FILM new releases

Playing around: Julie-Ann Gillitt and Richard Cherry in The Big Swap

The Big Swap

(18) 122 mins vs

Sleeprng wrth your best mate's bloke/brrd rs the ultrmate no-not But when rt rnvolves ten c‘onsentrng adults who’re lookrng for sorrrethrng to sprce up the encroac’hrng boredom of the marrtal boudorr, rt seems anythrng goes. Cue every fetrsh, hang-up and wet dream under the sun, as lrve thrrtysomethrng couples opt for one grant sex—fest.

Hangrng out Frr'ends-style, the post- prandral chat soon turns to sex as Ellen and Jack announce they've trred therr hand at partner-swapprng and suggest rt as the Ideal after drnner game, But after the frrst couple of sessrons as

Jealousy, obsessron and deep uncomfortable truths surface rt becomes clear that they've opened up a huge can of worms

The second frlrrr from Brrtrsh wrrter- producer-drrector Nrall Johnson, The Big Swap provrcles a self-conscrous serres of snapshots whrc h come on lrke your lrttle bruv tryrrrg to be shockrng A weak cast of unknowns farl to provrcle the trglrt ensemble regurred or engage us rn therr tedrous clorrrestrcs

A frlm that proves the rmpossrble that too much sex actually does get borrng, Ultrmately the whole thrng rs almost as nauseatrng as thrnkrng of your parents at rt (Clarre Prentrc'e) Selected release from Frr 72 Jun

Stiff Upper Lips (15) 94 mins

Gary Srnyor's spoof of Merchant Ivory herrtage frlrns sends Edwardran Englrsh rose Ernrly (Georgrna Cates) on a voyage of ernotronal drscovery 'I want my sexual awakenrng and I want rt now,‘ she pouts as she travels from genteel rural England to Italy and Indra, and into the arms of wc.>l|-endowed Lawrencran ork George (Sean Pertwee)

Startrng off wrth a send-up of the race round the guadrangle rn Charr'ots Of Fr're, Stiff Upper Lrps gets rnto rts strrde wrth swrpes at the E M Forster rrrovre canon, takrng partrCular arrrr at A Room Wrth A Merv, Howards End and A Passage To Indra Co-‘.‘/rrter an'l drrector SrnyOr's target rs the :-,-;,resscd emotrons of the upper-class Englrsh (as

28 THE LIST ll—ZS Jun 1998

Sticking the boot into Howards End: the cast of Stiff Upper Lips

rf l-orster hadn't already sle-n'rered them hrrnselfr, brrt rrr the~ heart-on- sleeve, postthana era, the satrre has lost rrruc h of rts ffrfl e

Grverr the sloppy use of stertwrtypes rrr hrs earlrer frlrns, (eon The Prg Farmer and So/rtarre For J, Sr'rytnr rs on safer ground atternptrrrg an out-arrd-c‘rut spool Hrs cast deadpan therr way rmpressrvely through the gurck- frre, Arrp/ane—style gags, but the rneanderrng narratrve rs lrttle rrrore than a ramshackle framework to support the tokes Strff Upper [,Ips‘ was left on the shelf for over a year by the dernrse of rts orrgrrral drstrrbutor, Rank, but srnce the heyday of the genre rt rs parodyrng was over a decade ago, the frrrn was already belated s'rhen rt was made (Jason Best)

as Selected release from Frr 72 Jun


(18) 116 mins w e as

Resplendent rn drag, Mrck Jagger rs lowered down from the cerlrng on a trapeze lt's a surtably decadent rmage wrth whrc‘h to establrsh the atmosphere of a Berlrn nrghtclub rn the 1930s. When we next see the Rolling Stone rn hrs small cameo role, he's rn a neat surt, rnsrstrng that he be called George, not Greta In order to survrve lphysrcally, rf not sprrrtuallyr rn New Germany, rt's rrnportant to hrde your true self beneath a less vulnerable drsgurse You must love yourself, not others.

