I Centenary of Cinema: ‘Now. like that mythical village which emerged unchanged from the mists every 100 years. our cinema is itself beginning to emerge from its ﬁrst century.‘ Such is the viewpoint of Allan Shiach. Chairman of the Scottish Film Council. as the Scottish ﬁlm industry is poised to rid itself of a Brigudmm-style representation on the world‘s screens. Shiach‘s words underline the fact that Scotscreen 100. the body which will co-ordinate all of the centenary of cinema in Scotland. won'tjust be concentrating on past successes. but will be using the celebrations to look to the future.
Events get properly underway on 13 April. exactly 100 years after Scotland's ﬁrst screening. at Edinburgh’s Empire Palace Theatre. Highlights will include a massive drive-in showing of Brave/rear! on Glasgow Green on 24 May. the screening of some fascinating lost pieces from the archives. a brand new ﬁlm festival in Perth and the unveiling of 28 centenary plaques across the country. Full details will appear in future issues of The List.
I Women In Film: Scottish women‘s group Engcnder. in collaboration with Glasgow Film Theatre. marks lntemational Women’s Weekend with a celebration of women in ﬁlm on Sat 9. A showcase of ﬁlms made by women
Turnball's Truth and Wendy Grifﬁths's Mirror. Mirror) will be followed by a panel discussion led by actress Elaine C. Smith on ‘Women — How To Get Ahead in Film And TV‘. The action gets underway at 2pm and tickets cost £3 (£2).
In conjunction with the event. Engender are also organising practical workshops for women on camera work and editing (details from Glasgow Film and Video Workshop on ()141 553
in Scotland (including premieres of Ali ' i I Cameo Shorts: As promised several
Braveheart: drive in for the woad movie
262(1) and a new. orking event for women in the film industry. For more information on Engender. contact Scottish Women’s Aid. 12 'l'orphichen Street. Edinburgh. liHR SJQ.
I Academy Awards Party: Anyone weeping into their milk shakes over the demise of Take That should get along to the Crusaid beneﬁt at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on Monday 25 March. As part of the fund-raising memorabilia auction. the very dress and wig that Lulu wore in the band‘s ‘Light My Fire‘ video will be up for grabs to the highest bidder. Mix ‘n‘ match these with Sean Connery‘s shorts from The Hill and other celebrity items from the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and lan McKellen. Also on the bill are two special movie previews and live coverage of the Academy Awards ceremony. Tickets (£15) are available from Filmhouse box ofﬁce now.
months back. Edinburgh‘s Cameo Cinema has programmed new short ﬁlms by young Scottish ﬁlmmakers alongside main movies in the March programme. This fortnight check out Mary Gordon‘s suffragette portrait [fl/tel Moor/lead (1 1.30pm. Sat 16). Duncan Nicoll's claymation comedy Block (1.30pm. Sun 17) and Saul Metzstein‘s arniably offbeat Cafe Rendemus ( 1 1.30pm. Thurs 21).
The Tron Theatre’s Michael Boyd said in the last issue of The List that one of his reasons for leaving the company was lack of money. There are many theatre groups who would echo these sentiments. 0n the filpslde, Scotland is now perceived as a land of opportunity for filmmakers.
Glasgow-based Wisegulse Productions have already bagged their slice of the Tartan Shorts action with Initiation, due to go into production in May. Before that comes their maiden attempt at filmmaking. Hard Nut (A love Story) is a five-minute short recently filmed over three days in Glasgow as part of the Prime Cuts scheme, a new initiative which has the support of the Scottish Film Production Fund, British Screen and Scottish Television.
The film features Small Faces star Stephen Duffy as Wollle, a daydreamer who sets his watch alarm to coincide
Words from the wise
with the moment his dream girl walks past his window each day. It is a tale of household accidents, unrequited love and generally hanging around, written by producer Martin McCardie’s brother Eddie and based on a cheesy Polish pop song. ‘I’d like to say it was a 400-year-old folk song,’ says Eddie, ‘but no, it was a big pop hit in Poland.’
