mar— Showing film foursight

Four Weddings And A Funeral may have made multi-millions of dollars worldwide. but it's reckoned that Shallow Grave will be the most profitable film to date for Channel 4. taking into consideration the levels of return as compared to investment.

‘Yes, it will financially be very successful.‘ admits Channel 4‘s Head of Drama, David Aukin. ‘but its importance goes beyond that. it has a real cultural significance. Two years ago, we were saying every film should be opened first in America before the UK because. if it was a hit there. it would help the release here; if it was a flop. it didn‘t matter. But Slmllmt' Grave was a film that had no hype from America and somehow. immediately. without any big names attached. found its audience in the UK.‘

Shallow Grave. and its two-thirds Scottish team of John Hodge. Andrew Macdonald and Danny Boyle. was very much the kind of film that Aukin and Channel 4 pride themselves on: original, yet commercially viable. from a new and talented team. It’s no surprise the channel got fully behind their next production. Trainspotting.

even though a film set in Leith’s drug culture would be a hard sell. ‘You‘ll have a lot more money to make a movie in Hollywood.‘ says Aukin. ‘but you‘ll have a lot more constraints. We offered them an artistic licence. because I trust them and I know they won’t abuse it. Those relationships don't grow on trees.‘

Channel 4 has just announced that. this year. it will increase its spending on film production by a third an extra £4m. bringing its total feature film budget to £16m. And. while Aukin won't be drawn on how this might directly boost film production in

Scotland. he does indicate that films like Slur/lott- Grave and Trains-purring T combining specific locations and

t universal themes are the desired

; items.

‘1 think we‘ve been given a bigger budget as an endorsement that the channel is very happy with our policy and wants to see it grow. We are going

; through one of those periods where . there appears to be an enormous ; amount ofenergy and talent wanting to

work in film. Sometimes that energy and talent wants to work in rock and roll. sometimes it wants to work in

altemative comedy. Maybe. again. a film like Shallow Grave is important

3 because it has told those filmmakers

3 that we‘ve enfranchised them that

there is a company that wants to support those sorts of films and not just the heritage movies.‘ (AM)

nun— Moving up

After years in a couple of tiny offices in the Dolphin Arts Centre and temporary accommodation in the Maryhill Community Education Centre, the Glasgow Film and Video Workshop

now has facilities that will be the envy I

of filmmakers the length and breadth of Britain. The Workshop’s new home at 34 Albion Street boasts separate

film and video edit suites, training and ~ H

meeting rooms, a studio space that doubles as a screening facility with projection box, offices for independent film production companies, and a public information area. Currently in development are a sound studio and a videotape library. ‘lt’s like moving from a postage stamp to a football pitch,’ reckons CFVW Director Janice Campbell of the GSDDsqft of space at the organisation’s disposal. ‘The level of facilities we offer here will see independent professionals using it as well as students and graduates. Hopefully there will be an environment where people of all ages and skills will meet, even if it’s only in passing, creating that sort of synergy. People talk about creating a ladder of opportunity in the industry. It’s a wonderful idea, but if you’re going to do it, you have to make sure that there’s proper provision on the bottom rungs, the entry level - that there are training and production opportunities

lain Keeney’s Domestic Bliss: Super-8mm at the

new CFVW

i for people starting out and people i working on shoestring budgets. That’s

what we can now do.’ i Following on from its official opening I on 15 June, the new premises go into 3 a busy period that includes a young l persons’ open day on Saturday 17 (a junior CFVW is also in the pipeline) , and a workshop by Ken loach. A free a programme of Super-8 works, in association with flew Visions and the g Viva-8 Festival in london, screens at 1 7pm on Monday 19 in the new cinema

' space (see Index). For details on GFVW

events, drop in at 3rd Floor, 34 Albion Street or call 0141 221 6380. (AM)



flat, as the current trend might suggest, an against-the-odds romance fashioned after a hit song, Dream Lover (18) is an ironic variation on the genre. With James Spader, Hollywood’s eternal yuppie, in the lead, this plodding thriller shows all the ingenuity of a painfing-by-numbers set, with enjoyment only coming from the unintentionally overblown l performances offered by its cast. Spader is a successful executive wounded by a painful divorce: unfortunately for him, writer-director Nicholas Kazan saw fit to name his character Ray Beardon. Anyway, on the rebound, he marries the beautiful Madchen Amick and finally believes his disastrous love life has righted itself. But in truth it’s only the start of his problems, as he begins to discover that she has a shady past and a violent streak - rather like Alex Higgens in a frock. Worse still, his I confused rages against her put his life l


I nightmare.

