BBCZ, Fri 18 Dec, 11.30pm.
Frona Bell, best known for her role as a nurse rn the Phrl Danrels frlm for BBC Scotland, Stand And Deliver, rsn't the sort of woman who wOuld murder an aquatrc brrd. Yet, that's exactly what the Glaswegran actress does rn duck, a new short frlm produced under the Tartan Shorts scheme
Also starrrng Peter Mullan of My Name Is Joe fame, duck follows two alcoholrc lovers through a day whrch begrns \VIIh sex and ends wrth them both fallrng rn a free7rng rrver Somewhere rn between, Bell lops the head off a duck that they steal from a pond
'I cOuldn't really krll a duck,’ she protests. ‘I had enough problems rust prckrng rt up The neck was so frail, I thought the bodywerght would do rt damage, but the handler kept sayrng rt was okay. It was strlI horrrble, though,’
The frlm, wrrtten by the Scottrsh novelrst Des Drllon, examrnes the
Buying a soap special on video this Xmas? Read this first.
Buyrng Brookside's second feature- length vrdeo Fr/day The 73th (£15 99) rs the only way to frnd out vrtal plot pomts around Our Lrndsay’s weddrng, whrch seems a brt mean However, the vrdeO rs good If totally ludrcrous The brrde packs a prstol rn her warstband, Char/re’s Ange/s style, and takes on some comedy gangsters as they try to get to the church on trme Sadly, the entrre Corkhrll clan are rotten actors ~ they're even out-performed by ex-Page Three grrl and the real-lrfe mrssus of Peter-the-harrdresser, Lrnda Lusarclr, as a schemrng weddrng guest The still- mrssed Sherla Corkhrll turns up to add a brt of class and, along wrth the novelty value of hearrng them all swear profusely, there's a magnrfrcent Harry Cross cameo
The EastEnders vrdeo — The Mrtche/ls Naked Truths (£13 99) -- rs mostly made up of old clrps, touchrng on the classrc themes of women and frghtrng These are strung together by the premrse that Phrl and Grant are drunk and rerrrrnrscrng about therr lrves Taken all together, the storylrnes are repetrtrve, but there are funny moments, notably Phrl clarmrng that 'Just because they see you 'rttrng someone, they thrnk you've got a
132 THE LISTIT Dec 1998 7Jan I999
oaks: Fiona Bell and Peter Mullan in duck
power struggle wrthrn relatronshrps Bell belreves thrs means that everyone can relate to the characters.
'All relatronshrps Irve and dre rn terms of a balance of power,’ she says. ’That's a game all c0uples play.’
The other two short frlms berng broadcast as part of Tartan Shorts are First It’s Dark and Sprttrng Distance. The former stars Dr Frn/ay's Iarn Agnew as a mrddle-aged man revreWrng hrs Irfe and hrs cynrcal vrew of love as he lres dyrng from a heart attack, the latter tells the story of a grandson who must choose whether to remarn rn hrs small- town home and look after hrs drsgustrng, ungrateful grandfather or move away and open a pub wrth hrs grrlfrrend.
Tartan Shorts, a scheme set up rn 1992 by BBC Scotland and Scottrsh Screen to promote new Scottrsh frlm- makrng talent, has produced past classrcs Irke Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful ere and Lynne Ramsay's Gasman Perhaps the three new frlms are set to JOITI them (Peter Rossr
Naked apes: Grant and Phil Mitchell
vrolent nature ' Sadly, no stunt doubles were used for the gut-wrenchrngly embarrassrng strrp dance
The Women Of Coronation Street (£14.99) takes the same archrve approach, as Hrlda Ogden returns to take tea and hotpot wrth Betty erlrams Cue flashbacks to Bet Lynch, Elsre Tanner and other Weatherfreld herornes of days gone by. Wrth so many eprsodes to choose from, only very devoted fans wrll remember all the c.lrps.
