Colonel Redl (15) (lstvan Szabo, Hungary-West Germany-Austria, 1984) Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hans-Christian Blech, Jan Niklas. 149 mins. To the world at large Alfred Hedl is an officer and a gentleman with the class and breeding expected from an unswervingly loyal, high-ranking member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Sadly, for him, it is all an illusion. lstvan Szabo's tastidlously constructed epic, partly inspired by John Osbome’s play A Patriot for Me, proceeds to show the unravelling of that illusion as a public lacade strains to conceal an inner core of trail, human vulnerability.

Born oi humble origins Hedi earned a place at the prestigious royal mlltary academy by the expression of his love for the Empire in a school poem. Embarrassed by his peasant family and a gauche newcomer to the exalted social milieu of his peers, he employs an iron will of ambition to force himself into a straltiacket of conformity. His rise in the ranks is as inevitable as it is self-destructive. By the eve of World

world. A noble mission handled with sickly sweetness. Lothian; Regal 0 Catholic Boys ( 15) (Michael Dinner. US. 1984) Donald Sutherland. John Heard. Andrew McCarthy. 104 mins. Brooklyn. 1965 and a sixteen year-old transfers to St Basil‘s Catholic School for Boys. unknowingly enrolling in the great school of life as he is befriended by an assortment of fellow pupils. goes joyriding. dancing. dating and hijinking for the first time. The potential for a Porky’s-style bawdy romp is thankfully eschewed in favour of a sympathetic. carefully observed rites of passage tale. Glasgow; ABC (Sauchiehall Street) 0 Cocoon (PG) (Ron Howard, US, 1985) Don Ameche. Wilford Brimley. Hume Cronyn. 117 mins. Veteran inhabitants ofa 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

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Warl he has been appointed head of Military Intelligence. The price at his advancement has been heavy as he denies his roots, betrays his friends and represses his homosexuality. His overpowering sense of duty and rigid moral code engenders fear and

loathing in his fellow officers, creating :

enemies of a powerful nature. Ultimately his single-minded devotion to the Empire causes him to live by impossible standards that can only conspire in his downfall.

Szabo's film is a work at meticulous

' storytelling, capturing a multitaceted

portrait of a man who forces himself to live a life based on untruth. The backdrop of intemecine power struggles within the Austro-Hungarian Empire is conveyed with no less a clarity ol detail and the technical aspects of this solid, absorbing drama

are well-handled. A number of

performances catch the eye, but top

honours go to Brandauer in a discreetly

played tour-de-lorce that acknowledges the self-deceit of a man driven to destruction. (Allan Hunter)

to appeal to the lucrative youth market in America.

Edinburgh: Dominion.

C Colonel Hedl (15) (lstvan Szabo, Hungary-West Germany-Austria. 1984) Klaus Maria Brandauer. Hans-Christian Blech. Jan Niklas. 149 mins. See caption review. Edinburgh; Filmhouse

o The Company of Wolves ( 18) (Neil Jordan. UK. 1984) Angela Lansbury. David Warner. Sarah Patterson. 95 mins. A visually ornate reworking of the 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.

Glasgow; Grosvenor

3 o The Contorrnlst (18) (Bernard Bertolucci, Italy, 1970) Jean-Louis

Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli. Dominique Sanda. 108 mins. On a mission to kill one of his former professors. now a prominent anti-fascist in Paris, an agent for Mussolini reminisces about his past.


Studied period recreation and evocative photography. the brilliant

l Trintignant, and the by- now classic l set-piece of the murder in the snowy forest make this one of the greatest

filmsofthe seventies. Edinburgh; Filmhouse

0 Cop au Vin(15) (Claude Chabrol.

i France. 1984)Jean Poiret. Stephane Audran. Michel Bouquet. 111‘) mins. 2 See caption review. Edinburgh;

3 Filmhouse. (ilasgow;(}l~'1‘

; ‘0 Cutter's Way(18) (Ivan Passer, US. l981)JeffBridges, John Heard. Lisa

Eichhorn. 109 mins. Bridges

witnesses the aftermath of a murder

as a young girl‘s remains are

deposited in an alley trashcan. The

next day he tentatively identifies a wealthy oil tycoon as the culprit and is goaded into exploiting this information by his buddy Heard. a crippled Vietnam veteran. A simple revenge scheme has unexpected

j repercussions on their friendship and

endangers their lives.

Absorbing adaptation of the Newton Thornburg novel (‘utter and Bone in which a B-movie plot is

' given added resonance by the depth 1 of the characters and their twisted


Glasgow; Grosvenor

0 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (PG) (Carl Reiner. US. 1982) Steve Martin. Rachel Ward. Carl Reiner. 87 mins. Spoofon 40s film noir has Martin as private eye Rigby Reardon. Ward as the usual sultry femme fatale. and Reiner as a fiendish Nazi attempting to take over America using a deadly new weapon. Much ofthe humour stems from the intercutting with actual 405 movies in a device now copied in the TV adverts for a certain lager. The plot is fairly witless though. this being quite possibly the only film in which the freedom of America is threatened by German cheese. Glasgow; GF'I‘

0 Don’t Look Back ( 15) (D. A. Pennebaker. US. 1967) Bob Dylan. Joan Baez. Alan Price. 96 mins. Outstanding documentary about Dylan‘s 1965 UK tour. Edinburgh: Classic ,

0 Easy Rider(18)(Dcnnis Hopper. US. 1969) Dennis Hopper. Peter Fonda. Jack Nicholson. 94 mins. Artless. archetypal ‘road movie‘ in which two dope-loving bikers travel


Cop Au Vin (15) (Claude Chabrol,France, 1984) Jean Poiret, Louis Belvaux, Stephane Audran, Jean Topart. 109 mins. In rural France teenager Louis (Belvaux), a local postman, lives with his wheelchair-ridden mother. The pair worktogether to lend oil a cartel of local businessmen, led by the town GP

' (Topart), who want to buy their house.

Louis uses his position to intercept the mail, and spends much of his spare time spying on the prospective purchasers, who seem willing to go to

. any lengths to foreclose. A

disappearance and two murders later, Inspector Lavardin (Poiret) comes upon the scene, and is prepared to use

! unscrupulous methods to gel to the

bottom of the events that have scandalised the area. A word of advice first of all. lwouldn't

i bother too much with the tortuous, but

admittedly clever, machinations of the plot. Director Chabrol certainly doesn’t. Coming back with some steely panache with his best in ages, he seems only to be interested in the Gallic Dirty Harry character of the cop,

and the rest of the film can just be damned. It’s none the worse for it either, because things certainly liven up whenever Polret arrives about half-way through. A raftish, sleekly

g'ey'halfed "little, with a penchant for

fried eggs and paprika, and a gleeful

line in insouciant brutality, he brings a 5

sense of stylish unpredictability to a rather plodding tale of provincial skullduggery.

Dlsdain is the keynote elsewhere. The females are treated as scheming sluts, or, in the case of the invalid mother, scheming madwomen; the conspirators have the eagerly hateful faces of grizzled French character actors trying to make their presence tell; and the teenager's love story ends with the young couple in a freeze frame of unparalleled sarcasm. Chabrol is no believer in the power of love.

This is an ideal film to dissipate any overdose on yuletlde goody-goodlness. It will bring a pleasantly malevolent smirk to your face, and bring out the cynic in you. In my book, this is quite a compliment. (Trevor Johnston)

1 i