anarchists’ logic appears every bit as incomprehensible, as liaban’s ex-lover Gabriella (Theresa Russell) goads Kafka deeper into the underworld of intrigue. To Police Inspector Gruben

KAFKA Quite why Soderbergh’s follow-up to 88X. lies 3- Videotape “30" 80 '0h9 ‘0 (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Kafka’s every make it onto aims“ “We” is action is compromised, although the "ne'eai- ShOi 0" “cation in “3908: it s loner turned into hunted man only ever fictionalises Kafka’s life to give an 3 acts in good faith. altogether, we". Kaikaesoue l Intelligent and fluid though the imPIeSSiOi‘ 0' his "ademaik acting is, the star of Kafka is Prague. bureaucratic nightmare. Jeremy Irons’ I Sodeybefgh has mesewed the city’s Kafka is an intense loner. working in : nightmarish labyrinth of alleys in stark an insurance office by day and writing ' black-and-white, while dyawing fiction by night- When his Closest l maximum power from the castle which iiiehd. Eduaid Baha'i. vahiSheS. Kafka 1 dominates the centre of the city from becomes Shelled “Willing” into a" i across the river. If the ending of the anarchist bomb plot. i film is banal, it is because Kafka has M the Office, the logic 0' one thing every other character wants bureaucracy, epitomised by the Chief ; him (0 compmmise; integrity, (mom Clerk (Alec Guinness), forces an nibdin) unwelcome promotion onto Kafka, i Kafka (15) (Steven Sodeybefgh’ putting him in an incomprehensible ; us/France, 91) Jeremy Irons, Alec situation where his every act is one of 5 Guinness, rhergsa Russell, (an "aim, seli'eempiomise- At home, the i 98 mins. From Fri 15. Glasgow: GFT.

TOM & vlv

Tom & Viv: ‘poor lead performances’ ‘For Better. For Worse. Forever“ reads the poster. But the romance between poet TS. liliot (Willem Dafoe) and eccentric al'isto Vivienne Haigh- Wood (Miranda Richardson) was neither constant nor conventional. Having eloped with Viv, Tom soon disCovers that she is not only a few rhymes short of a stanza. but also afflicted with a ghastly hormonal imbalance that causes her to mensu'uate almost

Kafka: 'trademark bureaucratic nightrnare'

film is set. It is a world the boys can only destroy. Like the sweetly singing cicadas which Mui keeps by her bed,

iii ,, '

constantly. This is tou 1h . THE SCENT 0': GREEN the men live only for pleasure. The ' on the shy. painfully i women - servants, wives and mothers repressed Tom. but so too

is her increasingly bizarre behaviour. which culminates ill a ‘knife‘- attack on novelist Virginia Wolff. Following a dubious diagnosis of ‘moral insanity'. Tom and Viv‘s family conspire to consign her to an asylum. Given liliot's part lll his wife‘s unwarrented ten- year incarceration. this is hardly the most flattering

alike step softly in and out of their lives.

If it were not set in the heat of Vietnam, it would be tempting to describe the pace of this film as glacial. Yet beneath a cloak of shimmering beauty are carved great valleys of emotion. The cinematography is nothing short of stunning, while Mui is portrayed - at the ages of ten and twenty with

; A girl wanders wide-eyed down an

I alley in Saigon. Innocent, inquisitive and slightly in awe, ten-year-old Mui has arrived in the city to take up the job of servant to a middle-class family. Serene though the family life seems on the surface, Mui soon discovers that their world has undercurrents of tension. The father regularly disappears with the family’s

money, only to return when he has spent it all. The oldest son spends his days away from the house and his two young brothers are cruelty incarnate. While Mui learns the servant's arts, she is fascinated by the natural world of lizards, frogs and insects that

exquisite tranquility. This is one film definitely worth slowing down for. (Thom Dibdin)

The Scent of Green Papaya (U) (Tran Anh llung, France, 1993) Man San l.u, Yen-Khe Tran llu, Thi loc Truong. 100

portrait of the author of The Wasteland; yet the emphasis on Viv‘s extreme behaviour often feels like special pleading. and Tom‘s precise role in her committal is fudged.

mins. From Fri 15. Edinburgh:

Filmhouse_ Expanded from his own

stage play by Michael Hastings and co-scripter Adrian Hodges, this is too spatially and emotionally constricted to achieve its ends. a problem compounded by Brian Gilbert’s flat direction. the stiltcd dialogue and two uncharacteristically poor lead performances, Willem Dafoe is so

intent on reproducing

Eliot‘s absurd diction that he fails to realise his absurd miscasting has stymied him from the outset. Most

devastatingly. apart from

3 one incredibly moving

flash of mental clarityjust

1‘ before Viv is taken away.

; the normally faultless

; Richardson overacls

v i badly. making her

i character‘s antics appear

ridiculous rather than

pitiable. For Better. For

Worse. Forgettable. (Nigel


7i)!" & lie (/5) (Brian

Gilbert, US/UK, I993)

Willem Dafiie. Miranda

Richardson, Rosemary

Harris. / 25 mins. I’m/ll

Fri 15: Passib/e U('I.s'.

From Fri 22: Edinburgh


inhabit the house in which the whole

The cent Of Green Papaya: ‘shimmering beauty'

3 the house of crime novelist Ellen Carter (llarrlet Robinson), the stage is set for a run-through of emotional exploitation. Ellen already has the ; beady eye of the police on her -" following the mysterious disappearance of her husband, although she was acquitted due to the lack of a body. llunter or hunted, I murder or manslaughter, public faces or dark interiors - simple definitions become blurred as these two people i with murky pasts and presents come

into close contact. Though competently shot and edited,

5 White Angel betrays a naivety of


Critics seem determined to talk up a New Wave of British film and, while there is undoubtedly a surge in product distinctive in both cinematic style and production method, if White Angel is anything to go by, it represents more a scatter-gun enthusiasm than a likelihood of any concrete achievement.

Director Chris Jones and producer Genevieve Jolliffe, both products of Bournemouth Film School, have , , , collaborated on a screenplay of an "3mm" Style "'3‘ “"93 'ts

avowed ‘commercial’ slant which, like 3 mainSiieam Pieiensions- "’8 ironic Leon the pig Fame, The young that, while professing a commitment

- i to entrepreneurial film culture the l d th 1 rth . 9 gyegnfiagzfigm, eicfiewz'i'fle'"gn . filmmakers have picked a theme that school of pained social theorising and would have 9399“ "'9 "will"! headth instead offers a visceral, highly- : siialshi in Video should It have

coloured attempt on a straightforward “new”? "0'" the "5' mm" the",

White Angers angle is a tarnish. quite enough just recycling the scraps seflal killer _ mummannered, John = from another country’s table. (Andrew

Christie-esque a blonde-wigged 3 Film") murderer who preys on white-clothed White Angel (15) (Chris Jones, UK, women. Pundits theorise the killer is 1993) Peter Firth, Harriet Robinson, also a woman, but when lodger Leslie Don Henderson. 92 mins. From Fri 15. Steckler (Peter Firth) takes a room in I A" UCls.

White Angel: ‘naivety of narrative style'

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The List 8 -2| April l99415