Straight from the horse's mouth: Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer
The Sundance Kid himself, ROBERT REDFORD saddles up again for The Horse Whisperer.
Although he has directed four impressively contrasting movies, drawing critical praise for each, Robert Redford has never before directed himself on screen. Not until The Horse Whisperer, his eagerly awaited take on British author Nicholas Evans's best-selling novel, which became a publishing phenomenon when a bidding war started before the book was even finished.
Redford has proved himself a man of principle in the film industry, establishing a haven for independent filmmakers with his non-profit making Sundance Institute in Utah, only to see it swamped in recent years by slavering Hollywood studio executives.
He clearly has no time for the politics of a business which he happily turns his back on between projects, but is canny enough to understand certain grim realities. And at least the blinkered approach necessary for any actor-director working on a big budget movie would have been an essential distraction from it all for
the sandy haired, impossibly handsome 60-year-old. Even so, acting and directing broke new ground.
’The reason I'd never done it before was that I didn't much like the relationship between the two jobs,’ he explains. 'As a director, I've always enjoyed the peace of mind of being behind a camera, and looking at a set and a situation in a different way than I do as an actor. But as an actor, I felt my responsibility was to inhabit the space I was in, not occupying myself with the technical details that a director is pre-occupied with. Here I felt so comfortable in the role that all that was no problem.’
Indeed, he confesses that the character he plays - Tom Booker, the 'horse whisperer' of the title - probably helped his work behind the camera. ‘I think that's what directing is,’ Redford smiles. ‘I've seen directors whisper in the ears of actors before — I haven’t seen any get kicked, mind you - but there is a connection between the two jobs. Some older directors used to work in a much more combative and tough way, but I believe in working with actors pretty much the way Tom works with the horse — with patience and understanding.’ (Anwar Brett) it: The Horse Whisperer, ABC, Wed 79, 8pm, £6.50 (£4).
Bring on the world: Philippe Nahon in Seul Contre Tous
while searching for his mentally disturbed daughter. Venom against the world around him spews out in a ranting monologue.
‘He’s a man who has been put on the rubbish heap and who feels totally redundant," says Film Festival Director Lizzie Francke. 'The character says his family were killed in the Holocaust, yet he lashes out at immigrants. It’s about someone so far down the line that they Will perpetuate what has destroyed their own family.’
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Seul Contre Tous
When France's iiiulti-ethnir football team won the World Cup this Summer, there was a sigh of relief in a country where social and racial tensions are at a peak That the party mood is likely to be short-lived :s inditated in Gaspar NOe's feature debut, Seu/ Contre Tous.
The film uniquely captures both the Current malaise and that of France during the rise of right-Wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 80s. It is harrowrng in a way that only serious cinema, not content wrth mere shock value, can be.
Picking up directly where Noe's award-Winning short Carne left off, Seu/ Contre Tous follows a former horse meat butcher (Philippe Nahon), as he heats up his pregnant girlfriend and indulges in pornographic fantaSies
Seu/ Contre Tous will certainly have its detractors, but Francke is adamant that its role is not merely to create controversy. 'I find it a touching, ultimately movrng film,’ she admits. 'At the end we don’t sympathise With what the character does, but we do sympathise with him as a human being.’ (Alan Morrison)
ﬂ Seu/ Contre Tous, Fi/mhouse 7, Wed 79, 9.30pm, £6.50 (£4); Fi/mhouse 7. Thu 27, 9.30pm, £6.50 (£4). Came, Fi/mhouse 2, Mon 77, 7pm, £6.50 (£4).
Week’sigolden moments on the silver screen.
Velvet Goldmine Behind the glittering surface of the glam rock ei'a lies a sexual revolution in Todd Haynes’ exuberant tale of a rock god's disappearance. See revrew on following pages. Velvet Goldmine, Odeon, Sun 76, 70pm, £6.50 (£4). Orphans Peter Mullan, fresh from winning the Best Actor award at Cannes, makes his debut as feature director With a blackly comic tale of families and funerals. See review on following pages. Orphans, Fi/rrihouse 7, Mon 77, 7pm, Glasgow Film Theatre, Tue 78, 8pm, £6 50 (£4)
Pi Number theory, cabalist conspiracy, capitalist greed and mental breakdown conspire in a film that reinvents the term 'science fiction’. See review on followrng pages. Pi, Cameo 7, Mon 77, 8pm, £6.50 (£4).
Alan Clarke Retrospective Although the late director's no-compromise work was prinCIpally made for televrsion, his influence on British Cinema is immense. Diane, Fi/rrihouse 3, Wed 79, 72.30pm, Made In Britain, Fi/mhouse 7, Wed 79, 4.30pm, Baal, Fi/mhouse 3, Wed 79, 9pm, Scum, Fi/rnhouse 7, Thu 20, noon, £4.50 ([3).
Kuhle Wampe Bertolt Brecht wrote and was actively involved in the production of this story of a former holiday camp now servrng as home to Berlin's dispossessed. Kuh/e Wampe, Fi/mhouse 7, Thu 20, 2pm, £4.50 (£3).
Seul Contre Tous A brutal and disturbing portrait of one man's howl against contemporary French sooety. See Gaspar Noe prevrew, left. Seu/ Contre Tous, Fi/mhouse 7, Wed 79, 9.30pm, £6.50 (£4).
Christine Vachon The producer of Velvet Goldmine, a key figure in American independent Cinema, discusses her work, which includes Kids and Swoon. Christine Vachon Scene By Scene, Fi/mhouse 7, Wed 79, 2.30pm, £9.50 (£4).
13—20 Aug 1998 THE usr 73