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Arlington Road mins ye «,3 ..,.

ParanOra thrrllers haven’t really been up to scratch Since therr 70s heyday (CO/rsprracy Theory, anyone7l but lvlark Pellrngton's second feature goes a long way towards revrtalrsrng a genre always ripe for exr_)lortatron.

Srngle parent r‘vlrchael Faraday (Jeff Brrdges), a trltrversrty lecturer in American terrorrsm, rs strll struggling to come to terms wrth hrs FBI agent wrfe’s shooting in a bungled operatron two years earlrer. Then he meets Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack), an apple-pie farnrly from across the road, who provrde support for hrrn and hrs wrthdrawn son. However, l-rlrchael soon becomes suerrcrous of hrs new frrends when he discovers archrtect Olrver has changed hrs name Further rnvestrgatrons reveal a x'rorryrng, hrdden past

DHHVIHQ on the Oklahoma Crty bombrng and the Waco siege, the frlrn

Country of the blinds: Jeff Bridges in Arlington Road

shifts America's fear of external threats by anti-Christran forergners to the ultra-patriotic enemy wrthrn. Despite the sunny Suburban setting, Pellrngton opts for a shadowy look that presages danger, wrth the characters often hemmed in by darkness Cleverly, a contrastineg low-key approach to the plot keeps the vrewer uncertain as to whether Michael's growing distrust of the Langs rs an expert's rnturtron or merely grref—fuelled Jealousy of therr nuclear farnrly, before along comes a twrst that writer Ehren Kruger will dine out on for years to come.

Of the cast, the edgy Brrdges rs convrncrng as a man always one step away from a breakdown Robbrns keeps hrs true srnrster character and rts famrly man facade close enough to make the swrtch plausible, whrle Stepford ere Cusack looks l:ke butter wouldn’t melt rn her mouth (Srmon Wardelll General release from Fri 7 9 Mar

Aprrle (15) 78 mins Anyone who was seduced by the wry humour of ltalran wrrter-drrector-actor Nannr lvlorettr's 1994 frlrrr Dear Diary v-rrll no doubt also succumb to the offbeat charms of hrs new rnovre. Many of the elements farnrlrar from the earlrer frlrrr reappear » the rntrmate, frrst-person storytellrng, the Vespa rrdes around out of the way parts of Rome; and the seemrngly inconsequential but ac‘ute observations on ltalran life

Aprrle opens :n March 1994, With Morettr watchrng the results of the general eleCtron that brought right- Wrng rnedra rrrogul Silvch Berlusconr to power Two years later, rrr the month of the frlm's trtle, he celebrates both the electron of Italy's first left-\xxrng government and the brrth of hrs first

" " :1, 6 i K g). :

Bringing up baby: Pietro and

it... -.l in

Nanni Moretti in Aprile

son In between, he \.'-Javers betweer‘. rnakrng a documentary on the state ' . ltalran politics and realrsrng an old dream -- a film musical set rn the 50s about a Trotskyrst pastry chef Self-absorbed, a bundle of neuroses, prone to hypochondrra and panic, Morett: has much rn common wrth Woody Allen But hrs screen persona rsn’t rust a source of fun ‘His mockery of himself rs also an oblrgue criticism of hrs generation's polrtrcal failures, takrng rn the ltalran Left's rneffectualrty and tendency to sc hrsm

Aprile may not be as growing or as guretly profound as [)ear DIdf’.’, but rts gentle, self-deprecatrrrg tone provides both hur‘ndur and food for thought (Jason Best)

{iii Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 19 Mar.

l l l l

new releases FILM '

A Night At The

Roxbury (15) 82 mins

This rll-concerved blow-up of Saturday Night Live's Roxbury Guys fails dismally to lrve up to rts predecessors Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers, partly because erl Ferrell and Chris Kattan are nerther zany nor funny, but marnly because therr scrrpt rs so appallineg bad.

Ferrell and Kattan play the dorky, shiny-surted Butabr brothers, Steve and Doug, who aSprre to garn entry to LA's top nrghtclub -- and maybe lose their maraschrnos too. The doorman has other rdeas thOugh, untrl a lucky accident wrth TV 'star' Richard Grreco «as himself") grves them the break they've prrred for, Once rnsrde, they even manage to prtch some club-theme rdeas to the owner, who rnvrtes them back to a party along wrth a couple of gold-drggers who've mrstaken the boys for somebody rnterestrng. All rs well untrl next day, when the brothers are prevented from followrng up therr meeting and the girls grve them the brush-off.

Presumany meant to be rrdrculous and embarrassrng, the Butabrs are rnstead tedrously rnsrprd Be warned that even if you like juvenile American TV in-humour, thrs is not funny rn the slightest. tJohn Mackenzie)

g General release from Fri 79 Mar.

Dumb and dumber: Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in A Night At The Roxbury

“nth rvrusrc

Bernard Herrmann City of Prague Philharmonic (Silva Screen) w

Recent performances of Jerry Goldsmrth's frlrrr musrc by the Royal Scottish Natrorral Orchestra proved that the work of good frlrrr composers does rndeed have a place at our concert halls. Let’s hope that the Goldsmith events have paved the way for more of the same, and no one would deserve lrve attentron more than the late Bernard Herrmann.

As well as \‘rr'rtll‘rg some of the most memorable crnerna musrc of the century, Herrmann sutcessfully trred hrs hand at 'proper’ claSSrcal preces, rncludrng a syrrrphony and an opera based on Vr/uthering Heights. He had a unique sense of orchestral colour, whrch also underpins hrs frlrn work and typrcally brrngs a darker hue to the screen

Thrs new double album trtled Citizen Kane. The Essential Bernard Herrmann Film Music Collection 7- rs superbly recorded (razor sharp vrolrns on Psycho, meaty brass on the rejected score for Tom Curtain). lt's ordered rnto surtes of contrasting moods, so thrnk of rt as a ttO-rnrnute concert, complete with rnterval and encore rn the shape of the ,razz-trnged urban landscape of Taxi Driver. (Alan Morrison)

Waking Ned (PG) 91 mins ln the ake of a sv-rathe of popular, Londort-set rorrrantrc comedies comes Wakrr:.; Ned, Kirk Jones' blackly comic debut starring two very old men and set in. rural southern lrefand Not yet antrther take on a tried and tested formula, then

So who's Ned? Well, Ned's dead. A sharrre that, because the old fella rust non £7 mrllron playing The Lottery -~ the drs .overy of whrch krlled hrm. Ned lrved his whole lrfe in the same remote :rllage as incorrigible seventysornethrrrg pals Jackie tlan Bannenr and lvlrchael (Kelly) When the par' realise what has transprred, they see a golden opportunrty, all they have to do rs convrnce the vrsrtrng Lottery offrcral that Ned isn't dead

As raunty as the Lorrclon-c.c-)ntrrc " é corrtedres, lA/akrng Ned rs also part of l - an older tradrtron - the Ealrng Studios Young at heart: David Kelly and Ian frlms, most obvrously l‘r/hiskr' Galore Balm?" in waking Ned All the tradrtronal elements are,

happrly, rn place charm, eccentrrcrty and a defiant sprrrt And talk about SCreen presence Bannen and Kelly shrne as only the cornbrned acting experience of over a century would allow You'd swear they weren't acting half the time, so at ease are they wrthrn therr characters. From start to frnrsh: a great craic and a dead cert (Miles Frelderr General release from Fri 19 Mar. See preview.

l8 Mar-l Apr l999 THE LIST 25