I Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge: In the past few years, filmmakers of the future have found a gateway to the industry in this annual project. which offers six winning scriptwriters the opportunity to work with a professional production company and turn their work into short films for television.
The ‘lnsider's Guide To Film And Television'. a roadshow event organised by the Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge in association with the National Film and Television School. answers many of the questions posed by young people eager to try out a career in the film business but unsure how to proceed. During two sessions at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Monday 1 1 November (at 10.30am and 2pm). industry professionals will offer advice on how to make a TV programme and how a production team really operates. To reserve a place. ring the GFT on 0141 332 8128. To get an entry form for the 1996/97 Film Challenge. call the competition hotline on 0345 555300.
I Centenary Plaques: The latest commemorative plaque to be unveiled as part of the Scottish Film Council‘s
celebrations of the centenary of cinema put Rothesay on the film map. Lord Attenborough travelled to the Isle of
B ute to officially recognise the pioneering work of father and son team James Gillespie Senior and Junior. The elder Gillespie ran the town‘s Palace Cinema. while his son worked in educational film. commissioned by the City of Glasgow to make documentaries around the world for Glasgow schoolchildren.
I Affairs To Remember: This Christmas. BBCZ’s television movies will have a romantic leaning — Love Story. Dr Z/lit'ago. BriefEmromtler and Walt’l'lrm Bridge are part of a celebration of screen passion. The makers of a documentary accompanying the season are looking for people whose real lives have a touch of movie magic. Perhaps a cinema date at a romantic classic brought long-term love that mirrored the smooching on screen. or maybe the story of a particular film changed your life in some way. Anyone with a tale of cinematic love to tell and who wouldn't mind being interviewed in the documentary should write about their experiences to Aﬂiiirs 'li) It’emember. BBC. PO Box 1 1348. London W12 6XF.
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Gangsters, French surrealists and the 6er Shopping Centre are odd bedfellows in Martin Morrison’s Arch Enemy, the former Napier University student’s graduation film. It may have taken a year to get the work to a completed stage, but the result is well worth the wait, as it proves to be one of the most imaginative shorts to come out of Scotland this year.
In a Parisian cafe, a group of surrealists plan to erect an archway to another dimension, but their efforts are hindered by the escape from prison of suave crook Jean, whose old flame Julie is currently hanging out with the artists. Atmospherically shot by Iain Riddick in moody black and white, the film transforms the cobbled streets of leith into the European noir territory of The Third Man. But that’s before a neat cinematic trick throws the characters (and the audience) into the confusion of the present day.
‘If you play it straight, then comedy will arise from the situation,’ reckons Morrison. ‘With the surrealist
Arch Enemy: bizarre nolr
dialogue, we went the whole length to find something that would be bizarre, but I also wanted to send up the way society is today by heightening certain things that I find surreal. For instance, the shopping mall is this huge temple to commerce and, within it, 1 look at elements on their own, isolate them, and they become surreal in the context.’
Morrison’s first movie, The Kettle People, was an amusing druggy comedy that was shown on television as part of Channel 4’s Pot Night special. This latest film is funnier and far more assured, spoofing the gangster genre and arty pretentiousness in equal measure. Arch Enemy is yet another example of how work by young Scottish-based filmmakers has jumped in quality in recent years.
