Naturalist and explorer William Adamson (Mark Rylance) accepLs the job of cataloguing the insect collection of Reverend Harold Alabaster (Jeremy Kemp). but finds himself at odds with the sumptuous upper-class life he is thrown into when he moves into the Alabaster’s country house. There he meets and falls in love with his patron‘s daughter. Eugenia (Patsy Kensit), but suffers snobbish hostility from her brother Edgar (Douglas Henshall).

The compression of the visual/literary themes that bring together the delicate beauty of the butterflies

and Eugenia. or the decaying structure behind the ant colony and the aristocrisy. is interesting but far too obvious and naively presented. In fact. everything we discover about the moral corruption of the rich is entirely expected. and only the characters further down the social ladder - Adamson and the Alabaster's poor cousin Matty (Kristin Scott Thomas) have credibility (it also helps that they're demonstrativer played by the best actors). A period piece that’s as dull and infuriating as they come. See preview. (AM) Angels & Insects ( I 8) (Philip Haas. US/UK.

I 995) Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas. Patsy K ensit. I I 7 mins. From Fri 2 9 Dec: Edinburgh F iimhouse.


lfcult movies are born. not made. then Fridrik Thor Fridriksson must spend time moonlighting as a midwife. This is one of the oddest road movies ever made. but one which uses expected culture clashes (young Japanese man in Iceland) to uncover unexpected cultural similarities not to mention perfectly balanced moments of humour and sadness. However. it‘s the film’s bold visual style that will stick in your memory from the cramped confines of Tokyo to the mystical. mythical winter landscapes far afield from Reykjavik. Give in to the allure of Cold F ever's

Cold Fever: ‘bold visual style’ strange concept. because it will be up there amongst your films of the year. See preview. (AM) Cold Fever (/5) (Fridrik Thor F ridriksson, Iceland/Gennany, I 995 ) Masotoshi Nagase, Lili Taylor. Fisher Stevens. 85 mins. Some subtitles. From Fri I5 Dec: Glasgow Film Theatre. From Fri 22 Dec: Edinburgh F ilmhouse.



Jean-Paul Rappeneau's follow-up to Cyrano de Bergerac lacks the verve and immediacy of that modern anhouse blockbuster. It's difficult to define why: Horseman has spectacular set pieces. lavish scenery. a fast- moving narrative and a lovely performance by Juliette Binoche. Somehow, however. it all watching moving pictures.

just seems literally like so while it's all pretty and diverting. we never really connect to the characters or the events. This may be one case where repressed emotions on screen make for disinterest in the auditorium. See preview. (AM)

The Horseman On The Roof ( I 5) (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, France. I995) Juliette Binoche. Olivier Martinez. Jean Yanne. 130 mins. Subtitles. From Fri 5 Jan. Glasgow: GFTI Edinburgh: Cameo.



4:.fl, . 6 .

‘s‘fi‘. «as. 3.

Confessions first: this is indeed a about an orphaned piglet who fall under the motherly eye of a farm

begins to think he's a sheepdog and

succeeds at regional trials by aski

sheep nicely to move round the course. Oh. and all the animals can talk to each

other with sweet and comic voice such. it's a delight for young audi one of the best children’s films fo many a year.

But there's more to Babe than an

‘ooh’ and an ‘aah’ and an ‘oink'.

was an American effort. the tender moments would be smothered in syrup

and the climax would be more

of Rocky victories. But Babe is an

Australian movie, and so it offers skewered sense of humour that

develops from. and remains part of, the


film s collie.

ng the s. As



A " I k; r i . r

ficsiiCYEW ““Q I mi '5 -' s '3»? QM“: s i»:§*¢~v...~

v. u, b v}; i 4. 3g»: \ fifih.

‘i Q) t\.{ ‘rl‘v

til-QR}. , 4

Babe: ‘a genuine triumph for the underpig’ it's linked by ‘chapter‘ headings expounded by psycho mice. and its rousing finale is a genuine triumph for the underdog. erm, underpig who dares to be different.

