‘Cheech and Chong meet Gregory’s Girl is how writer/producer/director Bruce llaughton describes his comedy feature, Wasted Youth, and he’s pretty accurate. The content is drug-related humour, the context a Scottish college campus. Jamie and Ben are two students faced with the age-old traumas of getting out of bed in time for lectures and into bed with the girl of their choice, until they come across a bag filled with several pounds of hash that’s been hastily discarded by a slimy local crook. Here is the gateway to a fantasy term of dulled brains and new-found popularity: ‘the answer to all our troubles,’ reckons Ben, floating inches from the ceiling, ‘financial, social and spiritual.’
Shot while llaughton was studying film at Napier University, the film suffers from the traditional but easily forgivable problems that beset even the best ambitious low-budget features, namely some suspect acting and shaky delivery of lines. However,
llaughton certainly knows how to tell a story, Martin Parry’s photography is impressive throughout, and the film is disarmineg funny, making the most of its familiar student characters and situations. The Scottish slacker movie has arrived. (Alan Morrison)
Wasted Youth is currently being viewed by UK distributors and broadcasters with a view to future screenings.
I flew Voices: Think of cinema. and automatically it‘s directors and actors who come to mind. Stories about the mistreatment of writers are legendary. but it‘s the script that supports the
- entire movie. Recognising this. the Scottish Film Production Fund. with the support ofthe Batik of Scotland. have put into motion New Voices. a competition to encourage new writing for the big screen.
Submissions should consist of a comprehensive story outlinc/treatment of around four sides of A4 for a feature film of no less than 9() minutes duration. These will be assessed by a panel consisting of writers Liz. Lochhead. John Hodge (Shallow Grave). Robert Murphy ( 'l'lte Near Room) and writer/producer Christine Winford (Tickets For The Zoo). Ten or so projects will then be chosen. with the debut scribe teaming up with an experienced writer to complete a first draft. At this stage. a producer will become attached. and the project will seek full funding. The first-time writer should not have received SFPF support before or have had a screenplay commissioned by a British broadcaster.
The deadline for entries is Friday 17 November. For further information. contact Catherine Aitken at the Scottish Film Production Fund. 74 Victoria Crescent Road. Glasgow G 12 9JN (0141 337 2526).
I New Directions: Imagine a dream trip for a first—time filmmaker — fiying on an expenses paid trip to the States. having your filtn screened at the prestigious BAFTA Los Angeles and New York‘s Tribeca Centre. meeting distributors. studio representatives and agents. That's what the London-based First Film Foundation are offering in their New Directions scheme. The FFF is seeking up to eight 35 mm filtns of 30 tninutes or less duration (ten-fifteen minutes is preferable) to collect into a programme which will be taken to America in November. The short films must have been completed since January I993 by filmmakers resident in Great Britain or Eire.
A group of young directors and producers will also be flown out for a hectic two weeks of meetings at which the aim is to secure backing for feature lilrn projects that would be suitable for funding from the States. When the scheme was previously tried out - as a pan~European project — in l99l and 1992. one of the young talents spotted was director of photography Andrzej Zekula. who went on to shoot Reservoir Dogs and Pulp lie/ion. The closing date for submissions. with completed application form. is Friday 20 ()ctober. and information is available from the First Film Foundation. Canalot Studios. 222 Kensal Road. London Wl() 58b} (()l8l 969 5 I95).
I london Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: Europe‘s largest annual showcase of lebian and gay cinema is on the lookout for film and video work for its 1996 Festival. which takes place from 2| March—4 April. Submissions must not have been screened previously in the UK and must have been produced within the last two years. The deadline is Monday 23 October. and a video cassette. preferably VHS (PAL or
NTSC) 0r UMATIC. should be sent to Jane lvey. London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. South Bank. London SE1
In recent years, the low-budget filmmaking sector has revitalised cinema-going, but what we see is just the tip of the iceberg. Countless other movies are greeted with cheers at film festivals, then disappear from the distribution game because they don’t I . fit conventional marketing formulas. ; 3 It’s for this reason that the launch of ; :1 new indie specialist video label f i
Screen Edge could prove to be a
milestone in home-viewing. Four titles are being released by ! Screen Edge this month, priced £12.99 I each. A masterpiece in domestic paranoia, The Upstairs Neighbour (1 8) was a minor hit at the 1994 Edinburgh Film Festival. Psychologically real and claustrophobically intense, it’s far more aggressive than mainstream ‘my- neighbour’s-a-psycho’ thrillers. Alferd Packer - The Musical (1 8) must be the world’s first gore musical western: daftly compelling, like a student fringe skit on gold-mining and i cannibalism spread out over 90 l minutes. The Pope at Utah (18) casts a E harsher satiric eye than we’d expect from America on the frightening future of television. A corrupt TV evangelist
The Pope Of Utah ; and wannabe old-style comedian come
into conflict in a world of image and spiritual manipulation; stylistically, 5 the film has great visual impact on the small screen. From Britain comes The Front/inc (18), a film that constantly changes its spots as it tells of a former psychiatric patient thrown into the real madness, drugs and murder of modern Manchester.
