Jeffrey: ‘spunky, punchy, witty‘
PDLITICAI. DRAMA ‘ i CITY HALL
('loser in tone to his dow nheat. documentary -st_\ lc HMO/311111 fie/11’ than the o\er heated Sn: ()1 lore. tllt'ectol' llal'oltl Becker‘s latest Is another detailed anatoinisation ol :1 single crime: a shooting incident it) which :1 commended cop. a moh- connected drug dealer and purer hy chance a young lilack child are shot dead on the streets ol‘ Ilrookly 11.
Seen through the eyes ot' idealistic. l.onisian:1»horn .-\ssistant .\layor Kevin (‘alhonn (John ('11sack ). the dense plot l‘ocnses on the lallont \llIlCl'L'tI l)_\ lils hoss. .\I:1y1\1'.l«\l111 l’apas t:\l l’acino). a shrewd politician with one eye on :1 Presidential candidacy. .-\ltl1ough a hrilliant strategist. will) an unshakeahle l'aith 111 his charismatic mentor's integrity. ('alhonn's damage limitation skills are stretched to their limit hy the ensuing t'c\el.1t1ot1s. .\l:1kingtl11ngs
_' Jeffrey is a young, single, gay New ~ _. | Yorker who loves sex - until 905 AIDS
. paranoia and safe sex procedures
* a . replace lust with formality.
l Determined to become celibate, : Jeffrey attempts to channel his , energies into gym workout sessions
and is promptly picked up by pectoral ' Steve.
Stumbling from one experience to
' another, he’s knocked down by a car and comforted by Mother Teresa, berated by Sigourney Weaver’s wonderfully wicked post-modern evangelist, assaulted by a lecherous ' priest — the meaning of which seems ‘ totally lost on him. So too is the advice of his friends - Sterling (Star Trek: The Next Ceneration’s Patrick Stewart in a nice against-type camp role) and his partner Darius, who implores Jeffrey to give in to the
v safety of a relationship. It takes one
more tragic death to make Jeffrey
COMEDY DRAMA _
hard for hoth or them is amhitious. dogged lawyer .\l:1ryheth (‘ogan
\\'e'\e heen here :1 hundred times. hut
w hat makes this story of corruption in
high places so watchahle is Becket"s
control over the material. hacked up hy :1 script that refuses to settle for simplistic. hlack-aml-white morality. A flamboyant. media-age politician who dominates every traine. Pacino captures § .
perl‘ectly the conﬂict hetween calculated puhlic manipulation and personal idealism. A lesser actor than ('11sack would have heen hlown oll screen. hut as we watch Calhoun struggle towards a realisation of his hoss‘s t'allihility and his own naivety. he more than holds his own. The only dut't' note is the unlikely. not to say contrived romance hetw'een Calhoun and (‘ogarr (Nigel Floyd)
('ilr HUN 1 l5) t/lum/r/ Becker. /‘)‘)5. t '5') :l/ l’ur'iiio. .lu/m ('nxuek. Bridge l'itlti/(l. l)unny;lie/lu. /l/ mins. l’mm I'll l3. (it'ltr'l‘rt/ release.
realise he’s wasting his life - and offending others in the process — by cowering from HIV.
It’s difficult to identify with Jeffrey, if not his plight, because he is so dippy, a fact accentuated by the other stronger gay role models around him. But then he isn’t so much a character as an amalgam of AIDS era hang-ups, ready-made to raise the issues of the screenplay. There is a feeling that hearts are on sleeves too often.
This is not great cinema, more quality TV sitcom, eschewing cinematic style for moment-for- moment entertainment. That said, the film is spunky, punchy, witty and delights in shocks (particularly Jeffrey’s unwanted phone sex session with his parents). The resolutely upbeat pacing and tone — quite the
opposite of the dour Philadelphia— is as celebratory of life as the cast of
the film. (Miles Fielder)
Jeffrey (18) (Christopher Ashley, US, 1995) Steven Weber, Michael T. Weiss, Patrick Stewart. 94 mins. From Fri 12. General release.
City Hall: ‘Pacino dominates every frame'
h: ‘wonderfully atmospheric'
The highlight of the entire 1996 Puppet and Animation Festival must be the first Scottish screening of Daniel Simpson’s gothic nightmare h. Four years in the making, the film uses claymation figures and wonderfully atmospheric sets to tell the story of a stonemason who falls foul of the medieval Church authorities when he develops a strange stigma.
Central to the film, thematically and visually, is the object of our hero’s labours — a huge, menacing cathedral. Its dominating shadows capture the sense of superstition and persecution that weaves through the story, while capturing the audience’s eye with its meticulous detail (the stained glass scene took nine months to prepare).
Eleven other films join h in a stand- out programme, including KU Kid by Marc Caro (one half of the team behind Delicatessen). (Alan Morrison) h (15) (Daniel Simpson, UK, 1994) 27 mins (total programme 91 mins). Wed 10. Central: Macliobert Arts Centre.
Katharine Hepburn: An Independent Woman
l’romising ‘new photographs and original anecdotes provided by the stat' hersell". All Independent Woman tliloomshury £20) is a glossy trihutc to Katharine Ilephurn. perhaps the greatest living actress. Writer Ronald Ilergan has a wonderlnl grasp of the classic Hollywood era. hut his test is dominated hy :1 collection of heautiIuI stills. including some full page portraits from the golden age.
The westerns ol' the 90s have put the genre hack on the Hollywood map for the lirst time in two decades. hut ser1o11s criticism hasn‘t kept tip with new dewlopments. The Movie Book at The WBSIBI'II (Studio Vista £30) puts the situation right. I‘Idited hy Ian (’ameron and Douglas P} c. this series ol'critical some rather academic in tone for the casual reader. hut by no means unapproachahle - coy er racial. sesual and historical issues. while others provide close analyses or key figures ilohn Wayne. Budd Iloetticl1e1'1and films tl't'om (hie-lived lucky to Duel In The Sun to (.'Ii/ui‘gi1‘eli). :\ stimulating reevaluation ol a neglected. cmematically vital genre.
I’eter llairy Brown and I’at ll. Ilr'oeske's Howard Hughes tl.1ttle. Brown £21), hegms like :1 thriller. w till a hurglary at :1 stash ot secret files. It‘s :111 appropriate starting point tor a tale that spans Hollywood e\cess and Presidential downlalls. hillions of dollars and sex w lIlI the stars, The authors l'ollow' Ilugltcs ltotli childhood hypochondriac to111:1cl1oait'l11allto reclusive l'reak. concentrating on the more
salacious end oi Ills litestyle. With access to .tootuu) pages or recently unsealed court documents. you can he sure that there area few new tithits‘ here to make one of the strangest stot'les oi the Sllth century ey e11 more hi/aire. t:\l(ltl Morrison)
'l‘he l.i.st S-IX .-\pt' I‘)‘)() 23 i