spurred on by a rapacious appetite for experimentation and an innocence that refused to acknowledge any sense of the unobtainable. Photographer Gregg Toland‘s visual inventiveness and a compelling narrative make this Welles’ best film and a cinema milestone. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. O Cocoon (PG) (Ron Howard. US. 1985) Don Ameche. Wilford Brimley. Hume Cronyn. 117 mins. Veteran inhabitants of a Florida retirement community discover a veritable fountain of youth when they swim in an out-of-bounds pool infested with alien pods.

An engaging central idea is treated with wit. warmth and delicacy but is compromised by the apparent need to appeal to the lucrative youth market in America. Director Ron Howard eschews overt sentimentality and the consummate veteran talents on display afford considerable pleasure but Cocoon fails to fulfil all its early promise. Glasgow: Odeon.

o The Company at Wolves ( 18) (Neil Jordan. UK. 1984) Angela Lansbury. David Warner. Sarah Patterson. 95 mins. A visually ornate reworking ofthe Little Red Riding Hood fairytale as gothic fantasy as we enter the dream world of an adolescent girl on the brink of maturity. A unique exercise in non-realist narrative. part masterpiece. part nonsense but always original. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

O Conlidence (15) (lstvan Szabo. Hungary. 1979) lldiko Bansagi. Peter Andorai. 105 mins.

Confidence and a trusting nature are '

at a premium in the war-torn Budapest of 1944 where Katalin is approached by a stranger and told that her husband is a resistance fighter who has gone into hiding and that it is now unwise for her to return home. Thus begins a new existence uncertainly built on guarded behaviour. deceit and mistrust. False papers and an assumed identity also lead to illicit love.

Szabo‘s Confidence is an atmospheric Hungarian film noir. tinged with irony and moodily focusing on ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times. Glasgow:


0 Desperately Seeking Susan ( 15) (Susan Seidelman. US. 1985) Rosanna Arquette. Madonna. Aidan Quinn. 103 mins. Bored suburban housewife Roberta. looking for escape from her humdrum existence through the personal columns. becomes fascinated with a series of ads ‘desperately seeking Susan' and plucks up the courage to spy on the next rendezvous. By a sequence of coincidences she unwittingly swops identity with Susan and her life is changed forever.

Much more than‘the Madonna movie‘ this is a delightful feminist fantasy that can be enjoyed by all. Quirky observation conspires with an offbeat humour to create an unexpected treat.

Edinburgh: Odeon: Glasgow; Odeon: Rio; Salon. Lothian: Falkirk. Strathclyde; Ayr:

Greenock: Hamilton: Kilmarnock: Paisley.

0 Diaryior My Children (PG) (Marta Meszaros. Hungary. 1982) Zsuzsa Czinkocz. 107 mins. Budapest. 1946.

a young girl. Juli. whose parents are dead. comes to live with a would-be

foster mother. a member of the Stalinist elite. Based on the director's own experiences. the film is a fascinating portrayal of adolescence told through an effortless kaleidoscope of fact and

central narrative is intercut with documentary footage and state propaganda of the time. putting the personal inevitability into the context ofthe political. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

0 Dim Sum (U) (Wayne Wang. US. 1985) Laureen Chew. Kim Chew. Victor Wong. 87 mins. See caption


0 Diva (15) (Jean-Jacques Beineix. France. 1981) Frederic Andrei. Roland Bertin. Richard Bohringer.

fantasy. Shot in black and white. the 117 mins. Stylishli cult Gallic thriller

.. . [is . Dapper Don Ameche. a contract star under the Hollywood studio system during the 1930s and 40s, had been absent irom our screens ior tar too long belore his reappearance in the Eddie Murphy hit Trading Places. How he returns again in Cocoon. a mixture at Peter Pan and Close Encounters tor the over seventies that has amassed a small iortune in America this summer.

in Cocoon a group oi ailing Florida OAPs are rejuvenated by the powers oi an alien-iniested swimming pool. The iilm calls upon the 77 year-old Ameche to highdive and trip the light iantastic with the ease oi a man hall his years, a teat he accomplishes with casual agility. “I do exercise seriously about live miles a day", he admits. “I started when l was in my early iorties when I moved to New York which is a very pretty place to walk in. When it came to the breakdancing i did the opening movements and the spinning on the floor but I wouldn't like to put a iigure on what proportion oi it is me. i had never done the tango belore so i had to learn that. I had danced the samba with Carmen Miranda but I virtually had to re-leam that. There were two instrcutors on the set. A lot ot the dancing was cut irom the finished lilm but I enjoyed doing itall; it you’re dancing with Gwen Verdon you really can't go wrong.”

