I BAFTA Success: Peter Capaldi‘s ﬁrst ﬁlm as director. Franz Kafka 's It 's A Wonderful Life. continued its remarkable run of grabbing major prizes when it picked up the Best Short Film Award at the recent BAFTA ceremony in London. The ﬁlm. made as part of the Scottish Film Production Fund/BBC Scotland‘s Tartan Shorts initiative. has already won prizes for Best Short Film at the 1993 BAFTA Scotland Awards. Best Short Film and Best Set Design at Canada’s Atlantic Film Festival. the Public Award at the Premier Plans European First Film Festival in France. and Best New Director at this year's Celtic Film and Television Festival.
I Scottish Student Video Festival: As featured last issue. the second SSVF takes place in Glasgow over the weekend 22—2-1 April and highlights
the work of talented young Scottish ﬁlmmakers. As well as screenings. three master workshops will be given by [)r Finlay editor Euan Morrison. Iz‘dinburgh Nights sound-man Simon Chirgwin. and animator Jill McGreal. Morrison and Chirgwin are joined on the judging panel by Dirty Diamonds director David Mackenzie. writer Aonghas Macneacail and cameraman Andy McLeod. Audiences will also be encouraged to vote for the most popular ﬁlm in genre categories. while cash prizes have been donated by Scottish Television (Best Drama) and The Post ()fﬁce (Best Documentary and winner ofthe ()pen category) Info on 041 339 8541 (ext 3(1).
I St Bride’s Film Festival: Popular and classic ﬁlms make their way to Dalry in Edinburgh as the St Bride‘s Centre sets tip its third annual ﬁlm festival from
25-30 April. Howard Keel‘s silken
3 voice gets the event offto a grand start with a charity screening ofShowhoat in aid ofSimpson's Matemity Nco-Natal
Unit. while the likes of Bosnia Now
i and The Big Issue will be ﬁnancially helped by. respectively. screenings of i The Young Lions and Wages Of Fear.
()ther highlights include Muniau's
silent Faust. Rebecca and a closing
' ceilidh following Geordie. For details.
see Film listings. (AM)
Katrin Cartlidge in Goth mode It’s a curious combination, the smell of fresh paint and oranges. Paint, because llillhead Baptist Church in Glasgow is being transformed into a centre for refugees and orphans (the outskirts of Wishaw will double as the war zone); oranges, because their taste is the trigger that will take one woman back to childhood memories of evacuation from battle-scarred Eastern Europe. Cases of the fruit scatter the floor of the church’s crypt as actress Katrin Cartlidge - last seen as the victimised Goth in Mike Leigh’s flaked - peels and chews her way through take after take.
llarance is the second of this year’s trio of Scottish Film Production Fund/BBC Scotland Tartan Shorts to begin filming. Directed by Patrick llarkins and produced by Jo Spreckley and John McVay, it marks the writing debut of Toby Curnow. Inspired by current events in former Yugoslavia, Curnow put himself into the same
predicament as the characters, specifically imagining the turmoil of
emotions he would undergo if his own
niece was forced to leave behind family and friends. In the story, a young girl called Manya escapes from war with her two smaller brothers, knowing that she will never see her parents or uncle again. Cumow’s approach, however, gives the news footage that bombards us daily a human face and raises the events from being war specific to universally relevant.
‘lt’s not difficult to delve into anyone’s past and find scars that affect the present,’ reckons Katrin Cartlidge. ‘All things human inform a character, and the past is part of every single human being.’ Since winning the European Actress Of The Year and European Press Prizes for her role in flaked, Cartlidge - who is from an Eastern-European-German-Jewish background on her mother’s side - has had close experience of current conflicts, filming in Macedonia on forthcoming feature Before The Rain.
‘There are very few films made in this country,’ she says of UK production, ‘and there are very few of those which are interesting, so I’d rather do a film like this, which is only ten minutes long, than a big part in a long-running series on television. It’s fantastic to work with new directors - my generation - because times are hard and it’s so important to support each other’s work.’ (Alan Morrison) llarance is currently in post- production and will be seen in cinemas and on television‘later this year.
So often is documentary shoved to the side of the film industry’s plate that, aside from the historical merit of the events captured on screen, it’s surprising to discover how genuinely experimental and influential this form can be. Lest we should forget completely, Academy Video - sister company to Connoisseur - is in the process of releasing a series of key works that reveal a treasure chest of evolving styles from some of the world’s leading filmmakers.
