I Three Colours: Bed

(l5) lfthis is. as he claims. his last film as director. then Krzysztof Kieslowski leaves us with his masterpiece: as gloriously photographed as Blue. with as much human insight as De/mlug. Model Irene Jacob meets retired judge Jean-Louis Trintignant and. although they do not embark on an affair. they begin to reveal their closest secrets as social pretensions are stripped away. This is European frlmmaking at its best. See preview.

I Strawberry And Chocolate (15) Not long alter breaking up with his girlfriend. David. a young Cuban student and typical child of the revolution meets Diego. an older. more extravagant gay artist with open disrespect for the Castro regime. David tries to convert Diego to the political cause Diego‘s interests in his straight young friend are more romantic. But despite their opposing beliefs and interference from neighbours and acquaintances. a genuine friendship begins between them.

Veteran Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea and co-director Carlos Tabio's film has a surprisingly strong political dimension and its pro-gay theme actively opposes that of the Castro government. This is a society that gives very little freedom of expression to anyone outside the proscribed norm. yet the film succeeds by refusing to restrict itself to set

18 The List l8 November—l I

Is The Shadow just a shadow of Batman? And does Air/reads have 3 more than two brain cells to rub ' together? Find out as The List reviews the new films opening

over the next fortnight.

narrative or character

boundaries. In fact. it is noticable that. when the 5 film opens. the two leads ' are presented very much as stereotypes; but as it

develops as their relationship allows each to see the human being

behind the other’s

4 outward cliches the audience also drops its

: assumptions and

prejudices and moves

1 towards an understanding

of the themes beyond their surface level. If this all sounds rather heavy. then rest assured it isn't. This is an engaging and

. warmly funny character

; piece. and a landmark for its country's cinema.

7 (AM)

I Faust (PG) With Alice.

; master animator Jan

Svankmajer took the

: Lewis Carroll classic and

gave it a surreal visual element that was all his own. With Faust. he

; distils centuries of myth 1 and legend and again ; comes up with a stunning

new reading that plays its traditional themes against

a socio-political backdrop

very relevant to the modern Czech Republic. Svankmajer‘s second feature concentrates on a common man (played by

i veteran actor Petr Cepek. : but voiced in this English

language version by Andrew Sachs) who is

drawn into a theatrical

world where

i Mephistopheles is the E protagonist's exact image

and alter-ego. The animator’s technique of

i disconcertineg giving life to clay heads is restricted

to one key scene in which Faust sees his life flash before him in an

alchemist‘s lair (and who. if not the animator. is the

modem alchemist?) For the most part. Svankmajer utilises the large puppets of the traditional Czech marionette theatre. whose Faust plays are also the film‘s principal source. A very rich vision of a tireless legend. created from a strange brew of magic. science. art and politics. (AM)

December l994


The Shadow: “classy production values' ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men? The Shadow knows.’ Words that sent a shiver down the

spine of pulp fiction readers and radio listeners in the 30s and 40s. But can

the original superhero figure connect

3 with 90s audiences? Despite the film’s

classy production values and Highlander director Russell Mulcahy’s fluid visual style, this attempt to

replicate the sombre nature of Tim Burton’s Batman movies is too

episodic, its characters too sketchy,

and its tone disappointingly uneven. Hiding his true identity beneath a

cloak of invisibility, The Shadow (Alec

Baldwin) is a self-appointed crime fighter haunted by a murky past as a drugs baron. Now redeemed, he must

; use his special powers to thwart the plans of Oriental villain Sbiwan Khan (John Lone), last surviving descendent

of Genghis Khan, who has used mind control to force crusty old professor

Reinhardt Lane (Ian McKellen) to

create a pseudo atomic bomb. Yet, as his suave alter ego playboy Lamont Granston, The Shadow still finds time to romance beautiful socialite Margot Lane (Penelope Ann Miller from Garlito’s Way) with whom he has a

strange psychic bond.

