FILM new releases
Kadosh (Sacred) (15) 112 mins
'The Talmud cjontarns everythrng and rts opposrte,’ says one of two srsters, IvIaIka rlvler'tal Barda), at the centre of thrs study of Hassrdrc Jews rn Jerusalem We mrght conclude the same of Amos Grtar's frlm Both a respectful study of the mrlreu, and a crrtrgue of the damage rt does to women's lrves, Grtar usrng lengthy takes often rn rnscrutable long-shot or rntrospectrve close-up detarls, but never allows us to comprehend the Hassrdrc expc-rrrence
Grtar also keeps the frlm rust open- endecl enough for c‘rrtrc.al comments as varred as ’manrpuratrve and mrlrtant as one would expect of Grtar’ to Jostle wrth the rdea that the frlm ‘never explrcrtly takes srdes’ In Kados‘h's openrng scene Grtar offers a respectful
Wains will be absorbed by it; not so the grown-ups
The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (PG) 91 mins
Now before I slag off thrs lrmp, unrmagrnatrve excuse for a movre, I tlrrnk rt's only farr to say that the two warns at the screenrng seemed gurte absorbed by rt Not so the grown-ups l/rva Rock l/egas :s Brran Levant's prequel to The F/rntstones, and whatever you thought of that frlm, thrs
The story shows Fred Ilvlark Addyr and Barney IStephen Baldwrnr rn therr bachelor days when they frrst cc>urt erma rKrrsten Johnston. and Betty 'Jane Krakowskrr They are abetted rn thrs by a Irttle green alren called Ga/oo IAlan (,umrrrrngr, brrt are hampered by the rrval attentrons of \errna's slrnry
44 THE LIST 2’, 1..
Both a respectful study of the Hassidic e
‘~:-':.: in -'
xperience, and a critique of the damage it
does to women's lives
srngle take of the other srster’s (Yael Abecassrs) husband dressrng rn hrs relrgrous rrgmarole. But whatever Grtar’s vrsual metrculousness, the dralogue wrll stretch the audrence's sympathres: the husband thanks God he waSn't born a woman. In another scene lvlalka's france yells hrs prarse to God Wrth all the hrstrronrc enthusrasm of a football fan. Grtar non- Judgementally offers us another long take, but agarn the vrewer rs lrkely to shrrnk from rdentrfrciatron. And certarnly the knowledge of Grtar’s earlrer work rFre/d Drary and A House In Jerusalem eth, and also of the drrector’s left wrng stance wrll pornt the vrewer rn a partrcular drrectron. Nevertheless, thrs rs as subtly effectrve as one-srded crnema rs Irker to get. (Tony McKrbbrnr
Glasgow. GFT,‘ Edrnburgh: Frlmhous'e from Frr 28 Jul
arrstocratrc chum Chrp Rockefeller rThomas Grbson). For erma has a dark secret — she rs the screen daughter of a pre-dynastrc Joan Collrns, and rs frlthy rrch. Thrngs come to a head when Chrp rnvrtes them all to hrs Rock Vegas casrno so he can strtch up Fred And they all Irve happrly ever after, wrthout a trace of orrgrnalrty, zrp or zest I'Rock Vegas' I ask you.)
True, Johnston has an undenrably frne physrque, but tryrng to accept her (or Collrnsr as berng part of the gentry rs no easrer than acceptrng Baldwm as Barney Rubble. And true, leark Addy's Fred rs not a bad successor (or predecessorr to John Goodman, but the rest rs frankly IUSI pants (John MacKen/rel " General release from Frr 28 Jul
(18) 100 mins a s»—
Whrle Melvrn Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song rs generally credrted wrth the rnventron Of the BlaprOItatron genre In 1970, the followrng year's Shaft gave the genre true meanrng. A huge commerCral success rn the US, Shaft opened the eyes of Amerrcan studro bosses to the potentral black crnema market, whrch had relegated black actors to Uncle Tom roles.
John Shaft was a low-down, rule bendrn', lady Iovrn’ prrvate drck, who drdn’t mrnd krckrng a few honky asses to get results. Male model chhard Roundtree was cast as the eponymous hero, whose JOb rt rs to frnd and rescue the daughter of black Ivtafra boss Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunnr. On hrs travels, Shaft encoonters the local black power movement, a handful of uptrght, doughnut- eatrng cops, and a number of shady hrtmen up for what Shaft calls 'krcjkrng my black ass’.
