festival film



Back in the Dark Ages, young Einon sustains a potentially mortal wound, and only the quick thinking ot his mother and the chivalrous Knight Bowen (Dennis Duaid) save him trom death by turning to a dragon tor help. Twelve years later, despotic King Einon (sneeringly played by Nakeds David Thewlis) rules with malice not mercy. Bowen has become a cynical, dragon-slaying mercenary, turning his back on the old code, but when he meets Draco, the last oi the dragons, he turns their friendship to mutual advantage and tries to restore the old ways again.

Directed by Rob Cohen, the iilm plunders its way through tairytale and legend territory in the quest tor a solid

legend comes to tile in Dragonheart

story. Draganheart's strength, however, lies in the buddy-buddy relationship that develops between Bowen and the fiery-breathed but dry- humoured Draco (voiced by Sean Connery), a dragon that’s more human than the reptiles that rule.

llever has a dragon seemed more convincing - an astounding teat ot wizardry that could only be the product of industrial Light and Magic’s animators (the team that brought Jurassic Park‘s dinosaurs back trom extinction). Draco, with the beguiling personality of Connery himself, won’t easily be torgotten in a putt ot smoke. This is the lasting magic that will have you spellbound whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart. (Paul Smith) Dragonheart, Mean, 11 Aug, 7.30pm, £15/£10;t10l, 12 Aug, 11am, £5 (£4). Scene By Scene with special effects animator Euan MacDonald, ABC, 12

Mg, 4m. £8 (£4)-



Dolm Meaney and tamlly tollow World Cup action in The Van


The third part ot the Barrytown trilogy that began with The Commitments and continued with The Snapper, this broken-backed comedy reunites novelist Roddy Doyle with director Stephen Frears, who despite his obvious sympathy for the material cannot solve the problem at a script which - like the characters it depicts - peaks just over hallway through, then gets bogged down in bickering and boredom.

Laid ott irom his job at the bakery, Bimbo (Donal D’ltelly) invests his redundancy money in a chip van and recruits his oldest triend, Larry (Colin Meaney) to help clean it up and prepare the grub. As it their tortunes

are tied to the success at the Irish 1990 World Cup team, they at first llourish; but when .lack Charlton’s boys get knocked out, things go downhill tor Bimbo and Larry too.

It’s a bold shiit ot tone: as the employer/employee relationship enshrined in the van’s name, Bimbo’s Burgers, provokes a riit between the two close lriends. Sadly, despite Meaney and D’ltelly’s best ettorts, these later scenes lack the vitality and cohesion of the earlier ones. llampered by a terrible Eric Clapton soundtrack that sounds like bastardised out-takes trom Mark Knoptler’s Local Iiero score, this tinally gets bogged down in the characters’ whinging sell-pity. (lligel Floyd)

The Van, Cameo, 12 Aug, 7.30pm; EFT, 17 Aug, 8pm; Cameo, 21 Aug, 10.15pm, £6 (£4).


BDB’S WEEKEND Billed as a British take on It's A lVl)Ilt/¢’I_'/ll/ Life. Jevon ()‘Neill's debut feature could just as well be described as an episode of Mr Bt‘llll as imagined by Ken Loach. Security officer Bob - played by Bruce Jones from Loach‘s Ruining Stuiii'v is down on his luck after losing his job and learning of his wife's affair in the same nightmare evening. Devastated. he heads for Blackpool with suicide on his mind. The down-al- heel seaside town serves as a kind of mythical repository of dreams and childhood memories which offers Bob the chance to rediscover a reason for living. This whimsical comedy exploits its location brilliantly as it heads for the three-hankie happy ending. (Eddie Gibb)

I Bob‘s Weekend Filmhouse. l2 Aug. (rpm; Gl‘T. l7 Aug. 5.45pm; Cameo. 20 Aug. 8.l5pm. £6 (£4 ).

DRAMA * ‘A' ‘k *


in this remarkable film. the eponomous Lillian emerges into modern day Australia after 40 years in a psychiatric institution. An unvanquished spirit. she fashions a new life on the city streets while facing up to past misdeeds. In flashback. Toni Collette turns in a hypnothhtg performance as the young Lillian. whose first sexual blossoming is irreversibly skewed by her sadistic father. but Ruth Cracknell as the older Lillian freewheeling and quixotic - is the unsurpassed star of the piece. Possessed of a poetic visual sense and beautifully scored. director Jerzy Domaradski's film is a soulful addition to the canon of Australian cinema winning a global audience. (Deirdre Molloy)

I lillian‘s Story Cameo. l4 Aug. 5pm; Cil-T. lo Aug. 5.45pm; Cameo. 23 Aug. 5pm. £6 (£4).



Estonia i'evists Edinburgh following I‘)‘)3‘s I)(II'A'II(’.\'\‘ III 'IiII/imi. Succumbing to the pressures of poverty and alcoholic parents. Tallinn teenager Siim turns to street crime. accidentally kills an innocent girl. and ends tip in a brutal reform school. A grinding soft rock score underlines the terrible inevitability of Siim's life (alternatively it reinforces the film's plodding pace). while Merike's line. ‘I feel like I’m falling into bits and pieces‘. summarises the tragic plight of youth in the economically ravaged former USSR. While Dar/truan- Iii 'lii/liiiii celebrated Estonia's newly found independence with an enjoyable black comedy. 72m 'Iii't'i/ 7i) Hale paints a troubling picture with its bitter cynicism. (Miles Fielder)

I Too Tired To llate Filmhouse. 13 Aug. ()pttl‘. Gl‘T. Io Aug. 2pm; Cameo. 20 Aug. 7.30pm. £6 (£4).



There‘s much Steinbeck in this tale of itinerant farm labourers in (950s southern France. A

if tr.

i4 Jilin ' i


Bob's Weekend

fugitive for the manslaughter of a strike- breaking policeman in Franco's Spain. handsomely chisel- featured hero Manuel becomes the mouthpiece for exploited illegal immigrant workers. The film's strength lies in its contrasting of relationships: male friendship. business (between the hierarchy of bosses). paternal and romantic. The past adds depth to the charactei'isations with flashbacks to childhood traumas and abuse providing suitable motivation. A literal ending in the mire of the film's metaphorical linglish title quicksand equates with deception and secrets -r is revelatory and neatly ties tip loose ends. (Miles Fielder)

I les Sables Mouvants Cameo. l2 Aug. 5pm; Cameo. l4 Aug. 7.30pm. £6 (£4).



The dramatic events leading to race riots in liidia in l‘)‘)2 are relegated to the background in this quietly poetic bttt powerful film about the values of family and culture. l‘i'oiii June until violence erupts in December. we witness gradual disruption ill the home life of lively teenager Naseeiii. As tension builds on

television and in the streets. we concentrate instead on subtle mood shifts within the house. At the film's heart is Naseem's loving relationship with her grandfather. vs hose allegorical stories come from a rich and noble tradition that is in danger of being destroyed by an angrier new generation.

jtist as the Hindu mosque

in the news is torn down by religions fundamentalists. (Alan Morrison)

I llaseem Cameo. l3 Aug. 2.45pm: Gl’f. l7 Aug. 2pm; l‘illllllltitls'c‘: l‘) Aug. llaiii. £6 (£4).

76 The List 9- l 5 Aug I996