Rendez-vous In Paris: ‘insight and affection’

A Little Princess: ‘there is real magic in this movie’ Although it's been some four years since .-l ll’inler's 'liile. his last release irt this country. Eric Rohmer master of the (.iallic epigranr returns with a new film that breaks little new ground btrt retains his trademark sopltisticatiort and gives substantial roles to a fresh-faced young cast.

Three different sections each offer us a vignette of Parisian life arid love: ‘Rendez-vous At Seven O'Clock' shows a young woman whose suspicions about her boyfriends fidelity are answered in unusual circumstances after she loses her wallet in the market; ‘l’ark Benches' chronicles art outdoor romance betweert a sulnrrbimite student and the object of his passion. who isn't quite sure if she wants to leave her partner just yet; while ‘Mother And Child. l‘)()7‘ gives us an arrogant young artist. who may ltave found a new muse if he can get Picasso out of ltis head long enough arid ditch the Swedish girl he‘s meant to be showing around town.

Blending it all together are a street (icc‘ordionist and his chanteuse. whose sung ittlet‘jec‘liotts comment on the action. Really. though. the major character is the city itself. which we see with the eye of art insider 7- tourist spots taken for granted. hidden-away suburban parks arid cemeteries eagerly seized upon. While none of the individual parts really adds tip to that much.

Hollywood‘s live action kids movies have a revolting tendency to cloy in the ruaw. And given its storyline, A Little Princess would seem to contain all the worst excesses of the saccharine dream. Fear not: this is a brilliantly told fairy story. beautifully shot and well scripted. It even adds the twist of eomnuinication to those oft-told themes of love. respect. tolerance and the triumph of good over evil.

Little Sara (‘i'ewe (Liesel Matthews) lives a privileged life in India in l‘)l-1. When her widowed father (Liam Cunningham) is called to war. she is taken to a strict boarding school for rich girls in New York. Fora while. Sara's straightforward attitude and penchant for story-telling help her transcend the rules and her obvious wealth. But when her father is reported missing in action. she is left penniless

and at the mercy of Miss Minehin (Eleanor Bron). who believes that life is ‘not to indulge individual's dreams but to be productive and useful'.

There is real magic in this movie and an intelligent depth to the acting. Bron is particularly good: hers is no two- dirtiensional evil. btit something deep and bitter. ()f course. the twists and turns of the plots in Sara's stories mirror those in her real life. They are familiar. however. rather than obvious. and there is enough there to grip the attention of anyone taking their niece to the cinema and provide a good conversation afterwards. (Thom Dibdin)

' i C . " t-‘g'v ‘7‘ ;‘ ~ .. .. Ulysses’ Gaze: ‘a magisterial achievement‘

The presence of Harvey Keitel and a script substantially in English should give this latest offering from Theo Angelopoulos the Greek writer-director who may well rank with Kieslowski as the European cinema‘s most significant contemporary artist a rather wider exposure in this country than his work has had to date. And richly deserved it would be too. for it's a film of extraordinary ambition. formal accomplishment and emotional power. Keitel is an American filmmaker. who returns to Greece to find himself increasingly fascinated by the story of the Manakis Brothers. the Lumiere brothers of the Balkans. and the possibility that an undeveloped film of theirs might still be traceable in one of the region‘s film archives. ln Angelopoulos's words it's 'a quest for the pristine gaze of lost innocence'. btit a journey also to echo the Homeric odyssey of Ulysses himself and to pierce the dark heart of the area's ongoing political nightmare. While some English dialogue is awkward and

l haired beauty Maia Morgenstern) somewhat old-hat. the film is iii every other respect a magisterial achievement. it's a sort of latterday Euro-version of Apin‘ulvpse Now. traversing an evocative. desolate landscape before confronting the hell of Bosnia. Y‘t it's also brave enough to ask the Big Questions: what is the status ofcinema after 100 years‘.’ where is our continent goirig‘.’ Beautifully shot and scored by regular collaborators Yorgos Arvanitis and Eleni Karaindrou. Angelopoulos‘s film doesn't have all the answers. but in its passionate engagement and the sweeping mastery of its elegiac tracking camera. it provides a filmic experience that truly sears the memory. (Trevor Johnston)

A Little Princess (/’(2) (.»\l/mtso ('iiumn. XS. NOS) li/ennur BI'HII. l.iunt Cunning/tum. Liesel Matthews. ()7 ntins. Front Fri 9. (ieneru/ release.



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mini. English version. purl/v .rtilnitleil. Flinn /-'ri IO: IfiIin/mre/i I'i/Itt/Irttls‘e. Front /-'ri 23 Mar:

Jumanii: ‘state-of-the-art cinematic spectacle’

Bullied by his classmates and unloved 3 factor to state-of-the-art cinematic by his parents, 12-year-old Alan spectacle. Joe Johnston (who worked Parrish is whisked away from 1969 with ILM before turning director with

the recurring motif of the Eternal Woman (dark-

(ilitseuir' I'll/ii TlH’lll/I’. See previeri‘.



Re-released to celebrate its tenth birthday. Bruce Robinson's intelligent cult comedy has been a mainstay of repertory late nights and freshers‘ week bashes since its two resting tbespians first shared their acid wit with the world. Set in the late

25 The List 9-22 Feb 1996

60s. it shifts from their dissipated lifestyle of Camden to their. ehm. dissipated lifestyle in the Lake District. The black comedy hasn‘t paled in one of the best British films of its decade. Wit/tnuil & I (Bruce Robinson. UK. /98()) Richard [5. Grant. l’uul MeGunn, Ric/turd Griffiths. [07 niins. i-‘rmn Fri [6. (ilusgmv: (Ii/"7:

l lit/iiibitfiifli: Canter).

America to the jungle depths of a mysterious board game. Only when another couple of kids throw the dice some 26 years later can he be regurgitated back into his hometown. But once started, a game of ‘Jumanii’ must be completed - and it’s not just the older Alan (Robin Williams) who has emerged from the tropics but a collection of monkeys, rhinos,

i elephants and crocodiles that are

causing stampede-ster havoc in the quiet streets and shopping malls. Industrial Light and Magic provide the post-Jurassic Park computer tricks, which again raise the film’s sfx

Willow and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids) uses them for peaks of fun but also manages to develop the story beyond its repetitive ‘now it’s your turn to throw’ structure with spin-offs away from the board into the chaos of the town. Williams is in familiar kid-in- man’s-body territory, but otherwise Jumanii can boast a brilliantly original central idea that’s ably backed up by the boffins. (Alan Morrison)

Jumanll (U) (Joe Johnston, US, 1995) Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunsf. 101 mins. From Fri 16.

General release.

taken together. the insight arid affection with which Rolimer portrays his ever- unsettled twenty- somethings is enough to cast a gentle glow over the proceedings. .-\nd you'll definitely be fancying a trip to Paris afterwards. (Trevor Johnston)

Render—virus III l’uris (/5) (lirie Ruliniei; France. I995) (lam Bel/(u; Mal/titer Mega/ll, .‘Illl‘UN‘ Ruuse/telz I00 ntins. .S'ir/nitles. l’rmn Fri 9:

Ifr/in/nugelr Film/muse.