Adapted from a folk tale by Goethe, Wladyslaw Starewicz’s feature-length puppetoon is a real eye-opener. A Polish-Lithuanian who ended up in Paris after the Russian Revolution, Starewicz managed to complete only a single full-length production (in 1931) of his still-unique stop-frame animation of insects and animals.

The frenetic and violent style admirably suits his caustic and anti- heroic material: Reynard the Fox, the craftiest beastie in the forest, stirs up

the wrath of the other animals with his i the Freeise detail of their natural

endless trickery, until the lordly Lion pledges to put an end to it. Not to be outdone, the Fox manages to heat off the army sent to punish him.

With animation of all kinds arousing strong interest in the UK, the unearthing of this left-field

; masterpiece couldn’t be more timel More in tune with the surreal cruelt g of Jan Svankmaier (for whom

Starewicz is clearly a major

inspiration) than the gentle weirdness of Aardman, it’s unfortunate indeed that The Tale Of The Fox has never

5 been seen before in this country. The

print on display is accompanied by a 1941 French voiceover and score;

; whatever the arguments about altering t original work, the enormously skilful

. technique and irreverent and biting

3 humour shine through intact.

What is particularly remarkable is the

way in which the animals, for all their

. human personality traits, move with

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counterparts. Starewicz’s magical

I touch - present as director,

5 photographer, designer, co-animator ' and co-writer will astound. (AP) ; 5 The Tale Of The Fox (12) (Wladyslaw . 'Starewicz, France, 1930) 65 mins. Sun 1 A _ v... 27 and Mon 28: Glasgow Film Theatre. 3

g. '. .gw.

Tale Of The Fox: ‘left-field masterpiece‘

" ' iii;

and Ellen Burstyn, and illegitimate offspring David Warner, currently on trial for murder.

The next day, the family turn up and, of course, they’re nothing like their portrayals in the old man’s imagination; yet Resnais and Mercer’s project is to examine the mutability oi representation as the characters in the patriarch’s fancy become interchangeable and slide into each other. With Gielgud’s untypical, sometimes shockingly profane pater familias at its core, the uniformly assured performances help give shape to the film. Such ambition and accomplishment has become increasingly rare. (T J)

Providence (18) (Alain Besnais, Fr/Swiss, 1977) John Gielgud, Dirk Bogarde, Ellen Burstyn, David Warner. 104 mins. From Sun 27 Feb: Edinburgh Filmhouse. From Mon 28 Mar: Glasgow


With his early features Hiroshima Mon Amour and last Year At Marienbad, Alain Resnais virtually redefined the filmic concept of time and narrative, but this reissue of his fascinating 1977 offering Providence shows him taking his enquiries that bit further, fusing past and present, literal and imaginary, into an intriguing and immediate film experience. L by. Working in English for the first time zfrom a script by brilliant English playwright David Mercer, Resnais’ cast is headed by a magnificently malicious John Gielgud as a dying, drink-sodden novelist, whose long dark night of the soul sees him trying to complete his last work by writing in and around the characters of his own

Providence: ‘intriguing and immediate film experience’

- {argumentative family - both bickering

(son and daughter-in-law Dirk Bogarde Film meat"?-

_ CDDL nuuumos

What the Cameroon footballers were to the last World Cup, the Jamaican bobsled team were to the 1988 Winter Olympics. And if their story wasn’t bizarre enough already - four young men to whom snow was as rare as a gold medal to a British skier - Hollywood has decided to vamp it up as a manipulative comedy where each little moralising speech is announced by a second or two’s silence and the striking up of appropriate music.

Denied the chance to compete as a sprinter, Derice Bannock (leon) gets together with a trio of island lads under disgraced former champ Irv (John Candy) and, amid derision, they head off for Calgary. Silly rather than genuinely funny, Cool Runnings takes its against-all-odds scenario to unsubtle extremes, with Doug E. Doug winning a few friends with some shameless mugging. (AM)

Cool Runnings (PG) (John Turteltaub, US, 1993) Leon, Doug E. Doug, John Candy, Rawle E. Lewis, Malik Yoba. 99 mins. From Fri 25. General release.

K e \g‘! . .i N i. . ‘. “'8. l . i T g . o g ‘= . ._ ‘3 i.


The list 25 li‘ht‘uary lt).\1arch 199417

.larman studied Theatre

I .‘vlorrisoni


Scotland always had a soft spot for Derek Jarman (who died. aged 52. on Saturday 19 February). and vice versa. Last August. although clearly very ill due to the advance of the AIDS virus which had constantly been eating at his physical —- but never spiritual or creative ~ energy. he came to the lidinhurgh International Film l’estival tor the premiere of Blue. and was as sharp and witty as ever at the puhlic question- and-ansvv er session that

followed. Some sceptical voices had been raised at the thought of his latest work a film with a soundtrack ol‘ words attd tnusic set to a deep uniform hlue rather than conventional images »~ hut no one vv ho saw it tailed to he protoundly moved. li'ltu' went on to win the Michael Powell Award for Best British liilm shown at the lk‘stiv'al.

()ne ot‘ Britain's leading independent filmmakers.

Design at Slade. and suhsettuently created tor the stage and the canvas as well as for the screen. lle hegan hy making Super-ii tilms that were something more than personally charged home movies. huilding towards his l’it‘st l'eatttt‘c. .\'e/n1.vliulte. the homosexual content ol‘ which was. like most of his work. upfront and romantic at the same time. (Hitter/utg. a montage oi" his Super-8 work l‘rom 1970 until 1986 is dtte to he released on video in April. along with a liooklt‘t ol‘ t'ctttiltisccltccs ol~ tltis pet'lotl.

Over the years. .larman puhlished a handt‘ul oi hooks. the most recent of which ('lmunu (Century U599) encapsulates his ever-searching relationship with the world around him. A reflection on colour. shade. perception and lite itscll‘. (Vim/m1 is simultaneously stimulating. t'unny and poetically heautit‘ul. Taking snippets from art history. personal reminiscence. diary entries and newly composed verse. the hook takes us through the spectrum and heyond. opening our eyes to the vitality of life that exists heneath Britain's leaden skies. lior an artist who had already lost much oi his sight due to the virus. it is perhaps remarkahle and certainly inspiring that there is no anger in .larman's reds or sell-pity in his hlues. t.»\lan