Laughing policemen forget it, all we get nowadays are the glum sensitive types or the nasty brutal sorts. Channel 4’s Cutting Edge: Coppers at least had the original angle of being about real-life Plod rather than the increasingly outrageous fictional detectives, who are soon going to have to resort to morris~dancing and tranvestism just to keep an edge over their rivals.

Hackney’s coppers are the genuine article, hence the depressing facts that three years ago seven officers were sacked for beating up a man in a pub, this year the Hackney constabulary have already paid out £100,000 to members ofthe public in damages, and there are currently 25 civil actions outstanding against Hackney officers. The old George Dixon clip round the car ‘on your way son and don’t let me see you round here again’ approach seems to have escalated somewhat.

Cutting Edge focused on three stories: the investigation of complaints of brutality against PC Mark Moles. a court action against PC Tina Martin, and the routine appraisal of a rookie, Karl Kitchen. The three individuals bore contrasting testimony to the decline in inner-city policing, and the constant state of conflict existing between the police and the community they are supposed to be protecting. As the spokesman for the Hackney Community Defence Association said, ‘being beaten up by the police is becoming an everyday occurrence for people in Hackney’.

Molesie, as his mates called him with that singular lack of imagination common to police everywhere, was both a very frightened man and a rather cool customer. Driving to the investigation interview he pointed out that the boot was on the other foot, he was the suspect rather than the interrogator. True, up to a point. The boot may have been on the other foot but this time around it was a soft velvet effort rather than a size I 1 steel toecap. Moles was allowed to

, tell the story his way, with no

coercion, laying of traps, not even the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine. No mention was made of the fact that his alleged victims’ stories had been believed by a jury in 15 minutes flat. Moles looked convincing right to the very end, when he let his head sag into his hands and said: ‘I suppose I

58 The List 27 March - 9 April 1992

i know what it’s like , now, being on

the receiving end.’ Not quite,

Molesie, not quite.

Tina Martin was the kind of tubby Cockney you couldn’t envisage assaulting an elderly black woman. On the other hand you couldn’t imagine an elderly black woman assaulting her either. The jury certainly couldn’t and awarded £50,000 damages to the complainant. Martin was glum but on the whole unchastened, speaking out against newspaper reports. ‘The press don’t tell the truth,’ she said, rather cheekily, as a jury had just decided much the same thing about her, and charged the taxpayer 50 grand as a consequence.

Karl Kitchen was probably the saddest story of all. His regular report revealed he wasn’t too hot on stop-and-search, and colleagues complained that he wasn’t committed enough. Kitchen, in his defence, pointed out that he just didn’t get wound up like others. He preferred not to scream and shout, having an unnatural fondness for the laid-back approach and reasoning with people. Both Kitchen and his guiding officer realised that they just didn’t do that sort of thing in Hackney. If he carried on like that he could give the force a bad name . . .

The current run of Ex-S (BBC I) has been mostly excellent with thoughtful choices of subjects and treatments providing films that both entertained and enlightened. The programme on Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square promised to be intriguing, interviewing the last remaining residents of Edinburgh’s financial nexus and offering plenty of shots of Adam’s sublime buildings. Instead, the whole half hour was ruined by art-show wankery of the worst sort. Every device in the self-indulgence manual was thrown in: speeded up, faded out, tricksy camerawork that didn’t conceal the fact that the basic stuff was shoddy, interruptions and off-camera noises left in (‘innovative editing’ I suppose they call it), and a costumed Robert Adam who reminded us that resurrecting historical figures is an idea best left to SNP election broadcasts. The whole thing smacked of frustrated Late Show wannabes forced to slum it in the provinces for a couple of years. Shame. (Tom Lappin)


Your guide to what's new. what's worth catching and what to avoid on the VHS lront this lortnight.


