Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate. credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Across Africa In An Automobile (PG) I 10 mins. The real life Count Laszlo Almasy — fictionalised by Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient — appears in this I929 documentary about African exploration. Only recently discovered. the film examines the mystery of the African desert in ajoumey through the heart of the continent. Glasgow: GFT.
Air Force One (15) (Wolfgang Petersen. US. 1997) Harrison Ford. Gary Oldntan. Glenn Close. 124 ntins. Kazhakstani terrorists hijack the White House's private 747. so President James Marshall (Ford) has to put his own life on the line to save the day. There‘s no attempt to take the piss out of US gang-ho positivism. so instead we have art overextended excuse to show American resourcefulness triuntphing once again. The whole ass-whupping jingoism of it all is particularly virulent. General release.
Antonia's Line (15) (Marleen Gorris. Netherlands/Belgium/UK. I995) Willeke van Ammelrooy. Els Dottermans. Dora van der Overloop. 104 mins. The Best Foreign Film Oscar winner for I996. Antonia Is Line is the family saga of five generations of women from a rural Dutch community. The story. told with magic realist elements. is fragmented and incident-driven. but it's uplifting in its engagement with the sexual politics Gorris has explored in previous ﬁlms. Edinburgh: Film Guild.
Asphalt (PG) (Joe May. Germany. 1929) Gustav Frohlick. Betty Amann. Else Heller. 90 mins. A classic example of Genitan silent cinema's expressionistic ‘street films’. in which a female thief seduces a policeman and drags hint into a web of intrigue. The film mixes documentary grittiness with avant garde effects to create a uniquely dark vision of Berlin in the I920s. With a specially composed score played live by In The Nursery. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (15) (Jay Roach. US. I997) Mike Myers. Elizabeth Hurley. Michael York. 94 mins. Austin Powers. the Sixties' silliest superspy. is brought out of suspended animation and pitted him against his old nemesis. But the world has moved on three decades. so his tin-PC catchphrases and behaviour create a bit of a comic time-clash. Written by and starring Wayne Is ll’nrlil's Mike Myers. Airs/in PUIW’I'S has perfect detail. spot- on casting and a hilarious mix of clever pastiche and toilet gags. Glasgow: ABC Film Centre. City Centre Odeon. Sltowcase. L'CI Clydebank. Edinburgh: Cameo. L'CI. Paisley: Showcase.
Batman 8r Robin (PG) (Joel Schumaclter. US. 1997) George Clooney. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chris O'Donnell. 130 mins. Moving even further way front the Gothic melancholy of Tint Burton's first two films. the fourth But/mm movie brings irt Poison Ivy (Unta Thurman) and disaffected scientist Dr Freeze (Schwarzenegger). 'l'hurman's scene~ stealing performance saves the film from total failure. while Clooney does exactly what's required. but no ntore. Noisy. empty and without a hint of wit or intelligence. Glasgow: ()deon Quay. l-‘dinburgh: ()deon.
Bean (PG) (Mel Smith. CK. 1997) Rowan Atkinson. Peter MacNicol. Pamela Reed. 97 ntins. Benn the movie makes an attempt to broaden the range of Atkinson's tremendously successful TV sight-gag character by sending him off to Californian to be mistaken for an art expert. Most gags are agreeably daft; several are tiresomer lavatorial: eventually. however. the film upholds fantin values and true blue American schmaltz. You‘ll like it if you like the TV show. Real grown-ups should stay away. General release.
Beautiful Thing ( 15) (Hettie Macdonald. UK. 1996) Glen Berry. Linda Hertry. Scott Neal. 90mins. Jamie. a teenager having a hard time at the local comprehensive. falls for neighbour Ste. who himself is on the receiving end front his ex-boxcr dad. First- tinter Macdonald‘s direction is iinflashy. but attuned to the inner lives of these motley
30 THE LIST IO Oct—23 Oct 1997
individuals. and the cast work wonders. Bright. summery and full of life‘s possibilities. Glasgow: GF-T.
Big Night (15) (Stanley Tucci/Campbell Scott. US. I995) Stanley Tucci. Tony Shalhoub. Ian Holm. 110 mins. Brothers Pn'mo and Secondo Pilaggi run a New Jersey Italian restaurant that's all but bankrupt because of Pn'mo’s punctilious attitude to cuisine. so Secondo is persuaded to set up a ‘big night' for famous singer Louis Prima. The 50s setting is nicely but simply detailed. the characterisations stroneg observed and the dialogue gently humorous. A warm and inviting independent movie that doesn‘t slip into easy resolutions. Glasgow: Gilmorehill. Edinburgh: Cameo.
