Tom Hanks in Philadelphia has been hailed as Hollywood’s

v best shot at an AIDS film,

but is it good enough? Do the sentiments in The

' Proclaimers new single

tnay you cry or cringe? Is French funny without

Saunders? Write a letter

and you could win a bottle

5 of Jose Cuervo tequila.

Robert De Niro’s waning Your perceptive appraisal of Robert De \iro's work (The List 220) was interesting. but for rue didn‘t really get to the heart of why he has the air of bcirtg yesterday ‘s man. In ('ape l’ear. Martin Scorsese attempted to recapture the corupclling. bug-eyed De Niro that made him so many people‘s favourite actor ten years ago. Instead he looked ludicrous. which is perhaps why. as you explain. he now opts for the quieter. plain Joe type-roles; stand up the irotticalIy--nauted Mad Dog.

Perhaps it's because he‘s getting old. but then he‘s no older than Harvey Keitcl who has completely usurped De .'\'iro's position as top cult actor with the power to pull in audiences automatically see his new film. There was a tiruc when De Niro would have been first choice for Bad Lieutenant. but not any longer.

My guess is that he feels cornered by audience preconceptions (I admit it I'm one of them) about what a De Niro filtu should be. Restraint is one thing. but he's in danger of replacing his star qualities with downbeatness dullness


SQAVAVA'." . ' L_.J


Raging Bore? If he‘s an intellectual. he

hides it well. but I suspect his talent lies

in inspiration. not introspection.

I look forward to De Niro's directorial debut and hope it marks a new beginning. not a further stage in a decline towards averageness. The pseudo-zen inscription quoted at the end of your article suggests someone heading in exactly the wrong direction. Telling Bob to lighten up doesn't seem quite appropriate. but you know what I mean. Joseph Plummer St Leonards Street Edinburgh

Am-dram fan

After reading the latest issue of The

List. I must congratulate you on listing

a mixed bag of theatre iii the ‘at a

glance‘ guide. Is this due to Febfest or

is it a new angle The List is taking? Are you promoting smaller venues such as

the St Bride‘s Centre and Bedlam

Theatre? The reason I ask is that I

support amateur theatre.

Jason Storrie

Edmonstone Terrace


'I'hanksfor the letter. Jason. We too

support amateur theatre and always list

productions at the two venues you : mention ( though St Bride 's also stages 3 pro/essumalprodtu‘timts). l-lowever V. you ’re right that they are not always included in the 'at a glance' guide to 4 thefortnights shows but we will try to ensure they regularly appear infuture ; issues. Take the tequila as our word of Ito/tout: Step into the Edinburgh office to collect your prize.

Nirvana: Kurt Cobain and his cohorts return to Europe for

grunge went global.

i Justice of the piece

Un-Sound City?

In some ways I‘m reluctant to carp about Sound City before it’s even happened I wish it well and look forward to a week of intensive gig- going. I might even go to the odd seminar. But if your report on the organisers’ intentions is accurate (The List 220) then it appears that the cart is preceding the horse.

Reference to the business side of music the economic benefits and the job creation potential seems to have obscured a sense of what’s artistically worthwhile. Can it really be the case that Glasgow is bursting at the seams with talented songwriters who are only prevented from achieving stardom because of uncertainty about how to write a press release?

There mrrst be more fundamental reasons why Glasgow‘s penchant for sideburns and twangy guitars has been overtaken by the happening club scene. with labels like Sonia taking the indie band/indie label spirit into dance music As far as I can tell they haven't been held back by a lack of diplomas in music management. Hopefully. Sound City will be used as an opportunity to examine why the same success isn‘t being achieved by local hands (you remember bands the ones with the guitars).

It seems ironic that the council is on the one hand promoting bands through Sound City. while threatening Glasgow‘s already healthy clubland with a misguided curfew. Is making music with ‘real‘ instruments regarded as more ideologically sound. Perhaps? James Fraser Scott Street Glasgow

Is artistic licence justified in a film ‘which has the manipulation of evidence as its central theme'. you ask of In the Name of the Father in the last issue (The List 220). It‘s a bit of a glib question but here’s a glib answer. No. Not because fact—based feature films should never be made. and not because In the Name of the Father takes greater

liberties with the facts.

My objection is that the quashing of the sentences of the Guildford Four is I i

too recent for it to be used as a vehicle


to say something about father-son relationships. or the way the state behaves. or any of the other sub-texts of the film. There is a greater danger that it will be taken literally as a re— enactment. conftrsing the public at a time when it needs to retain a clear sense of right and wrong.

Oliver Stone is frequently criticised for rewriting history. but it matters less that Kevin Costner‘s portrayal ofJim Garrison in .II’K turned him into an all- American hero. The story of the Kennedy shooting has entered popular mythology as a symbolic moment in recent American history which gives the filmmaker scope to use widely understood references to make popular drama. ()rin a handful of obsessives are still trying to uncover what really happened in Dallas but everyone has an opinion.

However. the Guildford Four/ivlaguire Seven stories are not at that stage in Britain we are still trying to figure out what went wrong and how to make sure

it doesn’t happen again. It‘s still not clear that the Government believes that

justice being seen to be done isn‘t still more important than actual justice. Tinkering with the facts doesn't help that process and assists those who would dismiss the miscarriages as an aberration. which says nothing about the British justice system.

It's too soon to ruakc a hero otrt of Conlon until we are strre who the baddies are.

Paul McPhail Albert Drive Glasgow

Address your letters to The List Letters


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Fax them to: ()3l 557 8500

We will not print your/till address or phone number but you must inelude them. Deadline is the l-‘riday before publication. Keep them pit/1y. as ot'erlong letters may be cut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle of

Jose Cuert'o tequila and a natty

baseball cap.

their first tour since

JamesKelman: How Late It Was How Late. the new novel from Glasgow’s chronicler of the dispossessed and the disaffected.

Sean Hughes (left): Life on the road with the prince of the oflbeat one-liner.

PLUS: Jeremy Irons. Richard Attenborough‘s Shadou'laiuls. Greg Proops. Rain Dog Theatre Company‘s Prostitute. Inspiral Carpets and Gwen Hardie.


84 The List 25 February—IO March 1994

Printed by Scottish County Press, Sherwood Industrial Estate. Bonnyrigg. Midlothian. Tel: 031 663 2404.