:- I say potatoe
When Dan Quayle accused Murphy Brown, a single mother character on a popularAmerican sitcom, oi being responsible tor the LA riots, most people laughed and got on with their lives. But the unpleasant tact is that the man who can’t say ‘noe’ is vice president 01 the USA.
It you’ve ever wondered how the people of America could evervote for such a dweeb, then Campaign, a tour-part magazine programme on BBCZ over the weeks leading up to the presidential election, could answer your question. Not with Snoozenight-style political analysis and crepuscular politicians obluscating the issues, but the jokes and smart comments trom America's comedy shows, satire and cynical commentators.
‘It will give you a real llavour at what it would be like it you were here, rather than what gets reported on your media,’ premises the programme’s producer Debbie Geller. ‘There is essentially one way that America is covered in Britain, that it is kind of a lreakshow and crazy, wacky dumb place. This programme will have the people who never get shown on British TV, who are witty, cynical, humorous, and low key.’
Campaign will also look at the talk shows and other media outlets which
are the liieblood of a modern electronic election campaign. There’s Whoopi Goldberg’s nightly chat show, the MTV programmes which have helped Clinton make it big with the kids and, ot course, the CNN phone-in programme: Larry King Live, where Ross Perot practically runs his presidential attempt.
Presenting the iirst oi the tour programmes will be journalist Boy Blount Jr who includes Spy magazine amongst his credits. Coming from the south, he should provide some insight on the ‘Southern-ness’ ol the
Clinton/Gore ticket. Later programmes ,
will be presented by Cynthia Heimel, James Walcot and Elvis Mitchell. ‘There is obviously a big reaction to the daily events, most at which is cynical and usually very iunny’, says Geller, reeling oil a list of entertainers: Jay Lemo, David Letterman, Arsenio Hall and David Miller. Whether Blount Jr and the other hosts will really be able to debunk the ‘ireak-show’ myth remains to be seen, especially as these are the very people whose nightly jokes about the vice-president over the last louryears have, as Geller points out, ‘helped establish the fact of Dan Quayle being an idiot’. (Thom Dibdin)
Campaign starts on BBC2 on Friday October 9. 11 .15—11 .45pm.
Just what we needed — 1992 having got all the way to October without anyone really clearing up the issue of Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of Latin America, Channel 4 steps in to teed us the politically correct line on what to celebrate, what to deplore and what to organise workshops around. Dinner parties need never be embarrassing again.
Neatly pre-emptlng the real anniversary at Columbus’s arrival by two days is a seven-hour evening of Latin Americana on 10 Oct, tantalisineg tltled Goodbye Columbus. The entertainment kicks oil with a report irom Columbus, Ohio, the biggest city to be named alterthe Genoese discoverer, in spite oi the lact that he didn't discover it (but Wendy's make hamburgers there). Columbus has been mired in controversy since the town olliclals decided to celebrate 1992 with a multi-million llower lestival in the heart oi the black community, without asking the residents lithey ielt like having all those expensive blooms parked under their noses. Resident Bill Moss calls it ‘Amerlllop’, ‘because people recognise that Columbus was a scoundrel; his coming to America led to slavery, plllage, rape.’
‘Columbus was wrong’ continues to be the evening’s theme as we are shown a documentary on the campaigning work at Rigoberta Menchu, nominated lor the Nobel Peace Prize lor her work in Nicaragua; a gloomy look at the Thatcherlte
Cross with Chris
economic experiment in Mexico; news items on cholera, colonialism, war in El Salvador, and a hall-hour programme on the impossibility oi democracy in Peru. Let’s lace it, Columbus was a jerk. But who cares when you've got soap operas and salsa? The evening pays tribute to Latin America's soap mania with an episode oi God Help Us set on location in Brazil and Heaven. Eat your heart out, Eldorado.
With Germaine Greer on Cuba, Ouentln Crisp on Eva Peron and Pele on the turf at Aston Villa - not to mention an eight-week season 01 cinema - Channel 4 seems to have come nearer to iinding a universally palatable way of ‘marking’ the guincentenary than the various worthy cultural events happening across the country during the course of the year. When shall we start the workshops? (Miranda France)
Goodbye Columbus Is on Sat 10 Oct, Spur—3.55am.
The Latin-American Cinema season runs ior eight weeks from 5 Oct.
The six-part documentary The ‘Other’ Americas starts Mon 12 Oct.
The nights are tair drawing in, the Scottish streets are tilled with marauding gangs oiArctlc wolves and the home pizza delivery shops do a roaring trade. Tlmeto check out the latest arrivals on the video store shelves.