Emmerdale's Revenge (E1299) and Hollyoaks' Off On One (£14.99) take therr characters further afreld, to London and France respectrvely The Dales folk hunt down the man who krlled Lrnda Glover, whrle the Chester teens seek revenge for Lucy’s drug overdose. Thrrlls and sprlls a-plenty (Andrea Mullaney)
What's Eating Johnny Depp?
Channel 4, Wed 30 Dec, 11.20pm.
'Can you rmagrne how many chrcks want to bang Johnny?’ asks actor Vrncent Gallo. 'Can yOu rmagrne the fellatro that’s thrown at hrm?’ Perhaps thrs Channel 4 dOCUmentary should have been renamed 'Who’s Eating Johnny Depp?’, but Gallo rs Just one of a galaxy of stars sheddrng lrght on Hollywood's brggest oddball.
’He'd rather make rnterestrng frlms than be Tom Crurse,’ surmrses frrend Noel Gallagher, narlrng the srngle brggest reason why Depp rs the most famous actor never to have a box-offrce smash. Terry Grllram, John Waters, tvIrke Newell, Al Pacmo and Martrn Landau are among the others drssectrng the most unusual actor of hrs generatron.
What’s Eating Johnny Depp rs the centreprece of a Chrrstmas Johnny Depp season. Look out for Don Juan Demarco (Mon 21 Dec, 1030me, Arizona Dream (Mon 21 Dec, 12.15am), Edward Scissorhands (Sun 27 Dec, 8.40pm), Dead Man (Tue 29 Dec, 12.05am) and Benny And Joon (Wed 30 Dec, 11.50pm). (Ellre Carr)
All Back To Mine With Paul Weller Channel 4, Tue 22 Dec, 12.05am.
You know how rt rs. You nrp down the boozer and, before you know rt, rt's chuckrng out trme and you're round Paul Weller's gaff for a packet of Twrglets and a rummage through hrs vrnyl.
Well, that's certarnly how rt cOuId be rf you stagger back home from a pre- Chrrstmas sesh and tune rn to All Back To Mine Wrth Paul Weller, In whrCh the lvlodfather wrll leaf through hrs record collectron and chat about the memorres connected to songs.
All Back To Mine was orrgrnally a Radro 1 serres featurrng such notables as Noel Gallagher and Norman Cook. The Weller programme precedes a televrsron serres rn the new year.
All Back To Mine forms part of a strong year of musrcal programmrng on Channel 4 rn 1999, Look out for Music Of The Mil/ennrum, a serres of rntervrews where artrsts rncludrng BJOTk and Nrck Cave drscuss the musrc that has rnsprred them, and the return of The Tube.
FILM OF THE ISSUE Mrs Brown BBCI, Sun 27 Dec, 8.40pm.
It began as an rdea conjured up rn the drama department of BBC Scotland. It ended wrth Oscar nomrnatrons for Judr Dench and a new burst of respect for Brlly Connolly's actrng talents. Mrs Brown rs proof that a gualrty screenplay and superror performances can take on the blockbuster marketrng machrne and wrn
Connolly plays John Brown, a member of Queen Vrctorra’s staff at Balmoral, called to her srde when excessrve grref over the death of Prrnce Albert threatens to unsettle the balance of polrtrcal peace Brown's no-nonsense attrtude to the subtletres of royal protocol are grounded rn Connolly's naturally rebellrous presence, whrle Dench delrvers a masterclass rn screen actrng,
An rntrmate story of an unlrkely frrendshrp, the frlm also conveys a sense of the Queen's confrnement rn grref, rrtual and stuffy rnterrors, and so benefrts from the transfer to the small screen.
Best bit: Connolly’s dressrng down of the royal hangers-on (Alan Morrrson)
' LDEPP meBI ‘
Odd fellatio: Johnny Depp
Vinyl countdown: Paul Weller
Victoria fine: Billy Connolly and Judi Dench in Mrs Brown