So, Hannibal the Cannibal meets E.M. Forster? Will Helena Bonham Carter be first on the menu? Find out as The List reviews all the new films opening this fortnight in Central Scotland.
I La Belle Hoiseuse (15) A jaded painter ﬁnds that his private and artistic lives are brought back to life when he begins working with a new model. At four hours long, the prospect is daunting; doubly so when some lengthy scenes contain no dialogue, only the slow creation ofthc central painting. But just as the canvas builds to a greater whole, so does Jacques Rivctte's ultimately engrossing ﬁlm. A wonderful achievement in ﬁlmmaking. See preview. I Book of Love (15) Middle-aged advertising writer leafs through his school yearbook and rcminisccs on his sophomore year when he was the new kid in town. Teenage angst, love. ﬁghts. summer camps— they‘re all here. smothered in nostalgia. The directorial debut of Robert Shaye. successful
Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson) strikes up a friendship with the older and richer Mrs Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave). When the latter dies. she bequeaths the former her country home; but when Margaret and Mr Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins) fall in love. the tale draws in elements ofthwarted desire and inter-familial tension. E.M. Forster‘s masterpiece is beautifully rendered by the accomplished Merchant-Ivory partnership. At last. a British period drama that takes the best from the country‘s literary and theatre traditions and moulds them into a strong, third. cinematic force. See feature.
I Jacquot de Nantes (PG) Charming re-cnactment of the early life of French directorJacqucs Demy. who made Lola and Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.
enough as a producer and Set between 1939 and chairman of New Line 1949. it reveals his Cinema; so is it unbridled Childhood influences.
pulled together as a tenderly handled series of anecdotes. Directed by Demy‘s wife and collaborator Agnes Varda. it is a tribute to a talented individual and a vivid evocation ofwartimc Nantes.
self-indulgence? it appeared on the circuit without advance warning from the distributors. so a speedy demise to video looks on the cards.
I Howards End (PG) Liberated Edwardian
i GRAND CANYON
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I Scorchers(l8) A newly-wed hiding under the bed in order to save her virginity. the frustrated passions of a preacher’s daughter. Denholm Elliot as the town drunk and Faye Dunaway as the town whore. lfthis sounds like , the beginning of a patchy American stage play revealing snippets of life I in the Deep South, then
25 The List 8— 21 May 1992
you‘d not be far wrong. The only difference is David Beaird has adapted his play for the big screen and has unwisely plonkcd himself in the director’s chair. Severely lacking in Cajun spice. it includes embarrassing performances from those who should know better (James Earl Jones) and those who obviously don‘t ; (Emily Lloyd).
Grand Canyon: ’a 90s retort to The Big Chill’
Kevin Kline and Mary McDonnell are Mack and Claire, middle-class Los Angelinos whose comfortable lifestyle is becoming increasingly fraught with tension. While she contemplates the dissolution of the family group, her lawyer husband has only recently escaped a potential assault when his car broke down in the middle of a dangerous ghetto and only the arrival of tow-truck driver Simon (Danny Glover) saved him from the attentions of a gang of youths. Meanwhile, in glamorous Beverley Hills, Hollywood producer Davis (Steve Martin) is the latest innocent victim of a random shooting, changing his cynical attitude to the violent popcorn movies he churns out. Either way, rich and poor alike live underthe shadow of a disintegrating social fabric.
Co-scripted by Lawrence Kasdan and his wile Meg as a sort of 908 retort to
his earlier The Big Chill, Grand Canyon ,
is undoubtedly at its most convincing when reflecting on the fears and anxieties of successful white professionals; the threat of street violence, the agony of marital friction, the anguish of emotional isolation. Almost predictably, however, the
film’s portrayal of life on the other side .
of the tracks bottles out of the hard-edged analysis of John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood in favour of an idealised prescription for self-improvement.