‘If you look at people’s films from a couple of years ago, you could pigeonhole them as student works,’ Morrison agrees. ‘llow they’re onto maybe their third film, and you can see the leap. It’s not just technical polish, you start making films that have humour and characters that grow from the story.’ (Alan Morrison)
I Underground (15) From its opening title sequence. with a brass band accompanying two black marketeers in a rotnp through the night. Kusturica‘s Palme D'Or winner is an allegorical parallel history of Yugoslavia from World War 11 through the Communist regime to war in the 90s. Forget the director's Serbian leanings and enjoy a celebration of survival. of friendship and betrayal. of manipulation on personal and political levels. A tragi-comic epic about a spirit that refuses to be crushed no matter what regime stamps authority on the ground. (Artificial Eye; also retail £15.99)
I flick Of Time (15) Barely seen in London and not seen on the big screen at all up here. the concept of this thriller promised much: a meek man is forced to commit a political assassination by the devious psycho who kidnaps his daughter. but tries instead to turn the tables on his tormentor. To add to the spice. the film plays in real time. so that we feel the seconds ticking away along with our hero. Johnny Depp‘s stab at mainstream credibility didn't pay off. however. although this is still above average video thriller material. And who can resist Christopher Walken in bad guy mode again? (ClC)
I Dead Man Walking ( l5) Where other films would have slipped into tearfully manipulative sentimentality. Tim Robbins's story of a nun's relationship with a Death Row killer rises to a rare level where emotion and intellectual debate combine to powerful effect. The acting by Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn is career best. but surprisingly it's Robbins‘s direction that is most impressive: different arguments and viewpoints are presented in a crisp. unpoliticised manner that lets the viewers make up their own minds about their stance on guilt. justice and capital
Also out: Austen fever continues with Sense And Sensiblllty
Also out: go radge wlth the Tralnspottlng crew In fullscreen
and wldescreen (£15.99 each) blnges.
punishment. Flawless. (PolyGram)
I Broken Arrow (l5) John Woo's actioner is video perfection. His second Hollywood effort is a keep-‘em-rolling adventure with Christian Slater taking on John Travolta in order to get back a stolen nuclear missile. The director adds a mythic note to both goodies and baddies (but particularly the wonderful Travolta's cool villain). playing on the male heroes‘ conflicting senses of bonding and competition. (Fox Guild) I Girl 6 (18) Spike Lee lightens up after a few heavier pieces with this comic tale of a struggling actress who becomes a phone sex operator in order to make ends meet. Theresa Randle as the central character gives more cohesion to the movie than Lee as director can manage: she’s sexy and strong. while Lee's efforts are messy and confused. An unfortunately sloppy sense of storytelling undermines the potential humour with patches of sheer boredom. (Fox Guild)
I Safe (15) Todd Haynes's depiction of a woman allergic to the world around her is one of the most chilling films of the 90s. a mood reinforced by the clinical detachment of the long shots which make up most of the movie. Julianne Moore is excellent as she unravels her non-entity of a character. winning sympathy for a fragile rich bitch. Things we take for granted — perms. aerosols. car exhausts - become everyday nightmares that neither medical science nor alternative therapies
In fullscreen (£14.99) wldescreen (£15.99) and box set (£49.99 with CD soundtrack, book and photos) formats.
can cure. Your vieWpoint on the modern world will never be the same again. (Tartan £15.99)
I Eddie luard: Definite Article (15) Last issue's cover star on stage in London’s West End offers a bizarre flipside to everyday observation. The setting may be the heart of variety-style theatreland. but lzzard‘s style is on a more literate level (check out the giant book as backdrop). as the audience surrenders itself to his logical mystery tour. As a raconteur. the comedian holds the attention well. but half the fun is surprise at the jump cuts in his stories. so perhaps repeated viewings will lose some appeal. (Vision Video £14.99)
I Superfly label It's always a pleasure when a new label. launches to fill a gap in the cult market. so it’s big. floppy fedora hats off to Superny for, bringing us gems from the neglected blaxploitation arena. First up is Jackson with Jeanne Bell in hot, ass-kicking mode as she tracks down her missing brother in Hong Kong. Also released this month is Savage (18). with Jim Haywood leading a rebel army against a fascist state’s military police. Big hair. wild clothes. sex and violence with emphasis on top entertainment and a new style of hero. Keep them coming. (Superﬂy £12.99 each)
I The X-Flles Series flue (15) Christmas looms. so it's time for video box sets to start appearing as ‘the ideal gift‘. Not the cheapest of Santa’s sack- ftllers perhaps. but this is a conspiracy theorist and completist‘s dream — every episode from the highly acclaimed and spookin popular TV series. packaged with exclusive interviews with creator Chris Carter. Produced as a strictly limited edition. it’s bound to sell out in no time. so get down to your store on 4 November. On the same day. fans can also buy Master Plan (IS). the conclusion to the final episode of Series Three, which won’t be broadcast on Sky for another four months (nearly a year before it will appear on the BBC). (Fox)
The List 1-14 Nov 1996 33