ou've read the book. seen the
play. avoided the characters on
the bus — now it's time to catch the ﬁlm. The team that brought the world Shallow Grave delivers a version of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting (23 Feb) that perfectly matches the novel's despairing-but- hilarious take on ajunkie‘s lot. Ewan McGregor plays Renton. with Ewen Bremner as Spud (a masterpiece in comic pathos) and Robert Carlyle as Begbie. There are also new songs on the soundtrack by Pulp. Blur and Leftﬁeld.
Three other big movies also come to Scotland on 23 Feb. Martin Scorsese dips back into (Inadl’cl/as territory with Casino. a mob tale set in Las Vegas. which retearns Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The stand-out performance comes from sexy. doped- up Sharon Stone — an Oscar contender to watch. The gun and explosion count is higher, however. in Robert Rodriguez's Desperado. a $6 million remake of the bargain basement [3/ i‘llariai'hi. with super-hunk Antonio Banderas the main target in a high velocity. cartoon bullet-fest. For a more genteel time. turn to Sense And Sensibility. with its nice British team of Emma Thompson. Hugh Grant. Alan Rickman. Hugh Laurie. lrnelda Staunton and Kate Winslet. Thompson also wrote the screenplay and Ang Lee (Eat Drink Man lllmran) is perhaps a surprising choice for director.
Before then. there's plenty to savour as Robert De Niro — again — and Al Pacino star on-screcn together for the ﬁrst time (The Godfather Part 2 doesn't count) in Michael Mann's storming cop—and—robber epic Heat (2 Feb). Bob's the loner thief who works with mathematical precision. Al's the guy with the badge and a growing obsession about his nemesis.
Harvey Keitel isn't in that one. but he is in Spike Lee's Blockers (9 Feb) playing a cop on the case of a small- time teenage drug dealer. It's probably Lee‘s most commercial work to date. but that hasn't made him tone down his attack on the evils of crack cocaine. Also evidencing a shift in ﬁlrnmaking style is Pedro Almrxlovar who leaves kitsch and camp behind him as he tackles his ﬁrst mature work in The Flower or My Secret (26 Jim).
Other cult hits of the year come in the shape of Gary Fleder’s excellent modern noir Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (May). with Andy Garcia seeking spiritual redemption when that ‘one last job' goes off the rails. Beats The Usual Suspects hands down. Toughest ﬁlm of 1996 is likely to be another US indie debut — from photographer Larry Clark ~ Kids. a jaw-droppineg bleak expose of dead— end teen sex 'n' drugs that feels uncomfortably more like a documentary than a drama.
Kids ofa gentler disposition will
warm to Toy Story (22 Mar). Disney's ﬁrst computer-generated feature. pushing animation into the 21st century as Woody the cowboy doll and space ranger Buzz Lightyear come to life as rival playthings. Computer tricks of the Jurassic Park variety are put to good use in Jumanii (16 Feb) as exoticjungle animals rampage through the homes of suburban America when two children unwittingly release spellbound explorer Robin Williams from a mystical board game. Beings of a much stranger nature will be keeping a lower proﬁle in Loch Ness (9 Feb), although zoologist Ted Danson is having trouble disproving once and for all the existence of the monster in a ﬁlm that manages to balance mild scepticism and a nice mysterious atmosphere.
()ther star names trot out in the blockbusters of the year. all of which await ﬁnalised release dates. Geena Davis swashes a buckle or two in hubby Renny llarlin's period actioner Cutthroat Island; Bruce Willis slides from conventional war zones to psychiatric hospitals to post- apocalyptic landscapes in Terry Gilliam‘s perplexing but visually incredible Twelve Monkeys; Demi Moore gets her kit off in Striptease; Daniel Day—Lewis and Winona Ryder team up again for a screen version of Arthur Miller's stage classic The Crucible; Amold Schwarzenegger swings back into action mode as a federal rnarshall who protects the identities of key witnesses in The Eraser; and Anthony Hopkins pops up as the disgraced US president in Oliver Stone‘s Nixon before stirring more real life controversy in Merchant-lvory's Surviving Picasso.
As if all this wasn't enough, I996 is the year the UK catches up with the rest of the world and celebrates the Centenary of Cinema. The ﬁrst ever
ﬁlm event in Scotland took place in what is now the Festival Theatre on
Harvey Keltei gets set to tackle crack to Clockers (above); Sharon Stone trles her luck to Casino (below); and the amoral teen posse take to the streets In Klds (bottom)
13 April 1896. so expect plenty of special events from then on —- not to mention the 50th Edinburgh Film Festival, celebrating its golden anniversary in August. (Alan Morrison)
The List 12-25 Jan I996 7