i l


A curiously uncertain romp from

; his uptight European style (as his

sharp suit frays at the edges), and

allows himself to be dragged on Alex and Anita’s dodgy escapades, hunting down peyote and trying to sell a little

Gabriele Salvatores (director ofthefar ' 00W

sunnier Medlterraneo) which starts out like a moody Euro cop thriller and ends in high farce in Latin America. Mario (Diego Abatantuono), your classic self-satisfied Italian yuppie, is shot in the toilets of the bank where he works: fortunately the bullet touches nothing and, while he’s recovering in hospital, he recognises the policeman in charge of the investigation as the gunman. lie can’t shake the murderous copper off, however, and departs in panic for Mexico where he washes up in the dozy beach town of the title.

It’s there that an encounter with beach-bum Alex (Claudio Disio) and his sparky girl Anita (Valeria Golino) changes his attitude: he begins to lose

j described in a story just a little too

whimsical for its own good: unexpected meetings and odd happenings abound, but add little to either the comedy or the atmosphere. Abatantuono does his best to hold together the fractured narrative, and his performance is undoubtedly the

film’s main strength. As for the rest of

it, a few chuckles and some excellent landscape photography are the primary attractions. (Andrew Pulver) Puerto Escondido (15) (Gabriele Salvatores, Italy, 1993) Diego Abatantuono, Valeria Golina, Claudio Disio. 110 mins. From Mon 8: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Mon 29: Edinburgh Filmhouse.

Mario’s existential journey, though, is

Puerto Escondido: ‘too whimsical for its own 9004’


Yet another Big Tam biography? How many times can this rags-to- riches story be told with any more insight to be gained? However. with Andrew Yule‘s Sean Connery (Little. Brown £16.99). maybe it has taken a Scottish biographer to work out what makes the man tick. Yule has done some deeper digging into Connery's early life and

3 fatnin background.

interviewing childhood

2 friends and building a more credible ‘poverty-

; strickcn‘ basis for the

3 financial stimulation that

T has egged the actor on

through his career. Money 5 is very much a leitmotifin the book, which charts

' Connery's escape from

Guilty Si

., i

n: “emphasises erotic tension and

psychological cross-currents'


You know where you stand with a title

, like Guilty As Sin. Or do you? The title,

secrecy by the bond of confidentiality, she is soon locked into a dangerous

: game with her slippery client, who

together with the presence of the sexy

ilebecca DeMornay, suggests we’re in Jagged Edge/erotic thriller territory; on the other hand, director Sidney lumet is associated with weightier courtroom dramas such as Twelve Angry Men and The Verdict. DeMomay plays Jennifer ilaines, a

lawyer with a sharp mind and a killer f instinct, who meets her match in . handsome new client David Greenhill j (Don Johnson), a ‘ladies man’ and alleged wife-killer with a suave,

seductive manner. Asked by llaines

' whether anyone ever said no to him,

Greenhill replies calmly, ‘Yes, my wife, just before I threw her out the window.’ Dnsettled and unnerved by Greenhill, liaines at first refuses to represent him, but changes her mind because she comes to regard him as a professional challenge. Sworn to

now seems more guilty by the moment. By homing in on the client/lawyer relationship, director lumet and scriptwriter Larry Cohen emphasise the erotic tension and psychological cross-currents rather than the

traditional plot mechanics of a

courtroom drama. Most of the

important confrontations take place

that the climactic scenes abandon

outside the courtroom, and it slowly becomes clear that Greenhill chose llaines deliberately, because he knew he could push her buttons. Which makes it all the more disappointing

this potentially fascinating battle of wills and resort instead to crass thriller cliches, ultimately tipping over the edge into silly melodrama. (ll F) Guilty As Sin (18) (Sidney Lumet, US,

1993) llebecca DeMomay, Don . Johnson, Stephen lang. 107 mins.

From Fri 12. Glasgow: Ddeon. Edinburgh: Ddeon. Strathclyde: Ddeon Ayr. All UCls.


Directed by Barry (Addams Family) Sonnenfeld, The Concierge is a 90s take on the Wilder/lemmon classic The Apartment, where a little guy is forced to babysit for a big guy’s girl, and manages to win her heart by putting love before duty. lemmon’s insurance clerk has become Fox’s wheeler-dealer hustler, and along with Gabrielle Anwar, makes a passable go of a sweet romantic story. The only trouble is the modern film’s flailing gags can’t match up to The Apartment’s razor-sharp wit, so you’re left with creeping dissatisfaction at its shaky sexism, rather than bowled over by the power of lurve. Top marks. however, go to identikit Brit Anthony lliggins in the Alan liickman role. A

ieel-so-so movie. (AP)

The Concierge (PG) (Barry Sonnenfeld, US, 1993) Michael J. Fox, Gabrielle Anwar, Anthony liiggens. 95 mins.

From Fri 19.

. Bond-age into a career

where. despite the faithfully recorded reviews of his undoubted

acting talent. the box

office flops seem to

accumulate like a

motorway pile-up.

There are a few references to 007 in The Faber Book of Movie Verse (Faber and Faber £20), including a poetical reflection by former Bond girl Fiona Pitt-Kethley. Note that the title is Movie Verse. not high- falutin' literary lines. and

so the result is an

entertaining pot for the

film fan to dip in and out

of. Many respected names are included Maya Angelou. Robert Frost. Allen Ginsberg and. for local relevance. check out the entries by Liz Lochhead. Douglas Dunn. Edwin Morgan and others.

‘. . . Around your office table/ crowd an old alcoholic circus clown./ a

Christmas doll and three

is ,

The Concierge: ‘a 9113 take on The Apartrnent’

sponsored by B‘ACARDI BLACK

umbrellas/ and Anita Ekberg‘s mother/ in a photo . . .’ So goes Paul Carroll‘s ’Ode to Fellini on Interviewing Actors for a Forthcoming Film’ in the above volume. A

new biography. Fellini

(Fourth Estate £20) by John Baxter was published only a few days

before the Italian director‘s death last

weekend. Working

chronologically through

Fellini's career. Baxter attempts to get beyond the self-made myth the director reinvented his life as often as he changed shirts by talking to friends and collaborators rather than the man himself. The result is good on film analysis and production history. but Fellini himself. who everyone says was so charming. is curiously absent. (AM)

The List 5—l8 November 1993 19‘