Ameche studied to become a lawyer belore the lure oi the boards proved too strong to resist. He made his stage debut in s 1928 production oi The Devil's Disciple and has appeared on Broadway, in radio drama, on television as a circus ringmaster and in over liltyiilms. Trading Places was not only his llrst lilm in thrlteen years it was his llrst olier in thirteen years. “You have to realise that lor every part in my age goup there are about


1‘ /

iU 4’]! 1/ 2 was only offered Trading Places because Hay Milland couldn’t do it. John Landis is a superb comedy director and this illm would not have been the hit it was without him. Eddie Murphy, to his credit, realised that he didn’t know very much about the lilm business so he took his cue irom John Landis.”

Part ol the reason ior Cocoon’s success has been its uniqueness in leaturing an old cast amid a summer populated by teenage lantasies and muscle-bound action men. Ameche is enough at a realist not to speculate on whether the impact at the lilm may unleash more opportunities ior mature periorrners. “I would like to think so but I have little hope. I’m told that the greatest audience ior a motion picture is aged between 13 and 24. As long as that holds true entrepreneurs will cater ior that market. Even ii Cocoon is only an inliuenclng iactor in extending that age range irom 24 to say 45 it would be tremendous.

Ameche’s own career has received a healthy boost irom his participation in two hit films and he is genuinely gratliied by the response of young audiences to his work. His iuture is, as ever. unpredictable.” I turned down live television shows belore i came over here. One oi them was Murder, She Wrote which I regret because I think Angela Lansbury is just terrliic but the character on olier was negligible. ldon’t like television as a medium because on the series there is no room tor quality; you have to do a one-hour show in six days and nobody will discuss the character with you. I wasn't oilered any iilms between Trading Places and Cocoon so We no reason to presume there will be more otters now. i may not make another lilm, we'll just have to wait and see. "

thirty-live people who are eligible and 1 (Allan Hunter)

in which the twisted fate of two tapes. one an illegal recording of an American opera singer. the other implicating the guilty parties in a crime ring. spells murder and intrigue. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

0 Dr Heckyll & Mr Hype ( 18) (Charles Griffith. US. 1980) Oliver Reed. Sunny Johnson. Jackie Coogan. 99 mins. Perverse comic variation on the Stevenson classic. Glasgow; Grosvenor.

O The Dresser (PG) (Peter Yates. UK. 1983) Albert Finney. Tom Courtenay. Eileen Atkins. 118 mins. The show must go on for barnstorming old trouper Finney touring the sticks in wartime Britain. With the help of his solicitous dresser Courtenay he cajoles. bullies. huffs and puffs his way through just one more performance of the Bard‘s King Lear.

A richly theatrical. sentimental two-hander not ideally suited to the intimacy of film with Finney in bombastic. lip smacking form as the domineering actor fast heading for the final curtain call. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

o The Element oi Crime ( 15) (Lars Von Trier. Denmark. 1984) Michael Elphick. Esmond Knight. 104 mins. Detective Elphick leaves an investigation into a number ofchild murders in Europe and goes to Cairo. An Egyptian therapist hypnotises him to help him understand what really happened. and he undergoes a perilous journey through the underworld of his own imagination to discover the shocking truth of his own identity. Or something like that. A visually striking debut by a young Danish director this is a particularly zesty homage to his cinema heroes. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. O Fletch (PG) (Michael Ritchie. US. 1985) Chevy Chase. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. Tim Matheson. 98 mins. Popular American star Chase finds an ideal character for his smarmy. casually flippant style as 1. M. Fletcher. an investigative reporter with a penchant for disguise and a wisecrack for every occasion. in this undistinguished comedy-mystery he uncovers a dope-smuggling ring and unmasks a bigamous businessman with larcenous designs. There is the odd moment of hilarity but the entertainment value is dependant on one‘s appreciation of Chase who remains an acquired taste.

Glasgow; ABC. Sauchiehall St; Grosvenor.

o Fringe Film Festival The Second Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival runs from Oct 31 until Nov 3 and takes as its theme Youngness. looking at youth in the cinema. Events planned include exhibitions. talks and a practical video workshop as well as a host of screenings of relevant films from independent filmmakers. A retrospective of mainstream work includes Hazel O’Connor in Breaking Glass. Halloween. Joseph Losey‘s The Boy with Green Hair and Pixote. Discussions lurk menacineg under cringe-inducing titles like Here‘s Looking at Youth Kid but the opportunity to see a wide

24 The List 18—31 October