Robert Flaherty’s Man Of Aran captures the epic scale of the battle between a small fishing community off the west coast of Ireland and the overwhelmingly powerful forces of nature, setting tiny human figures against massive skylines and surging
Just as personal, but delivered more in a travelogue lecturing tone, is Herbert Ponting’s 90 Degrees South, which contains footage of Scott’s fatal Antarctic expedition. Here is history unfolding before us, a blend of
classic British heroism and imperial foolhardiness.
Also of historical importance is the material on Free Cinema, a collection of three short films that illuminate British working-class life in the late 505 and early 605. Lindsay Anderson’s Every Day Except Christmas focuses on Covent Garden market; Karel Reisz’s We Are The Lambeth Boys paints the period’s youngsters as essentially good-at-heart; and John Fletcher’s The Saturday Men follows a week in the life of West Bromwich Albion footballers. (AM)
Man Of Aran, 90 Degrees South and Free Cinema are released by Academy Video, priced £15.99 each.
I Ticks (18) Deep in the American wilderness. little bugs have grown to lethal size thanks to the steroids that are boosting the local marijuana crop. And. ofCourse. there's a motley and somewhat stereotyped crew of teenage urban misﬁts nearby who are about to
discover that these
, creepy-crawlies aren't ' quite what nature
intended. Constant entertainment. with the three staples of the modem horror video —v scares. laughs and gore — in plentiful supply. (Columbia Tristar)
I Mike (ll’ay'ttt'is ll’or/tl) Myers is both beat‘poet son and tartan-clad dad in
horror spoofSD I Married An Axe Murderer ( 15. 20:211Vision); liric Roberts seems tojump of cliffs a lot as the high- dive stunts take precedence iii Freefall (18. Medusa): and unlikely TV journalist Donna Mills faces international terrorists in Barbara Taylor Brad ford's Remember ( 15. Odyssey).
I The Awful Dr Drlof ( 18) For a while now. Redemption Video has been bringing us hard-to- get horror and perverse classics. opening up a demented world to those that can‘t afford to shell out extravagant prices paid for rarities by obsessives. The latest is a less Franco title from the early 60s. which may owe a little to [LAWS Without A Face (but lacks Franju’s poetry) as a mad scientist grafts female flesh to his daughter‘s scarred features. Even the diabolical dubbing becomes part of the fun. as an intriguing set of cameo characters gather for the showdown. (Redemption £ 15.99)
I Desperate Remedies (l8) Already one of the most outrageous cult hits of the year. this bright Gothic melodrama from New Zealand takes every element — design. editing. acting. camera angles — and stylised it beyond belief. Unbelievany hunky Lawrence is hired by Dorothea to wean her opium-addicted sister away from her scheming lover. lf Emily Bronte tried her hand at a graphic novel and went wild with
paint-box and passions. it might look something like this. (Electric £15.99)
’l, 7 .7 ’t " - ‘24?»
/ . \fe" ). 1.. m _ i \\\ ~ ‘ is). l ’)-—v»\“",
I The Adventures Of Tintin (U) Still unrelentingly boyish after 65 years in the spotlight. he of the permanently startled hair ﬁnally makes his video debut. Simply rendered in 2-D animated form. Tintin‘s appeal comes from the odd assortment of characters who surround our hero —— the blustering Captain Haddock. dotty Professor Calculus. bowler-batted detectives Thompson and Thompson — as well as creator Herge‘s blend of social satire and mildly political plots. The ﬁrst trio on the shelves are The Crab With The Golden Claws, Destination Moon
3 and Cigars Oj‘The
Pharaoh. (Lumiere £9.99
I Birth Of A llation (15) Meticulously restored by historians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. l).\\". Grifﬁth's monumental feature is a true classic. where others merely bandy the word about. liighty years on. it‘s historical importance in tertns of setting new horizons for filmmaking is unquestionable; at the same time. its racist content — the mythologising of heroically presented Klansmen — is reprehensible. Soiled subject material. but art at its ﬁnest. the ﬁlm's release on video is surely one of the events of the year. (Connoisseur £15.99)
I The independent spirit of British ﬁlmmaking rings out loudly in chirpy comedy Leon The Pig Farmer ( 15. Electric £15.99); television literary adaptation is togged up in all its ﬁnery in Middlemarch (U. BBC £19.99); Harold Lloyd brings sight gags into the world of the talkies with Movie Crazy and Feet FITS! (both U.
Connoisseur £12.99); and
a British Asian (‘ 8; W group bounce along leaving a smile in their
wake in Wild West ( 15.
sponsored by BACARDI BLACK
First independent £10.99).
30 The List 22 April—5 May 1994