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problem of what it was that Norville would invent. And then it sort of snowballed from there and became an important design element in the movie.’

The other fly in the Hudsucker ointment is cynical, fast-talking femalejourno Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who smells a rat and infiltrates the company by getting herself hired as Norville’s new secretary. Played with Katharine Hepburn vocal inflections and a sassy, Rosalind-RusselI-in-His-Girl-Friday attitude. Leigh’s incarnation is like the other perfor- mances in the film part pastiche, part homage, part characterisation. Was there a danger. though. that these movie references would become an end in themselves. rather than serving to further the storyline? Joel doesn’t think so.

With its screwball plotting, cartoon-like action, baroque camera style, exaggerated architectural design and non-naturalistic acting, The Hudsucker Proxy is business as usual.

‘We were always happy to go along with that, it’s definitely the spirit of the part as written a Rosalind Russell/Jean Arthur type that we’re all familiar with from those 40s movies. The differ- ence. to our minds. has always been and this is true of Jennifer’s performance that the point was never to comment on those conventions, situations, characters or portrayals; rather it was to use that language to tell the story. And it’s an important distinction, because it’s a question of whether or not the story has any life of its own beyond those references.’

‘Another way of putting it.’ Ethan interjects, “is: Does the movie work for an audience that hasn’t seen any ofthose movies? And hopefully, at least in our minds. it does. It engages the audience on its own merits and one hopes that the audience won‘t take the references as being the point.’

More bizarrely, I had read that the Coen Brothers had described their comic critique of business chicanery as ‘the first Republican movie of the 905’, which can hardly have pleased high-profile liberals Paul Newman and Tim Robbins. It seems, however, that it was only in jest. ‘I think we said that,’ explains Ethan. ‘because we knew it would yank Tim Robbins’s chain. It was ajoke. Along the same lines, we’ve been calling Tim ‘the Jerry Lewis of the 905’ because he hates Jerry Lewis. But seriously, the movie doesn’t have a social agenda, unlike Frank Capra’s movies, it’s more of a fable.’ CI The Hudsucker Proxy opens in Scotland on F riday 2 September.

The machlevelllan Sidney Mussburger (Paul Newman) thinks he has found the perfect chump In IIorvIlle Barnes (Tim Robbins)




a“? FREELOAD 12f



At the Acropolis you can snap up a pair of tickets to see some of the best shows on this year's Fringe. The Acropolis is giving away a generous number of tickets on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. Tickets may be picked up ONLY on the day of the performance by presenting your voucher at The Acropolis box office (from 5pm). There are three pairs of tickets available per show. Tickets subject to availability and limited to ONE PAIR PER PERSON.



A pair of tickets to see Ryuichi

T‘s Sakamoto (Tues 30 Aug),

Capercaillie (Wed 31 Aug) or Lyle Lovett (Thurs 1 Sept) at

' The Acropolis Off The Hill venue, the Playhouse.


A pair of tickets to see Britain's most outrageous hypnotist PETER POWERS on Mon 29 Aug (10pm).


A pair of tickets to see the amazing JIM ROSE CIRCUS SIDESHOW on Thurs 25, Fri 26, Sat 27, Tues 30, Wed 31 Aug 8 Fri 2, Sat 3 Sept (10pm).


A pair of tickets to see lesbian comic and 1993 Critic Award winner LEA DE LARIA on Thur 25, Fri 26, Sat 27, Sun 28 8 Mon 29 Aug (8.15pm).

(IV IL,-\I.’I’H.\ “III.



A pair of tickets to enjoy THE ACROPOLIS FIREWORKS PARTY on Thurs 1 Sept (8pm). Includes a free drink & visit to the barbeque for a burger.


The List 26 August—8 September 199415