Phenomenon takes on all of those essentials of human existence — love. death. aloneness and community. This sounds like a heavy load. but this is a big-hearted. big-minded film lit up with cracking performances from every single one of its cast — a great B-list that includes Robert Duvall. Kyra Sedgwick and Forest Whitaker. Star John Travolta plays the lead with total commitment and honesty. as if the story comes from his heart.
One night. a rural mechanic is knocked off his feet by a violent white light and he suddenly becomes a super- achiever. it could be alien interference. but Phenomenon doesn't pitch for the
_ - . = ails... La negle flu .leu: “genuine film milestone’
unchanging vertties of human nature. endlessly capable ofcruelty and generosity.
Unfolding for the most part over a country house
LA REOLE DU JEU
Booed at its Paris
. 1 , , , _ mega-plot occupied by great night. He learns Portuguese in twenty ‘a big-hearted, premiere. blanned bfy the 33:03:12: :éltuplieclts a Hollywood blockbusters. Travolta’s minutes. But George becomes the town big-minded film lit 53:;hgelllgggllgisnggrand where ﬂamers and ‘ George Mally is a human hero. an. _ pariah and the FBI get on his case. As up with cracking only later restored to its servants ﬁnd romantic undemandrng. generous man who rs in the hero suffers. the film homes in on performances from original form in 1959‘ chaos unsettling their love wrth awoman livmg in self- ' its semi-religious belief that George ts every single one Renoir’s mm fully traditional roles. and imposed exile nearby. There’s nothing everyman: his superpowers and of its cast’
Renoir‘s mobile camera dovetails the respective crises in a strikingly acute mix of melodrama and comedy. tragedy and farce. Brilliant performances top it off. and the sheer adult intelligence of it all hasn‘t dated a hit. As Renoir remarks in mid-stream: ‘lt’s the times. everybody lies'. True now. true then. Masterpiece is hardly the word. (Trevor Johnston) La Regle Du Jeu (PG) (Jean Renoir. F rani'e, I939) Marcel Dalio. Nora Gregor, Roland Toutain.
I I 0 mins. Subtitles. Mon 2-Wed 4 Sept: Glasgow
F iltn Theatre. Fri I 3—Mon I 6 Sept: Edinburgh
deserves its reputation as one of the genuine film milestones - a product of cinema's first century that wouldn’t be embarrassed in the company of Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night is Dream or Mozart‘s The Marriage 0f Figaro.
Like those august classics. it's a study in the flimsy conventions that stand between society and chaos. However. Renoir's film is not only a portrait of 30s France's upper classes at their shallowest — dilettante-ish in romance. unthinkingly unfeeling in their casual anti-semitism and zest for hunting - it‘s also a wise reflection on the
extraordinary about him except his gentle integrity. And here lies the key to Phenomenon: George is the perfect person.
At first it seems that the light gives George his big break in life. Within the week. he‘s deciphering US military codes. predicting an earthquake and generally proving he‘s a genius. He stops sleeping and reads five books a
superheart are expressions of human potential. Maybe the spiritual core of Phenomenon will stick in the craw of some audiences. but when I saw it. the audience all left in tears. (Hannah Fries)
Phenomenon (PG) (Jon 'I‘urteltaul). US. I996) John 'I't'ai'olta. Robert Dui'all. Kyra Sedgwick. I 23 mins. From Fri 30. General release.
HORROR SEASON ORAOULA
long before they were resurrecting another horror icon. Count Dracula. Terence Fisher‘s Dracula (1958) set the tone for the best Hammer movies to come — lurid
films have started to attract praise as the first
great horror movies to use colour for thematic symbolism and gratuitous
Ripper and Twins Ovail — gives fans a chance to check out the real thing rather than the washed- out. pan-and-scan prints shown on television. (Alan Morrison)
Sat 3 I : Glasgow F ilnt Theatre.
as he was in Terminator 2, except this time he’s a lot more vulnerable to
they’ve Informed on. lle does this by ‘erasing’ them - faking their murders and giving them new identities. Arnle’s own identity is more problematic, though. Ills strong-but-gentle hero is so anodyne that he all but tucks up his
weapons company bosses are selling a
boss and former mentor; trying to cool things down is his boss, James
When Hammer burst onto shock value. This season [mum and I” 3 '3' h“ 0' a comm" . the scene in I957 with _ beginning with Dracula character. Sclmmmrtor plays 8 There are some 9on amps andOttags The Curse Of and including Vampire witness protection cop helping - a plane trying to hit lime in mid-air Frankenstein. it wasn't C ircus, Hands Of The snitch“ to disappear from those as he parachutes and an amusingly
gruesome scene in a reptile house. Old crocs Can and Cobum are wearing very well, and Arnie is endearing, but the storylines of his movies are wearing awfully thin. time the screenwriters rubbed out the formula
colour. charged sexual Dracula ( l8) (Terence charges with a teddy bear. and started over. (Gio MacDonald)
energy. more graphic F isher, UK. I958) III the "till, his latest witness Is a Eraser (18) (charles Russell, ”8, 1996)
bloodshed. C hrismnher Lee. Peter young woman (singer Vanessa Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Bean, Reviled at the time. the C ushing. 82 mitts. Front w'mm) who “scout; that h" yams“ Williams, 13001108. From Fr]
23. General release.
hi-tech rifle to the Russian mafia. ‘Amie’s strong-but-
ACTION ' Naturally, the us government is gentle hero is so
, ERASEB ' ‘ involved too, and pretty soon Arnie anodyne that he all
. i... and Vanessa are being shot at by just but tucks up his Ductile: ‘chamﬂl mm Gnom' this summer’s shoot-’om-up sees about everyone. Stirring things up is charges with a Arnie back in supennlnder mode, much the formidable James Caan, Arnie’s teddy bear’
78 The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996