I Bandit Queen (18) At

Devi was married off to a man almost three times her age. Robbed of a normal childhood. she rebelled against him and returned. in shame. to her home village. where the young men made sexual advances towards her. Later in life. she moved

until she was gang raped and humiliated by its

violence. she took her revenge on the menfolk who had abused her. ultimately becoming a mythologised heroine to the people of her caste.

Shekhar Kapur‘s film comes to us weighed down by controversy. Banned in India, it has nevertheless been praised at international film festivals for its

the caste system and its strong female lead. There are no frills in this production: the photography is stark. the landscapes bleached by the sun. the rape scene gruelling to watch. A vitally important. inflammatory film that

from all cultures and I Cronos ( l8) Guillermo

movie is a poetic and

the vicious blood-letting

follows the ownership of the Cronos Device over the centuries: built by a

is a curious. clock-like object which grants its .user the secret of eternal youth in exchange for human blood. Unhealthy

examined with great delicacy by the director. here making his debut

out for. See preview.

I Prfit-l-Porter (18) Robert Altman fans are likely to be somewhat disappointed by the

work. particularly given

the age ofeleven. Phoolan

around with a bandit gang

leaders; then. in a burst of

uncompromising attack on

has much to say to people communities. See feature. del Toro‘s Mexican horror

dreamlike variation on the vampire theme. deviod of

of a tired genre. The story

16th century alchemist. it

desires and obsessions are

definitely a name to watch

veteran filmmaker’s latest

Will the hype be the real killer as

NBK hits British screens? Find out

as The List reviews the new films

opening in Scotland over the next fortnight.

the hype it's had in all the glossies. Diving into the world of designers and supermodels at the annual lfaris fashion show. Prét- A-Pnrter has neither the

- biting satire of The Player

nor the brilliant narrative weaving of Short Cuts.

Taken as a farcical send- up of the glamorous and pretentious. however. there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had. even if it’s just from star- spotting.

Richard E. Grant camps it up as perhaps the most outrageously colourful character in a world where clothes are used as disguises as much as indicators of indentity. See feature.

I Suture (15) Two half- brothers meet for the first time and are struck by their physical similarities. Clay is easy-going. but down on his luck; Vincent has money. but could well be implicated in the recent murder of their father. Loaning Clay one of his suits and his car. Vincent attempts to kill off his


Only rarely does Hollywood produce a film that is truly innovative, that both expands the boundaries of cinematic vocabulary and provides a serious

criticism of a particular aspect of T contemporary society. Natural Born , Killers is one such movie. Some of the

reports are true. This is a graphically

violent film. But it could not be otherwise. The basis of the story is a bog-standard white-trash killing spree. Mallory (Juliette Lewis) and Mickey (Woody Harrelson) fall in love, top her parents and embark on a three-week murderfest along Route 666, gratuitously killing a further 50 victims.

Oliver Stone’s first twist is to wrap their story up with a tabloid style TV show about the couple - hosted by in- your-face presenter Wayne Gale (Robert Oowney Jr). He then sets the second half of the film in the prison run by psychotic governor McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) where Mickey is interviewed live for TV.

But Stone’s truly mind-bending innovation is the rampant use of different film formats and cinematic styles. Hand-held video, black-and- white, 70mm, cartoons, digital enhancement and animation are slashed together by director of photography Robert Richardson. John Woo, nature programmes, sitcoms and more are raided to create a narrative rhythm so complex that it is at once hallucinatory, disorienting and subliminally suggestive. Further

subversion comes in a soundtrack which rages from Puccini through Lou Reed to the Shangri Las and Nine Inch Nails.

More than a superb, if twisted and depraved, display of technical

of the media’s exploitative obsession with violence. It is only natural, then, that that same media should have tried to bury it before it was even released. (Thom Oibdin)

Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, US, 1994) Juliette Lewis, Woody Harrelson, Robert Oowney Jr, Tommy lee Jones. 119 mins. From Fri 24. General release.

virtuosity, NBK is a stinging indictment i

‘a narrative rhythm so complex that it is at once hallucinatory, disorientating and subliminally suggestive’


Oomestic life has ceased to run smoothly for Gail (Meryl Streep) and her workaholic husband Tom (David Strathairn), but their marriage almost literally ends up on the rocks when the white-water rafting holiday they had planned with their young son Roarke (Joseph Mazzello) is hijacked

brother and take up a new | by a couple of gun-toting robbers. The

identity. But Clay survives and. believing him to be Vincent. plastic surgeons remake his face to the blueprint of Vincent’s photograph.

This may already sound complicated. so when you add the fact that Vincent is played by a short. weasel-like white guy and Clay is played by a big.

burly black guy. Suture

becomes a very unique movie indeed.

In this way. directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel are able to dissect typical responses to notions of identity and the connection - or lack of it between physical appearance and personality. And when the film’s glorious widescrecn monochrome photography is also taken into consideration. what you have is one of the most intriguing and original independent movies for quite some time. See preview. (AM)

seductive Wade (Kevin Bacon) is

% rugged, hunky and spontaneous -

everything that wimpy Tom is not but after winning his way into both Gail and Roarke’s good books, he lets his psycho side show. Next thing, former river navigator Gail is being forced at gunpoint to save her family by agreeing to take them all to a getaway point downstream. The problem is, part of the trip is technically unraftable and, with rapids and falls as just part of the obstacle course, Gail really does find herself up a certain creek without a paddle.

The white-water sequences, which escalate in difficulty as the film nears its climax, prove less thrilling on screen than might be imagined. Despite director Curtis Hanson’s tightly edited use of onboard point-of- view shots and swooping helicopter vistas of the river, for most of the iourney it’s more of a mild fairground log-ride than an out-and-out aquatic rollercoaster. As was the case with The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Hanson reckons we’ll forgive him early boredom if he packs everything into the last fifteen minutes.

As far as characterisation goes, The River Wild is Shakespeare in comparison to, say, Speed; but that too has its drawbacks - the more believable the foundation, the harder it is to take preposterous elements in the action plot. However, Streep and young Mazzello (seen in Jurassic Park and Shadowlands) are good enough to distract us from the worst offences, while Strathairn brings a sympathetic touch to Tom’s rather strained transition from spectacled bore to heroic dad. (Alan Morrison)

The River Wild (12) (Curtis Hanson, US, 1994) Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Oavid Strathairn. 108 mins. From Fri

.24. General release.

‘more of a mild fairground log-ride than an out-and-out aquatic rollercoaster’

20 The List 24 Feb-9 Mar 1995