Passionate friend

New Zealander Kerry Fox talks to Alan Morrison about Friends.

some response and make herself explode in some way. She learns that she has to treat herself as an equal to others before she can expect people to treat each other as equals.’

The film is. however, more about the close relationship of three central characters who have grown up together deSpite their obvious cultural and ethnic differences (aside from Sophie. one is a black teacher. the other an Afrikaans archaeologist). it would have been easy for writer-director Proctor to lay the metaphors out on the table. but Friends achieves a much deeper. more genuine emotional resonance.

‘Before i started shooting, i thought it was a film about women.’ Fox recalls. ‘While l was shooting. i thought it was about a woman who is so heavily into

_ * - to blow herself up. to actually feel

Following the worldwide success of The Piano, cinema managers across the country have been frantically re- screening Jane Campion's earlier work. with audiences re-discovering her startling feature debut. An Angel At My Table. Also making her debut in this

story of schizophrenic New Zealand [gm Fox (com) with Michele lingers (left) and Dambisa Kente (unlit) politics that this was how she expressed author Janet Frame was Kerry Fox. a At My Table did. however. allow the but the same rules apply.‘ herself; and now l’ve seen the film. 1 young actress whose face and fuzzy red young actress to stretch beyond her The acting bug bit Fox early. when think it's about the growth of these hair adorn the film's posters, The hair native boundaries, first to the larger she was taking acting classes as a child. three women. Friends represents has lost its clown-like intensity. but the Australian film industry just across the ('l was StrUCk by the realisation that l female mendShlP as I’d "ever see" it colour is still as striking in Fox’s latest water. where she starred with Bruno had a whole audience in front of me.’ written before. What 1 try to do with screen venture, Friends. a study of Ganz in The Last Days Of Chez Nous. she remembers. ‘l could do whatever 1 my friends is keep unpeeling layers female friendship set against the Next came a trip to Britain to don wanted and they WOUld Still Pa)’ until I know them better and better. but volatile political and racial backdrop of period costume for the BBC serial Mr attention-3 Although She first began to always being surprised by them and contemporary South Africa. it’s another Wroeis Virgins, directed by Danny StUdY Education. PsyChPlogif "ever really kttOthg them at 3”. powerfully committed performance Boyle. After Friends. Fox returned to Literature and A" at unwetStt)’. She ’The film isn‘t simply allegorical from the 25-year-old, but one that we the UK and Boyle last October for 500“ SthChed t0 the New 233mm because these Face-9 d0 eXlSt in that would have been denied if events had Scottish feature Shallow Grave. At the Drama SChOOl. Where She graduated in country. But what i found in South taken a different twist four years ago. moment. she’s shooting again in '937- Her CUltUtal baCkgtound 13' . Africa Was that everyone carries a label ‘When i got Angel. i had reached the Australia. and later this year plans to therefore Very different froth Sophie. of what they are; and SO Whatever race point where i had told myself l’d either team up with Friends director Elaine the White aCthlSt She Plays In Friends- you said those three characters were. it do a good audition or stop acting. Proctor in Namibia. Plenty of globc- SOPhte is a librarian» emotionally. would still be essential to the nature of because for years l’d been letting trotting. then. but with the notable distanced from her EngltShjSPealflttS the film. It would still be Specific and myself away with bad acting.‘ Fox omission of Hollywood, parentS. Whose anti-apalthetd aethltteS mean something. We really can‘t admits. ‘Once we started shooting. and ‘l refuse to worry about that.’ she become more eXtteme» leading her to understand what should it matter that I looked at the rushes every day, i knew stresses. ‘lfl went there. l’d have to bomb a butldlhg With fatal l’eSUltS- one’s English-speaking. one’s Zulu and the film was going to be special. I invest at least two years before I got ‘She Wants to Change the Situatteht' one’s Afrikaans? But there. it is mean. i had no comprehension of the anywhere. and l’m just not willing to FOX explains, 'ahd l suppose it'5 Just everything. it’s the whole outlook. world. l’d never been outside of New do that. One. 1 can’t afford it; and. two. foStrathD that makes her do What She everybody’s point of view, the essence Zealand, l’d never really gone to films. l’m having a good time elsewhere. The d0eS- She never develop8 a way to of that society.‘ but I knew that this was something that sort of people i want to work with and blOCk it OUt like most People there (10- Friends opens at the Edinburgh would shock people.’ the projects i want to work on do exist What She does is, in a way. selfisth F [Int/rouse on Fri 14 and Glasgow Film The international success of An Angel there. however. it may be Hollywood. motivated. Sophie has her Own agenda Theatre on Tue 25.

