I leon (I8) (I.uc Besson. France. I994) Jean Reno. Nathalie I’orunan. Gary Oldman. I I0 rttins. When his neighbour‘s family is wiped out by crooked cops on a bungled drugs bust. ice cool hitman Leon ﬁnds himself looking after tlte sole survivor - twelve-year-old Mathilde Ltic Besson's ﬁrst ﬁliit irt English is. nevertheless. a French ﬁlm in terms of style. editing and its boldness iii story and theme. It's good to see that the director Itas finally got over the all-style-no- content obstacle. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I lone Star I I5) (John Sayles. I’S. I996) Chris Cooper. Elizabeth I’eiia. Kris Kristofferson. I35 mins. When a modern-day Texan sheriff investigates a decades-old murder. past clashes witlt present and local itrytlrologies ltave to be re-examiired. Sayles's various sub-plots don't distract frortr eaclt other: in fact. they re-itiforce arid counterpoint. building a complex social. historical arid political backdrop to the i'ivetting thriller on the surface. Another masterpiece front America's greatest independent director. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I The long Kiss Goodnight ( I8) (Renrry Ilarlin. US. I996) Geena Davis. Samuel L. Jackson. Craig Bierko. I20 mins. Suburban schoolteacher arid aiirnesiac Davis suddenly discovers that. in the past. she was a top CIA assassin and. with private detective Jackson in tow. avoids a host of professional killers arid foils a genocide plot. It's action all the way and logic otrt the window as director (arid the star's husband) lIailirt delivers spectacular stunts while Shane Black's script contains inspired banter. I’ui'e escapism. See review. General release.
I la Machine ( I5) (Francois Dupeyron. France. I995) Gerard Depardieu. Didier Bourdon. Nathalie Baye. 94 mins. Depardieu stars as a psychiatric .soi'cei'er's apprentice wlto experiments with a secret machine that can transfer the souls and sensibilities of dangerous patiettts. A sci-fi thriller that's deliciously over- the-top. French Filtti Festival. Edinburgh: I-‘ilmhouse.
I le Maitre Des Elephants (PG) (Patrick Grarrdperi'et. France. I995) Jacques Dtitroitc. Ei'wan Bayrraud. llalilou Bouba. 95 mins. When his mother dies. thirteen-year-old Martin joins his father on art African game reserve. where he makes friends with a local boy with a gift for controlling elephants. The African backdrop allows for several of the country's contradictions to corrte to the fore. French Film Festival. Edinburglt: Filrnhouse.
I le Mepriu I 5) (Jean-Lire Godard. France. I963) Brigitte Baidot. Jack l’alance. Michel I’iccoli. I03 mitts. Godard‘s comment on international filmmaking is te-released in a new print. A scr'iptwi'iter is increasingly despised by his wife as he tries to set tip a film it) Rome to be directed by Fritz Lang. The breakdown of a marriage contrasts with the clrequcbook wedding that marked so much collaborative ﬁlmmaking during the 60s. while the Mediterranean photography makes this the rttost handsome ﬁlm Godard ever made. Glasgow: GI-‘I‘.
I Michael Collins ( l5) (Neil Jordan. US. l996) Liam Neesoir. Jtrlia Roberts. Alait Rickman. I32 mins. Winner of the Best Film and Best Actor awards at the Venice Film Festival and the cause of knee-jerk criticism from the right-wing press. Jordan‘s stirring historical epic is art honest portrayal of .1 tagged and bloody conflict between the Britislt imperial power and idealistic Irish Nationalists early this century. The action is well ltandled. the characterisations strong and the brutality on both sides is never glossed over. Gerteral release. I Mission: Impossible (PG) (Brian De Patina. US. I996) Tom Cruise. Jon Voiglrt. Emiitanuelle Beart. I IO mitts. I.'trlike the fondly remembered TV series which pushed the notion of teamwork. this lavisth produced Hollywood thriller is driven by Cruise's solo star power. As the only survivor of a hit on his espionage team. he races across the world. scttirtg tip double bluffs to fltrslr out a rrrole. There are a couple of dazzling set pieces. but they're padded out by yards of complicated plot. Slick. but cold. Fife: Glenrotltes.
I MT Reliable ( l5) (Nadia Tass. Australia. l996) Colirt Friels. Jacqueline McKenzie. I’aul Sorrkkila. I I3 mins. Based on a true story that had the Australian nation gripped to their television screens. Tass's offbeat and upbeat movie is another success from Down Under. During the I968 Summer of Love. petty criminal Wally Mellish's home is under siege: only iit Australia could a situation teetering on tragedy end itt wedding bells. A marvellously lively character piece that captures the anarchic spirit of the country. Edinburgh: UCI. Strathclyde: UCls.
I Mulholland Falls ( I8) (Lee Tamahori. US. I996) Nick Nolle. Melanie Griffith. Chazz I’alminteri. l()(i mins. A fictionalised tale involving |.AI’D‘s real-life tough guy 'IIat Squad‘. 'l‘amahoi'i's US follow-up to Once Were Warriors strays too closely to ('Iii'rrritmi'ri territory to work tn its own right. A murder leads to high-tip conspiracies arid corruption. bringing irt personal difficulties for Nolte's morally
compromised hero. Lacks the dread or paranoia that the 50s noirs so effortlessly evoked. Glasgow: Grosvertor. Strathclyde: East Kilbride Arts Centre.
I The Muppets Christmas Carol (U) (Brian Henson. US/UK. I992) Michael Caine. Kermit. Miss Piggy and other bits of foam. It's Christmas time. and nasty old miser Scrooge (Caine) needs taught a lesson by three seasonal ghosts. Colourful version of Dickens' classic tale that will please the kids and keep the adults smiling with its little irreverent spices. Central: ABC.
I Mutiny On The Buses (U) (Ilarry Booth. I'K. I973) Reg Varney. Doris llare. Anna Karen. 89 nrins. Television comedy series hits the big screen in lacklustre fashion. with Varney teaching his brother-in-law the art of bus-driving and then heading off for Windsor Safari Park. Plenty of room for more laughs on top. Edinburgh: St Bride's.
I Nosferatu (PG) (FW Murnari. Germany. I922) Max Schr'eck. Alexander Granach. Gustav von Wangertlieim. 72 mins. Schrch is a truly terrifyittg figure as Bram Stoker's famous vampire. looking more like a skinned bat than a human being. A wonderfully visual movie. with twisted shadows and sextral undercun'ents placing it well above the Kinski/llerzog rerrrake. Edinburgh: Filirr Guild.
I The Nutty Professor ( l 2) (Tom Shadyac. l'S. I996) Eddie Murphy. Jada I’inkett. James (‘oburit 95 mins. Stealing the plot from the Jerry Lewis vehicle. this Jekyll-and-llyde variation Itas .\Iurplty iii a variety of roles. I’iirrcipally. he's overweight but sweet scientist Sherman Kltimp. who comes tip with a formula that shrinks hint to sexy btrt egotistical Buddy l.ove. l'rrfoitrrttatcly. he often reverts to gross size at iiropertuiie irrorrteirts. The make-up is good. btrt the fart level of humour is way too simplistic. General release.
I October (I’G) (Sergei Eisenstein. I'SSR. I928) Nikaridrov. Vladimir I’opov. Boris l.ivatrov. I64 mins. (‘oirrmissiorred to coitiriteitroiate the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Iiiseristein's filirt is a pulsating expression of the power of montage. with a succession of dazzling images and the elaborate use of visual metaphor marking this out as one of the Soviet ciiteina's great classics. liven if it is all a bit too much. Glasgow: GI'T. I Paradise lost: The Child Murders At liobin llood lIiIIs ( IS) (Joe Bei‘linger/Bruce Sinofsky. I‘S. I996) I50 mitts. Berlinger and Siitofsky's documentary doesn't just examine the murder of three eight-ycar-old boys in Arkansas iii I993. but delivers a painful portrait of true crime reporting and the srrtaII-towit nightmare of West Memphis. Non-conformity leads to prejudice. and the cameras are there to capture the aftermath without ti'ivialising the subject. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse.
I The Passion or Darkly Iloon ( 18) (Philip Ridlcy. UK/Gerntany. I995) Brendan Fraser. Ashley Judd. Viggo Slottensen. l()l mins. A distrubed young man front a wiped-out religious cult is cared for by a beautiful woman in the middle of a forest. biit his confusion over his sexual desires leads to madness and murder. Ridley follows The Reﬂecting Skirt with a jaw- di'oppiitg blend of adult fairytale arid gothic
hori or. The filiit is a glorious fusiort of distorted images and dislocated sounds that btrild to a tremendous clirrrax. Glasgow: Gross-error.
I The Pillow Book ( l8) (I’eter (iieeiraway. I7K/Netherlands/France. l996) \‘ivian Wu. Ewan McGregor. Yoshi ()ida. I26 mitts. Greertaway's distinctive style of frames within frames and text scrolling across the screen reaches its zenith in this visual tttasterpiece. A Japanese model chooses lter lovers on the strength of their calligraphic skills. attd slowly she ptrts iii motion a revenge plan against the man who ruined her father. McGregor co-stars as a bisexual translator whose kit is more off than on. btit the graphic nudity is senstially handled. Acliitrgly' gorgeous images make for sheer cinematic poetry. Edinburgh: Carrteo.
I The Secret Of Roan Inish (PG) (John Sayles. I'S/Ii‘elarrd. I994) Jerti Courtney. Eileen (‘olgair. John Lynch. l()3 mins. Master filmmaker Sayles delivers a wonderfully wistful Celtic fantasy that should appeal to older aitd younger viewers alike. Capturing the mood of rural Ireland and the legend of the half-human. half-seal selktes. Ire spins a rich tale of everyday magic which taps irrio the cultural identity of the setting without a hint of cortdescettsion. Glasgow: GFT.
I Secrets And lies( )5) (Mike Leigh. t'K. l996) Timothy Spall. Brenda Bletlryn. l’hyllis Logan. l-I() mins. Leigh's I’alme D'()i'-wittning follow up to Ntlk't'r/ is a bittersweet take on suburban domestic life. Young black optician IItit'ICIISC searches for the mother who put her tip for adoption as a baby. bill is surprised to discover it's white working-class Cynthia. Genuinely eirrotiortal. with great pei'foiiirances by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Timothy Spall. but the show stopping turn comes front Cannes winner Brenda Blethan. Borders: Roxy. - I Sense And Sensibility (Ii) (Aug I.ce. liS/l ‘K.
I995) Emma Thompson. Kate Winslel. Alart Rickman. Hugh Grant. I35 mins. Denied their inheritance when the father of the household dies. the female members of the Dashwood farrrily face a precarious future which coiitplicates the romances of sensible Elinor FFIIOIIIPSOITI arid emotive Marianne (Wittslet ). 'I'horrtpsoir's adaptation keeps the wordplay etigaginly tart and sharp-wilted. btit never loses sight of the powerful frustrations simmering beneath the surface. Infinitely more satisfying than your typical fluffy period piece. Edinburgh: Cartreo. I Seven ( l8) (David Fincher'. I‘S. I995) Brad Pitt. .\Ioi'gan Fi'eciiran. Gwyneth l’altrow. I27 ittirts. The outline is familiar — two cops track down a serial killer — btit Seven is a step ahead of its rivals. I'I()Ili its opening title sequence onwards. it's art extremely dark movie which w irtds through the most twisted recesses of human nature. liach death is a graphic interpretation of one of the seven deadly sins. giving Alien 3‘ director Fincher' the material for art intense sty listic exercise iit horror. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. I Smoke ( I5) (Wayne Wang. [S I995) lIar'vey Kcitcl. William Hurt. llai'old I’ct'ritreau. l()S mins. Novelist lIuit offers homeless lad I’er'i'rireau a place to stay after Ire is say ed front being run over. Elsewhere. well observed Brooklyn characters ltarrg out in the tobacco store where Keitel dispenses horttespun philosophies. A delightful and coiripelling treat. based on the work of Paul Austci. Iidiitburgh: Cameo. . I The Sound Of Music (I'IIRobett Wise. ('8. I965) Julie Andrews. Christopher I’lunrmcr. Richard llaydtr. Eleanor l’arker’. l’eggy Wood. I73 mins. lit the late I93()s. vivacious iitiii .\Iaria (Andrews) introduces the You Tr app children to the joys of music. aitd their widowed father (I’liiriimcr) to the toys of love as Nazism begins to sweep Austria. ()rie of the great screen musicals. coirrpletely uncyiiical. and boasting a ltost of irtemor‘able sotrgs atrd clrairtt-stxldcn moments. And it's all based on a true story. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. I SpecieS( IS) (Roger Donaldson. I‘S. I995) Betr Kingsley. .\Iichael .\Iadseit. Natasha llensti‘idgc. l()S mins. The offspring of alicri and human DNA escapes front a [S government lab and sets out to mate iit modern Amer ica. Brit right away a ntismatclrcd team is assembled to track her dowrt — and kill her. The w Irolc drive of the plot takes air easy. ritrsogynrstic line. playing on nralc fears of the feritale power to reproduce. addittg a serious complaint to basic moans against this unoiigirtal. non-scary piece of trash. Fife: New I’tctute House. I Stealing Beauty ( l5) ( Ber iiardo Ber tolticci. ltaly/Ftatice/L'K. l996) Liv Tyler. Jeremy Irons. Donal .\IcCann. I IS mins. A teenage American beauty (Tyler) visits her late mother's bohemian ex-pat friends in 'l‘uscany with a mind to lose her virginity to the yotrng man for whom she has had a lasting infatuation. Riyals for her affections are many. and her arrival tinsettlcs the balance of the house. The photography and handling of Bei'tolucci's first Italian-set film for fiItcen years is characteristically masterful. altltouglr the storyline may contain a little too rrruclr middle- aged male lecheiy. Central: .\I;icRobeit. I Streetlighter ( I2) (Sic-(cit t-L. De Sou/a. t's. I995) Jean-Claude Van Damrric. Raul Julia. Kylie Minogue “)0 mins. eren a renegade warlord takes a group of aid workers hostage. Colonel Guile (Van Dammc) heads a sqatrd of multi-etlrrtic heroes who stoiir a Iii-tech fortress to free them. The fact that thc filirt suffers fioitr a stop-start plot. too many IICIOL'S and virtually no suspense is fairly unsurprising. grteii that it's a transfer to the big screen of a cortrputei game. A noisy. brainless mess. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. I Tin Cup ( l5) (Ron Shelton. I'S. I996) Kevin Costner. Rcric Russo. (‘Iieech .\Iaiirr. I35 mins. l'ttpiedrctable. washed-up golfer ("ostirei II res to ptill himself together arid w iii the heart of his adversary's girl by entering the IS ()pcrt. Slreltort comes tip with the funniest sports frlnr since his own baseball movie Bull Dru/rum. while Costner turns irt art immensely appealing performance. Good humour. good insight. Glasgow: ()deon Quay. I Touch of Evil ( tit) (Orson Welles. t's. tr)er Orson Welles. Charlton Heston. Marlene Dietrich. Jarret Leigh. l()S mins. Welles made a return to llollywoml studio eirrploymeitt after a decade in the wilderness with this classic baroque thriller. In a sleazy border town. the murder of a Mexican bigwig causes friction between corrupt local detective llaiik Quinlan (Welles Irinrself) and tipi igltt Mexican narcotics agent Vargas (llestorr). Amidst a gallery of Wellesiait grotesques arid expressionist carnerawork the dialogue betw eetr tititlt and justice becomes progressively rrtore garbled. Don't be late or you‘ll miss one of ciricma's most famous opening shots. Glasgow: GI-'I'. I Trainspotting ( IX) (Danny Boyle. l'K. I995) Ewart McGi‘egor. Ewen Bieritrter. Robert Carlyle. Joniiy Lee Miller. 93 irtiits. John
lIodge's screenplay perfectly captures the desperate humour of II\ inc Welsli's novel. keeping the episodic structure of irritkre scenes for the ﬁrst half. before concentrating more on Reiiton irt London in the later stages. Fast and stylislt direction. creative soundtrack arid acting that‘s off-tlre-rails excellent. A cinematic blast from begirtrting to ertd. which also shows a complex — arid true — understanding of the hue and fatal consequences of drug-taking. Glasgow- ()deon. Edinburgh: Cameo. ()dcon. I Trash ( I8) tl’aul .\Ior‘risey. I'S. l97()) Joe Dallesandro. llolly Woodlawir. Jarte Forth. l(l3 titirts. The lives of the livritg (lead tit irrirktow it I'SA. .\Ioi'iisey 's camera unflinchineg observes the desperate lives of Warhol Superstars Dallesandio and Woodlaw n as they shairrble through sex atrd heroin towards a welfare check. That said. there's an unexpected amount of humour iii tltc script arid scenarios. plus a star- makirig and sympathetic performance by Woodlaw n which brings a sweetness to the 'iq";l.(.l'. Glasgow: GFI'. Fdinbuigh: Cameo. I Les Trois Freres ( I 2 ) (DItIIL‘I' Bouidotr/Bcttrard Caiirpatr. Fiance. I995) Didici Bour'don. Bernard Campan. l’ascal |.egrtrmus. l()(l mins. French comic trio l.cs Inconritis play siblings who meet for tltc first trrirc at the readrtrg of tlteir mother's will. \Iaylrem ensues iii classic sketch comedy style. French I‘IlIII Festival. Glasgow: GI'T. lidiirbirrglr‘ I'lllllltﬂtls‘t‘ I True Blue ( l5) (Ferdinand Fairfax. I'K. I996) Dominic West. Johan I.eyseit. Dylartd Baker. I IS mins. A film about the I937 'rniitrny' of the Oxford Boat Race crew - hardly a vital episode of sporting history. American values clash with old-fashioned British traditions iii a story with limited suspeiis'c. The filitt seems unable to grasp the idea that. just because events are factual. they‘re not necessarily interesting. Edinburgh: (New). I The Van ( l5) (Stephen Fiears. Ireland/l 'K. l996) Colin \Ieaircy. Donal ()‘Kelly. Ger Ryan. l()5 turns. The final instaliitcnt iii the big screen trcatrrretrt of Roddy Doyle's Baii'ytowit biology is much darker and less fiiiriry than fans of T/It' ('nnrrriilnri'rrlr arid 'I'Iri' .Slrii/r/u'r rtrrglrt expect Concetrttatrrtg on the tensions that grow between two men who go ttrto the fast-food business. it's really a serious look at rrralc mid-life crisis and long-term unertrploymeirt \Ieaircy sparkles once agarri. but oteiall the swearing becomes intrusive. the drama lacks a punch and tire pace is Iairlty. See feature and icy iew. General release. I Varda 4 — les Demunisi is) I 33 mins. [IO/rem Mun/Ir presents an aIIcctiorratc portrait of a pregnant w orrian in the \Iouffetaid area of Pat is. w lrrle the superb I935 feature Sum 'lirir .\‘r I.(rI (lireu/imrrlcl stars Sairdiine Bontraiie as an office girl who gives tip Itei rob for air ainrlcss existence on the roads. lidinbuigh: Frlmhouse. I Varda 5 - A Propos lie Feniines ( I5) I 30 mins. The director ‘s I976 teatuie ()Ilt' Suigi. fflr' ()I/It’l' I)()t’\ll ‘t tells the story of the friendship of two women. Sir/attire artd I’aulritc. whose lives push them apart then birrrg them together once more. A wonderful feminist film that doesn't o\eistate its social background The short l’luim D'Anrrmr Ifii lrrur follows I’auline's travels with her lrarriarr lover. l‘rench I'IlIlI Festival. Glasgow' GI-T. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. I Varda 6 - Entance De Jacques Item (.17 mins. .ltlt't/IIHI De r\'tllllt’\ is air affectionate nostalgia piece about Varda's profevronal arid personal partner Jacques Dertty. w hiclr cortrbirrcs footage of inteis iews with Derrry. clips front his films and fictionalised scenes Ir'om his childhood. Also on the bill is l.r' Sir/mire)" Dir lit.’ l)(' Loire. Dcmy 's‘ first short. made in I95-I. Freticlr I'IIIII Festiyal. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. I Waittriorlts ( IS) (l’aul l.enr. Germany. l92-I) Conrad \‘eidt. Frrttl Jatittiitgs. Werner Krauss. 87 mins. One of the best German Expressionist rirovies. which manages to use its inherently cinematic style to create distinct moods. The film falls into three sections featuring a wicked Caliplr. a mad Isan The Terrible and a nightmarish Jack The Ripper. Dark arid deliciously dreamlike. Edinburgh: I‘IIIII Guild. I The Wind In The Willows (I ') (Terry Jones. I'K. 1996) Terry Jones. Eric Idle. Steve Coogan SS mins. When .\Iole's home is destroyed by w easel property dcvelopeis. Ire enlists the lrelp of Rat. Badger aitd egotistical Toad to uncover a conspiracy. Jones's I’ython-for-kids adaptation of the classic troyel is a tad self-indulgent. w rtlt some awful songs and lacklustre pacing. llow c\ er. the characters and atittospheic w ill probably chatnr a younger audience not yet irtto their titore cyrtrcal teens. General release. I XY ( l 5) (Jean-Paul l.tlierrfeld. France. l996) I’ati'ick Bi'aoude. ('Icrrrerrtiiie Cclai‘ie. Chantal l.aub_v. l()5 rtrirrs. Biaoude (also seen this year a~ director-stat of (ir'niitl. .Ili'i I’un'nti Dii'mt‘t'lt!) plays a man w hose plart to save his corirpany frortt being swallowed by a rriultt-rratroital has him making a fertility contract wrtlr a tough businesswoman. A test-tube baby comedy that's a bit more daring than Nllll’ Mum/rs. French Filrr Festival. Glasgow: GI-‘I'. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse.
30 The List 29 Nov-l2 Dec I996