I BoyzNThe Hoodt I5) John Singleton's acComplished debut feature is a graphic depiction of life for the youth of South ('entral LA. some trying to stay in school. some drifting into drttgs and violence. Shocking. comic and occasionally moving. it thankfully keeps the emotional male bonding under control and bodes well for Singleton's future projects. ((‘olumbia 'I'ristar)


I Rambling Roset IS) Laura Dern plays rattnchy Rose . a naive nymphomaniac blowing into a sleepy (ieorgian town in I935. ller forthright approach causes problems for stern paternalistic Robert Duvall. and adolescent stirrings for 13-year-old Buddy (Lukas l laas). It's mostly an exercise in nostalgia but cl'lectiy c all the same.((iuild)

I Toy Soldierst IS) A spectacularly dalt talc ol a school for wealthy bttt rebellious teenagers. taken hostage by evil South American drug- runners. The kids. being red-blooded if delinquent Americans. don't take this lying down. (20:20 Vision) I The Commitments( IS) Alan Parker's BAI’I‘A- winning box-office smash was a return to the populist exuberance of Fame for the director and made stars of the cast of unknown Dublincrs. Roddy Doyle's story

concerns a young soul band dreaming of stardom and the tilm captures the book’s exuberance and wit. it not the darker undertones. (lost

I The TWO Jakest lb’ ) Jack Nicholson‘s long-delayed sequel to ( Irina/mm attracted distinctly mived rcy iewson its cinema release. Nicholson plays private eye .I ..I. (iittcs caught tip in corruption and a murder case. The characterisation is line. but the plot oy er-compley. ((‘I(')

I YearOtThe Cunt IS) (l-‘irst Independent)

I Conaghert Pom-11st Independent)

I Driving Me Crazy ( l’( i) (I‘ox)

I False ldentityt I5) (.\I(‘Ii(i Virgin)

IThe Hard Wayt l5) ((‘K'l

I Regarding Henryt IS) llarrison I-‘ord attempts some serious I)c-.\'iro style acting aslawy'er

I lenry 'I'urner. a nasty piece ol work who losesall memory ol' his Iile when he gets shot. I le embarks on a long period ol mental and physical rehabilitation. traced rather too ponderotIsly by director Mike Nichols. ((‘l(')

i I Neon City ( l5) t First

1 Independent)

I My Son Johnny i l5) (Odyssey )

I Aces- Iron Eagle 3 (15) (Guild)

I Oscar ( I’(i ) ( Buena Vista)

I Double Crossedt IS) (Warner)

I MCBaiM l5) (Warner) I Dogtightt IS) ( \Varner)

Sell through

I The Glass House l I 5) (Odyssey £ HUN)

I Fist Of The North Star llh’) I-irst in a seriesol

y iolent Japanese animations cashing in on

the cult success ol' the recent .»tkiru. (Manga i; I 3.99)

' I Police ( I5) (Artificial

ltyc “5.99)

I The Sacritice ( At‘tilicial Izyc MSW)

IThe Great Mr Randell l') ((‘ottltoissettl “3.99)

I The Three 0t Ust Pt 3) ((‘onnoisseur U100)

I My Childhood/My Ain Folk t l’( i ) The acclaimed auti\biographical trilogy liom the recently - deceased Scots liltitttiaket' Bill I)oug|as.l(‘onnoisseur HIM”)

IMyWayHomei I5) (Connoisseur (INN)

I The Rescuers Down Underi l ' ) l Bttcna \‘ista H.199)

IThe Gummi Bears-ASky Full 0t GummieS(l') lBttena Vista £8.09) IThe Gummi Bears-Hot Little TOI l I ' l l Bileth Vista tam);

I Blackbeard's Ghost ( l ') lBtteIta Vista I HUN)

I Cher Fitnesst toy (HUN)

I The Y Plan Fatbreaker (.\l(‘l:(i Virgin HILW) IAliens Special Edition (le .-\ special lill-minute epic tIit‘eelot‘\ etll ol the space hurt or starring Sigourney Weaver as the head ol a SWAI learn sent back to destroy those slimy creatures lrom the original lilm. The extra scenes ollct' more eyplanation ol the

relationshipsbetween Weay er and the members 3 ol her team. tI-"oy U199)

I Silence 0i The Lambs l IS) The multiple ()scar-

: winning nioy ic isout in the

shops tor you toow n. ((‘oluinbia U199)

IA Brief History OlTime I'.t't'ol Morris's lilm ol Stephen l lays king's best~ selling book intery icyv's the ('ambridge genius's lantin It'icntlsand colleagues togiye an insight into the man who has attctnptcd to answer some ol the most lundamental questions about life. the universe and everything. It'sa tascinating and occasionally rather moving story. See competitions page lot a chance to w in a copy. (I’alacc “3.90)

I Miseryt IS) ( I’irsl Independent HUW). Sell-through release for the boy-ol't'ice and rental hit starring ( )scar-winner Kathy Batesasa somewhat obsessive Ian of no\ elist James ('aan.

' .

JWIS (uh Milli BITLS