a— Man watching
‘l’ve always loved the cinema in a way i’ve never loved the theatre,‘ admits Tilda Swinton who has recreated her role in Man to Man - a part she first played at the Traverse in 1987- lor a 75-minute small-screen film directed by John Maybury. Recently shown in a slightly shorter version on Channel 4, the film tells the lite story oi a German woman who in a desperate bid lor survival assumes the role other dead husband. From building site to battle ground, she gets by in a male world simply by changing her clothes.
The remarkable thing about the transition oi Manired Karge's script irom stage to screen is that it has been left completely intact. Standard movie practice is to lill out the world ol the monologue with a host at extra characters (witness Shirley Valentine), but here Maybury and Swinton have endeavoured to tlnd a cinematic equivalent oi the stark theatrical styllsation at Steve Unwin’s original production. ‘It was never going to be a piece at naturalism,’ says Swinton. ‘The text being what it is, it’s entirely text-based. And the text is not naturalistic. It’s not tor the stage and
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it’s not tor live periormance. The expansion is not so much linear as lateral. You can work into the eye oi somebody rather than having to look at all oi their arms and legs at the same time all of the time lor an hour and a hall.’
Thus Swinton as Max Gericke is the lilm’s one and only star, and as the ‘action’ moves irom scene to scene, so the created studio spaces switch irom style to style, colour to colour. It’s an
but it succeeds in keeping Karge’s script in the loreground and in demonstrating Swinton’s power as one of Britain’s most challenging and distinctive performers. (Mark Fisher) For times at screenings see Film Festival listings.
:— Gar troubles
So lew British lilms tackle political subjects head on, and those that do- witness the reception that met Ken Loach’s Hidden Agenda - are often swept under the carpet by worried distributors and broadcasters. Full marks, then, to the BBC for allowing director Richard Spence and writer Graham Reid (author at the ‘Billy’ plays) to go ahead with You, Me and Marley, a tremendously moving account oi the lives of young joyriders in West Belfast.
‘Joyriding is something that has been around since the Troubles began,’ explains one of the lilm's stars, Bronagh Gallagher at The Commitments lame. ‘For a lot oi young people it was an expression of unemployment and boredom. In Bellast there were housing estates with massive roads built out in the middle oi nowhere, and joyriding just arose irom there. it was also used as a ploy arising irom the Troubles, tor it there was, say, a bomb going oil in the city, they would start joyriding and get the cops into one area. It’s always been a political thing rather than just a madman thing.’
The story centres on Sean and - Frances, two Bellast teenagers who get their kicks irom stealing cars and taunting the troops and RUC. When, however, community members and the IRA decide to crack down on the youngsters, the game becomes more deadly. The strength at the tilm is its
honesty. It pulls the audience Into the truth ot the situation in way that repetitive television news stories could neverdo.
‘A lot at the joyriders that Graham and Richard spoke to were young people who had been kneecapped,’ Gallagher continues, ‘and tour or live days alter they were out oi the plaster, they were back out in the cars again. It’s an addiction to them. The North oi Ireland has a hell at a lot more to otterthan just stories about the politics and the war, but it's brilliant that they can make a piece oi drama like this to show people that these are things that have been going on and are actually still going on.’
You, Me and Marley, Filmhouse 1, Tue 25, 6pm.
Deadly Currents The EIFF’s documentary feature slot is packed with diverse goodies, but none come better than Simcha Jacobovici‘s mind-blowing dissection ofthe Palestinian-Israeli conﬂict on the West Bank. Out on the streets with an Israeli army patrol. in a hideout as Intifada leaders interrogate a suspected collaborator, talking to victims. artists. religious leaders. academics- this is a powerfully honest portrait of a world torn apart by centuries of mutual hatred and intolerance. Its blend of tragedy. frustration. fear and hope leaves the audience stunned in its wake. (AM)
Deadly Currents, Fri21 Aug, 2.15pm.
Reservoir Dogs No doubt about it. Quentin Tarantino‘s hard-hitting crime caper is one of the most startling American debut features of recent years. Tipping its cap to the likes of Kubrick‘s The Killing and John Huston‘s The Asphaltlungle, the action takes place in the aftermath of a failed jewel heist as the various participants. known only to each other by colour codenames (Mr Orange, Mr Blue etc) try to work out just how it all went wrong. Probing loyalties and identities with an edgy and very black humour. a cast headed by Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen attack the script‘s hi-tension psychology and outbursts of violence with ballsy relish. Fabulous stuff. (TJ) Reservoir Dogs, Filmhouse 1, Fri21 Aug, [0.30pm.
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