Speaking on location in a Dennistoun tenement flat as filming nears completion, director Jim Twaddale explains why a theatre company have made the move into film. ‘The obvious one is lack of money,’ he says, ‘but by the same token, a lot of our influences have been from film. For a long time you think of it as something that other people do, but one of the reasons why we’re called Wiseguise was not to limit ourselves. This has given us a challenge that we need at the moment.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
I Bird 0! Prey ( 15) The son of a murder victim and an embittered photo- journalist rneet in prison and. once released. team up to destroy the arms dealer who has made their lives a misery. Standard thriller territory perhaps. until you consider that the action is set in Soﬁa and that the ﬁlm is a Bulgarian/American co- production. Writer- producer Boyan Milushev is suitably ravaged by the past in his starring role. but the second-rate Hollywooders around him drag it down. (First Independent)
I Silences Of The Palace (15) It's not a physical littin that shrouds the palaces of pre- independence Tunisia. but an unspoken understanding over the princes' misuse of their female servants. The illegitimate daughter of one of the maids remembers back to her adolescence as a quiet observer of a regime that callotrsly stripped women of their identity; nevertheless. it‘s the female characters who provide the life of the ﬁlm — the men and their politics are relegated to the background. ()ne of the most poignant ﬁlms on ‘women's issues to emerge in recent years. (lCA Projects 12' l 3.99)
I Rollerball ( (5) In a futuristic. cartel- controlled world. human blood-lust is satisﬁed in
' the gladitorial sport of
Rollerball. ln what's almost a US exploitation twist on I984. top player James Caan shows a spark of individualism as he ﬁghts against attempts to retire him from the game. Norman Jewison's cult classic is slightly schizophrenic: it tries to criticise a society that panders to man's most animalistic instincts. but is at its best when revelling in the violent action of the Rollerball games. This video version looks great in widescreen. Win a copy in a competition next issue. (Beyond Vision £12.99)
I Suture ( IS) Shifty Vincent Towers tries to blow up his stepbrother Clay with a car bomb. then assume his identity; but Clay survives the blast and. through plastic surgery and amnesia. believes he is indeed Vincent. The key element of the plot is that the men are identical; the key element in the ﬁlm‘s impact is that one is
Silences Of The Palace: ‘polgnant’
played by a black actor. the other white. And so audience assumptions about race. stereotyping. identity. and the link between appearance and personality are challenged in this very unusual. intellectual film noir. (lCA Projects £13.99)
I Princess Madam ( ls) Two female cops are roped in to guard the mistress. turned witness. of a gang boss. btit family links to the bad guys cause complications. Bloody but perfunctory action scenes liven this standard str'aigltt-to-video Hong Kong actioner that lacks the usual eastern promise. (M.l.A. £12.99) I The Wanderers ( is) Philip Kaufman's rendering of Richard (Clarke/2v) Price's portrait of gang life in the Bronx of 1963 has a strong sense of lost innrcence for all its fond nostalgia. The ltalian-American Wanderers ﬁght with the thuggish Baldics. and everyone runs scared of the Ducky Boys. all to the drive of a ()()s soundtrack. A cult classic. deservedly so. on account of its
g juxtaposition of
cartoonish comedy and urban violence. (Arrow £9.99)
I Mrs Parker And The Vicious Circle ( l5) ()nce
you've penetrated Jennifer
Jason Leigh's accent. you'll ﬁnd that witticisms ﬂy in Alan Rudolph's
dramatisation of the life of
Dorothy Parker like bullets in a war movie. The battle. however. is between Parker's intellectual strengths and private weaknesses. making this a great American tragedy. Plaudits should go to Campbell Scott for his performance as Bob Benchley. Parker‘s rock in a storm and a nice balance for Leigh‘s party piece acting. (Artificial Eye £15.99)
I City Hunter ( )2) Jackie Chan might be getting on a bit for credible casting as the popular manga detective. but he's certainly got his character's girl-chasing charisma as he tracks down an heiress on a boat ﬁlled with assassins.
Blunder Siege. anyone'.’ Most of the action is played for laughs. with some stylised sets and comic-style framing. although on the whole the film's sense of humour is childishly but endearineg awful. (MJA. £12.99)
I Ay Carmela! ( I5) Former Almodovar muse C‘armen Maura is one third of a travelling cabaret company that strays behind enemy lines during the Spanish Civil War and has to adapt its act for Franco's fascist troops. It's a showpiece role for the actress. btrt director (‘arlos Saura keeps the action stodgily stagebound as it shifts uncomfortably from farce to tragedy. (Arrow £15.99)
I Mandy (PG) .»\lexander Mackendrick‘s story of the trials of a young deaf girl and her parents is told with sensibly restrained passion (as compared to the shameless hysterics of today‘s TV movies). making the film a tribute to ordinary bravery that touches the audience without milking emotions dry. As the girl's teacher. Jack Hawkins is a determined but kindly authority figure. Hawkins also has a commanding role in Front Page Story (PG). this time as the news editor of a daily paper whose obsession with hisjob may lose him his wife. The film builds well. with the developments of two headline stories unravelling alongside the character's personal traumas. Hawkins completes his hattrick with State Secret (PG ). a rather contrived thriller in which he plays the political hatchetman in a ﬁctional Eastern European totalitarian state. bringing shades of light and dark to what could have been a badly stereotyped ﬁgure. Other new releases in this ‘Britain's Finest Films' series are ()Os class comedy Nothing But The Best (PG). Joseph Losey's prison drama The Criminal (PG) and the classic horror compendium Dead Of flight (PG). (Lumiere £9.99 each)
24 The List 8-21 Mar 1996