It’s a maddenineg uneven two hours
or so. One moment Kasdan pulls off a string off nightmaristh effective sequences, yet the next minute he’s wallowing in sentimental sub-plots about abandoned babies and tearful tinies having a rough time at summer camp. For all the ambition on display, the end result has to rank as a major American movie, but Kasdan’s central metaphor of the Grand Canyon as symbotfor a divided society could just as well stand forthe intermittent gulf
between the director’s aspirations and
his achievement. (Trevor Johnston)
Grand Canyon (15) (Lawrence Kasdan,
US, 1992) Kevin Kline, Mary McDonnell, Danny Glover, Steve
Martin. 134 mins. From Fri 8: Glasgow: .
Cannon The Forge, Grosvenor, Odeon.
Edinburgh: Odeon. Central: Allanpark, Caledonian. Strathclyde: Ddeon Ayr. All UCls.
Shy cartoon sound effects man Maurizio finds he’s really becoming immersed in his work when he starts turning into a two-feet high cartoon version of himself in the middle of a romantic dinner for two. The object of his amorous intentions is Martina, who describes herself as a ‘klnd of social worker’ when in fact she caters for the bizarre sexual fantasies of her varied clientele. One of them, a chef in atop restaurant, manages to create a variation on that famous scene in Goldfinger, only using chocolate sauce instead of gold paint.
Maurizio Nichetti‘s latest isn’t as inventive as its predecessor, The icicle Thief, mainly because the writer/ director/star’s penchant for juxtaposing two different media (here, animation and real life; Icicle Thief, television and cinema) suffers from an lnsipidly weak romantic plot and some lame slapstick gags. The film has been described as ‘Hoger Rabbit meets Woody Allen’, but although Hichetti has the latter’s air of vulnerable cuteness, it lacks the former’s dealing effects. In fact, it’s more like Kafka meets Walt Disney via Buster Keaton. Even before his transformation, Hichetti’s screen persona falls somewhere between silent clown and cartoon character, walking through life to a chorus of honking horns and whooping whistles.
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Volere Volare: ‘Kafka meets Walt Disney via Buster Keaton’
Most of the jokes are, ehm, quintessentially Italian and subsequently fall flat on their continental bottoms; but the final scene, with a real life actress bonklng away with our animated hero, must constitute something of a cinema first. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘What’s up, Doc?’ (Alan Morrison)
Volere Volare (15) (Maurizio chhetti/Guldo Manuli, Italy, 1991) Maurizio Hichetti, Angela Finocchlano, Patrizio Hoversi. 93 mins. From Sun 10: Glasgow Film Theatre.
MEMDIBS or AN mvrsisus MAN
As soon as he‘sintrodueed over dinner to documentary ﬁlmmaker Alice Monroe (Daryl Hannah). Wall Street analyst Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase) looks to have found a new romance. but the morning after ﬁnds him attending a presentation at Magnascopic Research Laboratories with a serious hangover. Taking a few moments to kip in an empty executive suite deep in the bowels of the building turns out not to be such a good idea, however, for he wakes up to discover that an experimental mishap has rendered him and halfthe building completely invisible.
Swiftly finding himself being tracked down by unscrupulous secret service operative David Jenkins (Sam Neill). eager to exploit him for espionage purposes. Nick has to learn to adapt to his special powers in time to bring his story to light, and the understandably astounded Alice is the only person he trusts enough to help him.
With state-of-the-art computer animation techniques largely replacing the old standby of unseen bits ofstring, director John Carpenter and a game Chevy Chase mine the material‘s comic potential for all it‘s worth. A scene where he recovers his face by carefully applying make-up is l particularlystriking.but ' it‘s a shame that the film's 1 extended chase narrative is nowhere near as i inspired as the trick work. i
A few reﬂective moments here and there offer hints of the downbeat theme of contemporary alienation brought to the surface in HF. Saint‘s source novel, but for most of the way this is an undemanding twelve-year-old kid’s movie when the whole idea of invisibility surely merits a more disturbing and adult approach. (Trevor Johnston)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man (PG) (John Carpenter. US. 1992) Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill. 99 mins. From Fri 15: Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. All UCIs.