THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
What constitutes an epic‘.’ Sweeping landscapes and lavish costumes? Extremes ofpassion set against a narrative driven by set pieces of action and adventure? Or is it simply. in today‘s film jargon. a dubious way ofdisguising the fact that the movie is way too long‘.’ We‘ve already been told this year that Far arsz way and 1492: Conquest of Paradise are epics. and in many ways they do fulfil the basic criteria. But beside Michael Mann‘s The Last of the Mohicans. even Ridley Scott‘s richly woven screen tapestries begin to look threadbare. This is heroic romance of the finest quality. faultlesst detailed in its period setting, carried off by actors who bring emotional authenticity to their characters and a director who truly understands the exhilarating power of cinema. And at two hours and two minutes exactly. you aren‘t left wishing for the end credits. James Fenimore Cooper‘s tale of 18th century America‘s English/French colonial war played to audiences in 1936 as a quasi-western starring Randolph
Scott. Likewise. Mann and co-writer :
Christopher Crowe have taken liberties with the original novel in order to mould it into a satisfying piece of cinema for the 19905. The basic story remains the same: frontiersman Hawkeye (Daniel Day Lewis) — the white adopted son of Mohican Chingachgook — finds himselfcaught up in the war when he prevents the ambush of a British officer and the daughters of a fort commander. Colonel Munro (Scottish actor Maurice Roeves). The loyalties of this natural outsider are out under further strain by a personal vendetta against the Munro family held by Magua. a brutal
‘\ \‘Q The Last of the Mohicans: “the mostthrilling adventure of the year'
Huron warrior allied to the French.
In this version. however. Mann rearranges the personal relationships ofthe main characters so that Hawkeye has a romantic interest in Munro‘s eldest daughter. Cora (Madeleine Stowe). and a jealous rival in the officer he saved. Heyward (Steven Waddington). While this fulfils contemporary demands for a definable love interest between the male and female leads. it also adds another dramatic twist to the narrative and heightens the dominant themes ofdignity and self—sacrifice.
Stowe and Day-Lewis make for wonderful pin-up material: they are i also fine actors. He excels as the first great American hero. his strongly boned. intelligent face and buckskin-clad physique bridging the gulf between the Native and modern American cultures. The character's heroic acts and shooting skills may approach the superhuman. but Day-Lewis blends Indian and European nobility in equal measures to create a Hawkeye who is as much a sympathetic individual as indestructable matinee idol. The Last ofthe Mohicans is the most thrilling adventure of the year; it is also a moving account of passion. friendship and human dignity. A true epic indeed. (Alan Morrison)
Last of the Molt leans (l2 ) (Michael Mann. US. 1992) Daniel Day-Lewis. Madeleine Stowe. Russell Means. 122 mins. Front Fri 0. Cannons: Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh. Falkirk. Kirkca/dy. Kilrnarnock. ()deons.'/1yr. Hamilton. All U Cls. Glasgow: Grosvenor. MGM Park/read. Edinburgh: Dominion. Central: Allan Park. Fife: Robin 's. ;
FILM . mira-
Films screening thislortnight are listed below with certificate. credits. briefreview and venue details. Full length reviews of new releases can be found in Screen Test. Programme details appear in the Listings section which follows. Film Index compiled by Alan Morrison.
I Allen Trllogyt IX) (Ridley Scott James Cameron David Fineher. US. 1979 so 93) Sigourney Weaver etal. 116 137 114mins. The complete Ripley adn friend story. from Scott's edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller. through Cameron‘s Rambo In Space. to Fincher's dark. atmospheric finale. A variety of styles and scares around every corner. Fife: Robins.
I Les Amants du Pont-Neutt 18)(I.eos ('arax. France. 1991 )Juliette Binoche. Denis Lavant. 137 mins. An artist with a degenerative eye disease meets a fire-eating down-and-out. and they fall in love against the backdrop of Paris’s Pont-Neuf. A stunningly visual movie. the most expensive ever to come out of France. Iidinburgh: Filmhouse. IAngel Heart( 18) (Alan Parker. US. 1987) Mickey Rourke. Robert de Niro. Charlotte Rampling. 113 mins. Scruffy. unshaven private eye Harry Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis Cyphre to track down a missing Forties crooner who has reneged on a life-or-death deal. Uncomfortable mating of visceral gore and moodyfilm noir. with some ingenious if nasty twists in the plot. Strathclyde: L'Cl Iiast Kilbride, I Autobus ( 15) (Iiric Rochant. France. 1991) Yvan Attal. Kristen Scott-'l‘homas. Marc Berman. 95 mins. A young man (Attal) hijaeksa school bus in order to visit the woman he fell in love with while on holiday. ()ti one level. Rochant‘s follow-up to A World Without Pity is an accessible and exciting heist picture done in a fairly Hollywood manner; on another. it manages to create genuine audience sympathy for its gun-toting protagonist. Fife: Adam Smith.
