and Broadway shows.
David Shayne (John
willing to cast a gangster‘s girlfriend for the necessary funding.
rewrite scenes for the seductive leading lady.
dialogue and strong. slightly stereotyped performances. which
feel. But it‘s very funny.
I Clerks ( l 8) Just when
sight of the word ‘slacker‘. along comes Clerks and gives the whole commercialisation of the Gen X lifestyle a good hard kick up the backside. Kevin Smith’s hilariously foul dialogue
life. sex and everyday living between bored convenience store check- out assistant l)ante and equally bored video store manager Randal. The
Self-absorbed playwright Cusack) compromises all the way down the line as he attempts to get his new masterpiece staged — he‘s
take writing tips from her streetwise bodyguard. and
The emphasis is on witty
gives the film a theatrical
very well played and very entertaining. See preview.
you were sick of the very
peps up the exchanges on
Slackers in convenience stores,
slackers in Vienna — take your
pick as The List reviews the new
movies opening over the next fortnight.
I Bullets Over Broadway (15) Woody Allen keeps up his creative flow with another comedy. this time returning to his favourite period — the 20s. trad jazz
sexual past lives of girlfriends. dead bodies in the lavatory. abusive customers — these are the trials thrust upon our downbeat heroes. Raw in style and language. it's also a breath of fresh air. See preview.
I Le Colonel Ghabert (PG) Although the plot
outline of cinematographer-turned . director Yves Angelo's
debut resembles a re-run
of The Return (If'Murtin Guerre. it's a much more sombre movie. From its
opening shots. shaded
; blue from the cold and
death on the Napoleonic battlefield. to the repressed passions of the presumed dead Chabert (Gerard Depardieu) and his remarried wife (Funny Ardant). there's a sense that this world is populated by emotional corpses. And. in a way. that is the point of the movie: the narrative may rest on Chabert proving his identity. but it's a downplayed literary piece rather than the twist-and- turn plo: game of Martin (inerre. Because it's about cold-hearted people. the film itself tnay prove. for some viewers. too detached and bleak in its sense ofjustice. See preview.
Melanie Griffith is slightly down the cast list (Nubmfv's Fun!) then the ﬁlm may have some
(Born Yesterday, Paciﬁc
be a stinker. Here. her name is well above the title. She's cast as a streetwise woman who rescues a trio of schoolkids after they're mugged in the big city. The pre-pubescent boys
and seeing first hand a meet V (Griffith). one of Patrick Carter) reckons
his widower dad (lid
I Milk Money (12) Tip: if
quality; if she‘s top-billed
Heights) then it’s likely to
have come to town to find out the truth about girls by pooling their milk money naked lady. But after they
the bunch Frank (Michael
she's the perfect match for
Melanie Griffith in Milk Money
Harris — what are you
doing wasting titne here‘.’). ’ep. it's another romantic
comedy where neither
i word really applies.
‘ land extraterrestrial under the bed. The . lplay may be about justice too, but
f In case you missed it, Dorfman’s
i.d.: ‘voyeuristically fascinating' Football widows beware, i.d. is not the film you should go and see in an attempt to understand your lover’s addiction to the beautiful game. It’s about late 19805 football violence and four police officers who infiltrate the hooligan element of Shadwell Town Fc. John (Reece Dinsdale) and Trevor (Richard Graham) go undercover as painter and decorators, and befriend their way into the hubbub of bigotry that is The Rock pub. l Debutant director Philip Davis i starred in Duadraphenia, and he ‘ manages to relive that film’s elements
of frustration against the system. The problem is that his psychological study of a man’s downfall is far too straightforward: John steps out of uniform, into violence, out of a relationship, into empty sex with The Rock’s barmaid, out of reality, into drugs and the BNP. Violence, however, is far more complex than i.d. gives it credit for. There is never a thorough explanation as to why they fight, or why football is merely the sideshow for big boys getting their kicks. Literally.
