Films screening this fortnight are listed (below, with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Full-length reviews of selected new releases can be found close to E the appropriate entry. Programme details ; appear in the Listings section which follows. Film lndex compiled by Alan Morrison. 3
I An American Tail (U) (Don Bluth. US. 1986) With the voices of Dom DeLuise. I Madelaine Kahn. Christopher Plummer. I 80mins. In the late 19th century.thc l Mousekewitz family make their way from ! trouble-torn Russia to a new life in America. but they find the streets ofNew i York are not all paved with gold. A wealth l of background detail displays Bluth‘s i admirably painstaking approach to : animation. but the foreground narrative. i often agreeably perilous. does l occasionally reek ofsentimentality. l Strathclyde: UCl East Kilbride. ) I Arachnophobia (PG) (Frank Marshall. I US. 1990) Jeff Daniels. Julian Sands. l Harley Jane Kozak. John Goodman. 110 mins. In rural retreat on the California ' coast. the Jennings family are , unpleasantly surprised when they meet ! their new neighbours. aparticularly . venomous breed ofspiders. which are to : terrorise the village of Canaima. not least l through the surgery of arachnaphobic Dr Jennings (Daniels). Produced by Steven 1 Spielberg and billed as a ‘thrillomedy‘. l this feast of humorous horrors is : guaranteed to appeal to sick-minded E punters who enjoy either nightmares or I close contact with our eight-legged I friends. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. I Au Revoir Les Enfants (PG) (Louis Malle. France/W. Germany. 1987) Gaspard Manesse. Raphael Fejito. Philippe Moricr-Gcnoud. 113 mins. Low-key. cinema-verite inﬂuenced portrayal of incidents from Mallc‘s own boyhood. Set during the German occupation. the film follows the developing friendship between two boys at a small school run by monks. one of whose secret Jewish identity proves dangerous to both boys as the Nazi presence looms. Simple. subtle. and very moving film. which avoids the cliches of the coming-of-age genre. and makes its larger political points firmly but unobtrusively. Glasgow: GFT. I Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter( 12) (Jon Amiel. US. 1991) Barbara Hershey. Peter Falk. Keanu Reeves. The wierd and erotic world of Maria Vargos Llosa's novel is brought to the screen by Scots-born scriptwriter William Boyd and Singing Detective director Jon Amiel. Pedro Carmichael (Falk) comes to local New Orleans radio station WXBL’ to breathe life into its flagging soap opera. and ends up borrowing from the real romance of aspiring scriptwriter Reeves and his vivacious aunt (Hershey). The charismatic Falk shows an effortless display of flamboyant comic invention. Edinburgh: , Cameo. IBeckdrelt (15) (Ron Howard. US. 1991) ? William Baldwin. Kurt Russell. Scott Glenn. Robert De Niro. Donald Sutherland. 136 mins. Chicago’s finest firefighting men receive the Hollywood treatment in the film that burned upthe US box office charts. Baldwin and Russell‘s sibling rivalry plays against a backdrop of stunning fire effects and big screen action as the Fire Department and De Niro‘s arson investigator search for clues amongst the charred remains of several victims with links tothe forthcoming civic elections. Edinburgh: UCl.
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Doctor Petiot: a world of German Expressionist angles and shadows
Doctor Petiot (12) (Christian de Chalonge, France, 1990) Michel Serrault, Pierre Romans, Andre Chaumeau. 102 mins. In March 1946, Dr Marcel Petiot was charged with 27 murders, convicted of 24, but—while rendering a plea of ‘not guilty’ — made claims to 63. Surprisingly perhaps, the good French doctor did not advance a defence of insanity, but instead claimed that his victims were collaborators or Germans. The blatant untruth of this is made clear in Christian de Chalonge‘s depiction of
the mass murderer‘s life and times in
Nazi-occupied Paris. I Respected physician by day and
vampire figure by night, this is no
conventional serial killer, nor is his
story told as a conventionally dramatic I
biopic. From the outset, when Petiot
steps directly into the Nosferatu movie
at his local cinema, we find ourselves
in a world of German Expressionist
angles and shadows, where the mind of
the murderer is not so much laid out for
~‘~ “"iiiiei~?’*‘ -
examination as rendered in terms of dramatic visuals. The majority of Petiot’s victims were Jews he tricked into believing he could help flee the country; but, while it is ironic thatthis attracts the suspicion of the Gestapo and the adulation of the Resistence, it is clear that he is not an anti-Semite — more a deadly conman. ready to exploit whatever situation comes along.
Throughout, there is the suggestion that Petiot the macabre opportunist is the natural product of the nightmarish circumstances caused by the Occupation. and certain scenes-the burning of his victims’ remains in a basement incinerator— do force the audience to draw historical parallels. Such is the emphasis on expressionist cinematography, however, that the presentation of real life facts becomes curiously vacuous, with the result that thematic comment and narrative drive are sacrificed for (admittedly
excellent) visual style. (Alan Morrison) 1 Glasgow: GFT Mon 18—Sat23. )
I Bagdad Cafe ( P(i) ( l’ercy Adlon. US’Cicrmany. 1988). Marianne Sagebrecht. C.C.1 l. l’ounder. Jack Palance. lllts’ mins. The wonderful Sagebrecht stars as a redoubtable (ierman lady who leaves her husband in the middle ofthe desert and settles down with the folks at a run-dow n motel. where proprietress I’ounder has also recently lost a spouse. The two women re-inveiit themselves through their friendship. and transform the place into the bargain. Adlon displays a warm and charming sympathy with the quirks of hisoddball but convincing characters. and shapes a beguiling tale from the most basicol materials. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Best of British Animation (PG ) ( Various. UK. 1987—90) 85 mins. A wide selectionof recent short animated works. receivinga welcome showing on the big screen. The programme includes Nick Park's Oscar-winning Creature ( ‘olrlforts‘. Central: MacRobert Artchntre.
