Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Addicted To Love ( l5) (Grifﬁn Dunne. US. 1997) Meg Ryan. Matthew Broderick. Tcheky Karyo. 100 mins. Hard-hearted Ryan teams up with romantic Broderick to spy on and sabotage the new partnership of their respective ex-lovers. but discover that love mightjust be kindling between themselves. Ryan tinkers with her sweet image but it never really rings true. The cinematic equivalent of a frozen ready-meal - not turkey. but close — this is bland. predictable and convenient. but just about digestible. Glasgow: Odeons. Showcase. UC1 Clydcbank. Virgin. East Kilbride: UCl. Albino Alligator ( 18) (Kevin Spacey. US/France. 1996) Matt Dillon. Faye Dunaway. Gary Sinese. 97 mins. Spacey‘s directorial debut sees Dova (Dillon) as a complex and compromised gang leader who seeks refuge after a bungled raid in a basement bar only to be hemmed in by the cops and conflicts with fellow bad guys. While there are some ﬁne performances to be had. including Dunaway as the world- weary bartender. the whole seems to lack direction. falling down on its awkward family values message. See preview and review. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Batman 8: Robin (PG) (Joel Schumacher. US. 1997) George Clooney. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chris O'Donnell. 130 mins. Moving even further way from the Gothic melancholy ofTim Burton‘s ﬁrst two ﬁlms. the fourth Barman movie brings in Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and disaffected scientist Dr Freeze (Schwarzenegger). Thurman‘s scene-stealing performance saves the ﬁlm from total failure. while Clooney does exactly what‘s required. but no more. Noisy. empty and without a hint of wit or intelligence. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. UCl Clydebank. Edinburgh: UCl. Galashiels: Pavilion. lrvine: Magnum. Paisley: Showcase.
Bean (PG) (Mel Smith. UK. 1997) Rowan Atkinson. Peter MacNicol. Pamela Reed. 97 mins. Bean the movie makes an attempt to broaden the range ofAtkinson‘s tremendously successful TV sight-gag character by sending him off to California to be mistaken for an art expert. Most gags are agreeably daft; several are tiresomely lavatorial; eventually. however. the ﬁlm upholds family values and true blue American schmaltz. You‘ll like it ifyou like the TV show. Real grown-ups should stay away. General release.
The Big Sleep (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. 1946) Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall. John Ridgely. Martha Vickers. 114 mins. Marlowe gets caught up in the peccadilloes of the Sternwood family as he tries to stop a spot of blackmail. Needless to say. the broad knows more than she lets on. Witty. sultry. atmospheric. mainstream/lint noir with Bogey and Bacall doing their excellent double act. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Bits And Pieces (15) (A ntonello Grimaldi. Italy. 1996) Asia Argento. Daniele
Lucchetti. lvano Marescotti. l()7 mins. A bitter-sweet snapshot of 24 hours in the lives of a cross-section of Rome's inhabitants. Grimaldi aims for the type of ﬁlmmaking embodied in Altman's Short Cuts. btit ﬁnds his own originality. Asia Argento (seen in La Reine Margot) is the daughter of horror director Dario. who also has a role in the ﬁlm. liast Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Bullets Over Broadway ( 15) (Woody Allen. US. 1994) John Cusack. Dianne Wiest. Chan. Palminteri. 105 mins. Self- absorbed playwright David Shayne (Cusack) compromises all the way down the line as he attempts to get his new masterpiece staged — he's willing to cast a gangster's girlfriend for the necessary funding and take writing tips from her streetwise bodyguard. Allen's emphasis is on witty dialogue and strong performances. which gives the ﬁlm a slightly theatrical feeling. Glasgow: (il~'l A Chinese Ghost Story (15) ((‘hin Siu Tung. Hong Kong. 1987) Leslie Chung. 98 mins. While visiting a haunted temple. a
100 THE LIST 22—28 Aug 1997
young debt collector falls prey to the charms ofa delightful young lady ghost. Engagineg over-the-top commercial ﬁlmmaking from Hong Kong. with kung fu. slapstick comedy. gruesome special effects and traditional supernatural elements rolled together into one wild package. Watch out for the rapping monk and the killer tongue. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Con Air (15) (Simon West. US. 1997) Nicolas Cage. John Malkovich. John Cusack. 112 mins. Sit down. strap yourself in. stick your head into the roar of the jet engine of this noisy. stretch-the-credibility movie. Cage plays a manslaughter parolee whose prison plane ride home is hijacked by vicious convict Malkovich. so he draws on his military training and strong sense of honour to save the innocents in the air from certain death. A constant attack of big bangs. action set-pieces . dry one-liners and illogical plot hiccups. Largs: Barrﬁelds. Conspiracy Theory (15) (Richard Donner. US. 1997) Mel Gibson. Julia Roberts. Patrick Stewart. 140 mins. New York cab driver Jerry (Gibson) is convinced that conspiracies lie behind everything. but the ﬂashes he has from his past hint that his paranoia might not be unfounded. After he‘s abducted by a government psychiatrist (Stewart). Jerry reckons it‘s time to team up with attorney Alice (Roberts) and get to the bottom of some truths. Special previews before the ﬁlm goes on general release on Fri 29 Aug. Review next issue. Selected previews.
Donnie Brasco ( 18) (Mike Newell. US. 1997) 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. Glasgow: GFT. Odeon Quay.
Drifting Clouds (15) (Aki Kaurismaki. Finland. 1996) Kati Outinen. Kari Vaananen. 96 mins. The Scandinavian director's most sumptuous work to date (warm blues. lush reds and deep greens) tells the tale of a couple and their struggle against stagnation both economic and emotional. While Kaurismaki may not come across as the partying kind. his ﬁlms continue to offer warmth. wit and subtlety. Stirling: MacRobert.
