36 The List 5-18 May 1995


I Happy Birthday GFT: Slightly belated 21st birthday greetings are due to the Glasgow Film Theatre. which first raised its curtain with a screening of Fellini‘s Rama on 2 May 1974. The date was celebrated last Tuesday with another ltalian movie in the shape ofa surprise screening of Maniaei Sentimental! which is showing as part ofthe ltalian Film Festival. Also on the bill was Peter Capaldi's Oscar-winning short. Franz Kafka 's It '3 A ll/nntletful Life.

By way of a birthday present, and in acknowledgement of the GFT‘s commitment to continental cinema in the West of Scotland, Beck’s already the cinema‘s major sponsor is backing the new ‘lmported From Europe’ scheme. Continental programming will be pulled further into focus in the GFT's monthly

programme. and regular patrons will be offered the opportunity to request the return or first screening of eagerly sought-after films.

I Centenary Reels: After laying the groundwork for the future ofa film industry in Scotland with three successful years of First Reels. the Scottish Film Council now looks to the past as the scheme is relaunched to link in with next year‘s celebrations of the centenary of cinema in Scotland. Centenary Reels. run like its predecessor in conjunction with Scottish Television. will have a total budget of £40,000 for new film and video makers to produce work in the

f spirit of the early pioneers ofthe moving image. Awards of up to £4,000 will be available for drama.

documentary and experimental

' projects. and the best work will be broadcast by Scottish Television in 1996.

‘First Reels is a great opportunity for young talent to shine on screen.‘ says

, Gus Macdonald. Chief Executive at

Scottish Television. ‘The raw energy

and innovation of the new work makes

very interesting viewing. The series is

I also used as a step in the training

ladder. and it allows us to spot new talent at an early stage.’ To date. around one third of First Reels grant- winners have gone on to produce work on higher budgets and begin a career in the audio-visual industries.

marzi— Voice of experience _

The Tartan Shorts scheme may be designed to give opportunities specifically to filmmakers at the outset of their careers, but it can only be enriched by the involvement of such an experienced British actress as Sylvia Syms. Star of screen classics including Ice Cold In Alex and Victim, praised for her stage work and ever- 1 popular for her television appearances 1 (her character’s recent demise in Peak Practice brought in around 130 letters), Syms forewent her week-long Easter holiday to come to Scotland to shoot Dancing.

Written and directed by Stevan Bimkus and produced by Pamela Wilson, the short film stars Syms as Bose, an old woman reflecting on her past life. ‘If’s such a lovely part,’ the actress says. ‘She’s awful and wonderful and very much her own woman. They needed someone who was not Scottish, because you sense she’s an alien. The sounds you hear around her are the sounds of Glasgow and the voices of the young men upstairs are Scottish, so for whatever reason, she’s isolated in this room. But « she’s obviously well travelled, she’s not a lonely old lady. If she’s alone, she’s alone by choice.’

While admitting with a smile that it’s perhaps a bit of a risk to be playing a woman several years her senior at this stage of her career, Syms says she’s

Sylvia Syms always glad to work with new talent.

It’s not the idea of helping to establish a strong Scottish or UK-based industry

that appeals to her, but the quality of

the work itself.

‘If someone said to me, “We’ve got a very good film to be made in Iceland, could you come and learn Icelandic,” then I might. Even when you’re Kathy Bates and you’ve won an Oscar, how many people are going to back films with old ducks in them? The French respect their older actresses, they don’t write them off as geriatrics. Over

here, if you look at the television, you ; appear to have a population of 3D- year-olds. That’s crazy, because I don’t

see it on the streets. The world would

fall apart without us older women. But

they haven’t pushed me into a ghetto

- I’m marvellously irreverent and

vulgar and busy, and all the things I

longed to be when I was young and

beautiful and married.’ (Alan Morrison) Dancing is due to premiere at the

' Drambuie Edinburgh Film Festival in




Right from its arresting opening sequence, in which a father abducts his son from a school playground and the two live rough in a forest for several days, Chris Menges’s feature proves its right to win a wider audience than its limited London cinema release. It’s a strongly visual, emotionally complex, powerfully acted work that stands head and shoulders above its glossy American equivalents.