While the individual set pieces are

staged with great skill and the

impressive special effects are used to maximum advantage, the eye-catching visuals are never matched by Jurassic Park writer David Koepp’s poorly

constructed screenplay. Any suspense t

or involvement built up in one scene consequently evaporates as we move on to the next. Baldwin’s low-key portrayal of The Shadow lacks both presence and charisma, Lone’s Sbiwan Kahn veers between lip-smacking villain and camp humour, and the cruelly under-used Millerserves simply as a clothes-horse for a series of slinky 30s frocks. Stephen N. Burum’s photography and Jerry Goldsmith’s

lush score add some class, but

Mulcahy’s handling of the characters is too cold and remote to engage our interest or flesh out the bare bones of the simplistic storyline. (Nigel Floyd) The Shadow (12) (Russell Mulcahy, US,

1994) Alec Baldwin, John Lone,

Penelope Ann Miller. 107 mins. From

Fri 18. General release.


Whoopi Goldberg’s emergence as a major film star came on the back of an excellent performance in The Color Purple, but was consolidated by her comic turns in Ghost and Sister Act. Corrina Gorrina, a comedy-drama with the emphasis slightly more on the drama part, is her most successful attempt yet to reconcile those two facets of her craft.

She plays the proud and resourceful Corrina, maid to recently widowed jingle writer Manny Singer (Ray Liotta taking a break from psychos and hard nuts) and his troubled daughter Molly. This being 19505 America, the black maid and her white boss naturally have to keep a certain distance, but the closeness of the bond they gradually forge - with Molly’s enthusiastic help - leads to inevitable problems.

In spite of being a film with a social conscience, Corrina Corrina never delves too deeply or gets too heavy, playing the comedy and drama with equal aplomb. In so doing, writer- director Jessie Nelson draws fine performances from his two leads and the wonderful Tina Majorino as Molly, who was last seen in When A Man loves A Woman. Ner unaffected, heartbreakineg honest turn almost steals the show. But Goldberg is a wily performer and switches mood and tone with seamless skill, at the same time helping to make the film’s

, occasionally naive lapses believable _ in spite of themselves. With

Gorrina Corrina: “triumph of romance over


consistent triumph of romance over cynicism, the mix may be too sweet for some, but offset by some excellent acting and a decent script, Corrina

Corrina is safe, heartwarming

entertainment. (Anwar Brett)

Gorrina Gorrina (PG) (Jessie Nelson,

US, 1994) Whoopi Goldberg, Bay liotta, ;

Tina Majorino. 116 mins. From Fri 25. General release.


; ‘Do you think we have too much time on our hands‘." asks one of the characters in the closing scene of Rory Kelly's sharply observed debut feature film. Maybe. But then again. it can take a lot of time and effort to woo the woman of your dreams. especially when she happens to be married to your best pal.

Two [A hipsters Joseph (liric Stoltz) and Sarah (Meg Tilly) tie the knot. much to the frustration of their mutual soul mate

l‘rank (Craig Sheffer).

who realises he is head over heels with the (not so) blushing bride. A man with a mission. Craig begins a slow. sexy seduction straight from the heart. despite much protest from all concerned. After a vague attempt to resist. Sarah finds his emotional honesty and determination

not to mention his

dreamy good looks

irresistible and finally succumbs. This is all fine. very romantic in fact. but

what about poor Joe. who happens to be quite a nice bloke? Ah well. all's unfair in love and war. etc

and Kelly cleverly avoids

L a conventional happy

ending by leaving a giant question mark over all three characters and the future of their triangular

' relationship. Quintessentiallya buddy movie. Sleep With Me makes some excellent observations on friendship. love and commitment. The three leads play each other off with a beautifully relaxed dynamic that is instantly engaging and draws you right into the heart of their problems. Written by a group of friends. including the very brilliant Neal Jimenez ('l‘lie ll’uren/zuu'e and River '3' lit/ye). the film also boasts acute performance by Adrienne Shelly (whose excellent performance in Hal Hartley's 'I'lte Unbelievable Truth and Trust has given her a cult status iii the US) and a very funny cameo from wunderkind Quentin 'l‘arantino that will make Tom Cruise's heroics in '12)]; (Jun never seem quite the satne again. (Lila Rawlings) Sleep With Me (I5) (Rory Kelly. US. 1994)];‘rir‘ Stu/1:, Meg Til/e)“. Craig

i She/fer. 95 mins. From Fri

1 8: Edinburgh F ilmlmuse.