Cruel but funny Storytelling from Todd Solondz

Brazilian play about the lives of five domestic servants in which lung-bursting comedy slides into occasional tragedy. An absolute tnust.

Martha . . . Martha l‘ilmhouse. 25 Aug. 9.30pm. Sandrine Veysset follows tip Will It Snow For Christmas with another exploration of the extremes of family life. in this case a girl living with her boyfriend and daughter in extretne poverty.

Mullet t,'(i(‘. 25 Aug. 6pm. .\'ot the haircut. but the fish. a symbol of all that's redundant. In this comic case a misfit returning to his hometown here he's no longer accepted.

My Best Fiend (Mein Liebster Fiend - Klaus Kinski) oooo Filmhouse. 2-1 Aug. 2.30pm. Werner Herzog's extraordinarily candid dtwumentary portrait of his tempestuoiis relationship with favourite actor Klaus Kinski. lt‘s unlikely you've witnessed an actor and his director threatening to murder each other and meaning it.

New Work - Animated liilmhouse. 25 Atig. It).3()pm. Last year's Mirrorball music animation favourites Shynola are back with Radiohead's ‘Pyramid Song'. pIUs the rest of the best animated work from the past year. Nightshift (Trois/Huit) l’iimhoUse. 23 Aug. 9.30pm; Lumiere. 2-1 Aug. 9.30pm. French film critic Philippe Le (iuay ptits down his pen and picks up the camera to direct this intriguing psychological drama set in a provincial industrial town. Who says critics can‘t make movies'.’

No Man’s Land t,'(i('. 2-1 Aug. 9pm. (‘rowd-pleasing black comedy from I)anis 'I'anovic. who draws on his duties as the Bosnian army's film archivist in the early 90s to make a movie about the insanity of war. ' QSean Penn Reel Life t.‘(;(‘. 24 Aug. 7pm. Probably the best actor of his generation comes to lidinburgh to talk about his career as performer and director. and premieres his superb new film starring Jack Nicholson. T/tt' Pledge.


Tod Browning's 1932 cult classic is without a doubt one of the strangest films ever made

Persistence 0f Vision 2: Poetics Of Politics 0... i'lllillinllsc'. 25 Atig. 9pm. Julius Zil's short. And The Pig Was Born. personalises 20th century newsreel clips in a programme for the new I-‘estival section which also includes Jean-Lite (iodard's LYN-ignite Du XXI Steele and Peter .\le('aughey's ('lussit'. Persistence Of Vision 4: Nomadism i'illillltHhC. 23 Aug. 3pm. 2-1 Aug. 8pm. Humankind is dwarfed in the Nambibian desert in (‘lare‘s Langan's short. 'Iim Dar/c For Ate/II. while Athiiia Rachael Tsangari's longer The Slow Business ()ftioing mixes media. geography and psychology.

Persistence Of Vision 5: Collecting And Losing l’iltnhotise. 24 Aug. 9pm. 25 Aug. 3.30pm. Rosalind Nashashibi's locally-made fragment. The States Off/rings, depicts people at a jumble sale. while Trinh 'I'. Minh—Ha's longer The I'illll'llf Dimension examines time through the digital medium.

Rain 0... t'(i(‘. 23 Atig. 7pm. New Zealand-set adaptation of Kirsty (iunn's acclaimed novel about family. motherhood and infidelity.

Return To Ngu Thuy (Tro Lai Ngu Thuy) + Ten Girls Of Dong Loc (Nga Ba Dong Loc)

0.. Lumiere. 25 Aug. l..i()pm. These two very welcome Vietnamese films f‘oetis on the role woman played in the Vietnam war. a refreshing refrain to the Hollywood idea that they were all rape victims or prostitutes.

Samia Lumiere. 3-1 Aug. 7.l5pm. 25 Aug. 4pm. Liberating culture clash drama about a lirench-Algerian girl coping with racism and prejudice.

The Silent Killer coo (it-'1‘. 2.1 Atig. (i.2()pm. This scarifying low budget film about the hardships faced by a refugee community of"l‘urkish Kurds living in (ilasgow has been tragically underscored by the rioting in the city following the murder of a Kurdish asylum seeker. In the film. asylum seekers housed in a high-rise inner city estate (that could be Sighthill t. are falling ill and dying from a my stei‘ious illness. l’ocusing on the experience of a father and daughter. The Silent Killer (Which is to be screened (in television later in the year under the title (ius Attack)

paints a horrifying portrait of the refugee experience in the t'K. l‘eaturing a cast of non-actors and made in the local community. this is an effective drama with an urgent. political message.