I Boyz N The Hood( 15 ) (John Singleton. US. 1991) Cuba (ioodingJi . Larry Fishburne. Ice Cube. MorrisChestnut. 112 mins. A poignant depiction oflile in the rundown suburbia of South Central Los Angelcs by debut director Singleton. A group of teenage friends try to keep their heads above the never-ending flood of reprisal killings. but find that it is all too easy to get sucked into the violence. Ultimately moving and emotionally
harrowing. (ilasgow: Cannon The Forge. I ()deon. Iidinburgh: ()deon. l'Cl. Strathclyde: l’Cl Clydebarik. l'( '1 Fast Kilbride.
I Can You Hear Me Thinking ( 1’( 1) (Christopher Morahari. CK. 199(1) Michael Williams. Judi l)ench. A moving and compassionate performance by Derich as the mother ofan adolescent boy who begins to show signs ol'schizophrcnia. lidinburgh: l'ilmhousc.
I Ceremonyi lb’) l Nagisa ()shima. Japan. 1971)KcnzoKawara/aki.Atsuo Nakamiira. Akiko Koy ama. Atsokii Kaku. 121 mins. A quarter century of post-warJapanese history is commented on via a series of ceremonial family gatherings. ()shima never lets the allegory become too dense. however . and the film develops into a powerful dynastic drama spread out on a 'Scope screen. (ilasgow: (if-'1‘.
I C'Est La Vie ( l2 ) ( Diane Kury s. France. 19911) Nathalie Baye. Richard Berry. Zaboii. Vincent l.iridon. Julie Bataillc. Candice l.el‘ranc. llillmins. Kurys' latest mos ic is another instalment in her serialised semi-autobiography . \s hicli also includes Ilia/min .llenllie and Coup l)e I'fIIHIH’. Set in the summer of 1958 at the holiday resort of [a Baule-les-l’ins. the story explores the effects on twochildreri (Bataillc l3arid l.el"ranc -ti) ofthcii par‘erits'deteriorating relationship. Sensitive. sometimes harrowing. but not
without humour. this is a stirring and affecting movie. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Le Chateau De Ma Mere (U) (Yves Robert. France. 199(1) Philippe Caubere, Nathalie Roussel. Didicr Pain.Therese Liotard. 98 mins. The second instalment of Marcel Pagnol‘s Memories of Childhood picks up from where La Claire de mon l’ere left off. The plot. ifthat’s what it is. concerns a key the familyis given to allow a short cut to their mountain holiday home. but which a jobsworth type eonfiscates. claiming they are trespassing. For the most part. it has all the emotional resonance of a picture postcard. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.
I City Of Hope ( 15) (John Sayles. US.
1991 ) Vincent Spano. Tony Lo Bianco. Joe Morton. 129 mins. Eleven years after The Return of the .S'ecaucus' Seven . John Sayles is still at the forefront ofthe American independent film movement. His latest work examines the urban dynamics of a 199llsworking-class community. centring on the civic corruption and old-style blue-collar honesty that surrounds the construction industry. See preview. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I City Stickers ( 12) (Ron Underwood. US, 1991 ) Billy Crystal. Daniel Stern. Bruno Kirby. Helen Slater. Jack Palance. 114 mins. Funny man Crystal stars asa fortysomething advertising salesman who faces up to the mid-life crisis by joininga two-week cattle drive with his pals. Moderately amusing second feature from the director of Tremors. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Salon. Edinburgh: Dominion. Odeon. UCI. Central: Allanpark. ('aledonian. Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. Kelburnc. Odeon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton. La Scala, UCl Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride. WMR Film Centre.
I The Commitments (15) (Alan Parker, CK. 1991) Robert Arkins. Michael Aherne. Angeline Ball. Maria Doyle. 118 mins. Sod 132 — when would-be manager Jimmy Rabbitte (Arkins) putstogether The Commitments. soul comes to Dublin and the band become the force to really put Irish music on the map. Alan Parker delivers a hilarious. down-to-earth, close-to-home movie. stuffed full ofgood music and with some relevent social comment to boot. Easily one of the films of the year. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, ()deon. Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Dominion. Odeon. UCl. Central: Allanpark. Caledonian. Regal. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. UCl Clydebank, l'Cl East Kilbride.
I Comrades ( PG) (Bill Douglas. UK. 1986) Vanessa Redgrave. Robin Soams. Michael llordern. Long-awaited epic account of the Tolpuddlc Martyrs. which attempts to capture the human story behind these icons ofthe Labour movement. Executed with minimum resort to dialogue and a relish in carefully composed images. it is ultimately a film about the indomitable nature offreedom. equality and justice. Well worth the wait. Watch out for Scots actor Alex Norton in at least half-a-dozen different roles. (ilasgow: (il’l‘.
I Dances With Wolves ( 12) ( Kevin Costner. CS. 1990) Kevin Costner. Mary McDonnell. (iraham Greene. Rodney ('irant. 179 mins. Costner's debut as director and co-producer. in which he also stars. has already been widely praised for its epic scale and its sympathetic depiction of Red 1ndian culture in the 1860s. ltwon seven ()scars including Best Film and Best Director. with no less than twelve nominations. Set at a remote outpost during the American Civil War. a timeof violent struggle between pioneering Yankees and Sioux Indians. it offersa sensitive and intense analysis of both factions. and of a man caught between two different cultures. Strathclyde: WMR liilm Centre. I Dead Again ( 15) (Kenneth Branagh. US. 1991) Kenneth Braiiagh. Emma
The List 8— 21 November 199119