Thomas Jefferson’s wig or Tank Girl’s peroxide crop — hairstyles are us as The List reviews the new movies opening over the next two weeks.
I Destiny Turns On The Radio ( IS) An escaped con comes back to his |.as Vegas home to reclaim his girl and his money. only to discover that he's lost the former to a club owner and the latter to a Fate- like figure. played by Quentin Tarantino. Jack Baran’s film is an embarrassment for all involved. particularly the pseudo-New Age mystical lines they have to tnutter. There's only one reason that this even got a release. so anyone suffering from 'I‘arantino fatigue need not apply.
I Dialogues With Madwomen ( l5) Allie Light's engrossing. moving documentary tells the story of seven women who have experienced multiple personalities. manic depression. schizophrenia and euphoria. Unlike other films which would just take a straightforward interview approach. this one taps into the dreamlikequalities of unbalanced imagination. re-creating the memories and fantasies of its subjects. including the director herself. After the 28 June screening. there will be an audience and panel discussion on the issues raised by this and other films in the Edinburgh l-‘ilmhouse‘s current season.
I A Great Day In Harlem (PG) Tying in with the Glasgow Jazz Festival. the GFf screens Jean Bach's evocative documentary. which chronicles the day in 1958 when photographer Art Kane assembled a congregation ofjazz luminaries for a photo call in New York.
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22 The List l6-2‘) Jun 1995
Gillespie. Mingus. Monk. Blakey. Rollins. Young. Mulligan. Basic and friends all turned out. and were captured on the home movie camera of bassist Milt Hilton. Also in the programme are the shorts Rhapsody In Black Am/ Blue and ('ah (‘tllltllt‘ttv'X Ht-Ul—HU.
I In The Mouth 0t Madness ( IS) Few genre directors have remained as faithful or as interesting as .Iolm (‘arpenteiz Here he turns his hand to the world of Ill). Lovecraft. as insurance investigator Sam Neill tells how he was hired to solve the disappearance of a best- selling horror novelist.
llis efforts lead him to the small town ofllob's End. where there's an apocalypse waiting to happen as the thin membrane between reality and the supernatural begins to break. The director aims for the atmosphere of The l-‘ag rather than the out-and- out sfx of. say. The Thing. See preview.
I The Sexual Lite Of The i Belgians ( 18) A semi- autobiographical tale of a country boy‘s coming of age as a would-be revolutionary and writer, in 50s and ()()s Belgium — not. you'd think. the basis of some slyly irreverent. episodic charmer. It's also not the titillating study that the title suggests. more a witty and honest look back on the ups and downs of various amorous escapades from a teenager who‘s busy trying to change the world. low key. but worth it if approached in the right frame of mind. See preview.
Sin Breast is best: The Sexual life of the Belgians
[ETHE— G'm .
It is almost impossible to find enough abusive adjectives to describe how bad 'limk Girl is; it's not just bad. it has invented its own new category of putridness. Boring. anodyne. and utterly misconceived. it is both an emasculated travesty of the original Deadline comic-strip and a stinking stiffin its own right.
Generous-hearted souls may try to blame the nervous studio execs who forced stupid cuts and ‘enhancement shoots‘ on director Rachel (Freddy's Dead) Talalay after some disastrous preview screenings. Yet any rational viewer can see that what remains of Talalay's sluggish. episodic narrative and dull live-action sequences hints at something even worse. Without the consolation of the dynamic. colourful (obviously inserted) animation sequences to break up the tedium. this would have been completely unwatchable.
It is the year 2033. and a cosmic cataclysm has reduced the Earth to a parched desert where water. now the most priceless commodity. is jealously guarded by the Water And Power Company‘s megalomaniac supremo Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell). Fighting a rearguard action against
these fascist forces is Tank Girl (Lori
Petty). now incongruoust re-namcd
‘Rebecca'. :1 petulant. shaven-headed punkette who guzzles ‘l’unk‘ beer (sic). tries hard to swear properly and. yes. drives a tank.
