Whit Stillman Director of The Last Days Of Disco

It's that musical no man's land between Saturday Night Fever and The Wedding Singer. The world has turned the corner into the 805 and the boogie nights are drawing in.

In The Last Days Of Disco, two Hampshire College I graduates - Alice (Chloe Sevigny) and Charlotte (Kate Beckinsale) - work as assistants in a publishing house. After dreary days in the office, they live it up at a popular dance club, getting to know a group of older guys, ignoring the fact that the sparkle of the glitterball is beginning to fade.

It's here that American writer-director Whit Stillman sets his third - and, he says, final 'Doomed Bourgeois In Love' movie, following Metropolitan and Barcelona. Although the club in the film is never identified, Stillman himself was familiar with the New York venues of the period.

'There was a lot of exaggeration about what the clubs were like at the time, and even more in retrospect,’ he says. 'I first went to Studio 54 in the spring of 1978, dragged by a girlfriend, fairly terrified of both not getting in or what we might find if we did. We should remember they had to let in a lot of people to fill up that space, and the boring preppie element was heavily represented in both the gay and non-gay crowds.

Latin American Film

Film Theatre is sure to dismiss the wet Summer blues as the ninth Latin

Blame it on the boogie: Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in The Last Days Of Disco

'The published photos tend to show gold and silver people, Nubian guards and exotics, as in the background of the movie, but most of the photographic coverage shows a lot of quite normal types dancing in a club. Some prosaic licence was taken, but overall our club was, if anything, a little heightened from what I remember, as well as having aspects of different nightspots.’

At the centre of the film is the pairing of two hot young actresses from either side of the Atlantic. Chloe Sevigny made her name in the notorious kids, then followed it up with Steve Buscemi's directorial debut, Trees Lounge. Kate Beckinsale, seen on TV in the title role of Emma, was most recently seen on the big screen in Shooting Fish. However, it was her French language performance in Manuel Fleche's Marie Louise. . . which persuaded Stillman to cast her as a wannabe cool Manhattanite.

’Kate was clearly brilliant and the American accent she came up with for Charlotte was wonderful,’ the director enthuses. 'She and Chloe can do the New England college talk better than anyone. Just Kate's way of saying ”howrible" would crack us up.’

And, of course, in a Whit Stillman film, words and the way they're used are very important indeed.

(Alan Morrison) 2% G/asgc)'.v Fi/Iri Theatre and Edinburgh Fir’r'vhc‘use from Fri xi Sep Seereview

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Carve up: woodcut from Jan Nimmo's exhibition Canto Al Monte

The clouds gather, the rain falls; but l;ttie pockets of sunshine are appearing all over Glasgow as the city swrngs its hips to a salsa beat. And not Just on the dancefloors a trip to the Glasgow

American Film Festival comes to town

Now an established brightspot on the Glasgow cinema calendar, the festival allows Scottish audiences an annual opportunity to catch up on the cellu|0id output of a whole continent This year, the best new work from Argentina, Uruguay, latexrco and Brawl is Joined by a subtitled American production -- Betty Kaplan's epic tale of greed and desire in 19th century Venezuela, Dona Barbara (Tue 8 Sepi

The festival atmosohere continues away from the screen in the bar, ‘.'.'ltl(lt is lined by woodcuts and collages from Mexrco and Guatemala by Glasgos'r School of Art graduate Jan Nimmo There's also the promise of a true taste of Latin America courtesy of festival sponsors Sauza Conmemorativo, which hails from the Mexican IOV/tl of Tequila itself. Check out the free sampling on Sun 6 Sep at 5.30pm

Eight films make up the Glasgow

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Pavel Chukhrai Director of The Thief

\.\'hen .‘rritznr; The Thief, Russian clarectcn Pavel Chukhrai wanted has film to be more than rust a simple story of love and hatred, faithfulness and treachery

'I wanted at to have a second plot so that somebody who wanted to, could actually think about it,' he says ’The child represents my generation of Russian people, the mother is the ntry, and the thief is the man nznnznrr the country a tyrant '

The story tells of an unsettled mother who meets and follows a strong and dominant rnan, forgetting her boy It was important for Chukhrai to cast a young actor capable of generating the emotions of love, hatred and gurlt, as he forms a relationship wrth this overbearing paternal figure.

'When Misha Philipchuk came to my casting, I offered him this sentimental krnd of game,’ explains the director 'I said, "I'm going to be your father” I took his hand and he was sitting opposite me, and I said, "Imagine I'm your father" He looked at me wrth this mistrust, and I said, “I’m seriously l! and probably I'm going to die" He got really sad, and I said, "You'll probably stay alone with your mother “Nell you be able to look after her?" And he started crying and said, "Yes". And I said, "But can you promise that you wzl! do everything well7” And he started weeping and said, "I'll collect rnctney and bury you" And I knew that my 5 :ture was in safe hands '

Extremely pleased with Philipchuk's awmd-wrnning performance, Chukhrai emphasises his caution in keeping this young child away from the film's violent and sexual scenes However, he admits that one morning the boy appeared unexpectedly on set when they were shooting some love scenes

'I made sure they got him off, but \‘.'hen he came on set the next day, he said, "Now ! realise what I want to be l don't want to be an actor, I want to be a cameraman " "Why7” "Because the cameraman can see everything," he said, smiling cunningly'

:Beth \Vrllzarrrs" as Edinburgh Film/rouse from Mon 37 Aug

Not in front of the children: Misha Philipchuk in The Thief

2/ Aug it) sop 1998 THE LIST 106