DOCUhﬁNTARY Benjamin Smoke *****
Unmissab/e tribute to a remarkable musician
This is a beautiful film about a beautiful man. Robert Dickerson, aka Benjamin, is the frontman of the Atlanta, Georgia alt.country group Smoke. The documentary is a eulogy to Dickerson, who died last year, and his wayward life as a drug-addled drag Singer in various post punk bands. Dickerson’s anecdotes form the core of the film, and his pronouncements on everything from high heels to HIV are alternately hilarious and depressing. The film peaks when Patti Smith, Dickerson’s herOine, asks him to prowde support at a concert, then brings a lump to the throat as he deCides to stop taking his medication. An unmissable tribute to a remarkable performer. (Jack Mottram)
I Benjamin Smoke, Fi/mhouse I, 24 Aug, 70pm; Filmhouse 2, 26 Aug, 3.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
George Washington *irirt‘k
Spellbinding rural drama
This lovely dreamy gem is the spellbinding debut of director DaVid Gordon Greene. Set in a small rural town in South Carolina it tells the story of a group of kids coming to terms With the acodental death of a friend which they all believe they caused. There’s no other mowe like this at this year's Festival. Compassionate and stunning, this is like a cross between the work of Terence Malick (Bad/ands) and Philip Ridley (The Reflecting Skin). With a fantastic non-professional cast and raVishing ’scope cinematography, this really is something special that Will stay with you. Harmony’s Korine's Gummo With a heart. (Paul Dale)
I George Washington, Cameo l, 25 Aug, 5.30pm, 26 Aug, 3pm, £7 (£4.50).
u f I ,
THRHLER Beautiful Creatures **
Violent, stylish though insubstantial thriller
Dorothy (Susan Lynch) has made up her mind to leave her drug- addicted boyfriend Tony (Ian Glen), and head down to London, but when she spots a man assaulting his girlfriend, Petulia (Rachel Weisz), she intervenes and in the ensuing struggle accidentally kills the assailant. Rather than go to the authorities, the two women devise an ambitious ransom scheme, which quickly attracts the attention of both a lecherous police inspector, and the menacing brother of the dead man.
The first offering from DNA, the new British mini-studio headed by Andrew Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy, Beautiful Creatures is a Glasgow-set thriller with shades of Shallow Grave and Thelma And Louise. Yet the film’s energy betrays a lack of substance. While the screenplay of Simon Donald
(The Life Of Stuff) places its two female protagonists firmly at the centre of the action, the surrounding storyline is a familiar parade of double-crossings, betrayals, and stand-offs, in which violence is played for cheap laughs. And while the stylised interiors lend a certain timelessness to the material, Rachel Weisz's
DRAMA The King Is Alive *** American Dogme 95 movie The fertile Dogme 9S experiment dries
up. When their bus breaks down in the
North African desert, the stranded
’ passengers while away the time by staging King Lear. However, they
qwckly lose the plot, abandon the Bard
and turn on one another. The dramatic
set-up and eye-catching setting are
_ transparently contrived and the
improvised performances run the
gamut from indulgence to wayward
A familiar parade of double-crossings, betrayals, and stand-offs
brilliance, With Jennifer Jason Lee and Janet McTeer as stand-outs in the latter category. Director Kristian Levring initially finds a well-spring of inspiration in the characters’ human eccentricities, but his few ideas soon evaporate. (Nigel Floyd)
I The King Is Alive, Fi/mhouse I, 25 Aug, 7pm, Cameo l, 26 Aug, 70pm, £7 (£4.50).
Road Trip *‘kttt
Hilarious gross-out comedy
More damn fine than American Pie, Road Trip is the funniest gross-Out college comedy since Animal House. Four pals set Out on an I800 mile trek in a hilarious account of how not to break-up With yOur childhood sweetheart. A romantic Journey that revolves around sex, lies and a Videotape. On the way they learn about the important things in life, like the rules of cheating on yOur partner, the best way to donate sperm, stealing from the blind and ancient Greek philosophy. The performance of Tom Green as Barry, who holds the fort at Ithaca University, is comic genius. (Kaleem Aftab)
I Road Trip, ABC 7, 24 Aug, 9 75pm, £7 (£4.50).
Zamani Bara e Masti Ashba (A Time For runken Horses) *****
Devastatin ly powerful tale of childhood ardship
platinum-blonde seems singled out for demeaning treatment. The camera leers constantly at her figure, and she suffers the indignity of being handcuffed to a wall as an adolescent pores over ‘Chicks In Chains'. Disappointing. (Tom Dawson)
I Beautiful Creatures, ABC 7, 26 Aug, 9. 75pm, £7 (£4.50).
Festival, Bahman Ghobadi’s debut feature is a harrOWing tale of hardship set in the treacherous border region between Iran and Iraq. Ayoub is the twelve-year-old appointed head of a family of children who are forced to ply the trade of smugglers to raise money to fund a life-saying operation for their severely handicapped older brother. The performances from the young actors are devastatingly powerful, the Cinematography direct and elocuient and the film itself a deeply movmg portrait of human c0urage in the face of adversity, (Catherine Bromleyi
I Zamani Baraye Mast/ Ashaba, Fi/mhouse l, 20 Aug, 5pm, 24 Aug, 4.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
Tell Me Something *** Gory serial killer thriller
The blood-red credits suggest a gory opening. There is. And then there’s a gory middle and a gory end as black bags containing copious amounts of blood and partially dismembered corpses pop up around town. The one link appears to be the daughter of a famous painter who disappeared in mysteriOLis Circumstances. The film follows the trail of the intrepid detective tracking the killer. Comparisons have been made with Seven, but this South Korean thriller never raises itself above the mediocre. Its most striking feature is its American-ness. This is Hollywood cinema — straight from SeOuI.
I Tell Me Something, Cameo I, 26
Deservedly the co-wrnner of the Camera d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film
There are visual and aural treats to be had in the Korean operatic melodrama, Chunhyang. Filmhouse 1, 25 Aug, 9.30pm; Filmhouse 2, 26 Aug, 5.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
60 THE “ST FESTIVAL GUIDE 17—24 Aug 2000
Aug, 72.30am, £7 (£4.50)