Jon Amiel’s Reconstruction romance plays like the return of The Return of Martin Guerre. In the aftermath of the American Civil War, Laurel Sommersby hasn’t seen her husband Jack in over seven years, and fears the worst until he comes ambling back into town one day, telling the story of his confinement in a Yankee prison camp. His experiences have, however, made him something of a changed man; previously a boorish and ineffectual customer, these days he’s a caring father, a go-ahead farmer and the holder of firmly liberal principles on the issue of racial discrimination. In fact, he’s such a changed man that the local community begins to wonder if he’s actually the same man at all, and while Laurel finds herself falling in love all over again with the man she’s

convinced she married, it’s left to the courts to unlock the secrets at the heart of their relationship.

Probing the mercurial nature of our affections do we fall for a unique individual or just anyone who fulfils our needs and desires? - it’s in the central love story that British director Amiel’s obvious interests lie. Slight reservations have to be expressed about the pairing of Gere and Foster, a curiously watchable couple yet somehow lacking in the kind of sensual chemistry that would set the narrative really firing. As a result, the movie never quite swoons as it should, but it’s such a good old yarn and treated with such integrity, you’ll go away satisfied anyhow. (TJ)

Sommersby (12) (Jon Amiel, US, 1993) Richard Gere, Jodie Foster, Bill Pullman. 114 mins. From Fri 23. General release.

Sommersby: ‘good old yarn‘ 3


f Veteran French filmmaker Claude Sautet recently won a much-deserved Best Director Cesar for this elegantly

l trenchant chronicle of a triangular

; relationship. Stephane (Daniel Auteuil) l

i is an expert violin maker, nervous with i

; women, who seems to live only for his

i work and music. Maxime (Andre

. Dussolier) is his partner in the

' business, the eXpert public relations

man who does most of the schmoozing

with the internationally renowned ' virtuosi who make up their clientele.

Camille (Emmanuelle Béart) is the

young violinist the latter has just left

his wife for, but who finds herself

falling for the enigmatic Stephane. Chaos ensues, emotions run high,

friendships are wrenched apart; and

3 all to the tune of Ravel piano trios and

; complex, adult character with f extraordinary skill and subtlety. His

Un Coeur En Hiver: ‘oracetul’ - violin sonatas which are Béart’s

I St Brides Film Festival: Move over Venice. Cannes. Berlin. because there's another film festival pushing its way onto the map. Bing Crosby to Harvey Keitel. images of the Forth Rail Bridge and Hitler's Nuremberg rallies all will be on show when the St Brides Film Festival enters its second year.

‘Why shouldn't a community centre have a film festival'.” argues George Williamson. the Project Director. ‘In a sense. cinema is very much rooted in the life and history of working- class culture. Also. there's a difference between "cinema" and "film". A

lot of people talk about

speciality. Indeed, these lyrical yet hard-edged studies in fleeting musical relationships, exploring the rise and fall of delicate tone colours, are I almost a microcosm of the film as a a whole, which moves along with such graceful fluidity it’s easy to miss the toughness that lies at its core. For all his surface shyness, there’s a manipulative streak in Stephane’s need for self-protection, and Auteuil captures the many facets of this

marvellous performance and Sautet’s practised eye for the minutiae of everyday cruelties make this a film worth studying again and again. British movies should be this good. (TJ)

Un Coeur En lliver (A Heart In Winter) (12) (Claude Sautet, France, 1992) Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Béart, Andre Dussolier. 105 mins. From Sun 2 May: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Fri 7 May: Edinburgh Cameo.


A new low in lame post-Zucker Bros spoofery, this mercifully short, sham policier manages to be a good deal less funny than the Lethal Weapon movies it’s supposed to be sending up. Emilio Estevez and Samuel L. Jackson are the cheque-grabbing serious actors making tools of themselves in the Mel ’n’ Danny roles, while the paucity of comic invention around them is partly papered over by a welter of embarrassed looking guest stars - sundry Trekkies Shatner, Doohan and new generation Whoopi Goldberg

Yet while Airplane! and the llaked Gun movies took the sort of crappy genre material (disaster movies, 70s cop shows) we’d almost forgotten about and reminded us how terrible it was, nobody does parody Joel Silver as well as Joel Silver. This is sad, overstretched stuff at 83 minutes, so keep praying they don’t make the threatened sequel. (TJ)

Loaded Weapon 1 (PG) (Gene lluintano, US, 1993) Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Curry. 83 mins. From Fri 30. General release.

{s at

loaded Weapon 1: ‘sad, overstretched stuff'

“going to the pictures" but think about “film” as an intellectual medium

they‘re into entertainment.

And so the idea is to put together a festival that is intellectually stimulating. that is entertaining. that gives you a real buzz.‘

The festival bursts into

life on Monday 26 April

5 with a charity screening of the much-loved musical

High Soelerv. in aid of the Children‘s Hospice

Association Scotland. The fun continues as the week progresses with the likes of Big/or)! and the Henderson.\' and Holiday Inn, while a darker side is presented with Paul Schrader‘s searing union movie Blue Collar and Leni Riefenstal's controversial Nazi documentary Triumph of the Will. It all comes to a weird climax with a screening of 3D classic (‘reaiure from the Black lagoon and a ceilidh on Friday 30. See Listings for times and prices.

Special emphasis is placed on local filmmaking. including work by Edinburgh filmmaker (and Williamson‘s film festival associate) lan Rintoul. As well as his l975 Hour of the Eagle. a dramadoc on the German bombing raid on the Forth Rail Bridge. two films commissioned by St Cuthbert's Co- operative Stores will also be shown.

‘One film is the building of the store in Nicolson Street in the early 60s.‘ explains Williamson. ‘The other. . . well. apparently they used to have an annual fashion parade at the Bread Street store. and the shop assistants would wear the outfits. lan filmed both events and what we're trying to do is track down some of the women that are featured. thirty years on.‘ (AM)