l Barcelona (15) With the same level of intelligence and sophistication in its witty dialogue. Whit Stillman's latest is likely to pick up the satne following as his debut. Metropolitan. This titne. however. the action switches from stylish Manhattan to Spain in the early 80s. where anti- NATO tensions are coming to a head as botnbs explode against American targets.
The action. not that there is arty as such. revolves around two very different cousins — dull and dependable Ted and pain-in-the-ass Navy man Fred. They're both less impressed with the beauty of the city than of its women. coming away with pretentious lines like ‘in beauty. the remains of divinity remain'. But just when it's getting all too cultural for its own good. a tremendously so-uncool- it‘s-cool disco soundtrack kicks in.
Fred's hyper- nationalism(there might not be epaulettes on his uniform. but there are plenty ofchips on his shoulder) and the Spanish group‘s relaxed attitudes provide ample comment on the phenomenon of Americans at home and abroad — very much a case. as far as Stillman is concerned of ‘seeing ourselves as others see us‘. But. ultimately. no matter how interesting the political and geographical backdrop is. these aren’t people you‘d really choose to spend time with. See preview.
l The Road To Wellville (18) At the turn of the century. Dr John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium was a unique combination of spa. grand hotel and hospital. It's there that the somewhat eccentric inventor — the man behind the cornflake. the electric blanket and peanut butter - cleanses the minds. souls. bodies
L 20 The List 27 Jan-9 Feb I995
The innocent cornflake will never
_ look the same after you’ve sampled the full treatment at the hands of its inventor. Tuck into The Road To Wellville and others as The List reviews the films opening over the next fortnight.
and bowels of a nation. Alan Parker's script plays up the absurdity of the situation and draws a wildly funny performance from Anthony Hopkins. quite unlike what we‘ve come to expect from him in recent years. Kellogg may be the centre of the film. but around him Parker weaves an ensemble ofcharacters of a less nutty persuasion. .A completely unique period piece that doesn‘t shirk on detail. See preview.
l Fringe Film & Video Festival Ten years old and going stronger than ever. this year‘s Fringe Filth & Video Festival takes in not only screenings of innovative work at the Edinburgh Filmhouse. but includes screenings and installations at the Collective Gallery.
Two monitor ' installations open to the public on Wednesday 8 February — one by Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir (until 4 March). the other
by Allan Currall (until 18
February). who recently
showed his work at
Glasgow's CCA. The Festival itself officially opens on ll
February with the
t exhibition of a specially
commissioned piece of new time-based video art by Edinburgh artist Bob Last. His installation. l-‘c'ur. was commissioned in conjunction with the Collective Gallery and it builds upon last year's
successful collaboration between the FFVF. the t Collective Gallery and
The World Wide Video Centre in the Netherlands. Details of the series of
screenings at the
Filmhouse (24—26 February) and at the
gallery (21—25 February)
will appear in T/lt‘ List over the next few issues. Copies of the Festival’s catalogue will be available later this month from FFVF. 29 Albany Street. FHl 3QN (please enclose 1137p stamp).
TRAPPED IN PARADISE
When a film with a Christmas setting finds its way into the cinemas just after the rest of us have packed away the usual festive glitter and decorations, it is, more often than not, a sign. Not a great Sign in the East
sort of sign, more like a couple of stars who are momentarily watching their careers head west.
This is certainly true of the unexpectedly disappointing union of Nicolas Gage, Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey. Together they play the ne’er- do-well Firpo Brothers, career criminals who - despite many efforts to go straight - seem hungry for one last big job. That Iob comes In the form of a ripe bank in the sleepy hamlet of Paradise, but this ‘piece of cake’ heist has unexpected consequences for all three hapless crooks.
Occupying a slightly arcane, twilight world of Gapraesque imagery and pre- Reagan optimism, writer-director George Gallo’s film is under-developed and cliche-ridden, but fails above all in its inability to sustain a situation and provoke laughter from it. Instead of subtle wit, he seems to favour ham- fisted pantomime and slapstick. Gallo also appears to have left the lead characterisations to the three stars, who tend to indulge themselves big time. Gage reacts to the escalating confusion by looking manic and shouting a lot, Lovitz delivers much the same sort of shady sibling
performance as he did in City Slickers
2 (and look how good that was), while Garvey, for some unaccountable reason, does an impression of Mickey Rourke throughout.
The idea that every time the boys try to leave town with the loot, some circumstance or accident pulls them back in, has strong echoes of Red Rock West. That, you may remember, was a Gage film which, in its dryly black-humoured way, provoked more chuckles than this out-and-out ‘comedy’ can muster in all its 111 minutes. (Anwar Brett)
Trapped In Paradise (PG) (George Gallo, US, 1994) Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Dana Garvey. 111 mins. From Fri 3. General release.
‘a slightly arcane, twilight world of Gapraesque Imagery and pre-Reagan optimism’
Romance is fate, as far as Hollywood is concerned. That’s what pulls Meg Ryan across the country into the arms of Tom Hanks in Sleepless In Seattle, that’s what makes Nicolas Cage share .- his lottery winnings with Bridget Fonda in It Could Happen To You. And now it’s what sends Marisa Tomei tearing across Italy in search of the man she’s convinced is her destiny.
Playing with a ouiia board with her ; brother as a kid, Faith Gorvatch } (Tomei) sees the name of her one true 9 love spelled out for her - Damon ' Bradley. A few years later, now in her teens, Faith is convinced that this can be the only man for her when a f fairground fortune-teller comes up i with the same name. But now, on the i eve of her wedding to solid but boring , foot doctor Dwayne, a friend of her i husband-to-be telephones with his best wishes, and it just happens that his name is Damon Bradley. (luick as a flash, Faith and a friend are off on a plane to Italy to track down this elusive man. But is the romantic stranger (Robert Downey Jr) who sweeps her off her feet the real Damon or a someone else, struck by love at first sight, who’ll go to any lengths to win her heart?
Tomei, with her boyish short hair and cuteness, and Downey, with his easy charm, actually look like a good, if undeserving, screen couple. The whole pitch is far-fetched, but the story never tries for too much realism, preferring instead to play out in a
heightened romantic world of Roman fountains, Venetian gondolas and exquisite villages basking in sunsets on the Amalfi coast. It’s also clear
in destiny, is a couple of cards short i of a Tarot pack, and so the script’s goal is not whether she’ll find her man, but whether she’ll settle for the
and-blood personality. Throw in some neat plot twists and what you get is a
overdone in the honeymoons-are-us department. (Alan Morrison) Only You (PG) (Norman Jewison, US,
Bonnie Hunt. 108 mins. From Fri 27. General release.
that Faith, with her unshakeable belief
right name or fall in love with a flesh-
likeable fairytale romance, just a little
1994) Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr,
‘the story never tries for too much realism, preferring instead to play out in a heightened