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 Stemwood 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 ﬁlm noir with Bogey and Bacall doing their excellent double act. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Career Girls (l5) (Mike Leigh. UK. 1997) Katrin Cartlidge. Lynda Steadntan. Joe Tucker. 86 mins. Career Girls doesn't work within a narrative. but a series of character encounters. playing out in two time-frames. Annie and Hannah meet up for a reunion weekend years after they shared a flat together as students. In the present and in the past. they cross paths — with credibility stretched to breaking point — with a past boyfriend. another flatmate. and a schizophrenic fellow student. The emotions and social backdrop ring true where the characters themselves crucially do not. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Caucasian Night (12) (Gordian Maugg. Germany. 1996) 105 ntins. Shortly after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the crumbling of the Soviet Union into smaller states. a West German businessman decides to make his fortune in Eastern Iiurope by taking over a porcelain factory. A culture clash contedy- drama for our times. With two short filnts by Gordian Maugg. who will be in Scotland for these screenings. German Film Festival. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Citizen Kane (PG) (Orson Welles. L'S. 194!) Orson Welles. Joseph Cotten. Agnes Moorehead. I 19 mins. Stunningly successful biographical mosaic centring on a Hearst-like media tycoon. Welles‘ first film remains scintillating viewing for its sheer technical verve. narrative confidence arid spellbinding performances. The best film ever made? Who's arguing? Stirling: MacRobert. Contact (PG) (Robert Zemeckis. US. 1997) Jodie Foster. Matthew McConaughey. James Woods. 150 ntins. Based on the Carl Sagan bestseller. this epic story of man's first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence is beset throughout by arrant nonsense arid ntiscalculation. Foster is the researcher specialising in the monitoring of radio waves from the ether who picks tip a communication signal front another planet. Yemeckis Itas inherently fascinating subject matter throughout. but shows a truly depressing lack of imagination iit bringing it to the screen. Glasgow: ()deon Quay. Showcase. L'CI Clydebank. Edinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes. UCI. East Kilbridc: L'Cl. Galashiels: Pavilion. Paisley: Showcase.
Crash (18) (David Cronenberg. Canada. 1996) James Spader. Holly Hunter. lilias Koteas. 100 iitirts. Finally passed uncut. Crush is not — as Tllt’ Daily Mail would ltave you believe — a filitt which will inspire copycat car crashes or copulation amidst the ensuing wreckage. Instead it is a cool. insidioust disturbing study of an evolving human pathology based on eroticised car crashes and techno-fantasies. livery hetero and homosexual permutation is explored as the fixed boundaries of ‘normal' sexuality give way to a creatively ‘perverse' fluidity. Provocative. extreme aitd intellectually exhilerating. Glasgow: GI-‘I‘. lidinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes. Kirkcaldy: Adant Smith. Crossfire (PG) (Iidward Dittyiryk. l'S. I947) Robert Ryan. Robert Young. Robert Mitchum. 85 mins. Superb 'poverty row' filntmaking. drawing on liurope‘s influence on tltc Hollywood noir iii terms ofexpressionist lighting aitd distorted. dramatic camera angles. The subject too is explosive — a racist
murder of a Jew aitd an investigation of anti- semiiisnt — and the post-war setting full of tension. Edinburgh: Catiteo.
Les Diaboliques (l5) (Henri-(jeorges
Clouzot. France. 1955) Simone Sigitoret. Vera
Clouzot. Paul Meurisse. 107 mitts. I'TL‘IlLIISllI)’ clever and much imitated thriller in which a tyrannical schoolmaster is murdered by his wife and mistress. Iixcept that he doesn‘t stay dead for long. The famous bathroom finale has frequently been borrowed. but this is the original attd best. Stirling: MacRobert.
Don't Look Now (IS) (Nicolas Rocg. CK. 1973) Donald Sutherland. Julie Cltristie. 103 mins. Restoration expert with second sight visits Venice. where he meets tip with two old sisters who claim spiritual communication with his recently drowned daughter. Against a Mann-like backdrop of unexplained deaths. he becomes obsessed with a tiny. red-coated figure he spies scurrying through the city‘s dark alleys. Splendid supematural suspense movie. as subtly textured and brilliantly edited as any of Roeg's work. w ith the added advantage that it's a ratlter good yarn. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
The English Patient (15) (Anthony Minghella. L'K/I‘S. 1996) Ralph l-‘iennes. Juliette Binoche. Kristin Scott Thomas. 163 ntins. A mysterious stranger. suffering front horrific burns. is cared for by a Canadian nurse during the final days ()1-\\'\\'II. lit flashback. we discover more about the great romantic affair whose tragic climax brought him to this state. Anthony .\1inghella alters the focus of Michael ()ndaatjc‘s Booker Prize-winning ttovel to concentrate ntore on boiling passions iii the North African desert. Spectacularly filmed on location. the film boasts magnificent performances from each and every one of the leads. Glasgow; til-'1'. Event Horizon ( lS) (Paul Anderson. l‘S/L‘K. 1997) Laurence Iiisltburne. Sam Neill, .Ioely Richardson. 91 turns. 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 tlteitt in physical fornt. l-Iffectively a haunted house mm ie set in space. l-fren/ Il()l‘l.‘()l1 boasts stunning "Techno .\Iedie\al' design; biit tight editing leaves the characterisation arid story stripped to within art inch of their lives. Iidinburgh: L'Cl. I’alkirk: ABC. I.args: Ilarrfield.
Exotica (IS) (Atom ligoyan. Cartada. 199-1) Bruce Greenwood. .\Iia Kirschner. lilias Koteas. 104 mins. A brooding set of troubled souls who collect III a strip club are linked by a dark event in their pasts. lit a way. ligoyan‘y film. despite its setting. isn't about sey at all. It certainly doesn‘t allow the viewer to escape iitto fantasy. instead focusing on how these trauntatised individuals cope with tlterr personal sense of loss. (ilasgow: (ll-'1'.
Face ( 1S) (Antonia Bird. l'K. 1997) Robert Carlyle. Ray Winstonc. Stephen \\'addington. 1()() ntins. Think The lung (inml l'iitliit. think (ie/ Curler. Ray (Carlyle) and his gang of Iiast Iiitd criminals pull off an armed robbery. but when the loot goes tiiissiitg. II becomes oby ious they have been stitched up by one of their own. line tackles the spectre of the Thatcher years within the framework of a crime thriller. arid the results are ltit and miss. Blur's Damon Albarn acquits himself
Heist society: Robe
. s s a»
rt Carlyle and Stephen Waddington in Face
1.. . s’rwr‘ “ .-.. 1‘
well in a small role as a wannabe crook. General release. Farewell My Lovely (15) (Dick Richards. 1S. 1975) Robert Mitchum. Charlotte Rampling. John Ireland. 95 ntins. Not the best Marlowe movie. but one that soaks up 40s nostalgia as Mitchum wanders round town in search of a nightclub singer. The big man is in fine fornt. but the overall tone is a little too delicate iit its attempts to recreate the past railter tltart add to the genre. Edinburgh: Cameo. Father's Day (12) (Ivan Reiiman. US. 1997) Robin Williams. Billy Crystal. Nastassja Kinski. 99 mins. The casting promises much. but what we get instead is a hopeless. hapless effort that produces only half the laughs. not double. as if the comedy duo cancel each other out. Crystal is a super-confident lawyer. Williams a suicidal would-be writer. Past lover Kittski persuades each that they're the dad of her missing sprog. and the pair are disgruntled to find each other on their ot't‘spriitg‘s trail. Yucky bonding follows. See review. (ieiteral release. Fearless (15') (Peter Weir. US. I993) Jeff Bridges. Isabella Rossellini. Rosie Perez. 122 mins. Convinced of his own immortality after surviving a horrendous plane crash. Max Klein‘s reaction to his near-death experience has a metaphysical bent rentiniscent of director Peter Weir's early work. Bridges is magnificent as his character reassesses the details of daily living. bringing pain to his fantin aitd hope to fellow survivors. lidrnburgh: I-‘ilnthouse. The Fifth Element ( 12) (Inc Besson. l-‘raitccll'S. 1997) Bruce Willis. Milla Joy oviclt. Gary ()Idntan. 127 ntins. New York City It) the ._3rd Century. and cabbie Korben Dallas (Willis) picks up an unexpected passenger iii the shape of Leeloo (Milla Joy ovicli) an alien who holds the key to \;l\ iitg the world. Besson's second [English language film -~ following the excellent Leo/i l\ a colourful jumble of camp designs (by Jean-Paul (ianltier). self-indulgent performances and genre rip-offs which plays for laughs as genuine sci-ti ideas run dry. Glasgow \‘iigiit. Kirkcaldy: Adant Smith. Free Willy 3: The Rescue tt'i (Sant Pillsbury. CS. 1997) Jason Jantes Richter. Augiist Schellcnberg. Annie Corley. 86 ntins. Boy aitd killer wltalc team tip again to drive ltonte art environmental message for the 90s w lten Billy the orca and family are tltreatened by the hunters on a whaling boat. Better than its bland predecessor. l-‘ree “ll/()1), develops the usual formula. and benefits front moulding the character of the ntain antagonist as an old-sly 1e ltunter rather than the corporate y illains of previous instalments. See review. (ieneral release. Fresh ( 1S) 75 rttiits approx. Sltown in association with fotofeis. this showcase of new artists‘ work on video has been put together by Film and Video L'ittbrella. Twenty \Ilttf'l tapes by young aitd emerging talents. working at the edge of the video-performance interface. make a refreshing change front ty pical \ ideo art. The recurring preoccupation here is with the body. and artists featured include Stephanie Sittitlt. Michael Curran. Steye Retake and Cheryl Donegan. lidinburglt: I'TIfIfIIOlIsc.