(Miles Fielder)

Southern COMTOI't i‘ifltlfltntfse. 35 Aug. 8pm. Documentary about the remarkable story of Robert liads. a female to male transsexual who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and refused treatment by a prejudiced hospital in America's southern sttttes. coco (aunt-a. 23 Aug. 8pm. 24 Aug. 5.30pm. The rise and full of Internet company (it)\'\\'(it'ks is at

the centre of this ambitious and constantly

fascinating documentary. Startupcom perfectly captures the Internet boom of the early ()(is and the implosion that resulted in the collapse of the so-called dotcom entrepreneurs. The filmmakers cleverly sideline the view er away froin the techno babble and Internet speak by concentrating on the relationship between the two tnain characters. best friends and business partners Kaseil Tit/man and Tom Herman. We are involved in the lives of these two very different individuals passionately striving toward the same goals. Always engrossing. .S‘Iurm/Mom gives us an intimate look at a million— dollar business and the characters surrounding its initial success and uncertain future. (Niall Macpherson) The State I Am In (Die lnnere Sicherheit) C... l‘ilttiltottse. 34 Aug. 4.30pm. (‘hristian Pet/olt‘s film explores the rather fraught life of a teenage girl whose parents have spent many a year on the run from the (ierman

authorities for their political activities

w ith. we most assume. the Red Army l‘action. She meets. as you do at that age. a potential partner. and spins him a yarn about a privileged life. only to run across him near yet another hideout. The tension in the film comes from the constant fear of discovery and betrayal to a brutal state that she and her family live in. lixploring both politics of family and state. the film tells its story well. and strong performances make the film constantly watchable. (Steve (’ramer)

Station Jim 0.. l‘ilmhouse. 35 Aug. 3.30pm. Originally created for BBC One. Station .lim may not add credit to your memory batik but a temporary warm glow is most assured. Populated by a glttt of small screen stalwarts (ieorge (‘ole. ('elia lmrie. Prunella Scales. John 'l'homson. the list is endless the main roles are reserved for rising stars ('harlie (‘reed-Miles and Laura l'i‘aser (see feature in non-l‘cstival maga/ine). who spoon ladies of innocent charm into this period romance. When erroneous businessman Riorden (David Haig) decides to burn down the local orphanage and put a lucrative hotel in its place. it's down to station porter Bob (('reed-.\li|es) to intervene aided by eponymous canine pal. Jim. That his actions also endear him to beautiful tettel’iet' Harriet (l'i'aset‘) is of course happy coincidence. (Kelly Apter) Storytelling O... (‘ameo. 23 Atig. 10.30pm. Another uncompromising film from Happiness director Todd Solondl. here extracting artistic revenge against exploitative teachers. cruel students. popular jocks and the entire school experience.

The Pledge 0000

who thinks they have the wrong man.

(‘ouched in the conventions of a thriller. Sean Penn‘s third film as director is first and foremost a compelling psychological study of a middle-aged man attempting to give his life meaning post-retirement. Black's ongoing efforts to bring the little girl's murderer tojustice. fuelled by a promise made to her mother. tips right over into obsessional behaviour. But has Black lost sight of the case. or is he on the right trail'.’ Jer/y and Mary ()lson Kromolowski‘s script. adapted from Friedrich Diirrenmatt's novel. keeps things ambiguous. Penn counters this. directing with an even hand and casting a sombre mood over the proceedings. His director of photography. (‘hris Menges, opens up the film with stunning widescreen imagery. his compositionsjust as impressive out in the wilds as indoors negotiating the

spaces between the actors.

Playing Black. Jack Nicholson reigns in the emotion. letting out a little at a titne in a superbly controlled performance. And he‘s ably supported by a terrific cast including Robin Wright-Penn. Vanessa Redgrave. Helen Mirren. Sam Shepard. Harry Dean Stanton. Aaron lickhart. Benicio del Tom and Mickey Rourke. pltis an ingenious surprise cameo player.

(Miles liiclder)

t'(i(‘. 23 Aug. 8.30pm. in the cold mountain reaches of Nevada the body of a little girl is found. raped and murdered. A simple-minded Native American is swiftly taken into custody and a confession is extracted. following which the man kills himself. An open and shut case . . . for everyone btit Jerry Black. a retiring police officer

7.5 Aug; (3 Sop: