I New Directions: 1 wo Scottish ﬁlmmakers are among the eight selected for this year's First Film Foundation New Directions programme. Angus Lamont. producer of acclaimed short Joyride, and Patrick Harkins. director of Narancc and forthcoming BBC Scotland drama Nightlife. are part of a group currently travelling to Los Angeles and New York to meet agents and industry
bodies. The New Directions scheme is designed to open doors for young British ﬁlmmakers who are planning their ﬁrst feature ﬁlm.
I Carla’s Song: The latest ﬁlm by director Ken Loach began shooting in Glasgow on 23 November. Provisionally titled Cur/u 3r Song, the ﬁlm — written by Glaswegian lawyer Paul Laveny — stars Robert Carlyle as a bus driver who has an affair with a Nicaraguan refugee. The screenplay was born from Laverty‘s own experiences as a human rights investigator in Nicaragua and is set at the time when the US-backed Contras , were mounting their ﬁnal assault
i against the Sandinista regime. Carla '3 Song, which also stars American actor Scott Glenn. continues shooting in Glasgow until Christmas. then moves to Nicaragua for a ﬁve-week shoot in January and February. The ﬁlm was partly funded by the Glasgow Film Fund and the Scottish Film Production Fund.
SCREENWORKS 95 is“4g.v»
With all respect to the short film schemes and funding projects that have boosted filmmaking in Scotland over the past few years, it’s probably still true that the workshops provide the backbone of the industry as far as first-time talent is concerned. The Glasgow Film and Video Workshop’s annual Screenworks programme has been steadily growing in prestige since its launch in 1991, and the 1995 selection looks set to cap an exceptional year for GFVW, which included a move to substantial new premises in Albion Street.
The Screenworks scheme, funded by Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Regional Council, nurtures projects by beginners and semi-experienced film- and video-makers, offering free stock, use of equipment, processing and dubbing costs, training, advice and access to studio and office space. In its four year history, Screenworks has facilitated 34 short film and video productions, which have gone on to screenings at international film festivals the world over.
The 1995 showcase includes ten works, spanning drama, documentary, animation and experimental styles: Aldo Palumbo’s The Sound, Saul Metzstein’s Café Rendevous,
Cartsdyke Mobile Film Unit’s Labour
3 0! love, Dene Happell’s Objects,
I Falchney Field Resource Centre’s Sam
i And Bob, Michael Kelly’s
Sleepwalking, Damien Smith’s Basin Of Attraction, Shiona McCubbin’s Boxes (In The Sky), Kevin Cameron’s The Fishmonger’s Scales and David Mackenzie’s Wanting And Getting
(shown as a two minute trailer to the
‘ proposed 25-minute short that will be
i the director’s follow-up to the
i. acclaimed Dirty Diamonds).
The independence that Screenworks offers is reflected in the boldness and imagination of the works, as well as
the practical skills it encourages from participants at every level. ‘Seeing the project through from conception to exhibition has been a thorough
education for me as a first-time
filmmaker,’ comments Aldo Palumbo,
. whose The Sound is a delicate,
’ detailed piece of visual poetry.
1 ‘Attracting a producer to the proiect,
l working with professionals, spending
a whole week In a professional cutting room and visiting Hank labs for the
3 grading has been as exhilarating as it
has been daunting.’ (Alan Morrison)
? Screenworks 95 is at the Glasgow Film
1 Theatre at 6.30pm on Tue 12 and Wed
‘ 13 Dec.
URBAN DRAMA NEW JERSEY DRIVE
Spike lee might be executive producer of this slice of black life, but Hick Gomez’s New Jersey Drive is more convincing than Lee’s most recent work. Its pace is certainly slow, but that is because the teenage existence it communicates is boring and ritualised. The characters are indistinct for some time, but layers are piled on and the boys soon take the shape of individuals growing up with the reality of car crime and iail. It’s their sense of humour that is the greatest hook for the audience. Watching these teenagers steal a parked police patrol car and then scare the shit out of a bunch of white Ivy league types is good fun. But, of course, for the young men, it all leads to conflict with the cops, prison and the prospect of a life spent more on
the inside than out.
New Jersey Drive pulls off the rare feat of not glamourising the ghetto or
.. x New Jersey Drive: ‘doesn’t glamourise
tough attitude heroic: when picked up by violent officers, one boy gives his name as ‘Charles Manson’, and the others crack up at the laddish response. This makes for a balanced approach to the subject and very sympathetic characters. It also tells us, without having to shout, that growing up black and poor in urban America is too damn tough. (Hannah
New Jersey Drive (18) (Nick Gomez, US,
the ‘gangsters’. Its characters play the 1995) Shanon oar/3y, awe" Mac“,
game of cops and bad black boys, but director Gomez doesn’t make their
1 Saul Stein. 94 mins. Available for i rental from 8 Dec.
I Entangled (18) Jealousy and death prop up a triangle of desire in Paris as writer Judd Nelson becomes over-the- top insecure about his model girlfriend. The story structure. with flashbacks within flashbacks. is unnecessarily convoluted and it all gets more and more melodramatic and sloppy. Not even worth the effort of walking to the video shop. (First Independent)
I Ernest Goes To School (PG) Does anyone this side of the Atlantic actually like Ernest movies? And when will this “thick is cool' stuff end'.’ This time. Ernest has to pass exams or he'll lose his job. so cue tnore face- pulling and annoying routines from Jim Varney. the poor man's Jim Carrey. Sit well back from the TV screen, you're liable to put your foot through it. (First Independent)
I Witchfinder General (I8) The ﬁlms of Michael Reeves. a suicide at 25. are the Joy Division of UK horror. This, his greatest work. opens and closes with screams and in between paints an entirely bleak portrait of England under Cromwell. Vincent Price is magniﬁcent as the corrupt man travelling the country to root out witchcraft. This version restores some of the crueller and gorier shots. as well as a bit more
nudity. which helps complete the sense of hypocrisy and moral decay rather than being simply titillating. A 'nasterly dissection of abuse of power, loss of innocence and the evil that lies in the human soul. (Redemption £12.99)
I Sparrow (12) In an attempt to recapture the glories of Romeo Am! Juliet. Franco Zefﬁrelli again casts a couple of young unknowns in the lead roles of this Euro period drama set in Siein 150 years ago. During a cholera epidemic. a naive novice is sent back from her convent to her family; when she meets her male neighbour Nino. she falls in love and subsequent separation brings on madness. The trimmings are pretty enough. but newcomer Angela Bettis's wide-eyed innocence is stupidly unsubtle and her religious ravings as a beatiﬁc bimbo become just plain annoying. Dull and exceptionally boring. (PolyGram/Electric
I Welcome II The
Terrordome ( 18 ) There
comes a point when even
the critic’s escape pod of "a great achievement' isn't worthy. This low-
: budget futuristic gang
movie. the ﬁrst British ﬁlm by a black female director. relies too heavily on a stodgy voiceover narrative (although the rap
commentary works well
as a sort of Greek chorus). The storytelling is awful. the acting is usually
embarrassing and the
ﬁlm‘s PC credentials are
suspect, but like the early
rough-and-ready punk singles. it might be shouting loud and incoherently. but it does have something to say. (Tartan “2.99)
I Hollywood Hiccups (E) This tedious collection of Iluffed lines from llollywotxl's ﬁttest is about as funny as watching a writer misspell a word. There is nothing amusing about someone tripping over their dialogue. so the tape is padded out with some stunt sequences and even a Shirley Temple short. A complete waste of time. (Lumiere £4.99)
The List I— 14 Dec I995 21