DEGREE SHOW Edinburgh College of Art
Seen at Edinburgh Filmhouse, Wed 17 Jun.
With musings on life, death, mortality and morality, and with ample doses of humour chucked in to lighten proceedings, 1998’s crop of ECA graduates strike a good balance between art and entertainment. The short dramas and animation are a mixed bag, but there are some wee gems nestling among the more experimental, often technique- overloaded pieces.
Particularly impressive, and vaguely reminiscent of Mike Leigh in approach, Martin Radich’s In Memory Of Dorothy Dunnet magnifies life's trivia, providing a darkly humorous study of the mutual dependency of father and son after the death of the woman in their life.
Definitely a name to look out for, Ewan Taylor's The Case Of William B - in which the underlying theme is age — is an equally bleak and humorous piece inspired by the writings of neurologist Oliver Sacks. Here we see an old clockmaker who, after developing a bizarre brain condition, is convinced the world is speeding up when in fact his body is gradually grinding to a halt.
A young boy and his dog attempt to rescue their lost football in A Tall Tale, Lisa Thomson’s whimsical yarn, while in You And No Other Neil Jackson presents an artist consumed by lost love.
On the animation front, the diverse offerings are of a high standard, displaying mastery of a broad range of styles and techniques. Sharon Smith puts our television age under the spotlight in The Game Show, which humorously explores the lack of communication between an ageing couple of couch potatoes.
Through the round window: The Case Of William 8 by Ewan Taylor
A topical look at a bloke who‘s made a hobby out of road rage is provided in Andrew Brown's The Life And Times Of Prof Asperger, as a hypocritical moral crusader attempts to justify his own circumstances while repeatedly scolding others; elsewhere, beach rage comes to the fore in Paul Coombs' witty Jaws. Also worth noting is Chapter XII, in which Paul Sorensen provides his own version of a scene from Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote, in which the love-lorn hero's mates try to snap him out of his obsession.
As with any lucky bag scenario, there's the odd orange creme type disappointment, but all-in-all this year's show offers an exciting diversity of hot young bloods. (Claire Prentice)
Sea of love: John Hurt and Jason Priestley in Love And Death 0n Long Island
favour of Sugar and Shout for any info on his object of desire. Eventually, he tracks him down in Long Island to offer him a new, cultured way of life — or maybe simply to bugger the liVing daylights out of him. Either way, a somewhat ineVitable conclusion awaits.
Death In Venice is the obVious reference pornt, With Hurt as Dirk Bogarde's Iovelorn Mahlerian composer (With a marginally less tortured disposition) and Priestley as Bjorn Andresen — With Reeboks and Levis
. replacmg the little sailor boy outfit. Yet it is hard to av0id seeing De'Ath's
‘ blinkered existence as a 90s version of
Crocodile Dundee. While the first hall’s portrayal of irrational and uncontrollable obsession and desire is well-laid out, the moment the two meet each other, it all gets too, too
Love And Death On Long Island (15) 93 mins 9: as a
It all begins With a simple slip-up. Widower writer Giles De'Ath (John Hurt) is your average 20th century anachronism whose world is the antiquated bookshop and penned letters, With no concept of teletext subtitles or microwaves. He decides that he should at least give acclimatising a go, stumbling into 3
Cinema under the false impression that an EM. Forster adaptation is that afternoon's entertainment ~ not Hotpants College H, as it turns out to be. As he is about to leave, De’Ath catches a glimpse of its teen star, Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestley), and becomes smitten by his pre-Raphaelite pose, slumped across a burger-bar counter.
From there, De'Ath's obsession consumes him to the pomt that he puts down Shakespeare and Shelley in
Still, perhaps Priestley should be congratulated for allowing himself to be cast as a teen-idol buffoon, almost in the same way Kathleen Turner sent up her femme fatale image in The Man With Two Brains. Yet, it’s hard to argue With Hurt’s character who, at the one hour mark, stares into the mirror and declares — 'dear God, this is ridiculous.' (Brian Donaldson)
a Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 3 Jul.
new releases FILM
Grease (PG) 110 mins at at 1k ‘k at:
Twenty years ago, the boys had Star Wars and the girls didn't care, because they had Grease Sandy and Danny meant as much as Luke and Leia and there were song and dance routines to perform in the playground, rather than conceptual clashes between Jedi knights and the Empire using inViSible light sabres.
The colourful gOings-on at Rydell High, particularly the Wil|-they-won't- they romance of square out-of—towner Sandy and tough guy Danny, is the stuff of (laSSlC movre escapism. In addition to a plot which groans With frustrated passion, bristles wrth gang tensions and sWings With teen verve, the songs were the soundtrack for a generation. The 50s setting is vibrantly iealised, the pace is bitchin’ and everyone could find a character to aspire to (personal favourite: Marti, for her exquisitely sculpted hairdo). What more c0u|d you want from the mowes?
Highlights? The 'adult' cameos, Franki Avalon and his beauty school angels, ’Summer Nights’ (a—wella-wella-wella- oooh! l), the godlike title track and the fact that no one questions why the Virginal Sandy looks about 35.
Twenty years on, Grease is still the word, and still the way we are feeling. (Fiona Shepherd)
a General release from Fri 3 Jul.
RE-RELEASE The Little Mermaid
(U) 82 mins ** a it
Disney’s ailing fortunes qurckly reversed when this delightful animated feature first came out in 1989. For the first time since Sleeping Beauty, the studio looked to a well-known fairy tale (by Hans Christian Andersen) for inspiration and found universal appeal in the story of the mermaid Ariel's love for handsome Prince Eric.
Add in some Oscar-Winning songs —‘ who can resist the calypso beat of 'Under The Sea'? —‘ a collection of huinanised animal sidekicks and some colourful set-pieces, and the pattern was set for future blockbusters like The Lion King and Aladdin, Kids who have only come to know The Little Mermaid On Video should delight in the big screen experience, complete With electronically cleaned-up colours and digital sound. (Alan Morrison)
8 General release from Fri 26 Jun
The Little Mermaid: Ariel washes cleaner
STAR RATINGS it * w * it Unmissable * tr ii * Very 00d ii i: it Wort a shot w * Below average * You've been warned
ZS Jun-9 Jul 1998 THE U3T29