Quiet, frumpy postmaster Graham Ilolt (William Hurt) has reached middle-age without leaving his home village, where he now cares for his bed-ridden father. Secretly nurturing a dream to be a dad himself, he applies to adopt a child, and is paired with difficult ten-year-old James (Chris Cleary Miles), who is devoted to his prison inmate father (Keith Allen). 0n the surface, Graham appears to be a boring figure tank top, HHS glasses, anorak, unruly hair - but, as he reassesses his own lingering feelings from childhood, he discovers that he is filled with love, understanding and

Second Best: ‘sensitive but direct approach’


Menges avoids the easy, sentimental path and confidently handles the tricky theme of mutual needs between parents and children. His is a sensitive, but direct, approach that bristles with emotional and social realism, and is an effective balance (in its portrayal of social workers, at least) to Ken Loach’s Ladybird, Ladybird. Hurt is superb, building a character whose vulnerability is very much part of his courage. His performance lies at the centre of this heartening tribute to human kindness. (Alan Morrison)

Second Best (12) is available to rent on the Warner Home Video label.

I Wes Craven’s flew

into each frame). which rests on a deeply

I Godzilla vs Mothra (PC) How much can one meteor do'.’ it wakes up

Nightmare ( 15) Don‘t think fora minute that this is a final. sorry addition to the Freddie series.

C raven. who came up with the original concept and directed the first and best Elm Street movie here teases apart the whole Kruger mythology in what can only be described as post- modern horror. And yet he also delivers the necessary scares as the thin wall between fantasy anti reality begins to crumble. (Fox/Guild)

I Killing Zoe ( 18) Try to forget the word "l‘arantino‘ that's plastered all over the cover you'll only be disappointed if you compare it to Reservoir Hugs or I’ll/p Flt‘llull. Instead. imagine a meeting of American heist noir with self-conscious liuropean artiness. and you're closer to Roger Avery's style. By no means great there are sortie dodgy attitudes to women shown ~ but it

surely benefits from being

seen in its own light. (Polygram)

I Three Colours: Bed (15) Kieslowski's final instalment in his trilogy (and final film ever?) is a literate meditation on coincidence. chance encounters and the secrets that keep people apart anti draw them together. It's a brilliantly unified work both thematically and visually (the dominant colour is skilfully worked

l 1

intelligent screenplay. Astonishineg

accomplished lilmmaking.

always accessible. See competitions page fora chance to win the Three Colours SCI. (Artificial Eye £15.99)

I Aileen Woumos ( 15) British documentary filmmaker Nick Bloomfield is less concerned with the crimes of ‘first female serial killer’ \Vournos than the ludicrous attempts by her rock singer lawyer and born-again adoptive mother to market her to the media. Broomfield's style is so direct. it borders on sheer affrontery; he's right in the action. underlining serious points and ridiculing a disturbingly money-orientated system. He takes more of a back seat. however. in his depiction of a Nevada whorehouse in Chit-ken Rll/lt'll ( 18) and. perhaps because of this. it‘s much the tamer piece. (Academy £15.99 each) I Dear Diary ( 15) Actor‘- director Nanni Moretti may be a stranger to many in the UK. btit after this personal odyssey. we soon get to know him. his quirks. and his filtnmaking style. The film is indeed an intimate

journal: Rome. the

Aeolian islands and an array of doctors provide the subject matter for a leisurely. reflective study of life. A refreshing film from a man who actually pays attention to what's around and inside him. (Artificial liye £15.99)

Godzilla. uncovers the lost egg of winged monster Mothra (more lethal than Scottish midges) and coaxes the nasty Battra into the light too. The toytown model work is tacky in the extreme. and there’s too muclt of an Indiana Jones rip-off throughout. but it's always amusing to see Japan take a kicking from guys in rubber suits. Next release. Godzilla vs Cantona. (Manga Live £13.99)

I Vanya Dn 42nd Street (U) An experimental document of an experimental production. Louis Malle‘s film of Andre Gregory‘s rehearsal staging of Ull('/(' Vanya actually increases in intimacy when seen on video. For a lot of the time. the camera is close in on the faces of this superb cast and. before you know it. the lack of costume or props is forgotten and Chekhov's play takes over. (Artificial liye £15.99)

I Blood Stained Shadow ( 18) Antonio Bitlo‘s gial/u thriller bows at the altar of Argento. but although the build-up to his murder set- pieces is atmospheric. the acts themselves are totally lacking. A series of killings on a Venetian island are linked to the strangulation of a young girl years before; in The Cat’s Victims ( 18 ) the deaths have something to do with the jury members at a past trial. Dull and colourless. (Redemption

; £13.99 each)