Hair care: David O'Hara. Robin Laing and Russell Barr in The Slab Boys

The Slab Boys

(15) 98 mins 4r it

Before Small Faces was a twinkle in Gillies lvlackinnon’s eye, John Byrne's plays The Slab Boys and Cuttin’ A Rug had captured the public Imagination with their semi-autobiographical vision of urban lads dreaming about making it to art school and from there to a better life. Now Byrne has

amalgamated the plays into the one

screenplay but, despite its wonderful

' stylised look, this film ver5ion Just

doesn‘t grab you the same as hilackiiinon’s rites-of-passage drama. Phil, Spanky and Hector are the slab boys, grinding the colours in a Paisley carpet factory They yearn respectively

new releases FILM

for a place at art school, a cheap passage to America - en route to rock 'n' roll stardom and the opportunity to take a girl to the forthcoming staff dance. Lucille, the boss’s bolshy daughter, features in all their fantasies. The success of the film depends on the chemistry between the three leads, but with Russell Barr (Spanky) and Bill Gardiner (Hector) overacting to the back stalls, the banter doesn't get the sharp delivery it needs. Robin Laing’s understated turn as Phil is the exception, and his performance, the magnificent sets and the refusal to tie up the ends in a neat parcel save the feature from being too much of a disappointment. (Fiona Shepherd)

I Selected release from Fri 29 Aug.

Swinging time: Lionel Newton and Michele Burgers in Jump The Gun

Jump The Gun (15) 126 mins Ar "- A ,‘i:-:--',f-life comedy set in post- aiilirfl‘ed Johannesburg, jump The Gun as quite a departure from its bloody predecessors Episodic, low- iJiidrwt and a tad sainey, it comes from irriprovisational British director Les Blair 'Bad 8('ll<72’l()(lfl, and follows five

: ixiorlzing-class people whose paths

cross in JJ’s «Danny Keogh) easy-gomg bar C.l-':<;

sparkie Clinton (Lionel

' Neizitom has a fling With manic-not-so-

depressive Minnie (Michele Burgers), not realising she is a sex worker Gugu Baby Celei wants to be a singer, and beds first Thabo {Rapulana Seiphemo),

who runs a band, then 200 (Thulani

\iiywribe,’ who runs guns.

That Old Feeling

(12) 105 mins ***

As predictable comedies go, That Old Feeling has plenty of spirit and some pleasingly snide one-liners to recommend it for an evening of aimless, brainless entertainment. It's surprising in some ways that the premise hasn’t been more widely used - a once-married couple dissolve into violent conflict every time they have to share a room, only to realise this aggression masks an even more primal urge.

Bette Midler and Dennis Farina are the happily divorced couple she a fading movie star battling ballooning weight, he a crime writer sensitive about his hair transplant both grudgingly reunited for

Bette Midler in That Old Feeling

their daughter's wedding to a blue chip snob. As their fiery anger re-ignites the embers of their paSSion, the blushing bride, groom, their dippy respective partners and a grubbily handsome paparazzo Spring into action, trying to track

down the errant parents.

Guessmg what happens from here will not keep anyone over the age of four occupied for too long, as this is a one-note comedy with splashes of vitriol among the saccharine. Seasoned performer Midler and the oft-used but frequently underrated Farina are in their element, and manage to ensure that That Old Feeling is as enjoyable as it is familiar. (Anwar Brett)

I General release from Fri 5 Sep.

RE-RELEASE Pink Flamingos (18) 106 mins *t‘k

Can it really be 25 years since John Waters launched this, the Citizen Kane of bad taste films, upon an unsuspecting world? Those hoping that, a quarter of a century on from its initial release, the uncut film might at last slip onto British screens Will be disappointed to all extents and purposes, this is the UK censored verSion once again, albeit in a new, better quality print and with a message from

Waters added at the end.

Divine plays white trash matriarch Babs,

proud of being dubbed the 'Filthiest

Person Alive’ in the local newspaper. She has competition, however, in Connie and Raymond Marble, a couple who sell babies to lesbians in order to finance a

child heroin ring.

Waters goes all out to offend every member of the audience, but there is an unescapable humour to his shock tactics. The problem is that the legendary sequences aren't intact the chicken killed between the copulating bodies, the fellatio scene, Divme dining on dog shit (although this is suggested by freeze frames). So rather than celebrating Waters’s midnight classic, it becomes another victory for the censorship brigade. (Alan Morrison)

I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Mon 8—Wed 70 Sep.

Zoo turns out to be both Jealous and vengeful but, even in this Jumble of race, argot, music and bullets, Blair prefers peOple to plots, and the climax is qUite low-key. The humour can be i very direct too, With a somewhat i displaced Clinton still cracking racist Jokes and telling Gugu that he’s never spoken to a black woman before, except to say 'make me a coffee’ or i worse. He finds he likes their chat, l


Because it sidelines both drama and political correctness, lump The Gun i may not please all tastes, but it’s an i amusing and insightful View of a South Africa which is ’becoming African’. g (Gio MacDonald) i I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 29 Aug. Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 5 .

Sep. See preview.

Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

(tbc) 70 mins * *

Isaac Julien has sensibly kept a low profile since the debacle that was Young Soul Rebels. This high-brow documentary evocation of the life and ideas of a premier black intellectual of the 1950s and 19605, seems much more likely territory for him to be inhabiting.

Fanon, a Martinique-born psychiatrist who penned critiques of colonialism like the eponymous Black Skin White Mask and The Wretched Of The Earth, was radicalised after studying in Paris and

3 working in an Algerian asylum before and

during the uprismg dOCUmented in Pontecorvo’s recently re-released The

«is ,J _

Colin Salmon in Frantz Fanon

Battle Of Algiers (see reView). Comparison With this film, however, does Julien no favours: Pontecorvo's seamless naturalism is eminently more watchable than Julien’s mannered reconstructions filled with lubricious shots of men in suits. Despite this documentary breathlessly introducing one talking head after another as a ’cultural critic', Fanon's story manages to emerge. A genuinely interesting figure, and one that the filmmakers were right to draw our attention to, Fanon's undoubted commitment to his ideas and the mass of contradictions he represented ought not to be confined to the dusty backwater of academic

study. (Andrew Pulver) I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Fri 5—Sun 7 Sep.

29 Aug—ll Sep i997 THE LIST 25