Dog, America’s self-styled worst nightmare, witnessed by his homeboy Caine, a cynical dope-dealer. From then on, the film focuses on the inner city’s criminal element, not the college wannabes of Boy: or the aspiring Dds of Juice. it’s a harsh and unsentimental viewpoint, but a brave one, given the moral ambivalence of its central characters, for these are young black men who are typically stereotyped and dismissed in the toms of the title.

‘l’m making a film about a certain

_ something about it. Stop walking around like it’s not your problem, " because it’s everybody’s problem.’ Although the film was shot on

location in Watts, LA, the Hughes boys Outline the plot of Menace ll Society - were born in inner city Detroit and black youth strugqu to free himself now live in the relatively comfortable from inner city life, but finds himself suburb of Pomona, California.

caught in escalating violence - and Presented with a video camera at the many people will claim to have seen it age of twelve by their mother - a

all before in Boy: ii The liood or Juice. vocational rehabilitation specialist - But why can’t anotirer, meaner ’n’ they started making their own

leaner trite on street violence be lust versions of favourite TV programmes as relevant? It's not as if America only (Star Trek, The Tonight Show, Miami

ever gave us one war movie or one Vice) before completing their first small group of criminals that is in all campus comedy. Menace II Society slice of street life, The Drive By. This communities,’ argues Albert. ‘People has a different feel than its short became a cult underground item love seeing films about ltallan predecessors: it’s bleaker, harder- after the brothers had their first major “a ""9"" mm gangsterism. But when you see black edged, more relentless. in short, it brush with the law: because one scene Marvin Gaye and Al Green. For this people with a gun, they start tripping.’ feels like this is the real thkrg. required a real sewn-off shotgun as a first feature, despite the pressures of ‘The few black filmmakers that there

‘We’ve tried to take a iournallstic prop, the Pomona Police Department a $2.5 million budget, they continued are come out with their own stories,’ approach to make this flint as real as decided to do a little censorship on to use their tried and tested method: adds Allen, ‘and get questions like pessible,’ admits Allen linghes, who the side and shut down production. Allen dealing with actors, Albert “Why are you boys making these ’hood with his twenty-yeamld twin brother Even before they had reached the taking care of the technical side. The movies?” What do they mean, wtht Albert conceived and directed the realm of the twentysomethlng, they result has ensemble and individual What are we supposed to make,

movie. “I’m not out hereto be a were well respected as directors of performances that couldn’t be movies with Bruce Willis lumping out teacher. You don’t learn from a music videos for the likes of Digital battered and a visual style that is as of planes, and shit? They can make a positive film or from The Cosby Show. Underground, Kits-One and Too Short. technically brilliant as it is hard- million bullshit cop movies and get no VIII ea! leaf! tie! the Motive about Some of their rapper chums have hitting. criticism, no questions. Those cop M lee“ to be M - - o It We cameo parts in Menace ll Society; From its opening scene, it’s clear movies. God damn. Stop with the cop em “t at the theatre! 8“ tell others supply a soundtrack that that Menace ll Society isn’t taking any movies!’ (Alan Morrison)

melt '8 Will! a" "I teal features the likes of iiWA, D.l llqu and prisoners. A casual remark ends in the Menace ll Society opens in Scotland “mi 8“ WW, then do Mc Eiht, as well as the soul sounds of murder of a Korean shopkeeper by D- on Friday 14.

sponsored /)_\' BACARDI BLACK

The List l4—27 January 199419