The Empire Strikes Back (U) (Irvin Kershner. US. I980) Mark Hamill. HatTison Ford. Carrie Fisher. IZ-l mins. Like the middle section of many great trilogies. The Empire Strikes Back is caught between reintroducing the popular elements of the original while setting tip the context for the climax. As such. the story itself doesn't move on greatly. but the tone is somewhat darker. The effects were considerably advanced by this stage and. of course. are even snazzier in this special edition. Edinburgh: UCI. East Kilbride: UCI.

The English Patient ( I 5) (Anthony Minghella. UK/US. I996) Ralph l-"iennes. Juliette Binoche. Kristin Scott Thomas. I62 mins. A tnysterious stranger. suffering frotn horrific burns. is cared for by a (.‘anadian nurse during the final days of WW2. ln flashback. we discover more about the great romantic affair whose tragic climax brought him to this state. Spectacularly filmed on location. the filnt boasts magnificent performances from each and ex cry one of the leads. (ilasgow: ()deon ()uay. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert. L'Escorte ( I 8) (Denis l.angIois. Canada. I996) 9| mins. Philippe and Jean-Marc‘s love life is reduced to a few passionless moments. btit the arrival of a yotmg rent boy presents them with tempting sexual alternatives. 'I‘eetcring on the edge of melodrama. the film succeeds nonetheless in examining aspects of gay friendship. Glasgow: (il’l'. Edinburgh: l’ilmhouse. Female Perversions ( l8) (Susan Streitfeld. US. I996) Tilda Swinton. Amy Madigan. Karen SiIIas. 97 mins. Successful New York attorney Eve (Swinton) travels from the city to the desert. and finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. aided by disturbing flashbacks to her childhood. l-‘eaturing a female-dominated cast. a mouth-watering visual banquet of colourful symbolism and a tender. honest performance from Swinton. this is very much an empowering women’s film. (ilasgow: (ii-'1".

The Fifth Element ( l I) (l,uc Besson. France/US. I997) Bruce Willis. Milla Jovovich. (iary ()ldman. 137 mins. New


York City in the 23rd Century. and cabbie Korben Dallas (Willis) picks up an unexpected passenger in the shape of Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) an alien who holds the key to saving the world. Besson‘s second English language film following the excellent Leon ~ is a colourful jumble of camp designs (by Jean-Paul Gaultier). self- indulgent performances and genre rip-offs which plays for laughs as genuine sci-ft ideas run dry. See feature and review. General release.

Flirting (I2) (John Duigan. Australia. l99l) Noah Taylor. Thandie Newton. Nicole Kidman. IOO mins. The second part of writer/director Duigan‘s trilogy. which began with 1987's The Year My Vuir't’ Bro/re. relates the continuing life of Danny Embling (Taylor). now at a remote Australian boys‘ boarding school. Wonderfully evocative writing and characterisations lift this gem above other. tnore slushy. tales of first love. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Fly Away Home (U) ((‘aroII Ballard. US. I996) Anna Paquin. Jeff Daniels. Dana Delany. I07 mins. When her mother is killed in a car crash. young Amy (The Piano‘s 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. Edinburgh: Filinliotise. Glasgow Kiss (l5) (Dianne Barry. Scotland. l996) I04 mins. Barry's video work gets beyond traditional layers of (ilasgow‘s image to discover the largest gay and lesbian centre in Europe. Celebratory moments preparations for Pride sit beside strong doses of reality a child custody battle. Almost soap-like in its rivetting portraits of various characters. Glasgow: (il-‘l'. Edinburgh: Filmhottse.

Grace Of My Heart ( I 5) (Allison Anders. US. I996) llleana Douglas. John 'Iurturro. Matt Dillon. I IS mins. Loosely inspired by the life Carole King. Grace ()fMy Heart is




no standard biopic. but a heartfelt statement about a woman‘s determination to find her own voice within a male-dominated environment. llleana Douglas glows with personality as she takes singer-songwriter Denise Waverly through a tempestuous decade of personal and professional heartache and triumph. 'Ihe period design and songs are superb. adding to a film that has the scope of an old-fashioned epic. but an independent's sensibility. Stirling: MacRobert.

Gridlock'd (I8) (Vondie Curtis Hall. US. I996) Tim Roth. Tupac Shakur. Thandie Newton. 9] mins. Take a pedestrian stroll through the highways and byways of heroin consumption. as Spoon (Shakur) decides to get clean. backed tip unconvincineg by Stretch (Roth). Bureaucracy foils them at every turn and their tails are hotly pursued by both the cops and the hoods. A satire on the US media and government policy. a black comedy and a druggy buddy movie. (irirllm'k 'r/ fails to settle convincingly on any one style. (ilasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon.

Grosse Point Blank ( l8) ((ieorge Armitage. US. I997) l()7 mins. A special preview of this American black comedy about an ultra-competent hitman who rediscovers his past at a high school reunion. Edinburgh: Cameo.

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. I’ife: Adam Smith. Harriet The Spy (l’(i) (Bronwen Hughes. US. I996) Michelle 'l'rachtenberg. Rosie O‘Donnell. (iregory Smith. l()2 mins. Precocious schoolgirl Harriet. Convinced she has a future as a writer. notes down the


3539.8: '


index FILM

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. Edinburgh: Odeon. Ayr: Odeon.

Heat (l5) (Michael Mann. US. I995) Al Pacino. Robert De Niro. Val Kilmer. I70 mins. Mann‘s star package cops-and-robbers tale is head and shoulders above the rest of the genre. thanks to an action-packed screenplay that fully explores its themes and gives depth to its charcters. Pacino is the dedicated detective whose home life is in ruins; De Niro is the reclusive criminal mastermind. The two men‘s finely balanced sense of honour and mutual respect is well dissected. and the shoot-out .set pieces are heart-stopping. Brilliant. Glasgow: Grosvenor.

Heavenly Creatures (18) (Peter Jackson. New Zealand. I994) Melanie Lynskey. Kate Winslet. Sarah Peirse. 98 mins. In I952. New Zealand was shocked by the murder of Honora Parker by her teenage daughter and a schoolfriend. Despite director Peter Jackson‘s back catalogue in slapstick gore - Braimleatl. Bail 721sle Heavenly Creatures does not dwell on the more lurid details of the crime. Instead. it examines the imaginative fantasy worlds of the girls and the strength of their friendship in a sympathetic light. Edinburgh: Cameo.

High School High ( 15) (Mark Bochner. US. I996) .lon Lovitz. Tia Carrere. Louise Fletcher. 89 mins. Lovitz stars as the dim- witted sort of a respected headmaster, who takes ajob at an inner city school to fulfil his earnest and well intentioned desire to educate. Far from the freewheeling gagfest of Airplane! or the Naked Gun movies. High St'hrml High makes the mistake of spoofing a specific film (Dangeth Minds) rather than a genre. Even when there are comedic opportunities. they are botched or just banal. Falkirk: ABC. Kilmarnock: ABC.

Continued over page


f:- I


13—26 Jun 1997 THE UST31