I Fatal Love (15) Another example ofthe Odyssey speciality, the social issue made intoTV movie-style melodrama using a real-life story as the plot. This time the issue is AIDS. Molly Ringwald stars as a talented young artist Alison Gertz. middle-class and respectable, who contracts AIDS from a handsome bartender at the age of 16. She findsthe courage and power to use her experience to spread the word about the dangers ofthe disease. and emerges as a leading voice in the AIDS debate. (Odyssey)
I Devlin (18) Bryan Brown and Lloyd Bridges star in a confusing action thriller about yet another uncompromising cop, Frank Devlin (Brown). Devlin is called in to investigate the murder of a kinky politician. As he becomes more involved in the investigation. he realises that someone is trying to frame him for the murders. Routine cop conspiracy stuff, with plenty of action sequences to make up for a tricky plot. (Columbia Tristar) I Gun Crazy (15) A sort of Ronco version of Thelma And Louise/Bonnie And Clyde starring Drew Barrymore (of ETfame) as a poor white-trash teenager who becomes obsessed with a strange penpal (James Le Gros). Before you know it,she’s escaping her existence of torment and sexual abuse for an adventure that contains its own share of sexual passion and violent disaster. (Medusa)
I Becoming Colette ( 18) The true-life story of Gabrielle Colette, an innocent country girl who becomes France‘s most promiscuous author before George Simenon arrived on the scene. Through marriage to France‘s most notorious
degenerate, Colette becomes part of the Parisian literary scene and sleeps with around 2000 blokes and 500 women. which is going some by any standards. A biopic that understandably plays up the erotic adventures at the expense of any in-depth analysis ofher literary merits. (Medusa) I Pay Off (15) A pacy. crude thn'ller starring Keith Carradine and Harry Dean Stanton. Carradine plays a screwed-up guy whose life was shattered when, as a small child, he was tricked by a hitman into carrying a bomb into his parents' house and killing them. He is given the chance to gain revenge on the Mob boss who ordered the killing, but it isn‘t as simple as it seems at first. 50-50 action adventure with decent performances and some impressive stunts. (Medusa)
I Blake’s Seven: Head Hunter/Assassin (PG)
3 More tacky, low-budget
705 sci-fi for sad, becardiganned addicts who are collecrinq the full set. (BBC£10.s 9)
I Blake’s Seven: Games/Sand (PG) (BBC £10.99)
I The Very Best Oi Postman Pat (BBC £9.99)
I The Very Best Of Fireman Sam (BBC £9.99)
I PeterAlliss- So You Want To Play Goli? (BBC £10.99)
IThe Very Best OiOnly Fools And Horses: Tea For Three and Yuppie Love (PG) (BBC £12.99 each tape).
I Noddy And The Naughty Tail (BBC£8.99)
I Plngu 3: Hide And Seek (BBC£8.99)
I Blkkl Fulton Prince 01 Pochlers: Scotch And Wry4 (PG) A briefstraw poll in our office evinced
complete bafﬂement as to
the meaning of the word ‘pochler‘. Fulton performs a variety of Dick Emery-style sketches u5ually involving daft costumes. Scots lap up this sort of stuff at Hogmanay but seen without the benefit of several drams it’s all rather weak. (BBC
I lied Dwsrt IV: Camille (p0) (1380:1099)
I The Kid/idle Class One of four ‘classic‘ Chaplin titles released this fortnight, including two short films from 1921 . The other films are his best-known titles. Never found him funny myself. (Fox £10.99)
I The Great Dictator (Fox £10.99)
I Sunday In The Country (U) (Artificial Eye £15.99)
I Green Card ( 15) (Touchstone £10.99)
I Bocketeer (PG) (Touchstone £10.99)
I Truly, Madly, Deeply (PG) (Touchstone £12.99) I Autobus (15) Eric Rochant‘s second feature is a touching comedy about a love-struck young rebel, Bruno (Yvan Attal) who hijacks a school bus to prove to his girlfriend Juliette (Charlotte Gainsbourg) that he‘s crazy about her. The schoolkids love him, the driver and teacher befriend him. but the police chase him all over the country regardless. Comic and poignant, with a neat underlying air of suspense. (Artificial Eye £15.99)
I City Lights (Fox £10.99) I Modern Times (Fox £10.99)
I Van Gogh (15) Maurice Pialat‘s award-winning portrait ofthe aurally-impaired genius concentrates, appropriately enough. on the visuals. with vivid scenes in Bohemian cafes and brothels and stunning footage of the village of Auvers where Van Gogh spent one summer in 1890. (Artiﬁcial Eye £15.99)
I The Best 01 Rod Stewart Early clips from the 70s peak ofthe gravelly-voiced professional Scot, featuring such timeless toons as ‘You Wear It Well‘ and ‘Maggie May'. Excellent. (Wienerworld £10.99)
66 The List 9 — 22 October 1992