Robinson In Space (PG) 81 mins 1 t— a: *
Anybody who saw Patrick Kerller's debut film London - an idiosyncratic, literary-cum-political guided tour of the capital ~ \.'.’ll| know exactly what to expect of this, his broadened-out follow-up With Paul Stofieltl as the genially low-key narrator and his never seen but ever informative companion Robinson, Keillei launches himself on a Daniel Defoe-style trip across the length and breadth of his country on a mis‘SIon to 'reseaich the problem of Enqlancl'
Heading off first to the appropriately named Reading, Keiller exhausts the place of its literary associations before
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Sign of the times: Robinson In Space
taking his camera to equally unlikely points of interest. Little that is not man-made is allowed to Intervene; Keiller's England ranges from factories to supermarkets to research plants, while favourite themes — Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing, Buckminster Fuller, Defoe himself — are explained in Scofield’s immensely cwrlised tones.
Although it carries an intimidatineg avant-garde reputation, Keiller’s work is, in fact, simplicity itself - pointing a camera and talking ~ and what emerges is an accessible, Informative and thoroughly entertaining example of the film essay in its most stripped— down form. (Andrew Pulver)
I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Mon 28 Apr—Thurs 7 May
And on that farm . . . : Rufus Sewell and Kate Beckinsale in Cold Comfort Farm
Cold Comfort Farm (PG) 98 mins ' a ..
Discerning i‘.’ riraniii tans ‘.'th already
hatc- ban" tire chince to see i‘.‘ialcolm
Bradburxs adaptation of Erie Stella Gibbons naive. twitt- ll) the comfort of thew maze hwnies Why a cinema release now, Into years (lot/n the line? Surer the influence of flu“ Dmne Corbett/s Neil Hallow-n, whose hit
‘Somethinri F-‘i.’ The ‘»\"ee'k-;ii‘.d' was inspired fi'.’ comedy—r
this larger-than-life isn't that great" No, but the approbation of the American audience
who first love our quaint English sense of humour ((‘ffri'llf‘,’ is (Vi/f." f'iirr; .‘Ji'! ’lillli nothing on It w in: welt, int xtill crimes it:t;i.i'. it if :ri'wcrxtz-nf fymr (ii/iri't
catch :1 in. '3‘. Kate Bet )tll‘i‘niit‘ is
simply marvellous, dahling, as the self- assured 1920s herome, 'Robert Poste’s child', Flora, who goes to live With her eccentric country bumpkin relatives, the Starkadders, after the death of her parents She goes not looking for charity, but for 'mess’ that she can SOrt out. The story follows her Systematic successes in organising their lives before flying off into the Sunset With her own life in meticuIOUs order too. The performances by the stellar cast — including Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, loanna Lumley and Rufus Sewell — are idiosyncratic but never overplayed, lending Just the right level of surrealism to the whole fun romp. Or, as Lumley's society lady would say, it's 'amusmg or diverting, but never "such fun" ' (Fiona Shepherdi a limited release from Fri 25 Apr.
new releases FILM
(PG) 117 mins *‘k‘k
As events in Rwanda and Zaire eclipse all other news from Africa, it is too easy to forget the strength of feeling and sheer passion with which peOple across the world supported the liberation struggle in South Africa. Mandela is a cinematic feast for anyone who espoused the cause, a testament to the leader and his life-long commitment.
Although slow-paced and lovingly shot, it is an informative documentary which skilfully blends archive and contemporary footage with interviews to tell of the life of a boy who was groomed to be advisor to the local king, but instead rose to be South Africa's first democratically elected president. Nelson Mandela — a loyal,
dignified and thoughtful leader — is.
worthy of our support and affection.
Yet, for all director Jo Menell's access to Mandela over the last four years, he has failed to reach inside the man. And, although such difficult topics as the ANC's
Son of Africa: Nelson Mandela
decision to resort to armed struggle are mentioned, it is hard to forget that this is an officially sanctioned film. Just as we are learning to Judge the new South Africa by her actions, so should Mandela's biographers be examining his life through lenses which are other than rose-tinted. (Thom Dibdin)
I Glasgow: GFF, Tue 29 Apr—Thurs I May. Edinburgh: Cameo, Fri Z/Sat 3 and Thurs 8 May. Available to buy on video (Manga f 73. 99) from Mon 28 Apr.
Return Of The Jedi
(PG) 132 mins *‘k‘k‘k Family relationships and plot loose ends
are neatly tied up in the final part of .
George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy, provrng that it is indeed a small universe.
The matinee-style action quota is high as ,5
Luke rescues Han and Leia from labba The Hutt, chases stormtroopers through a forest on an upmarket motorbike, and lends a hand as the forces of evil are vanquished at last. This is much more of a kids’ film than the others — as evinced in the cutesy Ewoks — but the final confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader has more emotional impact than anything else in the series. (Alan Morrison)
I General release from Fri 25 Apr.
dahba d: Carrie Fisher and Mr The Hutt
ALSO OPENING Eddie (12) 100 mins.
if Space Jam hasn’t satisfied your hunger for basketball movies, then here comes another helping in the shape of a Whoopi Goldberg comedy. She plays New York Knicks fan Edwina Franklin, who wins a competition to become honorary coach for a single game. When the team's flashy new owner Wild Bill Burgess (Frank Langella) senses that he might have been handed an easy ticket to free publicity, he hires 'Eddie' as permanent coach for the rest of the season.
Although it wasn’t pOSSible to renew the film before gomg to press, a glance at the rest of the synopsrs suggests a rigid predictability that’s uninventive even for a sports mowe. Underdog saves ailing team, star players learn the team spirit, sportsmanship wins the day over commercialism. Goldberg also seems to be playing little more than a mild variation on the sassy, loudmouth, fly-in-the-ointment role she made her own in Sister Act.
‘Easy-gomg, safe and stale’ said Empire; 'a slam-dunk of a movre' said The Sun. Take your pick. (Alan Morrison)
Knick of time: Whoopi Goldberg
l8Apr—l May 1997 THEUST21