Moore or less

What is it about Demi Moore that makes everyone offer her so much money? Harriet Lane went along to find out.

Demi Moore is probably more famous for her roles off screen than on. She’s known for her part as the Wife Of Bruce Willis, as the primadonna/ballbreaker (the one where she wants to park her trailer in Jack Nicholson’s spot on the set of A Few Good Men), and as the controversial Earth Mother (when she did that Vanity Fair cover with absolutely no props). But meeting Demi in the flesh somewhat less in the flesh than one‘s used to comes as a bit of a shock. ls this really what she looks like?

It’s a sweltering afternoon in London, but that’s not the only reason why the Dorchester bellhops are tugging at their collars. On screen Demi has played a psychic hick-from-the-sticks (The Butcher’s Wife), a goody-two-shoes in epaulettes (A Few Good Men), not to mention Ghost’s girl-next-door, but at today’s press conference she is wearing glamorously bedraggled layers of black lace and her hair in those trendy dark worms, like Shakespear’s Sister. This

vampish, destructive creation bears little resemblance to Diana Murphy, the character she plays in her latest movie, Indecent Proposal (jeepers, Diana wears brogues) but, as that film proves. appearances can be deceptive.

Demi’s Diana looks like a nice girl but nice isn’t enough, somehow, to justify Redford’s obsession, especially when it’s played out against a backdrop of powerboats, marble halls and limousines. This, on the other hand, is.

In her adorably croaky voice, Demi is spilling the superstar beans. ‘lt’s a story.’ she says, ‘which deals in morality, sex and money. It’s a fantasy which could be a reality. It’s something which gets people talking.’

They’re talking, all right. Some of them are saying it might have been a more interesting film if the billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford) had been less suave, less twinkly. What choice is there between the nerdy and Iantem- jawed Woody Harrelson, who plays Diana’s penniless husband David, and the fabulously wealthy Redford who still has stacks of hair? If we’re on the subject of dilemmas, wouldn’t it have been more interesting to see what could have happened if Gage had put in a bid for David rather than Diana?

Demi shows signs of exasperation. ‘Indecent Proposal is a fantasy and we have to consider what people want to see when they go to the movies. Nowadays, the fact that l have children means that l have to find projects that are worth giving up four months of my life. And this film leaves you stuff to think about.’

Demi is sitting up high on her little gilt chair, willing us to believe that the dilemma of the movie is not would Robert Redford have to pay for sex, but would you sell your wife to a stranger?

‘Come on’, she’s saying. ‘think about it‘. And then some poor woman in the front row, forgetting the wads of greenbacks which resulted from Ghost and Die Hard, asks the most stupid and enlightening question ofall. ‘What would you do,’ she says, ‘if someone offered you a million dollars for one night?’ First Demi looks like she isn’t

even going to answer. Not that old chestnut again. There is a pause full of embarrassment. Everyone is thanking their lucky stars they didn’t blurt that one out. And then Demi shrugs. She looks charming. ‘I guess.’ she says absently, ‘that I’d laugh.’

Indecent Proposal is now showing at cinemas across Scotland.

East meets West

Alan Morrison investigates the country and Eastern twang of Wild West.

Ever since Bill Haley rocked around the clock and Elvis stepped into his blue suede shoes, disaffected adolescents the world over have made music in order to build a barrier against the dead-end nature of life around them. We’ve had designer grunge in Seattle (Singles), sweet soul music in the streets of Dublin (The Commitments). Now it’s time for some twangin‘ New Country in the singularly inappropriate surroundings of Southall, West London.

Nothing so far that would make Garth Brooks’s stetson curl at the edges perhaps. save that this area of the

capital is nicknamed ‘Little India’ and is home to Britain’s largest Punjabi community. Yes, the Honky Tonk Cowboys are the world's first Asian country and western band.

‘l’ve always had an image of Southall as a Wild West outback, a kind of Punjabi outpost of West London,’ explains the film’s writer, Harwant Bains. ‘The film is about wanting to get out, wanting to chase a dream, and the music from the American South gave a sense of a world beyond Southall where dreams can be realised. I didn’t want to write a social documentary. When I go to see a film, I like to be taken into a new world and I wanted to make this something bigger and more exciting than the real world.’

Serious themes are raised racism in the music industry, inter-racial marriages, the attitudes of a close

community when some of its members throw off traditions in favour of Western ideals but it’s all placed in the inepressibly upbeat context of three brothers and their one goal: to get to Nashville, Tennessee. They may be being chased by a trio of hoodlums to whom they sold a dodgy car, they may be on the nasty end of threats from taxi driver Tony, when they steal his wife Rifat for their lead singer, they may not be able to hold down any job worth talking about, but there is always the music.

Wild West is the perfect example of how a TV movie (this one has Film 0n Four roots) can have life in a British cinema. No pretty pictures of Edwardians on holiday in Italy or staid adaptations of worthy novels here; Wild West plays straight to its audience, shooting quips from the hip and

churning out toe-tapping tunes by the plenty. Funny, fresh and unashamedly cheery, it has the potential to become this year's Commitments, even if it lacks the polish of Alan Parker’s hit.

Filmed with a hand-held Super l6mm camera and subsequently blown up to

35mm for cinema release, the shooting style brings pace and immediacy to the story. Director David Attwood, making his feature film directorial debut, is better known for his TV work. including BBC play Airbase, Killing 'Iime and The Real Eddy English. ‘l’m attracted to projects that are off-beat and a bit off-the-wall,’ he says. ‘I was astonished by the script’s audacity, by these people, by their relationship to the place where they live and by the total madness of the world created there.’

It could be argued that, by having Englishman Attwood at the helm, the film transcends any racial special interest, but Bains’s script was already widely accessible. The drummer may wear a turban, but these boys could come from any bleak urban hole where the strum of a guitar or crash of a cymbal can transport a group of wide- eyed innocents from a cramped bedroom to a wonderful land where everyone wears stetsons and the angels sing Steve Earle numbers.

Wild West opens in Scotland on Friday 2] May.

14 The List 21 May—3 June 1993