I The Beast1.a 13m ( 18) (Walerian Borowczyk. France. 1975)Sirpa1.ane. l.isbethllumnicl. Pierre Benedetti. 102 mins. An American heiress
; discovers an 18th century diary andstartsaseries of sexual dreams involving a half bear. half wolf.
Slightly scandalous erotic fairy tale with hintsof beastiality and lashingsof Freud. I-Idinburgh: Cameo.
I La Beaute du Dlable (P(i) (Rene Clair. France. 1949) Michel Simon. (ierard Philipe. Simone Valere. 96 mins. Another version of the Faustian legend has the old doctor and Mephistopheles swap roles in order for the former to win the love ofa young woman. Intelligent but unengaging adaptation. notable for its baroque sets. Edinburgh: French Institute.
I Beauty and the Beast ( L') ((iary 'l‘rouscdale Kirk Wise. US. 1991 ) With the voices of Paige ( )‘l Iara. Robby Benson. Richard White. 84 mins. The first animated film ever to get an ()sear nomination for Best Picture is a classic by anyone‘s standards. The familiar story is supplemented by terrific songs. a host of comic characters and a breathtaking combination of traditional and computer animation techniques. (ieneral release. I Beethoven (U) (Brian Levant. US. 1993) Charles (irodin. Bonnie Hunt. Dean Jones. 87 mins. A small St Bernard pup escapes from an ey i1 vet and attaches itself to the Newton family. Soon it grows to enormous proportions and begins to wreck domestic havoc. Iindless visual gags and good timing. particularly from (irodin. enliven what might have been a run-of—the-niill mutt movie. Glasgow: MGM. Strathclyde: Kelburne. ()deon Ayr. WMR. All UCls.
I The Bestlntentlons(15)(Bille A ugust . Sweden. 1991)Samucl Froler. Pernilla August. Max \‘on Sydow. 180 mins. Winner ofthe Palme I)'()rat the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. The Best Intentions chronicles the fortunes of the parents of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. who also wrote the screenplay. Though beautifully photographed and ﬂawlessly performed. it is perhaps a film to admire rather than one viewers will take to their heart. Iidinburgh: Filmhouse. Central: MacRobert.
I 810 Wednesdayu’oi (John Milius. CS. 1978) William Katt. Gary Busey. Jan-Michael Vincent. 12(1mins. Re-release of Milius'sautobiographical surfing movie. which follows the lives ofthree buddies riding through the ()US and early 711s on the crest of a wave. The director‘s most audience- friendly work has gathered something of a cult reputation: here's your chance to see it as it was originally intended. Fdinburgh: Cameo
I The Birthday Trlp ( 15) (Lone Scherfig. Denmark. 1990) 89 mins. The friendsof a hot-dogsiand
owner arrange as a birthday surprise a ferry tripto Poland in order to find him a woman. Scandanavian Film Festival. (ilasgow: (BF'I'. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Bob Roberts ( 15) (Tim Robbins. l'S. 1992)Tim Robbins. Alan Rickrnan. (iiaiiearlo lisposito. Gore Vidal. 103 mins. Man-of-the-moment Robbins takes over as director. writer and starof this wonderfully sharp satire on contemporary American politics. The eponymous Roberts is a right-wing folk singer with senatorial ambitions. appearing here in a mocked-up Spinal Tap type documentary. (ilasgow: ()deon. Iidinburgh: Cameo.
I Boomerang ( 15 l ( Reginald lludliii. CS. 1992) liddie Murphy . Robin (iivcns. Martin Lawrence.
Ilflniins. Iiddie Murphy stops the dovv nward spiral of his career with this slick tale ofa notorious woinaniser ys ho meets his match when he finally falls in love. Not the continually outrageous Murphy of old. but all the better for it. (iencral release.
