_ swear EMMA, oEAn BDBE

After his unsuccessful venture west in the Puttnam-produced would-be satire Meeting Venus, Hungarian director lstvan Szabo is back on timer home ground in this deeply-felt, authentic portrait of his troubled homeland’s post-Communist period oi readlustment. Arriving from the country in the hope of finding employment in Budapest, two teachers - Emma (Johanna Ter Steege, seen in George Sluiaer’s original The Vanishing) and Babe (Eniko Borcsok) - find their Russian language training almost useless amid the altered political and economic climate. Staying in a grotty official hotel, they try to master enough English to keep ahead oi the students they’re trying to instruct.

As his two heroines scrape together a meagre living, Szabo’s film is content merely to document their

painful plight, casually slinging together scenes and vignettes as the two women find themselves in unhappy relationships or contemplate the vacuum that has become their lives. A recurring dream sequence in which Emma sees herself tumbling naked down a steep slope brings home the tear and anxiety of living in a society that itself seems to be in some sort of free-fall - its bureaucracy and infrastructure coming apart at the seams, its economy struggling to come to terms with the demands of the market. Made compelling by its central performances, this understated glimpse of everyday resilience says more about human beings’ sheer will to survive and prosper than many a bludgeoning feelgood llollywood affair. (TJ)

Sweet Emma, Dear Br’ibe (18) (lstvan Szabo, llungary, 1992) Johanna Ter Steege, Enlko Borcsok, Peter Andorai. 81 mins. From Sun 9: Edinburgh Filmhouse. From Thurs 27: Glasgow

Sweet Em, Dear Bribe: ’understated gli of everyday resilience’


e a

- t

Film Theatre. _ TBESPASS

I r

Trespass: “familiar scenario’

Another Walter llill film, another flop. Here we have the familiar scenario ol assorted parties fighting it out over a large chink of stolen loot, a storyline so well-worn that even the casting oi sundry rap types and much jazzy MTV visual frippery can’t quite manage to pump any new life into it. Following a tip off from a dying felon, Arkansas fireman Bill Paxton (One False Move’s hick sheriff) and William Sadler drive across country to East St louis, where the help of a treasure map will, they hope, help them to extricate a fortune in gold from the bowels of an abandoned factory where it has Iain for the past 50 years. Checking out the

! surroundings and tracking down the 1 hoard, they also witness a local

: underworld gang carrying out a drug- i related assassination and soon find

{ themselves attracting unwanted

! attention from the bad guys, who are understandably keen to silence the

3, two outsiders on a permanent basis. The main point of interest here is

3 probably the casting of both Ice T as 1 the chief crimelord and Ice Cube as

: his rebellious underling. The need to


The Mystery of Edwin Drood: 'Iim period thriller”

From the shreds of

Dickens‘s unfinished last

novel. director Tim Forder has concocted a solidly wrought but curiously misshapen period thriller. The weaselly nastiness of Robert Powell is the film's main redeeming feature. as his

I impressively hollow

cheekbones flesh out the , part of a psychotic

; choirmaster who bumps

off his nephew Drood in a

f quest to gain the love of , his flower-like singing

! appeal to their core audience probably

5 explains the grafting on of various hip ? hop tunes and a preponderance of

! aimless promo-style camerawork m) 9 Trespass (18) (Walter Hill, 08, 1992)

i am Paxton, William Sadler, ice 1, Ice Cube. 107 mins. Glasgow: MGMs. All UCls.


Young Leo lauzon escapes from the dreariness of life in an East

Montreal tenement and the increasing insanity of his family

through a series of bizarre dreams, in which he is Léolo lozone,

the offspring of his mother and a sperm-laden Sicilian tomato. lle redefines himself in this absurd world, distancing himself from a

father with an over-fondness for bowel movements, a brother

obsessed with body-building and a grandfather who carries on a

sleazy sexual liaison with Bianca, léolo’s Italian neighbour and the

love of his life.

Where so many coming-of-age movies tread lightly in shallow water, Léolo dives deep into the genuine pain and confusion of sexual awakening. Writer/director Jean-Claude Lauzon weaves visual poetry with images that are disturbing, beautiful, darkly funny and achineg sad. Absolutely unique. (AM) léolo (18) (Jean-Claude Lauzon, Canada, 1992) Maxime Collin,

Gilbert Sicotte, Glnette iieno. 107 mins. From Fri 7: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Sun 23: Edinburgh Filmhouse.

leolo: “visual poetry’

pupil. it's not a question of who did it. because that’s fairly obvious from the outset more like how, as Forder puts together a complicated series of events to give his

? film something

resembling a denouement.

Much of the action follows the routine moves

of a BBC Dickens. with

plenty of top hats.

drainpipe trews and one- dimensional character

, acting. Then. as the grand

finale approaches. the proceedings lurch into the world of melodrama in a

blaze of fetid corpses, graveyard scumminess : and death dives. in one ; sense. it‘s all horribly

inappropriate; but. then

= again, there's nothing the Victorians liked more than

a bit of self-righteous blood-and-guts, and if

z modem FX can turn up 3 the heat. then why not? ? Unfortunately though.

: The Mystery of Edwin

Drood has an air ofquiet

? desperation it shares with

recent James Bond movies - like, why can't there be more of these damn books to film? If it hadn't. at one point, been the only film in production in the UK. it would simply be accepted for the TV filler it is but as it represents one- thirtieth of annual home output. it makes for dispiriting watching. (Andrew Pulver)

The M’vs'terv of Edwin Drum] ([2) (77m Forder, UK . I 992) Robert Powell. Fintv Williams, Peter Pricey. 98 mins. From Fri [4. Glusgrm': MGM .S'uur‘hiehall Street. Edinburgh: Orlcun.

The List 7—20 May 1903 33