Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
'I M8! (PO) (Anthony Hopkins. UK. l996) Anthony Hopkins. Leslie Phillips. Kate Burton. 89 mins. For his ﬁrst visit behind the camera. Hopkins takes Chekhov's Uncle Vanya to Wales. An eccentric family and equally odd friends weep. shout and feel sorry for themselves in a large country house. absorbed with their unrequited romances and jealousies. The balance of tragedy and farce is disasterously unsteady. the acting extremely self-indulgent. See review. Glasgow: GFI'. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I MM Thin. (l5) (Hettie Macdonald. UK. l996) Glen Berry. Linda Henry. Scott Neal. 90 mins. Jamie. a teenager having a hard time at the local comprehensive. falls for neighbour Ste. who himself is on the receiving end from his ex- boxer dad. First-timer Macdonald's direction is unflashy. but attuned to the inner lives of these motley individuals. and the cast work wonders. Bright. summery and full of life's possibilities. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Birdcage (I5) (Mike Nichols. US. 1995) Robin Williams. Nathan Lane. Gene Hackman. I I9 mins. A remake of La Cage Aux Fol/es with plenty to say about contemporary America’s hypocrisy. Williams is superb (and more restrained) as the gay nightclub owner whose attempts to impress the right-wing parents of his son's ﬁancee go awry. Funny and sensitive. with excellent performances. Fife: Adam Smith.
I Blue I The Face (15) (Wayne Wang. US. 1995) Harvey Keitel. Roseanne. Victor Argo. 89 mins. Using Keitel's cigar store manager's tangled love life as a loose narrative thread. the makers of Smoke returned to the set for an improvised portrait of Brooklyn and its residents. Witty celebrity cameos aplenty from Madonna. Jim Jarmusch and Michael J. Fox. in what is nothing less than a party on screen. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I cam (15) (Mel Gibson. US. l995) Mel Gibson. Patrick McGoohan. Sophie Marceau. l77 mins. Mel Gibson's long and bloody account of the life of Scottish warrior hero William Wallace boasts some remarkable battle scenes and great performances. Aiming to entertain on a wider scale than the more literate Rob Roy. Bravehearr's Scottish passion is tempered by a few Hollywood moments - touches of sentimentality and ‘dramatic' historical inaccuracy. Nevertheless. it’s a ﬁne. full-blooded attempt to tap into the spirit that ﬁres Scotland’s history and heroes. Edinburgh: Odeon. Central: MacRobert.
I caaaer (PG) (Brad Silberling. US. 1995) Christina Ricci. Bill Pullman. Cathy Moriarty. IOO mins. Everyone's favourite friendly ghost has been living with his three bad-tempered uncles in an abandoned mansion. When it‘s bequeathed to a money-grabbing heiress who thinks it's ﬁlled with hidden treasure guarded by unquiet spirits. Casper comes into contact with ghost psychologist Pullman‘s tomboy daughter (Ricci). A very messy amalgam of Ghosrbusrers effects. Addams Family gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. Glasgow: Virgin. I (Roman Polanski. US. I974) Jack
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Nicholson. Faye Dunaway. John Huston. l3l mins. Private eye Jake Gittes takes on a routine case in I937 LA and ends up uncovering more than he bargained for. Splendid conspiracy thriller with a handsome period look and a quite superlative cast. Despite rumours spread by Nicholson and Polanski. though. the nose-slitting scene was faked. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Circle Of Friends ( l5) (Pat O'Connor. US/UK. I994) Chris O'Donnell. Colin Firth. Minnie Driver. l02 mins. A group of friends meet and socialise together as a relief from their college studies in Dublin. with love and disappointment inevitably nearing their heads. A slice of life in I957 Ireland - so parochial it might as well be another planet - O‘Connor's adaptation of Maeve Binchy's novel is faithfully recreated but too lightweight. Fife: Adam Smith. I [lead I. Walking ( l5) (Tim Robbins. US. l995) Susan Sarandon. Sean Penn. Robert Prosky. l22 mins. A nun (Sarandon) begins her own difﬁcult spiritual journey when she becomes religious advisor to a brutal murderer (Penn) facing the death penalty. Sarandon's presence is unshowy and committed. Penn‘s vivid and deeply insightful. and Robbins's achievement is to make a ﬁlm whose intensity and compassion ranks it far above the usual run of Hollywood pulp. Strathclyde: Magnum. I DEFF: Dranbuie EUIM Film Festival The 50th Film Festival spreads itself wider than ever. taking over all the screens at the Cameo and Filmhouse. and creeping into the programmes at the Edinburgh ABC. Dominion. Odeon and UC I as well as the Glasgow Film Theatre and Dunfemiline's Carnegie Hall and Robin's Cinema. The full list of screenings can be found in the Film Festival's own widely available preview publication. and funher information can be gleaned on Ol 31 229 2550. For a very comprehensive set of reviews for the ﬁlms screening this week. see pages 74-78. Various I Desperado (18) (Robert Rodriguez. US. l995) Antonio Banderas. Salma Hayek. Joachim De Almeida. IOO mins. Part sequel. part big budget remake. Desperado delivers all the shoot-outs and explosions denied us in Rodriguez‘s inventive debut El Mariachi. Banderas smoulders as the revenge-driven guitarist. but the emphasis is not on plot — delight instead in the glorious action set pieces. The ultimate ﬁrearm ﬂamenco. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. I MUS) (Teremce Fisher. UK. I958) Peter Cushing. Christopher Lee. Michael Gough. 82 mins. The ﬁlm that set the Hammer standard and revitalised the vampire count. Lee's Dracula is very much the seductive aristocrat. whose influence extends over the entire ﬁlm. Lurid colour. sexual symbolism and all in a print that hasn't been squashed into a television frame. Glasgow: GFI'. I lleeetee Checks II (PC) (Ken Kwapis. US. l995) Jason Alexander. Faye Dunaway. Eric Lloyd. 88 mins. There's monkey business aplenty when a jewel thief smuggles his orangutan partner-in-crime into a posh hotel. Adults will get even more out of this than kids. because the humour is irresistible. the characters suitably loathsome or adorable. and Sam the Orang a star in the making. Glasgow: GFI'. I 508808) (Charles Russell. US. l996) Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Caan. Vanessa Williams. I30 mins. Arnie plays a witness protection cop whose latest job is to protect Williams from the bad guys (and US government ofﬁcials) whom she‘s spotted doing illegal arms deals. Plenty of big guns. quips and gags. and good turns from veterans James Can and James Coburn. but the shoot-‘em~up storyline is wearing thin. See review. General release. Imentcuezcueecrmmwmsm Riarni. US. l987) Bruce Campbell. Sarah Betty. Dan Hicks. 84 mins. Bruce 'fastest axe in the West' Campbell and another selection of hardy citizens gird their loins and set their chainsaws running for another ding-dong battle with the evil forces in the woods. Less gruellingly relentless than the original. this was the smart trash hip hit of the year. Edinburgh: Cameo. I The Exorcist (18) (William Friedkin. US. l973) Linda Blair. Ellen Burstyn. Max Von Sydow. ”0 mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little possessed girl in this hugely effective scarefest. Dead good. dead scary. dead priest. Edinburgh: Cameo. I F” (18) (Joel Coen. US. 1996) Frances McDonnand. Steve Buscemi. William H. Macy. 97 mins. Hoping to make some bucks. a car salesman attempts to have his wife kidnapped by hitmen: but quickly blood is spilt. As the pregnant police detective on the case. McDormand provides a warm-hearted centre for the movie. while the absurdist plot and weird local colour gain momentum. It‘ll be considered a classic. given time. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Cameo. Filrnhouse. I ”If. (PG) (Alan Shapiro. US. l996) Elijah Wood. Paul Hogan. Chelsea Field. 96 mins. Difficult city teenager Sandy (Wood) doesn‘t
warm to ex-hippy uncle Porter (Hogan) down in the Florida Keys until along comes friendly dolphin Flipper. The story brings to mind aspects of Andre and Free Willy. but there are only so many scripts that can accommodate an acquatic star. Predictable stuff in the heart-wanning category. General release.
I From Ma With Love (PG) (Terence Young. UK. I963) Sean Connery. Daniela Bianchi. Pedro Armendariz. Lotte Lenya. Robert Shaw. “6 mins. The second and among the best of the Bond ﬂicks. with the usual Cold War shenanigans powered by atmospheric set-pieces. a genuinely witty script and truly inspired performances all round. Central: MacRobert.
I Glastonbury: The Movie ( i 5) (Robin Mahoney/Matthew Salkeld/William Beaton. UK. 1996) Charlie Creed-Miles. Sasha Turjak. 92 mins. There's a messy forrnless feel to what the ﬁlmmakers refuse to call a ‘documentary' of the Glastonbury Festival (with bits of footage from l989-93). A mixture of ﬁeld antics by New Agers and performance clips by the likes of The Lemonheads. Porno For Pyros. Ozric Tentacles and other lesser mortals. this is no Wmulsrock and doesn't make any wider social commentary. Festival home movies for Glastonbury-goers. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Guilt"! ( l 5) (Gerard Stembridge. Ireland. 1995) Andrew Connolly. Jasmine Russell. Peter IIanly. 90 mins. Irish army corporal Liam (chillingly played by Connolly) tries to keep his loyal but fearful wife Tina (Russell) in line with a militaristic set of house rules. but underneath his disciplined exterior is the turmoil of a guilty secret. Understated direction. great performances and an imaginative story give this uncomfortably powerful ﬁlm a mean punch. Fife: Adam Smith. I llenry V (PG) (Laurence Olivier. UK. I944) Laurence Olivier. Renee Asherson. Robert Newton. Leslie Banks. Majestic propaganda effort ﬁlmed in Ireland with Olivier bravely galloping around with a lot of Irish fmrs doubling as the cream of the French and English nobility. It holds a special place in screen mythology and inspired a muddier version by young pretender Kenneth Brannagh. Glasgow: GF'T
I IIOI To Make An Alerican Will (15) (Jocelyn Moorhouse. US. l995) Winona Ryder. Anne Bancroft. Demiot Mulroney. ”6 mins. A multi- generational cast of wonderful American actresses — in addition to Ryder and Bancroft. there's Ellen Burstyn. Kate Nelligan. Jean Simmons and Samantha Mathis — appear in a multi-generational women's movie. When Ryder ponders over a marriage proposal. advice on love and men is forthcoming from her female relatives. Unfortunately. Hollywood has knitted up this pattern before. Fife: Adam Smith.
I The W III lletre Dane (PG) (Gary Trousdale/Kirk Wise. US. l996) With the voices of Tom Hulce. Demi Moore. Kevin Kline. 90 mins. Young Quasimodo is kept prisoner in medieval Paris's great cathedral by the evil Judge Frollo. but when the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda comes on the scene. the boy's heroic instincts save the day. Strong vocal performances. stunning cityscapes. grand songs and an expertly mature handling of adult themes make this an instant classic with plenty to say about moral hypocrisy. General release.
I e Day (l2) (Roland Emmerich. US. l996) Will Smith. Jeff Goldblum. Bill Pullman. l50 mins. Day One: alien ships hover over the world's major cities. Day Two: they attack. Day Three: mankind goes into hokum overdrive and gears up to kick some alien ass. A SOs-style invasion B-movie with 90s state-of-the art effects. Independence Dav deserves every penny it has taken at the box office. A gripping scare scenario that doesn‘t take itself too seriously. throws in some conspiracy theories and rounds it off with the most devastating disaster scenes ever put on ﬁlm. General release. I “NIT" M Peach (U) (Henry Selick. US. 1996) Paul Terry. Susan Sarandon. Simon Callow. 79 mins. From the director of Tim Burton '5 The Nightmare Before Christmas comes a wonderfully colourful adaptation of Roald Dahl's much-loved novel. Live action tops and tails the story. but for the most part. it's fun times with stop-motion puppets. By turns funny and scary. it stays true to Dahl's suneal and whimsical vision. General release.
