the box-office report.‘ Indeed, since its surprise award of the Grand Jury Prize at America’s influential Sundance Festival earlier this year, Todd Haynes’s first narrative feature, Poison, has attracted a much broader span of interest than that of the gay community, which the director had originally imagined would be its audience. Viewers were flocking to see the picture branded as ‘an affront to moral America’ by hysterical conservative critics, many of whom were outraged by the $25,000 funding grant given by the National Endowment for The Arts to a film that included explicit homosexual scenes. But Haynes is suitably cheered that they proved ‘receptive to a film whose structure and content challenges people’s preconceptions.‘

Largely inspired by the writings of Jean Genet, Poison interweaves three separate, stylistically diverse stories around the core idea of ‘deviance’.

20 were. i i— 24 October l99l

HERO takes the form of a fake documentary item on the disappearance of a strange young boy; HOMO is an alternately disturbing and lyrical portrayal of life in a stylised men’s prison; while HORROR is a pastiche B-movie shocker about a scientist who discovers the secret of the sex drive but becomes a contagiously dangerous fiend in the process. ‘The thing that unites the strands is that they‘re all about outcasts,‘ continues the fresh-faced New York-based independent. ’The film shows the process of locating the ‘poison’, naming the deviant— be itthe homosexual or the sex leper— and then expelling it.‘

It’s undeniably provocative stuff, even if one suspects that the individual story threads might prove rather less impressive it sorted out into three distinct episodes like the portmanteau

pictures of old. Still, while the thematic

thrust of the piece depends on the familiar normal/abnormal opposition, doesn‘t Poison simply confirm tor the gay filmmakerthe ideologythat supports prejudice and oppression? Haynes is clear that that’s part of the point. ’There’s a way in which the film shows how deviance is woven into society and ultimately accepted. There are all these prejudices in place. In the prison, for example, everyone knows about homosexuality, yet the superstructure supports that process and the cycle goes on. The whole idea of the ‘poison‘ should be seen as a common condition of the oppressive values we live under. You can be a white, straight man, a privileged person, yet you're still afflicted by the terms of difference that are set up all around you.‘ (Trevor Johnston)

Poison (18) opens at the Cameo, Edinburgh on Fri 11.