The crnema versron of Martrn Sherman's play Bent, on the other hand, never drsowns rts theatrrcal roots Drrector Sean Mathras uses hrs sets expressrorrrstrcally, suggestrng an egurvalent mood rather than hrstorrcal realrsrn erewrse, the focus rs not on the masses that suffered under the Na/rs, but two rrren rn partrcular the flarrrboyant Max (Clrve Owen) and the guret, parned Horst (Lotharre Bluteau)

Max may at trrnes try to hrde hrs homosexualrty, even to the pornt of wearrng a Jewrsh yellow star rather than a gay's prnk trrangle, but Horst's love proves to he the rnsprratron that allows lrrrn to be true to hrmself Just as Max only opens up when Horst comes rnto hrs lrfe, so too does the frlnr frrch rts emotronal centre when Bluteau rs on screen (Alan lvlorrrsonl Ec/rnbtrrgh Fr/rnhorrse from Frr 79 jun

Clive Owen in Bent

RE-RELEASE Point Blank (18) 92 mins vs Thrs revenge thrrller marked the feature debut of John Boorman, the ac‘clarmed drrec‘tor of De/rvemnc‘e, The Emerald Forest and the recently released lrrslr drama, The General

Made m 1967, thrs classrc. stars Lee Marvrn as Walker, a man shot and left for dead by hrs partners rn crrrne - hrs best frrend (John Vernon) and wrfe (Sharon Acker) Comrng back to seek revenge, Walker re-enters the c‘rrtnrtral world he once knew After hookrng rrp wrth hrs srster-rn-law Chrrs r‘Angre Drc‘krnson), he proceeds to adopt every rntrrrrrdatrng tactrc‘ he knows rn order to reclarm hrs share of the sporls

Usrng a fragmented structure whrch ernphasrses the ftrtrlrty of revenge, Pornt Blank rs packed wrth grrpprng tensron and excirtrng twrsts Vrolent and thrnly scrrpted, rt works as an allegorrcal mum of contemporary socrety Tlrrrty years on, the frlm strll looks ultra-modern, desprte the thrrllrng and atmospherrc soundtrack, the sets, the costumes and the vrsual effects, whrc'h are all characterrstrc'ally from the 19603 It rs, however, these very features of style whrcjh make Boorman's Pornt Blank a refreshrng drverSron rn the world of 90s super-effrcrent cmernatrc specral effects (Beth erlrams) Edrnburgh Cameo from l-‘rr 19 jun

RE-RELEASE La Maman Et La Putain

Jean-Pierre Leaud, Bernadette Lafont and Francoise Lebrun in La Maman Et La Putain

Four hours long, thrs 1973 French frlm rs not one for those rrrclrrred to be frclgety m the crnerna audrtorrurn Nevertheless, rt rs a classrc frlrrr of rts trrrre, wlrrch portrays the fashronable Parrsran world of the 1970s

La Maman Et La Prrtarn tells the tale of Alexandre lJean-Prerre Leaudr, a young Parrsran who spends hrs summer rrrrllrng around the cafes and brstros of the French caprtal For Alexandre, women fall rnto two categorres tho 'rnother' and the 'whore' of the translated trtle ~ wrth two women rn partrcular (played by Bernadette Lafont and Francorse Lebrunr cornrng under these labels. As we observe lrrrn talkrng to people and agonrsrng over these grrls, we gradually becorrre rrnrnersed rrr the chrc, artrstrc; envrronrnent surroundrng hrrn

More atmospherrc than plot-drrven, La Maman Et La Prrtarn rs both melancholy and beautrful The strrcrde of rts drrector, Jean Eustac he, rn 1981 now grves rt an acldrtronally sau ‘irrlll Stylrshly lrlmed, one develops an enchantrng feel for the crty and the era You need patrence to srt out rts duratron, but rf you pace yourself for the strrrt, rt's certarnly worth rt (Beth erlrams) Glasgow Fr/rn Theatre from Tue 23 Thu 25 Jun. Edrrrburgh Frlrnhouse fro/n Mon 29 Jun Thu 2 /rr/