Whrle the plot rs merely a James Bond scrrpt dumped rn an urban context, the actron rs swrfter, the dralogue punchrer than a Joe FraZrer b0ut, and Isaac Hayes' soundtrack remarns sensatronal. The only letdown rs the re-release of the re- dubbed versron wrth swearrng cut out. It may look dated, but rt captured a moment rn tune and drd so wrth style. (Mark Robertson)
I Edrnburgh' Cameo from Frr 28 Jul. see Front/mes
Giving Blaxploitation meaning
American Movre (15) 104 mins s ‘- Amerrcan Movie rs the rnverse of that great rock mocumentary, Thrs ls Sprna/ Tap That fake rock band on tour documentary was hrlarrous because, desprte rts over the top characters, rt wasn't far from the truth Chrrs Smrth and Sarah Prrce’s documentatron of oddball Wrsconsrn frlmmaker Mark Borchardt's efforts to get hrs own movre made amuses and fascrnates because rt could easrly be fake
Smrth was edrtrng hrs prevrous frlm, Amer/can Job Ia frctron frlm rnasgucv'adrng as a documentary, funnrly enough), at the Unrversrty of Wrsconsrn when he found Borchardt frlmrng a scene from hrs horror short, Coven (rhymes wrth ‘ovenU For the next two years Smrth and Prrce documented Borchardt's attempts to frrst frlm hrs Great Amerrcan Movre, Northwestern, and when hrs funds ran out complete the more modest Coven (whrch rs now playrng wrth Amer/can Movre
But Borchardt rs more Ed Wood than Orson Welles, hrs frlrrtrrtarcrng efforts amuse rather than rnsprre. Not that Smrth and Prrce mock Borchardt ar‘d hrs motley crew, chref among them burned-Out metalhead IvIrke Sc'hank --.-~.'ho nevertheless composed the erSrc for Amer/can lr/lovre, see soundtracksr and pessrmrstrc OAP 'exeCutrve producer’ Uncle Brll. It's clear that Amer/can Movre's makers admrre Borchardt's tenaCrty, and therr non-Judgmental approach has been rewarded wrth a strange and wonderful frlm (Mrles Frelderr I Eclrnburgh: Cameo from Frr 27 Jul. See prevrew, soundtracks and Rough cuts
Butterfly's Tongue (La Lengua De Las
Mari osas) (15)9 mins u r
Under four decades of drctatorshrp, Spanrsh crnema was often utrlrsed to sprn hrstorrcal myths about the country's brtter CIVII war These myths have slowly been undone, but they are now berng replaced wrth myths of a drfferent krnd.
Set rn Galrcra, rn the perrod prec‘edrng Franco’s fascrst uprrsrng rn 1936, Jose Lurs Cuerda's La Lengua De las Marrposas traces the relatronshrp between seven-year'- olcl Ivloncho (Manuel Lozano) and hrs benrgn anarchrst-leanrng teacher Don Gregorro (veteran Spanrsh actor Fernando Fernan Gomez) Thrs rs Republrca". Sparn seen through rose-trnted glasses, a harsh and brtter world transformed rrrto a make-belreve utopra abOut to be cruelly crushed by fasCrsm
For those wantrng to skrp the specrfrc polrtrcs, thrs rs also a strong story whrch explores what human berngs wrll do rn the face of then own potentral destructron Wrth luscrous crnematography and strong ac‘trng rnot to mentron lovely old men, and cute krdsI the frlm seems to have all the r‘rght rngr'edrents for a perfect perrod prece. Unfortunately, the fragmented narr'atrve leaves the relatronshrp between boy and teacher underdeveloped Nevertheless, thrs rs a beautrful human story whose unusual and unexpected errclrng rs powerful enough to brrng a lump to the throats of even the most cynrcal rDavre Arc hrbalcl‘ I Eclrnburgh; Fr/mhouse from Frr 28 Jul
Tenacious filmmaker Borchardt (right)
New myths for Spanish cinema