Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Anaconda (15) (Luis I.losa. US. 1997) Jennifer Lopez. liric Stoltz. Jon Voight. 90 mins. In the Amazon. a documentary film crew and a mysterious stranger are pitted against a giant snake. which proceeds to pick them off with an admirable appreciation of star billing. 'l'he creatttre is a trittmph of special effects in its spectacular killing style. though not especially realistic- looking. so audiences will either walk out or decide to stay and enjoy the whole ludicrous affair in all its camp glory. (ieneral release. Anna Karenina (12) (Bernard Rose. US. 1097) Sean Bean. Sophie Marceau. Alfred Molina. 108 mins. A trttly disastrotts Tolstoy adaptation. which sets the doomed Karenina love story against the attthentic backdrop of imperial Russia. is scuppered by idiotic casting and a turgid attempt at a script. 'llie settings are lavish. 'l'chaikovsky is trowelled on every time a character so much as coughs. btit the cumulative effect borders on the laughable. See review. (ilasgow: (irosvenor. lidinburgh: LICI.
Asphalt (I’(i) (Joe May. (iermany. l‘)2‘)) (ittstav l-‘rohlick. Betty Amann. lilse Heller. 90 mins. A classic example of (ierman silent cinetna's expressionistic ‘street films”. in which a female thief seduces a policeman and drags him into a web of intrigue. The film mises documentary grittiness with
av ant garde effects to create a uniquely dark vision of Berlin in the 1020s. With live score played by In The Nursery. (ilasgow: (il’l‘. Barry Lyndon (1’0) (Stanley Kubrick. UK. 1975) Ryan ()':\'eal. .‘vlarisa Berenson. l’att‘tck Magec. ISJ mins. Kubrick's sumptuous recreation of'lltackerays shaggy dog tale follow s ()Ncal's gentleman of fortune through Ib'th century Ireland. An estraordinary attention to detail and a visual sty le that effectively reproduces the look of
Gunning for it: Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube in Anaconda
Soviet masters like Dovzhenko and liisenstein. 'Ihe story concerns a Red Army officer experiencing the suffering and the bravery of a Jewish community dttring the Civil War ofthe 1920s. Sensitive subject matter that caused the film to be shelved by the authorities for over twenty years. leaving its director unable to find work. Glasgow: (ii-'1‘.
The Conformist (18) (Bernardo Bertolucci. lt/l-‘r/(ier. l‘)7()) Jean-Louis 'l'rintigant. Stefania Sandrelli. (iastonne Moschin. l 15 mins. A man tries to sublimate his homosexuality by conforming to the dictates of 30s fascist Italy. marrying a dull wife and agreeing to carry out an assassination. A masterpiece of visual style that draws disturbing links between the political and sexual arenas. The ('onfnrniisr can now be seen in Bertolucci's own IIS-minute cut. (ilasgow: (ii-'I‘.
The Crucible (12) (Nicholas Hytner. US. I906) Daniel Day Lewis. Winona Ryder. Paul Scoiield. 124 mins. Arthur Miller adapts his classic stage play based on the 17th century Salem witch trials and. althouin the relevance to the McCarthy hearings has drifted into history. it still questions many of today's irrational and
contemporary paintings are the tnajor points of interest. easily outweighing the meandering narrative thread. but this is a gorgeous film all the same. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Beavis And Butt-head Do America ( 12) (Mike Judge. US. 1997) Mike Judge. 8] mins. America's slackest slackers go from the small to the big screen taking their toilet humour with them and causing mayhem across the US in search of a score. Needless to say things don't go as planned and the usual pant-obsessed gags follow. Devotees mainly. (ieneral release.
Blood Simple (18) (Joel Coca. US. 1983) John (ietz. I’rancis McDormand. .‘vl. Iimmet Walsh. 9‘) mins. Auspicious debut from the Cocn brothers' direction/production team. Walsh excels as the seedy Sheriff investigating a simple murder whose devilish Texan chronicle of double-crossing is anything bttt simple. An enthusiastic attempt at contemporary film noir. which keeps everyone guessing even after the final frame. lidinburgh: I5ilmhouse.
Commissar (I’(i) (Aleksandr Askoldov. USSR. l‘)67) Nonna Murdyttkova. Ill) mins. Askoldov's humanist masterpiece that revives the poetic eloquence of earlier
Anouk Grinherg, a powerful presence”
Jonathan Romney The Guardian
Bertrand BLIEll Gérartl LANVIN Anoult GBINBEBG
From the director at ‘TBOP BELLE POUR TOI’ & ‘MERCI lA IIIE'
An Artificial Eye Release '.
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hysterical belief systems. The finger- pointing is done by a spurned young woman. who accuses her ex-lover's wife of witchcraft. and soon an all-cosuming tide of evil and hypocrisy is devastating their village. Deception becomes a stronger force than the truth in a truly compelling and important ﬁlm. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Dante’s Peak (12) (Roger Donaldson. US. 1997) Pierce Brosnan. Linda Hamilton. Charles Hallahan. 109 mins. A volcanologist (Brcsnan). haunted by the past. arrives in an idyllic town and tries to persuade the nice lady mayor (Hamilton) that a dormant volcano is about to erupt. In true Jaws style. the bigwigs don‘t want to cause panic. and a couple of kids are missing up the mountain. Disaster of a huge scale. Dante Is" Peak works on its special effects level. but the dialogue and characterisation is abysmal. Coatbridge Showcase.
The Day Of The Beast (18) (Alex de la Iglesia. Spain. 1995) Alex Angulo. Armando de Razza. Santiago Segura. I 10 mins. A priest's research leads him to believe the anti-Christ will be born in Madrid on Christmas Day. so he immerses himself in evil. looks for clues in Death Metal songs and kidnaps a TV parapsychologist. 'Ihe director's follow-up to Accinn Mum/ire is a devilishly funny horror comedy that meanders after about an hour. but not before proving more imaginative than most recent American genre offerings. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Donnie Brasco (18) (Mike Newell. US. l997) Al Pacino. Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen. 127 mins. Depp plays a federal agent who gains the confidence of mob underling Al Pacino as part of a major surveillance operation in late '70s New York. but their growing bond threatens the forthcoming bust. Through his eyes. we learn the language. rituals. and economic realities of being a made man. The violence and setting might not be new, but the filmmakers play with genre expectations. (ieneral release.
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16—29 May 1997 THE LIST29