FILM INDEX continued
Kong. I995) beon Lai. Takeshi Kaneshiro. Michele Reis. 94 mins. Similar in setting and style to arthouse hit Chung/ring Express. this tale of love and death in the neon- soaked nights of Hong Kong is much darker in tone. with characters that seem just a little more psychologically disturbed. Overlapping lives of a hitman. his female boss. a petty thief and a distraught woman are ﬁlmed in a distinctive style that skewers both the frame and the emotions. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Fargo ( l8) (Joel Coen. US. I996) Frances McDormand. 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 pI0t and weird local colour gain momentum. It‘ll be considered a classic. given time. Edinburgh: Cameo. Fierce Creatures (I2) (Robert Young/Fred Schepisi. UK/US. I996) John Cleese. Jamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline. Michael Palin. 93 mins. The team from A F ish Called Wanda team up again for a completely different story. Kline has dual roles as a crude media tycoon and the son he sends to turn the English 200 he‘s just bought into a proﬁt- making machine by chucking out the ﬂuffy animals and ﬁlling it only with ‘ﬁerce creatures‘. The ﬁlm lacks bite. however. and the TV stalwarts in the smaller roles are often embarrassing. A light farce that doesn‘t match their earlier effort. General release.
The Flower Of My Secret (I5) (Pedro Almodovar. Spain. I995) Marisa Paredes. Juan Echanove. Rossy de Palma. l0l mins. The cult director moves away from hysterical high camp towards a more serious melodrama as writer Paredes despairs of her life as a popular romantic novelist. A mature. controlled. often deeply moving work that retains some typically arch humour and sly ironies. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Fly Away Home (U) (Caroll Ballard. US. I996) Anna Paquin. Jeff Daniels. Dana Delany. l07 mins. When her mother is killed in a car crash. young Amy (The Piano 3' Paquin) is sent to live with her estranged father in Canada. Soon they‘ve hatched a plan to help a ﬂock of baby geese migrate south for the winter by leading them in a modiﬁed glider. An orphaned kid. some ﬂuffy animals — but this gets beyond the formula by injecting some credible emotional depth into the performances by the two leads. Glasgow: Odeons. Showcase. UCI Clydebank. Virgin. Edinburgh: Odeon. Others: Dunferrnline.
The Frighteners (IS) (Peter Jackson. New Zealand/US. I996) Michael J. Fox. Trini Alvarado. Peter Dobson. |09 mins. Director Jackson follows up Heavenly Creatures with a sfx-saturated scare-fest that shifts from slapstick horror comedy into something much darker and more disturbing. Fox plays a charlatan parapsychologist whose offer to rid a town of its ghosts backﬁres when he rekindles an old serial killer case. More complex than it ﬁrst appears. General release.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. I953) Marilyn Monroe. Jane Russell. Charles Coburn. 9| mins. Two girls from Little Rock make it big in Paris. lnconsequential comedy musical from the Anita Loos novel. made watchable by the ebullient stars and the production number ‘Diamonds Are A Girl‘s Best Friend‘. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Ghost And The Darkness (l5) (Stephen Hopkins. US. I996) Michael Douglas. Val Kilmer. Bernard Hill. I09 mins. Young colonial Kilmer arrives in Africa to build bridges. but when two vicious lions get a taste for human meat. he determines to kill the beasts with the help of hunter Douglas. The natives. however. reckon these are no mere big cats but evil spirits. Needlesst racist and devoid of intelligence. humour or emotion. this unexciting actioner lacks suspense. Irvine Magnum.
A Goofy Movie (U) (Kevin Lima. US. I996) With the voices of Bill Farmer. Jason
28 TIIELIST 7-20 Mar 1997
Marsden. Jim Cummings. 74 mins. After a school prank backﬁres. Goofy decides to take troublesome son Max off on a bonding ﬁshing trip. Max is trying his best to be cool. but that isn‘t easy when your dad‘s this particular Disney star. An incident-packed journey provides plenty of laughs which should keep restless kids and accompanying adults amused. Glenrothes.
La l-Iabanera (PG) (Deltef Sierck. Germany. I937) Zarah Leander. Karl Martell. Ferdinand Marian. I00 mins. The ﬁlm that proved to be the passport for its director. Douglas Sirk. to Hollywood tells of a Swede who falls in love with Puerto Rico and marries a rich landowner. A decade later. however. she yearns for her homeland. Overly melodramatic in certain sections. it‘s saved by the director‘s obvious skills and ironic detachment. Edinburgh: Film Guild. Hamlet (U) (Kenneth Branagh. UK. I996) Kenneth Branagh. Julie Christie. Kate Winslet. 238 mins. Four hours long (with interval). but strong performances. visual delights and hearty portions of sex. violence. horror and intrigue all combine to make Branagh‘s Hamlet worthy of its extreme duration. The story of the paranoid prince‘s revenge on his murderous uncle is freshened by its updating to the I9th century. while the glorious widescreen photography and succession of clever cameos also keep the audience on their toes. Glasgow: ABC Film Centre. Edinburgh: Odeon.
The Hamster Factor (I5) (Keith Fulton/Louis Pepe. US. I995) 90 mins. This fascinating documentary on the entire script- to-screen journey of Terry Gilliam‘s Twelve Mottke_\‘.s goes way beyond those behind- the-scenes promos that roll out the same cliches for any old ﬁlm. A verite-style portrait about pushing the Hollywood envelope from inside the system. it really conveys the tense balance of imagination and frustration that exists on a ﬁlm set. It‘s also commendable for picking up on the irritating side of Gilliam‘s genius. The directors discuss their experience at this special screening on Mon l0 Mar. Fans of Gilliam can‘t afford to miss it. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Harriet The Spy (PG) (Bronwen Hughes. US. I996) Michelle Trachtenbcrg. Rosie O‘Donnell. Gregory Smith. l02 mins. Precocious schoolgirl Harriet. convinced she has a future as a writer. notes down the minutae of daily life in her journal: but when her classmates discover her criticisms of them. she has to work hard to win back popularity. Trachtenberg gives a fresh. sparky performance. but the teacherly tone won‘t amuse accompanying grown-ups. General release.
I Was A Male War Bride (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. I949) Cary Grant. Ann Sheridan. Marion Marshall. I06 mins. Grant plays a priggish French army ofﬁcer who discovers - to his dismay and increasing frustration - that to follow his American lieutenant back to the States. he has to battle all the forces of bureaucracy. a struggle that is eventually to lead him into disguise by cross-dressing. Rumbustious Hawksian romantic comedy set against realistic backgrounds. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
In love And War (I5) (Richard Attenborough. US. I996) Chris O‘Donnell. Sandra Bullock. Emilio Bonucci. I I5 mins. lfever a ﬁlm was killed by its casting. this is it. O‘Donnell plays the young Ernest Hemingway. falling in love with American nurse Agnes Von Kurowsky (Bullock) in Italy during WWI. Bullock's face doesn‘t ﬁt the period. and O‘Donnell turns the writer‘s macho passions into spoilt brat arrogance - meaning there‘s no sense of romantic tragedy when they don‘t get it together. The true story that inspired A Farewell To Arms. it‘s devoid of irony or wit. Glasgow: ABC Film Centre. Others: Galashiels. Glenrothes. In The Realm Of The Senses Ai No Corrida (l8) (Nagisa Oshima. Japan. I976) Tatsuya Fuji. Eiko Matsuda. l05 mins. At last deemed ﬁt for certiﬁcation. Oshima‘s shockineg erotic ﬁlm can now be publicly screened. In the militarist Japan of I936. a couple enclose themselves in their own sensual world. their passion escalating until only death can provide the next orgasm. Masterly though necessarily extreme explicit look at the power of sexual arousal.
which has attracted controversy throughout the world. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Jerry Maguire (I5) (Cameron Crowe. US. I996) Tom Cruise. Cuba Gooding Jr. Renee Zellweger. I38 mins. Cruise is perfect as sports agent Maguire. who suddenly ﬁnds himself out of a job when he writes a Mission Statement calling for his colleagues to rediscover the sincerity of their business. With only one client on his books (Gooding) and the loyal Dorothy (Zellweger) for affection and support. he soldiers on and — of course. becomes a better person for it all. Crowe‘s picture of an America crippled by a lack of genuine intimacy gives the ﬁlm a maturity that‘s rarely seen in feelgood star vehicles. See feature and review. General release.
Johnny Mnemonic ( l 5) (Robert Longo. US. I995) Keanu Reeves. Dolph Lundgren. Takeshi. 96 mins. Cyberpunk author William Gibson‘s screenplay (from his own short story) provides the basis for a 21st century turkey. Reeves carries stolen data in his head. discovers that it contains the cure to a worldwide disease. but has to dodge the Yakuza and download the info before his head explodes. Terrible acting. shoddy direction. ﬁll-the-gap dialogue. The only hi- tech gadget you need is the off-switch. Glasgow: GFT.
Jude (I8) (Michael Winterbottom. UK. I996) Christopher Eccleston. Kate Winslet. Rachel Grifﬁths. I20 mins. Based on Thomas Hardy‘s uncompromisineg bitter ﬁnal novel. this tremendously powerful adaptation shares the novel‘s romantic tragedy between its two central characters. Determined and honest Jude (Eccleston) is snubbed by Victorian society as he strives for a university education. but worse is in store when he falls in love with his cousin (Winslet). Hard-hitting acting. a director and writer who truly understand Hardy‘s themes. and stunning photography elevate this to classic status. Edinburgh: Odeon.
lads On Film (PG) I20 mins. To mark International Women's Day. En-gender presents an illustrated discussion on representations of gender in Scottish cinema. Clips come from Trainspotting. Rob Roy. Braveheart. Breaking The Waves and others. while speakers include Margaret Elphinstone (Strathclyde University) and Christopher Whyte (Glasgow University). Glasgow: GFI‘.
leaving las Vegas (18) (Mike Figgis. US. I995) Nicolas Cage. Elisabeth Shue. Julian Sands. IIO 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. thgis‘s neon- drenched movie captures the irresponsible euphoria and mental pain of alcoholism from a subjective viewpoint. while the astonishing performances by the leads help it transcend the surface tawdriness and delve deep into underlying emotions. Edinburgh: Film Guild.
Lesbian Cinema (I5) I80 mins. The GFT‘s ‘Women And Film‘ series concludes with a discussion on whether or not the sexuality of female directors changes the manner in which women are portrayed on screen. The Incredibly True Adventure Of Two Girls In Love will be shown in its entirety. and might make for an interesting comparison with Baum]. Glasgow: GFT.
Loch Ness (U) (John Henderson. US. I995) Ted Danson. Joer Richardson. Kirsty Graham. I00 mins. An American scientist comes to Scotland to disprove the existence of Nessie. but is charmed by the place and the people. So far. so Local Hem. But in its later stages. this family movie leaps into action. keeping you on the edge of your seat. Better than you might expect. but not remarkably so. Edinburgh: Odeon.
The long Kiss Goodnight (l8) (Renny Harlin. US. I996) Geena Davis. Samuel L. Jackson. Craig Bierko. l20 mins. Suburban schoolteacher and amnesiac 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 and foils a genocide plot. It‘s action all the way and logic out the window as director (and the star‘s husband) Harlin delivers spectacular stunts while Shane Black‘s script contains inspired banter. Pure escapism. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Mars Attacks! (12)(Tim Burton. US. I996) Jack Nicholson. Glenn Close. Annette Bening. l05 mins. Take some 505 alien invasion ﬁlms. add the star bodycount of 70s disaster movies. round it off with the weird imagination of Tim Burton. and you have this expensive sci-ﬁ spoof. 'Ihe ETs literally are little green men. wrecking havoc on Earth while disparate bunches of humans ﬁght back. Good gags. great design and eye-popping computer animation. but it doesn‘t really connect as a complete ﬁlm. General release. Matilda (PG) (Danny De Vito. US. I996) Mara Wilson. Danny De Vito. Embeth Davidtz. 98 mins. Capturing the delicious wickedness of Roald Dahl‘s writing. director De Vito fully exploits exaggeration and playful camera work to tell the tale of a gifted child who uses her super brain to outwit her neglectful parents. Offsetting the lovable Matilda against a series of hortiny inflated bad characters. the ﬁlm‘s empowering message for children will appeal to the mischevious kid in everyone. General release. Michael (PG) (Nora Ephron. US. I996) John Travolta. William Hurt. Andie MacDowell. l05 mins. Two tabloid newspaper reporters and an ‘angel expert‘ are sent to check out reports about a guy with wings in Iowa. It is indeed the archangel Michael. who lives it up — drinking. smoking and womanising - across America while trying to get mismatched Hurt and MacDowelI together in romantic terms. Travolta‘s charm shines through. but can‘t save a movie that‘s lacklustre and totally lacks chemistry between the other two stars. General release. Michael Collins (l5) (Neil Jordan. US. I996) Liam Neeson. Julia Roberts. Alan 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 an honest portrayal of a ragged and bloody conflict between the British imperial power and idealistic Irish Nationalists early this century. The action is well handled. the characterisations strong and the brutality on both sides is never glossed over. Edinburgh: Cameo. Central: MacRobert. Monkey Business (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. I952) Cary Grant. Ginger Rogers. Charles Coburn. 97 mins. More classic comedy from director Hawks. this time with Grant as an absent-minded professor who causes chaos when his elixer of youth gets mixed in with the contents of the ofﬁce water cooler. Adult inhibitions are cast aside as he and his wife (Rogers) regress to childhood and rediscover adolescent Iustiness. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Natural Born Killers (l8) (Oliver Stone. US. I994) Woody Harrelson. Juliette Lewis. Robert Downey Jr. “9 mins. Stone‘s visual and aural assault makes for one of the most remarkable cinematic experiences in years; his attempts to marry style with content. and provide a damning expose of the media adulation of serial killers is less successful. let down by his trademark overstatement. Violent. mesrnerising. hallucinatory and bold in its use of various ﬁlm formats. NBK is a landmark in MTV-influenced ﬁlmmaking. East Kilbride UCI. Normal Life (l8) (John McNaughton. US. I996) Luke Perry. Ashley Judd. Bmce Young. I02 mins. The intense relationship between ex-cop Chris (Perry) and factory worker Pam (Judd) goes off the rails when he takes up bank robbery as means of ﬁnancing her concept of the American Dream. A character-driven study of blue collar aspiration and alienation. this low-key movie by the director of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer has ﬁne performances by the two leads. See review. Glasgow: Showcase. 101 Dalmatians (U) (Stephen Herek. US. I996) Glenn Close. Joely Richardson. Jeff Daniels. l03 mins. Disney turns one of its favourite animated ﬁlms into a live action pantomime with spodges of Home Alone buffoonery. making sure there are plenty of dogs to make the kids go ‘aaahhh‘. The story remains pretty much untouched - vile villainess Cruella De Vil (Close) kidnaps enough spotty pups to make a stunning coat. but the animal world gets the better of her —