NEXT GOAL WINS (Icon). The American Samoans are deeply religious and play football because they love the beautiful game. Their football team was once the worst international team in the world. When they played Australia in 2001 they lost 31 nil. For 17 years they remained bottom of the league. They never won a game. Steve Jamison’s documentary, which has a big heart, shows their journey, with the help of a Dutch coach, Thomas Rongen, to their first ever win, an occasion for world coverage and national pride.
CYCLING WITH MOLIERE (Artificial Eye). Two middle-aged actors, one a popular TV star (Lambert Wilson), the other retired and who hasn’t acted for three years (Fabrice Luchini), rehearse The Misanthrope and alternate the roles of Alceste and Philinte. Jealous rivals, they quarrel all the time. The humour comes from the skilful blending and blurring of the classic text with Philipe Le Guay’s modern screenplay so that what they say reflects their narcissist and misanthropic characters. Those who have at least some knowledge of Moliere’s play will enjoy this sophisticated and bitter French comedy most.
RESURRECTION (Odeon). A woman (Ellen Burstyn) dies in a car crash. She pays a quick visit to heaven and then comes back to earth to find she can heal the sick. She makes no claim to divinity, saying it’s just the simple holiness of love which heals. But her boy friend (Sam Shepard), son of a Bible-bashing preacher, feels he is having an affair with Jesus and doesn’t like it. Burstyn won an Oscar nomination for her performance and so did Eva La Gallienne who played her mother. The studio lost confidence in the film, directed by Daniel Petrie in 1980, and it was never given a proper release.
COUNTERPOINT (Odeon). The Germans ambush an American Symphony Orchestra in liberated Belgium in 1944. German officer (Maximilian Schell) wants the American conductor (Charlton Heston) to play for him and says he will shoot the 70 members of the orchestra if he doesn’t. This silly World War 2 rubbish is totally unbelievable and a waste of time. The best, indeed the only joke comes during the credit titles when the orchestra is playing Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 and up on the screen it says the music is by Bronislau Kaper.