independently produced works.


IF ANYONE WAS still unsure that the l car is seen as a bad thing in this day i and age, the Government must have finally put those people straight with new radical plans. In the future, you may have to pay a punitive fee just get into cities in your motor. This may soon be followed by taxes on parking and lanes set aside for buses. Yet, despite the obvious advantages - such as fewer car adverts the main criticism is that the policy is regarded as a Poll Tax-esque attack on Scotland, based on the fact that it may be introduced first in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, there's news that the Scottish capital is being used in a new version of Monopoly, with desirable properties including Haymarket, Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Given the state of play above, it would be just as well to combine ‘Free Parking' with ‘Go To Jail'.

THE LIVE CAMERA phenomenon currently causing tailbacks on the

l Scottish talent stro

The Scottish film industry will be out in force at the 52nd Edinburgh International Film Festival, with talent on ‘, I both sides of the camera rubbing shoulders with the best of the world. Meanwhile, a new ‘Focus On British " Cinema' strand and British Performance Award both sponsored by independent distribution and production company Pathé - aim to highlight work from the UK as a whole at a time when the British film industry is enjoying a resurgence here and abroad.

Scotland grabs the audiences' attention on the opening . night as Ewan McGregor stars in glam rock movie Velvet Goldmine. Other Scottish actors on show include Kevin McKidd (of Small Faces fame) in Bedrooms And Hallways I and Trainspotting's Kelly Macdonald appearing 1 " alongside Jessica Lange and Bob Hoskins in Cousin Bette.

Edinburgh-born Rebecca Pidgeon stars in husband David Mamet's thriller The Spanish Prisoner, while Tilda Swinton appears in Francis Bacon biography Love Is The

Actor Peter Mullan makes his debut as feature director with Orphans, a tragi-comic account of a family coming to terms with the death of its mother. Glasgow is also depicted in Genevieve Jolliffe's chilling Urban Ghost Story, while Edinburgh gets a look in with the world premiere of the Irvine Welsh scripted Acid House Trilogy.

Short films, seen by many as the backbone of the Scottish film industry, are again well represented. The l latest crop from the Tartan Shorts and Prime Cuts g schemes will be screened, along with a collection of

At a time when the Cool Britannia bandwagon is slowing down, the introduction of a Focus On British Cinema section and British Performance Award can be seen as a shot in the arm for both the British industry and a festival which has consistently supported its

'We'd like to bring attention to the best British films of

a given year and encourage debate about what exactly a British film is,’ says Elizabeth Draper, Deputy Managing

And finally. . . Internet Providers pull out of live oyber-sex show

Information Superhighway looked

28 THE UST 23 Jul (iAug I998


ng t Filni Festival

Scotland on screen: Gary Lewis in Peter Mullan's Orphans

Director of Pathé, sponsor of the Focus and Award. ’Everyone is talking of a boom in British production, so perhaps it’s time to evaluate as well as celebrate.’

Pathé, whose recent move into production includes Scottish director Lynne Ramsay's feature The Ratcatcher, has given financial support to Edinburgh at a time when no major funding has been forthcoming from central

'We chose Edinburgh because the festival is culturally very interesting, and I agree with how it sets its priorities,’ says Draper. ’lt’s a festival that shows world

cinema and makes discoveries, and so it provides an

., a :1. . ' I h

u. I, /



set to reach its logical conclusion - two American teenagers who pledged to lose their virginity live on the Net. That is, until the puritan Service Provider pulled out of the whole voyeur-tastic affair. No doubt, the horny teens will proceed with the cherry-popping in the back of a

important service to the film industry.’ (Alan Morrison) The 52nd Edinburgh International Film Festival opens on Sun 76 Aug and information is available on 0 731 229 2550.

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Runrig: drop in Gael forces car somewhere, but it would seem that millions of panting surfers must face up to coitus interruptus in cyberspace.

A SECRET WEAPON in the Labour fightback in Scotland comes in the shapely form of former STV

Book launch highlights plight

Booker Prize Winner James Kelman is set to take part in two unique events this weekend to highlight the plight of a Turkish writer jailed for expressmg 'the freedom to think'.

Whilst ostensiny launching his new book The Good Times, Kelman has invited other writers and musmans to take part in honour of Ismail BesikCi, who was sentenced to more than 70 years imprisonment by the Turkish authorities, and has spent the last twelve behind bars All 33 of Besikci's publications, which explore Kurdish identity and advocate self- determination, are banned as 'thought crimes?

Gordon Legge, Sandy Craigie and Aonghas lvlacneacail join Kelman at Edinburgh's McDonald Road Library on Saturday 25 July, while the followmg day's line-up at Glasgow’s Arches Theatre is headed by Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard and Bernard MacLaverty Kurdish musman Newroz and the Sativa Drummers take part in both events, as Will Besiko’s publisher Unsal Ozturk.

'Ozttirk himself has been branded a thought cnminal,’ says Kelman, 'and is currently awaiting trial. Turkey is the most dangerous country in the world to be a writer, which is why it's SO important to show solidarity in this way' (Neil Cooper)

newsgirl, Lorraine Davidson, Donald Dewar's newly appointed spin doctor. Inspired to join the socialist cause after seeing the SNP leader in a tartan hat, Davidson claims that ’Alex Salmond is a one-man-band'. The thought of the chubby face of nationalism playing the cymbals with his knees is enough to make anyone vote Dewar for First Minister.

WHILE LABOUR HAVE been criticised

for betraying their past, one of the most traditional of Scottish combos are risking the loss of their fanbase. Since the departure of their frontman Donnie Munro, dear old Runrig have been on the look-out for a new singer to lead them into the next century. And, shock horror, they have come up with a non- Gaelic speaking Canadian former miner in the form of Bruce Guthro. Why, next thing we know, a tartanised super-Scot pop star like Rod Stewart will be talking with an English accent . . .

(Brian Donaldson)