FILM new releases
Fun lovin' criminals: William Forsythe. Vincent Gallo and Adam Trese in Palookaville
Palookaville (15)92mins***** The simplest way to nutshell
Palookaville would be to describe it as a heist movie starring the Three Stooges. No matter how hard they try, Sid (William Forsythe), Russ (Vincent Gallo) and Jerry (Adam Trese) cannot bring themselves to brandish the sadistic steel required to pull off the perfect crime and reap the benefits they deSire. They're out merely to provide themselves and their loved ones with ’a momentary shift in lifestyle’, not to prove themselves as gangsters.
Their incompetence and humanity prevents them from gomg that extra yard, and their research consists of
taking notes during a B-movre entitled Armored Car Robbery. Having broken into a bakery instead of the next door jeweller’s, they save a security driver’s life as opposed to pummelling him to a bloody pulp and running off with the dough inside.
Inspired by the writing of ltalo Calvino, Alan Taylor’s film will be remembered for its swelling heart, soundtrack (a kind of Italian love-child of Tom Waits and Astor Piazzolla) and, above all, its wit. The jokes are everywhere - all over the script, in the visuals and off-camera - and while the sceptre of real Violence threatens to darken the mood, a Tarantino chunk of lug hasn‘t a hope in hell of tarnishing the experience. (Brian Donaldson)
I Selected release from Fri 25 Jul.
The harder they fall: Matthieu Kassovitz and Jean-Louis Trintignant in Regarde Les
Regarde Les Hommes
: Tomber (See How They
(15) 100 mins 1: * it Good to see distributors Made In Hong Kong branching out and givmg us a
chance to see this arresting 1993 first
feature by writer-director Jacques Audiard, whose Vichy-era drama A Self-Made Hero has to be one of 1997’s films of the year.
This earlier undertaking also features excellent work from Jean-Louis Trintignant and Matthieu Kassovrtz, as an unscrupulous card-sharp who owes money to a notorious gangster and his Simple-minded, tag-along pal who's willing to commit murder to pay off his friend's debt. Criss-crossing their path through the seedy underworld of cheap hotels is even more grizzled Jean
36 THE lIST 7.5 Ju|~7 Aug I997
Yanne, a middle-aged salesman who throws everything in to find the murderer of an undercover cop who’d involved him in staking out the self- same crook.
A straightforward enough set-up, hut Audiard‘s film plays around with an even trickier time-sequence than Reservoir Dogs -- a movie to which it's been laZily compared < which makes the opening stretch extremely enigmatic until events fall into place later on. A discreet emphasis on the homoerotic undertow to the genre's familiar male bonding routines, and inventive, often disorientating direction, give the film a very particular flav0ur. But you do have to work at it a little. (Trevor Johnston)
I Edinburgh Film/rouse, Fri 25- Mon 28 Jul. Glasgow Film Theatre, Tue 26~Thu 28 AUG
RE-RELEASE Mamma Roma (18) 110 mins ***‘k
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s superb second film — after the grimy, hoodlum tragedy Accatone — has achieved restoration and re-release through the patronage of Martin Scorsese who, no doubt, sees plenty of common ground with Pasolini's mixture of heartfelt melodrama, dirty realism and obsessive religious symbolism.
Italian actress Anna Magnani, who had already won considerable renown in the US through her Oscar-winning role in The Rose Tattoo, fleshes out the role of a prostitute escaping a cycle of poverty and despair with the full-throated abandon of someone grappling with their own mythic status. The story itself, the chronicle of Mamma Roma’s encounter with her tragic destiny — having broken free of prostitution to provrde her son with a respectable life, her past reappears in the shape of a blackmailing pimp, Carmine — only reinforces the film’s unashamed deSire to encapsulate a doomed human condition.
From the very first frames, in which Pasolini stages Carmine’s wedding as a Renaissance tableau (disrupted, naturally, by Ivlamma Roma's infectious lust for life), the marriage between high art and then-influential Italian neo-realism is clear. It was a style that would result two years later in the masterly The Gospel According To St Matthew, Pasolini’s Sicily-located reworking of the Bible stOry — again a model for Scorsese’s own The Last Temptation Of Christ. (Andrew Pulver) I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse, Mon 4—Thu 7 Aug, Glasgow Film Theatre, Fri 8—Sun 70 Aug.
Ettore Garofolo and Anna Magnani in Mamma Roma
ALSO OPENING Love! Valour! Compassion! (15) 114 mins.
Terrence McNally’s award-winning Broadway play comes to the screen with the same director (Joe Mantello) and all but one of the main cast in tow. Eight gay men living in New York spend weekends at the country house of a successful choreographer and his lover, but a couple of new arrivals threaten to upset the balance of their lives.
Jason Alexander of TV’s Seinfeld plays the group’s Joker Buzz, a man whose humour is in constant battle With his sickness from AIDS. Love and betrayal also rear their heads in this camp comedy that’s driven by the sheer strength of the writing. (Alan Morrison)
I Edinburgh Odeon from Fri 25 Jul
ALSO OPENING Warriors Of Virtue (PG) 102 mins.
When he tries to impress his football- playing classmates by swnnniing across a storm-swollen river, young Ryan finds himself whisked off to the parallel world of Tao Once there, he is threatened by the evil Lord Komodo (Angus MacFadyen), who needs the boy to enter our world, but is protected by five humanonl, kung fu fighting kangaroos.
American critics and audiences proved lukewarm to this children's fantasy when it opened earlier this year The script was the main target f0r grumbles ‘ it rips off The Neverending Story, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Tort/es With third-rate Zen philosophy - but the production design by Eugenio Zanetti, an Oscar Winner for Restoration, was praised Director *-
Ronny Yu effectively combines Hong Mario Uedidia and the inhabitants of Tao Kong martial arts skills With decent in Warriors 0f Virtue Hollywood special effects.
Roger Ebert, reViewer for the Chicago Sun-Times reckoned 'the movie looks better than it plays and gets rather tiresome' Boxttffice Magti/vne, however, said it was 'a magical adventure that should enthrall children of all ages as well as die- hard fans of Hong Kong cinema' (Alan Morrisom I Selected release from Fri 25 Jul