Dream lover: ‘plodding thriller' i This Dream lover is more of a limp

Final Combination (18) heralds the Hollywood acting debut of British-born former WBC light Middleweight Champion Cary Stretch. A bog standard - the emphasis being on bog - serial killer movie, the story sets dogged (and dog-cared) detective Michael Madsen and hard-bitten journalist lisa Bonet on the trail of Stretch’s brutal murder spree. All are at sea in one-dimensional roles, though Stretch is allowed to shine a , little in some graphic, bloody fight i sequences. Only when he opens his mouth is he floored. (Anwar Brett) Dream lover is available for rental

and liberty in danger as she threatens { min 28 June; Final Combination is to commit him to a mental institution. 1 available in: rental min 7 June.

I A Sense Of Freedom (18) Almost fifteen years on. this Scottish movie based on the life ofJimmy Boyle is still as sharp as the blades the hardmen carry. in the lead role. David Hayman avoids the subsequent Glasgwegian psycho cliches and finds the human being beneath the surface bogeyrnan image. Writer Peter McDougall and director John Mackenzie have a feel for the period and tap into the roots of the hardman myth at the heart of so much of Scotland‘s working-class identity. (Lumiere. £4.99)

I Immoral Tales ( 18) Although it‘s not up there with Pasolini's ])(’(‘tllm‘l'()ll. former animator Walerian Borowcyzk's vignettes on sinful sexuality down the ages have more interesting characters and settings than the average arty soft porn short. The seductive first segment. La Muréc is the best; later episodes featuring Countess Elizabeth Bathory and Lucrezia Borgia are surprisingly humourless and unsure of their moral tone. (Connoisseur. £ l 5.99)

I Eating Raoul ( 18) Paul Bartel's delicioust black comic dish with a side order of Hollywood satire finds boring Mr and Mrs Bland resorting to a sex 'n‘ murder scam in order to get enough money to open a gourmet restaurant.

Endearingly sympathetic performances and an ()scar-nominated script mean this cult classic is more accessible than John Waters. but just as irreverent. (Lumiere. £14.99)

I The Atomic Cafe (12) It's easy to laugh at this assemblage of pro- nuclear. anti-Communist footage taken from newsreels. TV shows and government information films. btrt the sentiments expressed aren't too far in the past to feel a distinct chill from the Cold War propaganda. What could be misguided naiver on the authorities‘ part becomes much more sinister as we see the American public ‘duck and cover‘ like Burt The Turtle when it comes to coverage of the Rosenberg trial and execution. (Academy.

£ 15.99)

I Blame It On Bio ( 15) The last film by Stanley Donen. who‘ll be the subject of a mtjor retrospective at this year's Drambuie iidinburgh Film Festival. this uncomfortable comedy finds Michael Caine doing

the dirty in Brazil with the .

daughter of his best friend. The approach isn‘t as lightweight as you’d think: there’s a dark exploration of soured trust in relationships that adds interest to a rather distasteful sub-genre. But the soundtrack is like Barry Manilow on a bad day. (Lumiere. £4.99)

I Patlabor (PG) An unexplained suicide hints

at a large—scale corporate revenge plot as rogue Labors (advanced robots used by futuristic Mobile Police) rampage across Tokyo. The plot drags out. and the animation is varied characters and backgrounds rudimentary. hardware more detailed. as you‘d expect in a major ‘mecha' release. (Manga. £13.99)

I Best Boy (E) lra Wohl's intimate and exemplary documentary about three years in the life of his mentally retarded cousin Philly is a tremendously life-affirming chronicle. Wohl uses the process of filmrnaking to encourage his subject to become more self-sufficient. given the increasing infirmity of his caring parents. Philly‘s sense of excitement in the learning process touches the heart without a whiff of sentimentality. A deserved Oscar winner. (Academy. £15.99)

I Eva ( 15) French and British actors. an American director. an italian setting it all could have been a bit of a mess. but instead Joseph Losey creates a blend of cold psychological drama and European noir obsession that cries out for the adjective ‘stylish'. Stanley Baker is an ex- rniner. now a successful novelist living in Venice; Jeanne Moreau is the hardest of hard-hearted fernrne fatales who destroys his marriage to the accompaniment of an excellent Michel Legrand jazz score. (Lumiere. £15.99)

24 The List 16-29 Jun 1995