I The Boys From St Petrl t 13 l ( sort-n
Kragh-Jacobsen. Denmark. 1991 l'l‘onias \'illum
" Jensen. Morten Buch Jorgensen. Nikola] l.ie Kaas. llllniiiis. In 1943. agroupofschoolboys
find their pranks against the occupy itig Nazis escalating into Denmark's first acts of resistance.
Boys’ ()w n slant to wartime drama works well.
particularly as a coiiiiiig-ol-age piece. Scandanavian Film Festival. (ilasgow ; (if-'1'. lidinburgh: Filiiihouse.
I Buffy The Vamplre Slayer t 13) (Fran Rubel Kuzui. LS. 1993) Kristy Swanson. I.uke Perry. Rutger l Iaucr. 94 mins. llighschool cheerleader becomes vampire slayer in this insult tothc intelligence horror-comedy that is neither funny nor scarey. With its dialogue slapped together from hip-for-fittecii-minutes phrases overheard in a shopping mall. it should have been staked at birth. (ilasgow: MUM. File: (ileiirothes. All I'Cls.
I California Man ( l’(i) ( Les Mayfield. is. 1992) Sean Astiii. Pauly Shore. Brendan Fraser. 88 mins. College loser and spaced-out buddy dig upa prehistoric caveman. tidy him up a bit and pass him off as an listonian exchange student asa means of wowing the babes. Substandard Bill & 'I‘ed fare that adds even more loopy teen vocabulary to the ll'avne‘s World dictionary. (ieneral release.
I Caroline Leaf The acclaimed animator will introduce and talk about her work. which has used a remarkable range of techniques and materials over the years. Her most recent film Two Women was one of the highlights of a Canadian Animation retrospective at the 1992 lidinburgh International Film Festival. ’l'ucsday Ill Nov-only. lidinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Carry On Columbus ( Pt i ) ((icrald 'I'homas. 12K. I992)Jim Dale. Maureen l.ipman. Alexei Sayle.
91 mins. Map shop proprietor Chris ( ‘ getsan
expedition command and takes off across the Atlantic pursued by Ahmed the 'l'urkish spy. Without the effortlessly laiiy presetices ofSid James. Kenneth Williams et a1. thisnew generation ('urrv ()n is noticably hollow. Sadly unfunny. Borders: Kingsway , Central: Caledoniaii. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr.
I Chinatown (Roman Polanski. I'S. 197-1)Jack Nicholson. Faye l)unaway . John Huston. 131 mins. I’riy ate eye Jake (iittes takes on a routine casein 1937 IA and ends up uncovering more than he bargained for, Splendid conspiracy thriller with a handsome period look and a quite
superlative cast. (ilasgow (if-'1'.
I Cinema Paradlso ( 1’( i) ((iiuscppe 'l‘ornatore. Italy Fraiice.l9SS) Phillipe NoiretJacques Perrin. Salvatore ( ascio. 133 mins. 'I‘old largelyin flashback. Cinema I’aradtsolraccsyoung Salvatore's infatuation with his village cinema.
7 and his growing friendship with its projectionist
(played to perfection by Noiret ). A recognition of
the price we pay for our maturity. Iidinburgh:
IClty OfJoyt 15)(RolandJoffe. L'K France.
1992) Patrick Sway'zc. Pauline Collins. ()m Puri.
135 mins. Surgeon Patrick Sway/e agrees tohelp Pauline Collins run a school and tiiedical
dispensary iii the poorest area of('a1cutta. but is intimidated by the local gang chief. Roland
(Killing Fields ) Joffe‘s latest offering isanother attempt to create a teelgood epic from asituation
of inealculablc suffering. Central: Regal. Strathclyde: Cannon.
I The Crylng Game ( 15) t Neil Jordan. t'K. 1992) Stephen Rea. Forest Whitaker. Jaye Davidson.
112 mins. A disillusioned IRA terrorist strikes up
a friendship with the black British soldier he has kidnapped. and subsequently finds himself in London and in love with the latter's girlfriend. A bold. unpredictable film that has plenty tosay
about notioiisof personal and sexual identity If only all British movies w ere as good as this. See feature. (ilasgow: MUM ladinburgh: Cameo.
I'CI. Strathclyde' l'( ~l (‘lydebank
I Dance ofthe Polar Bears ( l’( i i t Birger l.iirscn. Denmark. l‘Mll‘Nlmins A tvyelye-y'ear-oldboy dreamsof becoming a professional cyclist. but i finds himself losing his sense of identity when his iiiotlicr becomes pregnant and he fiiids himself i
The List 6 —< 19 November 199219