Technically. the film is also spot-on. A mix of Henson Creature Sh0p animatronics and digitally animated lipsync brings this farmyard to life better than even Disney could ever manage. ln Babe. kids have found a

new hero. Adults too should cast

pretensions aside and venture along the late night cult potential ofthis film

3 is enormous. Babe and Razorback: now

there's an Aussie pig double-bill to cringingly bombastic than an Olympiad : ' Babe (U) (Chris Noonan. Australia.

upa l 1

basic premise. It's touching. it’s funny.

savour. (Alan Morrison)

I995) James Cromwell and the voices of Christine Cavanaugh. Miriam Margolyes, Hugo Weaving. 92 mins. Front Fri I 5. General release.



Anyone expecting Jim Carrey to have matured through the wonder years of his career in the footsteps of, say,

Steve Martin will be severely disappointed by this second

instalment in the adventures of the

pet detective. Starting with a supremely funny

pastiche of the opening of Cliffhanger - in which Ace rescues, then drops, a raccoon from a great height - the film

itself continues downwards. Writ

and director Steve Dedekerk’s sequel

is puerile, stereotyped and occasionally brilliant. Ace ls

meditating in the Himalayas when he is called upon by the consul general of a fictitious province (Simon Callow on autopilot) to find the missing sacred hat of the local Wachati people. If he

fails, there will be tribal war.

The perfunctory plot gives Carrey the opportunity to role-play as Tarzan,

Allan Guatemain and Hercule Po and still be cowardly, childish an

weak. As a portrayal of Africa, the film does no one any favours - the natives are defined by their silly rituals and

warlike nature, and the English a

upper-class colonial twits - so as a consequence, there is no one ordinary to measure Ace's hit-and-miss antics


irot, d


. u t in!

Ace Ventura: ‘puerile, stereotyped and occasionth brilliant"

Ian Mcfleice as the consul’s emissary and Maynard Ezlashl as a friendly local do what they can with thankless supporting roles, but some excellent set pieces aside - the fox fur gag is priceless - there is nothing to watch. As interest wanes, the gaps in Carrey’s acting ability become apparent and his mugging wearisome. Time to retire from the ’tec business, aiilrighteee then? (Simon Wardell)

Ace Ventura: When Nature Balls (P6) (Steve Dedekerir, US, 1995) Jim Barre], Simon Ballow, Ian Mcflelce. 94 mins. From Tue 26. General release.


l’Avventura: ‘surely a masterpiece’

Rewarded with catcalls and a slow hand clap at its 1960 Cannes screening (after which it went on to win the Special Jury Prize). Michelangelo Antonioni’s characteristically languorous evocation of contemporary social malaise has gone on to enthral. bemuse and irritate audiences and critics ever since. Yet as the years wear on. it’s a film whose forthright modernism has lasted rather well. Unavailable on the big screen for a number of years. this BF! reissue offers many viewers a chance to catch up with one of the most significant European films since World War II. and it wouldn't be at all surprising if many of them reckoned it the freshest thing they've seen all year. Surely a masterpiece.

Disregarding the usual narrative expectations. the storyline (such as it is) involves the disappearance of a young woman (Lea Masari) on a tiny island off the coast of Sicily. After a perfunctory search. she's nowhere to be found and the rest of the film charts a desultory affair between her lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her best friend (extraordinary. iconic Monica Vitti).

Any identification with their plight. however. is barred by Antonioni's achingly slow pacing. his distanced camera. and by the couple‘s halting attempts at Communication. Their joyless sexuality and the visual motifof their alienation from the landscape are compellineg realised by the way Antonioni's remarkable gift for composition conveys strong emotion loss. foreboding. despair that circumvents mere words and gets to the heart of the restless unease at the heart of our 20th century existence. Frankly. it‘s easier to experience than explain. Don't miss. (Trevor Johnston)

I. 'Avventura ( PG) (Michelangelo Antonioni. I959. It) Monica Vuti, Gabriele FerZetti, Lea Masari. I 45 mins. Subtitles. From Fri 3 Jan: Edinburgh Film/rouse.

36TheList15 Dec 1995-11 Jan 1996