Each has niggling flaws that are easily brushed aside by the sheer energy that the filmmakers bring to the material as they twist, break and build anew traditional rules and genres. lf Screen Edge can maintain the pace set by this first quartet, it really will fill an aching gap in the market. (Alan Morrison)
I Little Odessa ( 15) The mood is sombre. with sepia tones mirroring the decaying dignity and morality of a Russian Jewish family in contemporary America. in James Gray‘s excellent debut. Tim Roth brings a bitter emotionalism to his role as a hitman. whose latest job brings him back to his Brighton Beach home and his estranged family. with tragic results. (First Independent)
I The Wrong Woman ( IS) An office temp becomes the prime suspect when her boss is murdered after she rejects his advances. The thriller aspect rests on our heroine extracating herself from the frame-up as evidence keeps building against her. but the plot itselfdoesn't stray far off the beaten track. (First Independent)
I The Mahabharata (U) The expanse of Peter Brooks' theatre version of the ancient Indian legends is brilliantly adapted to the empty space of the screen. This is a supreme example of storytelling. with rich allegories that sustain a mystical.
enthralling atmosphere for around five hours. A major work in any age. (Connoisseur £39.99. three tape box set)
I Ilondo (PO) ‘A man ought to do what he thinks
is best' - another of cinema‘s great misquoted
litres. but now at last it Is ; placed in its proper context. Horn/o hasn't
been seen in the UK since I978. which was a crime
' because it should be up
there with The .S‘mn'liers
as the classic John Wayne
western. Cavalry and Apaches. honesty and deceit. desert landscapes and bar-room brawls — and at its centre a moral debate that gets to the heart of the traditional
successful. (Arrow L l 5.99 each)
I Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die ( 12) This
is no ()livcr Stone-style conspiracy thriller. but filmmaker Pliilo Bregstein reckons that director Pier Paolo l’asolini's murder at the hands of a rent boy
was actually an : assassination by ltalian ; right-wingers. Using
screen hero. (V(‘l £12.99)
I The Apprenticeship 0f Duddy Kravitzt IS) Mordecai Richlcr was nominated for an ()scar for this screen adaptation of his own novel. set in Montreal in the I‘Hlls. Against a richly realised Jewish backdrop. likable go-getter l)uddy manipulates family and friends in order to achieve his dreams. A fresh-faced Richard Dreyfuss hits the screen running and barely pauses for breath until the final credits. (Arrow £15.99)
I la Vie De Chateau ( l2) A French Resistance agent and a Nazi officer
fall for the bored wife (Catherine Deneuve) of a
dull. small-time aristocrat ; (Philippe Noiret). Jean-
Paul Rappeneau's elegant character piece gives its three-way farce structure a twist by setting its comic
l action within a tranquil
pocket during World War II. The same director's brasher. more physical approach to the comedy in The Scoundrel (15) is less
interviews and film clips as evidence. Bregstein brings to the fore l’asolini's social and political concerns. his homosexuality and his
' refusal to compromise.
(Academy t.. l 2.99)
I Eyes Without A Face
( IS) (ieorges l‘ranju's classic has a truly horrific storyline (a mad scientist peels skin from kidnapped girls' faces to graft onto his disfigured daughter). but it is allied to some frighteningly beautiful images. lidith Scob‘s eyes burn with life behind a chillingly blank mask. while Pierre Brasseur brings a touch ofguilt and humanity to his role as the obsessive genius. (Connoisseur t.‘ I 5.99)
I Bob’s Birthday And The Best Of British Animation (PC) A collection of recent animated work that includes three ()scar winners and three that received nominations. Bob 'x Birthday. Creature ('onr/orix, ii’lU/if/Nllﬂlffill. Adam. Second Class" Mail and The Big Story are connected by a vein of humour. whether the technique is cartoon or model. (Academy £8.99).
22 The List 22 Sept-5 ()ct I995