To its credit, i.d. is voyeuristically fascinating for the average football fan, who will all too easily recognise how simple it is to get carried by a roaring crowd. The film is controversial because it’s obvious that Davis has been partial to a lot of sensitive information, and the police
emerge from it all as dirty as the hooligans do. It’s superbly acted, l especially by Dinsdale and Sean , Pertwee, who plays his bizarrer alluring hooligan sidekick, Martin. And, above all, it’s a worthwhile exercise because this really happens, proving that British life is not just weddings and funerals. (Philip Dorward)
i.d. (18) (Philip Davis, UK/Germany,
1994) Reece Dinsdale, Richard Graham, Sean Pertwee.1D'l mins. From , Fri 5: General Release. 3
DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
(Ariel Dorfman’s hit play was a solid, old-fashioned, liberal hand-wringer: (how can a torturer listen to Schubert .as he goes at it with electrodes? How can such evil and such beauty co-exist within the realm of human experience? The trouble with this film version is the miscasting all round. Director Roman Polanski thinks he’s doing a Hitchcockian thriller, while Sigourney Weaver waves a gun around [like there’s something creepy, crawa
'justice certainly hasn’t been done to iit.
'piece is set in an unnamed, newly (democratised South American country, where lawyer Stuart Wilson, recently lappointed to a commission investigating the treatment of prisoners under the previous military junta, is spending the weekend with jspouse Weaver. The chance arrival of passing doctor Ben Kingsley, however, tupsets an already precarious status
Death And The Maiden: ‘mechanical and rather glib'
quo in the household, for she’s convinced the stranger who helps out her husband when his car has a flat is the same man who submitted her to sexual assault and appalling torture 3 - number of years previously. i
All this is the cue for Polanski to go into overdrive, playing it as a kind of high-powered psycho-thriller in a way that soon feels as if the source
material is being trivialised. It’s left to i ever-reliable Kingsley to provide the f‘lm’s best work by far as the ambiguous centre of attention, traversing pained innocence and the j most disturbing suspicions on the way ' to a typically overblown finale. It’s mechanical and rather glib, when it really ought to have mattered a lot more. (Trevor Johnston)
Death And The Maiden (18) (Roman Polanski, UKfUS/France, 1994) I Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, , Stuart Wilson. 104 mins. From Fri 12: l Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh ' Filmhouse. See competitions page for free tickets and goodies.
EYES WITHOUT A FACE
Eyes Without A Face: ‘visceral excess' As the co-founder of the Cinematheque Francaise and celebrated documentarist. Georges Franth holds a unique position in the history of French cinema. but one easily underestimated because of its diversity. In middle age. he embarked on :1 series of remarkable features. among the most fascinating of which is this piquant fantasy. a highly-charged blend of visceral excess and visual poetry that‘s strongly indicative of its maker's distinctive sensibility.
At the outset. it should be noted that some patience is required. As dedicated but decidedly unhinged Professor Génessier‘s (Pierre Brasseur) skin graft experiments continue apace in the hope of replacing his daughter Christine's damaged features before the police trace a recent series of murders to his door. the lumpen exposition and sober pace soon indicate that Franju is not exactly a plot man. This matters little. however. when he and master cinematographer liugen Shuftan cart create the kind of single image that reminds you just why cinema is the major art form of the 20th century. Here. years before Cronenberg and ‘hody horror". we're compelled by l“ranju's steely concentration as another young victim has her face sedulously lifted off to reveal the thin film of tissue that separates physical beauty from the unspeakable.
'Surreal' has become one of the most over-used of all critical terms. yet in this case l’ranju's approach is truly at one with the works of Max lirnst. Magritte et al in dredging the realms of nightmare to restock our waking hours with the marvellous. lives it'll/mu! A I-‘ure is a milestone. Don’t miss it. (Trevor Johnston)
lives “TI/lull! rl l'.(I(‘(’ (/8) (Georges Fruit/'11. I’l‘ultee/ Iltl/‘t‘. I959) Pier/‘1’ Brussetu: Alli/u l’u/li. lit/ill: Seal). ()0 mins. Subtitles. I’mm 'lile /()~'I'/Ill/'.v l8.“ lz‘tliIt/ml‘g/l ‘ Film/muse. l-‘mm 'l'ue 30-77mm /.' (i/(tseuw
34 The List 5- I 8 May 1995