BLINK In Michael Apted’s classy, intelligent suspenser, what might have been a cheap thriller device is instead used to maximum effect, both technically and emotionally: a woman who has been blind since childhood receives a corneal transplant and is the sole witness to a murder before her vision has fully adjusted to normal. When gutsy country singer Madeleine Stowe ‘sees’ the murderer leaving the scene of the crime, she registers only a fuzzy image. But she is suffering from something called ‘retroactive vision’, so the following day a crystal-clear flash of image registers in her mind. Investigating cop Aidan lluinn is sceptical, believing that what Stowe saw was not a delayed image but a hallucination. 0n the other hand, his professional objectivity and lack of i faith in her story is compromised by )
8La Scorta: ‘explosive contemporary edge'
his desire for her body. The sensual Stowe, however, is no mere victim; on the contrary, she is a tough, independent and sexy woman whose self-assurance scares the hell out of the emotionally damaged Guinn. And althought the killer’s eventual motives are a little on the incredible side, the heart of the film lies elsewhere, in the developing relationship between cop and witness.
An emotionally involving, finely acted piece of work, this shows just how inadequate by-the-numbers thrillers such as Body Of Evidence, Sliver and Malice really are. British director Michael Apted, not content simply to play it for easy scares, grounds the action in credible characters and everyday situations. (Nigel Floyd)
Blink (18) (Michael Apted, US, 1994) Madeleine Stowe, Aidan Guinn, James Remar. 106 mins. From Fri 13. Glasgow: Odeon. All UCls.
\ LA SGORTA
A dangerous crusade.
The assassination of a magistrate - involved in politically sensitive investigations, along with one of his 1 bodyguards, is routine in the Mafia stronghold of Sicily. Michele de Francesco (Carlo Cecci), the stubborn replacement magistrate sent from northern Italy, refuses to be intimidated into the routine of bribery and backhanders. At first de Francesco’s bodyguards are dispassionate about his determination to carry on with his predecessor’s work. But motivated by Angelo (Claudio Amendola), who has volunteered for the position because the dead escort was a childhood friend, they are soon drawn into personal commitment to the
Blink: ‘classy, intelligent suspenser’
i Forget the romantic gloss which The Godfather and its ilk have brought to
movies about the Mafia, but stay
clinging to the edge of your seat. La
g Scorta is a tense and bloody thriller
' that slips straight to the heart of the
new politics in Italy with a raw
cinematography and terse application of the shorthand of the genre. In some
* ways, notably the defining role of
family and the testosterone-laden
actions of the escorts, the film breaks
no moulds. Rather, it is Tognazzi’s exposure of the mundane — the authority’s lack of resources and the change of the moral climate in Italy which those in power are desperate to
halt - that brings a literally explosive contemporary edge. (Thom Dibdin)
La Scorta (Ricky Tognazzi, Italy, 1993) Claudio Amendola, Carlo Gecchi, Enrico Lo Verso. 95 mins. From Fri 13: Edinburgh Filmhouse. From Fri 20:
i Glasgow Film Theatre.
MY FATHER, THE HERO
It was pretty humdrum first time round, so it’s unlikely that there’s been an injection of genius for the American remake. The story is identical: Gerard Depardieu takes his fourteen-year-old daughter on an island paradise holiday; she falls for a local young hunk and invents a story in which daddy is actually her lover . and she is older than she looks: much ,1 scandal ensues. i Passing up on most culture-clash i opportunities, My Father, The Hero will i make parents cringe in empathetic ' embarrassment, but precocious teenagers might lap it up. Without subtitles, such a populist tale is more l likely to find an appreciative audience, it’s true, but like the original, it’s only big Gerard that makes the whole affair watchable. He alone generates the film’s best comic moment, unknowingly launching into ‘Thank Heaven For Little Girls’, as a piano request for something typically French. (Alan Morrison) My Father, The Hero (PG) (Steve Miner, US, 1994) Gerard Depardieu, Katherine lleigl, Dalton James. 90 mins. i-‘rom Fri
6. General release.
My Father, The Hero: “only big Gerard makes the whole affair watchable.’
sponsored by BACARDI BLACK
mum ; musstitktazt
The credit at the start of the movies may have said ‘Written. produced and directed by Michael Powell and limeric Pressburger‘. but. to date. Pressburger's essential contributions to films such as The Red Shoes, 'Iklles ()fHoﬂinu/t and A Matter Of Life And Death have been eclipsed by a combination of his own reticence to embrace fame and his partner's wonderfully ebullient two volumes of autobiography.
The task ofcorrecting the balance has fallen to Pressburger‘s grandson. Kevin h'lacdonald. whose limerir I’ress/nirger.‘ The Life .‘lllt/ [)(‘tll/l ()fxl .S‘t'reemvritw' ( Faber £20) magnificently clarifies the writer‘s achievements. Particularly strong are the episodes which do not overlap other commentaries: the early student days. the period at Berlin's Ul—‘A studio. the sad final period of decline. Two aspects raise the book above the typical film biography: the case tnade. indirectly. for the screenwriter in general within an industry that sets the director up as a god. and the very moving search by a grandson for his grandfather. No other film book published recently could come with a higher rccomtttcndalion.
Also published is the screenplay of The up, xlltt/ Deal/t ()jt‘u/Ultt'l Blimp (Faber £9.99). which includes all original scenes and lines that were cut before filming. as well as those that were added during production. The text is supported by atnplc critical. historical and political material which reveals )tlsl why this film created a storm during World War ll. lilseyyhcrc. the reissue of lan (‘hristie's critical analysis .'ll'l’(Ilt'.\‘ ()j'lhﬂw'rt' (l‘aber L‘ 10.99) strengthens the ongoing rc-evaluation of Powell and l’ressburgcr's work. shamefully derided l’or'ycars. Theirs was a unique etillabot'atn c method. a pull between an linglishman w ith a liuropean eye for \ isttal style and .1 Hungarian w itlt a passion for British life. t.-\lan Morrison»
'l‘hc rm t» )9 my I99127