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The Hub, Castiehm‘ Royal Mfle. Edinburgh. EHI 2N5 EDINBURGH'SFESTTVN. CENTRE

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TRAMWAY @ Surburban House the enormous space

by JG Ballard. Directed by Stewart Laing.

Performances 2nd-4th December 1999. Tickets tree ~ reservations essential - limited capacity Free bus -7.30pm City Chambers. George Square.

A co-production between untitled & Tramway.

24 "IE LIST 2—16 Dec 1999

y the British crime movie tradition, i courtesy of John Boorman's Point

{iii-e" iiiiiisé ; (PG) 96 mins * t

The Limey

(18) 89 mins *‘k‘kt Terence Stamp's criminal cockney reject, Wilson is off his manor and in Los Angeles to avenge his daughter’s death. That’s the set-up of Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, which taps into both 605 cinema aesthetic and

Blank and Mike Hodges’s Get Carter. Like the anti-hero protagonists of those films, Wilson is both a fish out water (in LA) and a man out of his time (in the 905). The casting of Terence Stamp in the lead brings with it just the right geographical/historical resonance, which Soderbergh plays with by intercutting his film with scenes from Stamp's 1967 film with Ken Loach, Poor Cow. And Wilson's nemesis, record producer Terry Valentine, is played by none

'Shaat itl': Terence Stamp is The Limey

other than Captain America himself, Peter Fonda. The casting of these icons is

supremely inspired.

This is no simple revenge caper, because although the action thrills and the one- Iiners (many in rhyming slang) are smart, much of the focus is on Wilson's efforts not simply to come to terms with his daughter’s death, but to deal with his shortcomings as a father. Wilson’s melancholy musings therefore benefit from Soderbergh's use of fragmented chronology, more finely tuned since The Underneath and Out Of Sight. (Miles Fielder) I From Friday 70 Dec. See preview

There’s the seed of a good idea in The Muse, but Albert Brooks denies it germination with an underdeveloped screenplay, slack direction and a sickening dose of self—congratulatory Hollywood in-joking. And this is the funniest thing about this lightweight comedy, because The Muse is about creative blocks and artistic inspiration.

Brooks’s screenwriter Steven Phillips has lost his edge (and therefore his job) according to a smug young studio executive. In desperation, Phillips takes the advice of friend Jeff Bridges and hires Sharon Stone’s real life Muse from Greek mythology, Sarah, to rekindle his inspiration. Surprisingly, this doesn’t involve sex, although the high-living Sarah demands she be kept in caviar and his home. More improbably, Phillips's wife, Laura (Andie MacDowell) doesn't mind, especially when she receives some inspiration herself (no sex here either, just home cookery). And so too does everyone else, except Steven. Cue some Player-style cameos from, among others, James Cameron, Rob Reiner and, in the best scene, Martin Scorsese.

A fatal flaw in the film becomes apparent when the product of Phillips’s time with Sarah a whale screenplay proves to be mere crappola. Ultimately, The Muse is likely to amuse only those who appear in it. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 70 Dec.

Unamusing: Sharon Stone in The Muse

The Straight Story

(U) 111 mins *****

David Lynch is the master of cinematic paradox. His last film, Lost Highway, was about two men who were the same person, yet not. His new film, The Straight Story, is a road movie that doesn’t go anywhere. Actually, that's not strictly true; it does traverse an American two lane blacktop, but very, very slowly. And it does go straight to the heart.

The roadtripper is Alvin Straight, a Midwestern old-timer hellbent on reuniting with his estranged, terminally ill brother who lives in another state. Denied a driving license by his own ill health, the stubborn septuagenarian takes to the road aboard his motorised lawnmower. Crawling along at a turtle's pace for over six weeks, Straight encounters various folk a pregnant teenager, a woman traumatised by running down a deer, a fellow WWII veteran, all of whom benefit from Alvin’s old fashioned charm and decency.

The sentimentality could have been thicker than axel grease, but Richard Farnsworth's lead performance ought to win over the most hardened cynic with its honesty, heart and credibility. Lynch maintains his fascination with the inherent strangeness of small towns and lost highways. But, in this sublime snail’s pace odyssey, based on a true story, modern psychosis is replaced by o!d time decency. (Miles Fielder)

l Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 70 Dec; Glasgow GFT from Fri 77 Dec. See feature.

Mild at heart: Richard Farnsworth and lawnmower in The Straight Story