mm— BEFDRE sunmse

While Slacker coined a term that defined a lifestyle choice for at least part of a new generation, and Dazed And Confused was an unflinching look at 70s teendom in Middle America, auteur-to-watch Richard linklater’s latest offering comes as a definite but enchanting surprise. A long way from his previous rep as the streetwise chronicler ot sundry youth sub-strata, this Viennese whirl of a romance plays i pretty much like a tyro Eric Bohmer movie sans subtitles. llere, American Inter-Railer Ethan

Hawke and French student Julie Delpy are the strangers on a train, who strike up a chance conversation and get on so well together she agrees to spend his final night in Vienna with him, wandering around together in the twelve hours before he gets his flight back home. And, plot-wise, that’s more or less it. They potter around the Austrian capital’s half-deserted streets, parks and cafes (with a nod to The Third Man’s ferris-wheel too, of course) for the rest of the movie, leaving the audience and the pair themselves - to wonder if they got on I

so well because they’ve been fated to meet, or because the time-limit on any potential relationship has removed, perhaps artificially, the need to hold anything back.

Either way, they’re a convincing couple, and their rambling


observed by writer-director Linklater and expertly delivered by two actors

. who far surpass their erstwhile career bests in the process: Delpy is charming and human, while Hawke wins a reprieve from this particular

writer’s Marked For Death list with an , uncannin accurate demonstration of

: the putting-it-on collegiate male

' within sight of getting his leg over.

Linklater makes us see through the

pair’s underlying calculations, while also enjoying the sheer pleasure of sliding helplessly into their big night of romance with them. It’s a funny,

sweet and fundamentally wise movie, and one so fully achieved as to make you a little more hopeful for the future of the cinema than you were when you went in. (Trevor Johnston)

Before Sunrise (15) (Richard Linklater, i US, 1995) Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke,

Andrea Eckert. 101 mins. From Fri 12. Edinburgh: Cameo.

is both brilliantly

Before Sunrise: ‘enchanting surprise’

~ 5


Adapted from a semi-autobiographical novel by Maeve Binchy, Pat D’Connor’s leisurely tale of love, friendship and betrayal contains much that is appealing, but will fail to totally convince a generation more cynical . than that described in this SDs'set story.

In a clear concession to the Hollywood market, Scent Of A Woman star Chris O’Donnell plays Jack, one of a group of friends who meet and socialise together as a relief from 9 their college studies in Dublin. The self-conscious Benny (newcomer Minnie Driver) falls head-over-heels in love with him, but fears her feelings ( will be unrequited.

A slice of life in 1957 Ireland - so parochial it might as well be another planet - Circle Of Friends benefits

Boys On The Side: ‘girls’ night out movie of the year’

I l


, from O’Connor’s approach to detail and a faithful in which he himself grew up, as well

3 as from the talented and increasingly familiar cast of Irish character actors who round out the smaller roles. But i as a whole, the film lacks cohesion

and the kind of dramatic edge that would reflect the circumstances in which the characters eventually find themselves. There is nothing

much not to like about the film, which ' has some charming and funny

moments in between the drama; but

there is little

seen before. It’s just a shame that in painting so vivid a canvas, the l "

filmmakers have failed to engage the : mind as much as they delight the eye.

(Anwar Brett)

Circle Of Friends (15) (Pat D’Connor, 08/“, 1994) Chris O’Donnell, Colin Firth, Minnie Driver. 102 mins.-From 12 May.

Mi they become generous and mutually I supportive. And they need all the BOYS 0" THE SIDE

sistcrly solidarity they can muster when This is what studios used to call ‘a l they WbSquPCWY Imd that m“ _ wmmm.‘ picmm. except m,“ in mm.C , uncomplaming Parker s mystery illness (hys the man“ were Wle KC“; ' is something she picked up from a sacrificing wives and mothers. or

barman during an atypical one-night romantically doomed mistresses.

stand. Nowadays. women have other options; 1 hough mc Charade” may “7mm like so taking control of their own lives and crude “Chm-"peg ' the “my h'th' headingbut of town in search of a new the halls)" 1)“le (ll-k“ Ihc “mum” life are raucous black lesbian chanteuse ; dominutulwant-10W” " [he She” Whoopi Goldberg and her “(108mm __ . strength of the performances invests white-bread romantic and devoted |

them with a humanity that engages our Cumcmm‘ {an Mar), Louise Parka. En i sympathy and maintains our interest. mute‘ the), pick up battered “Yum (Just occasionally. director Herbert Ross girlmwd Drew Barrymorc‘ Whose over-eggs the sentimental pudding. drunken and abusive dmgdmlcr drawing out sceneslor no other reason boyfriend thev hit over the head. tie to Um” I” “men” the” {WITIU'M'Ig a Chair and plgomgmph before mudin effect. That Iminor quibble aside. this is S(mm m “cumin the ‘girls' night out' movie ofthe year. Soon afterwards. however. the motley I (Nigel Flo-“U female trio discover Barrymore is pregnant, so they put down roots and set up house together until the baby is born. Things are tough at first. but as the women get to know one another.

Boys ()n The Sir/e (l5) (llUl'lN’l‘I Ross, (73'. /()‘)5) ll’limr/n' (io/(lln’rju. Drew liarrynwre. .l/(H'y lmris‘r' Parker. //7 mins. From l’ri l3 .lluy: (irate/til


recreation of the period

in it that we have not

Circle Of Friends: “leisurer tale of love'


grew, wt _ '

Crooklyn: ‘deliberate

exercise in nostalgia' Quite why Spike Lee's latest joint has received such a critical (and commercial) lambasting has to be one of the great mysteries of the year. For sure. it's pretty much devoid of the committed. issue-based dramatics that made [)0 The Right Thing such an influential. ground-breaking work nor does it possess the weight and sense of destiny that fuelled Malcolm X; but (‘nmklyri is clearly coming from a completely different perspective.

.I .ike MU' Boiler Blues. it's a deliberate exercise in nostalgia; but it‘s one that takes its cue frotn Radio Days more than Stu/u] By Me. In fact. in its very looseness. ('I'unklyn's impressionistic. near- chaotic rendering of a version of's own suburban New York childhood appears to have more in common with European rites-of-passage movies (My Life As A Dog. (:‘mml (‘licmirL etc) than with their American counterparts.

Lee's backtrack is grounded authentically in 70s Brooklyn (the cooking score. complete with footage from the Soul Train Show. serves as much as a mood setter as a time-placer). but what distinguishes his movie is the multiplicity of perspectives running through it. Since his siblings Joie and Cinque were heavily involved in the scripting. you can see where it comes from in fact. the Joie counterpart (called Troy) comes off as the most central figure.

()ne sequence (heavily criticised for its figure- attenuating anamorphic lens) when she is packed off to visit weirdo Southern relatives. is in fact a masterpiece of skewed kid's paranoia; even better is her child's- eye-view of a family lodger's arrest. with Jimi Hendrix's ‘lley Joe‘ wafting over the action. Don't believe the hype in this case ('I‘rmklyn is one of the most life- allirming movies you'll see all year. (Andrew Pnlver)

Crook/vii ([2) (Spike lx'r'. ) US, I994) Alf/1' li'umlurcl, [)r'lmv [Jill/U, Spike Lee. l [/4 mirrr. l’mm l’rr' l2, Tue 16: Iz‘rlililml'g/t l

I’ll/rt/must’. l

The List S—lb’ May l995 35