Backing her up are the fearsome Rippers. a gang of mutant kangaroos designed by sfx wizard Stan Winston on an off—day and lead by an embarrassed-looking Ice-T. McDowell's maniacal. bug-eyed villain aside. the only interesting character is let Girl (Naomi Watts). an initially sexless wimp turned feisty fly-girl.
As if that were not bad enough. the mix-and-match soundtrack throws together such diverse offerings as Richard Hell's punk anthem ‘Blank Generation’. Hole‘s ‘l)rown Soda'.
some spectacularly inappropriate Bjork tunes. and a jaw-droppineg inept dance
sequence featuring Cole Porter's ‘Let‘s Do lt'. Under no circumstances
imagine that this £25 million disaster is
so bad that it's good. Its only hope is that it may attract a cttlt following of late-night masochists and video nerds who think it‘s clever to watch irrcdcemable shite. Flush this excrement down the nearest toilet. I say. (Nigel Floyd)
'lank (iirl (/5) (Rachel 'lit/alay. US. I995) Lari Pei/y. lee-'1: Malcolm Mr‘l)(m'el/. 104 mins. l-‘ram Fri 23. General release.
Tank Girl: ‘sluggish. episodic and dull’
At a time when it seems that no American independent movie has any credibility unless it has guns bursting
; out right, left and centre, Killer,
despite the directness at its title, comes as a welcome change of pace.
Lite, for professional assassin Mick (Anthony LaPaglia), is as it should be: he lives by a nihilistic rulebook, with his emotions detached, locked away and forgotten about. His latest iob, however, brings him into contact with Fiona (Mimi Rogers), a woman with a complex death wish in need his services. After a literal last seduction, Mick discovers that a brief, intense ﬂash of desire is all it takes to throw everything he has come to believe in out of balance.
An existential hitman movie, Killer finds a lethal screen pairing in LaPaina and Rogers. Following up the cruelly neglected The Custodian, he proves that he is one of cinema’s best kept secrets, an actor who can bring an edge to roles tilled by KeiteI and De Niro fifteen to twenty years ago. It’s
Killer: “existential hitman movie’ his pertormance that sets the film apart, pulling us through a single night’s action and taking us on a rounded journey as a cold-hearted individual tinally discovers his soul. (Alan Morrison)
Killer (18) (Mark Malone, US, 1994) Anthony LaPaglia, Mimi Rogers, Matt Craven. 98 mins. From Fri 23. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Clockwork Mice: ’Iight touch’
A Britiin filth about a young teacher‘s first few terms in a special needs school -- the automatic assumption is that ('lne/kurk ,Wlt‘t' will hitVL‘ the loud political stance of Hearts Aml .I'Iini/s. But Yadim Jean's follow-up to li’evuni/ li’ezl/a/n alid Leon The Pie Farmer opens with a sweetly tuneful title track. It‘s not even that this is lulling the audience into a false sense of security for a hard social blast to come: the older teachers in this school are played by TV sit-com veterans .Iohn Aldcrton. .Iames Bolam and Nigel Planer. and the potentially disturbing subject matter is treated with a light touch throughout.
Steve Drake (Ian Hart) is initially polite and earnest to a class of swearing. disruptive kids at ('edarwood School. The intelligent but volatile leader of the pack is fourteen-year-old (‘onrad (Ruaidhri ('onroyi. and when Steve discovers that he and the boy have a shared love ofcross- country running. he finds the key to (‘onrad‘s attention and respect. Conrad. however. has never known life outside institutions. and he escapes into a fantasy revolving around the number ‘42'.
The running metaphor -- personal challenge combined with the freedom of powering across open fields -- is woven in well (better. it has to be said. than Steve's urider-developed romance with a fellow teacher). Hart seems to share his character's sympathy and understanding of the kids. while Conroy (fast beComing one to watch after Into The West) is completely inside the role. whether in its lovable or intense moments. This is Jean's tuost assured work. and he gives the story and
more importantly — the main characters and their relationship space to grow. (Alan Morrison) ('lni'ktvurk Alice (/5) (I’m/[m Jean. UK, [995) Ian Hart, Rll(lf(//Il'f ('mimv, Catherine Russell. [00 mars. FI'UIII Fri 23. (ieneral release.