Event Horizon (18) (Paul Anderson. US/UK. 1997) Laurence Fishburne. Sam Neill. Joely Richardson. 91 mins. The crew of a rescue ship discover that hell has been unleashed inside a missing craft that reappears near Neptune. as their deepest fears begin to terrorise them in physical form. Effectively a haunted house movie set in space. Even! Horizon boasts stunning ‘Techno Medieval' design; but tight editing leaves the characterisation and story stripped to within an inch of their lives. General release.
Fargo (18) (Joel Coen. US. 1996) 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. h'lc1)ormand provides a warm-hearted centre for the movie. while the absurdist plot and weird local colour gain momentum. Motherwell: Moviehouse. Female Perversions (18) (Susan Strcitfeld. US. 1996) Tilda Swinton. Amy Madigan. Karen Sillas. 97 mins. Successful New York attorney live (Swinton) travels from the city to the desert. and finds herself on a journey of self-discovery. aided by disturbing flashbacks to her childhood. Featuring 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. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Flipper (PG) (Alan Shapiro. US. 1996) lilijali Wood. Paul Hogan. (’lielsea Held. 96 mins. Difficult city teenager Sandy (Wood) doesn't warm to ex—hippy uncle Porter (Hogan) down in the lilorida Keys until along comes friendly dolphin Flipper. The story brings to mind aspects of Ant/re and Free ll't'lly. but there are only so many scripts that can accommodate an acquatic
star. Predictable stuff in the heart-warming category. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
The Funeral (l8) (Abel Ferrara. US. 1995) Christopher Walken. Chris Penn. Annabella Sciorra. 99 mins. The troubled past of a gangster family merges with a current revenge plan in Ferrara‘s period movie. The visceral blood-letting and the threat of more to come make the initial impression. while Walken gives an airily haunted performance and Penn is riven by inner demons barely under control. But it's their wives (Annabella Sciorra and Isabella Rossellini). all long-suffering looks and pragmatic pessimism. who tell the real story. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Grosse Pointe Blank (15) (George Armitage. US. 1996) John Cusack. Minnie Driver. Alan Arkin. 108 mins. Depressed freelance hitman Martin Q. Blank (Cusack) returns to his home town for a high-school reunion. but ﬁnds his past private life and current profession are about to overlap. Armitage turns in a fair post-Woo action sequence here and there. while Cusack positively inhabits Martin. switching from comic/romantic lead to focused killer effortlessly and believably. Glasgow: ()dcon Quay. Showcase. UCl Clydebank. Edinburgh: ()dcon. UCI. Paisley: Showcase. Harriet The Spy (PG) (Bronwen Hughes. US. 1996) Michelle ’l'rachtenberg. Rosie O'Donnell. Gregory Smith. 102 mins. Precocious schoolgirl Harriet. convinced she has a future as a writer. notes down the minutae of daily life in herjournal; but when her classmates discover her criticisms of them. she has to work hard to win back popularity. 'l‘rachtenberg gives a fresh. sparky performance. but the teacherly tone won’t amuse accompanying grown-ups. Edinburgh: ()dcon.
Intimate Relations ( I 5) (Philip (iootlltew. UK. 1997) Julie Walters. Rupert Graves. Laura Sadler. 99 mins. With an appropriate choice of title fora tale about sidestepping the offensive. this black comedy charts the dangers of keeping tip appearances. Middle aged Walters's strict adherence to family values begins to falter when she takes in the handsome Graves. Stealing the screen. Walters is perfect as a manipulative woman who unwittingly whips up a domestic cocktail of repressed emotions. Claustrophobic and dark. but laced with a humorous frill. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhousc.
see ya later: Faye Dunaway in Albino Alligator
~ . Rikki“
Killer: A Journal Of Murder (18) (Tim Metcalfe. US. 1995) James Woods. Robert Sean Leonard. Ellen Greene. 92 mins. At the end of the 1920s. a young prison guard (Leonard) meets an intelligent but brutal burglar (Woods). and as a strange friendship grows. he hears of various murders for which the man was never brought to trial. Better than most American TV movies. it still dilutes the true life nastiness of its material. but Woods is impressive as ever. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.
Kolya (12) (Jan Sverak. Czech. 1996) Zdenek Sverak. Andrej Chalimon. Libuse Sfrankova. 105 mins. Womaniser and batchelor Louka marries a Russian woman who wants a Czech passport and. when she skips the country. is left to look after her ﬁve-year-old son. Separated by language. nationality. age and blood. surrogate father and child discover how to care and love across such divides. This winner of the Best Foreign Language Film ()scar is a resonant mix of gentle humour and weepy emotion. with ﬁne performances and brilliant crafting. Glasgow: GET. Stirling: MacRobert.
Lady And The Tramp (U) (Hamilton Luske. US. 1955) With the voices of Peggy Lee and Bill Thompson. 75 mins. Disney's ﬁrst animated feature in cinemascope has mongrel Tramp helping pedigree pooch Lady out of a sticky situation and falling in lurve along the way. Richly drawn with hummablc tunes and endearing characterisations. this is the classic Disney mix as before. Lovely spaghetti-eating sequence. Glasgow: ()dcons. Showcase. UCl Clydebank. Edinburgh: UCI. Ayr: ()deon. East Kilbride: L'Cl. Paisley: Showcase
For full coverage of the Scottish Screen Edinburgh International Film Festival see pages 72—74