I “I (U) (Joe Johnston. US. 1995) Robin Williams. Jonathan Hyde. Kirsten Dunst. l0l mins. Trapped for 26 years in a jungle board game. Alan Parrish (Williams) is released only when two modem-day kids throw the dice themselves. But they also unleash a stampede of monkeys. crocodiles. elephants. rhinos and other unfamiliar beasts into small town America. The story manages to get beyond its repetitive limits with a brilliantly original central idea and post- Jurassic Park computer effects that make it state-of-the-art cinema spectacle. Strathclyde: WMR.
I WNWUSHKen Loach. UK/Spain. 1995) Ian Hart. Rosana Pastor. lciar Bollain. i09 mins. A magniﬁcent. moving.
eatchthe burnt-r era fortnight.
FIRST IIIII I The Secret (it lieae leleh John Sayles’s beguiling Celtic fantasy. about the Irish selkies of myth and legend, is a magical treatfor children and adults alike. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I TheleﬂStlpperPCornotPC? That is the question for a group of grad students whose dinner conversations turn nasty for their hapless guests in this clever black comedy. See review. Glasgow: ABC, Edinburgh: Cameo, .
I Independence Day Alien invasion on a scale never seen before. as state- of-the-art effects make the destruction of the world’s major cities startlingly - realistic. Cinema as popcorn spectacle. General release.
I The Hunchback (If letre Due Disney doesn’t skim on the adult themes of Victor Hugo’s novel. while the animation and songs prove strong enough to keep the kids spellbound. General release.
I la Beale III In Jean Renoir’s dissection of the French class System is as sharp a social satire now as it was in 1939. when it's disruptive content caused it to be banned. A genuine masterpiece. Glasgow: GFTI
politicised epic on the Spanish Civil War by Britain's most committed director on the Left. An unemployed man (Hart) leaves 305 Liverpool to ﬁght with the POUM Militia. and sees ﬁrst hand the betrayal of his cause by the Stalinists. Ilis story is told in ﬂashback. as his granddaughter reads his hidden letters home - a link to the present day that proves these events have a strong relevance to today. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I The Last Dance ( l5) (Bruce Beresford. US. 1996) Sharon Stone. Rob Morrow. Randy Quaid. Stone plays a death row inmate awaiting execution for the murder of her junkie boyfriend in this decent hearted but resoundingly conventional affair. Hers seems a hopeless case until idealistic lawyer Rob Morrow comes on the scene. Placed beside Dead Man Walking. this is as staid as a TV problem pic. and only slightly keeps Stone's dramatic credibility alive following Casino.20Edinburgh: UCI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank.
I The Last Supper (15) (Stacy Title. US. l996) Ron Eldard. Courtney Vance. Cameron Diaz. 92 mins. A group of American grad students host a series of dinners during which they pose various ‘PC or not PC?‘ questions to their guests - with fatal results if the answer is not to their liking. Described by the director as ‘an Arsenic And Old Lace for the 90s‘. this black comedy relies as much on vividly drawn characters as the bizarre situation that unfolds. See review. Glasgow: ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCI.
I leaving lae Veeae(18) (Mike Figgis. US. l995) Nicolas Cage. Elisabeth Shue. Julian Sands. “0 mins. Sacked from his job. Ben (Cage) drives to Las Vegas with the sole intention of drinking himself to death. but during his descent comes across hooker Sera (Shue). another lost soul. Figgis's neon-drenched movie captures the irresponsible euphoria and mental pain of alcoholism from a subjective viewpoint.
80 The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996