FILM INDEX continued
Nil By Mouth (18) (Gary Oldman. UK. 1997) Ray Winstone. Kathy Burke. Charlie Creed-Miles. 139 mins. Oldman's directorial debut is an account of alcoholism and marital abuse which stalks smoky East End pubs. smog-ridden council estates and cheap-rate lives with an itchy amphetamine energy. In a flawless ensemble cast. Burke (whose performance won her the Best Actress award at Cannes) is heroic as the put-upon wife. while Winstone dominates the screen. This is simply one of the best British movies of the 90s - shocking. funny. heartfelt and honest. See preview and review. Glasgow: City Centre Odeon. Showcase. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI.
The Olympic Summer (15) (Gordian Maugg. Gemiany 1992) 84 mins. With little spoken dialogue other than a voiceover by Otto Sander. this film charts the life of a man between 1936 and the fall of the Third Reich. with particular emphasis on the notorious Berlin Olympics. Shot in black and white. it pulls archive footage and stills into the mix. Director Maugg will be in town for screenings of his latest film The Caucasian Night. German Film Festival. Glasgow: (3171‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
101 Dalmatians (U) (Stephen Heiek. US. 1996) Glenn Close. Joely Richardson. Jeff Daniels. 103 mins. Disney turns one of its favourite animated films into a live action pantomime with spodges of Home Alone buffoonery. making sure there are plenty of dogs to make the kids go ‘aaahhh‘. The story remains pretty much untouched — vile villainess Cruella De Vil (Close) kidnaps enough spotty pups to make a stunning coat. but the animal world gets the better of her — but so does the old-fashioned morality. which stresses the sanctity of marriage and that a woman‘s place is by her man‘s side. Edinburgh: ABC. Odeon.
The Pillow Book (18) (Peter Greenaway. UK/Netherlands/France. 1996) Vivian Wu. Ewan McGregor. Yoshi Oida. 126 mins. Greenaway‘s distinctive style of frames within frames and text scrolling across the
screen reaches its zenith in this visual masterpiece. A Japanese model chooses her lovers on the strength of their calligraphic skills. and slowly she puts in motion a revenge plan against the man who ruined her father. McGregor co-stars as a bisexual translator whose kit is more off than on. btit the graphic nudity is sensually handled. Achingly gorgeous images make for sheer cinematic poetry. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
Prime Cuts (15) 45 mins. This year's set of six shorts funded by Scottish Screen. British Screen. Scottish Television and the Scottish Arts Council is a wonderful boost in the arm for filmmaking in Scotland. livery one of the seven-minute long pieces has something to recommend it. whether David Hayman's performance as a schizophrenic in F riwulli lbit't's‘ or the energy installed iii Little Sisters by its young cast of unknowns. Good writing and evocative filmmaking all round. The filtiimakers and a representative of Scottish Screen will attend. Stirling: MacRobert. Private Parts ( 18) (Betty Thomas. US.
Direct action: Gary 01
“Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
t e e lhant use
The gourmet tea and coffee house
in the heart of the Old Town
21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh 0131 220 5355
32 THE 1181' 10 (kt—23 Oct 1991
dman directs Ray Winstone in Nil By Mouth
1997) Howard Stern. Robin Quivers, Mary MeCormack. 109 mins. This autobiography ofAmen'ca‘s leading ‘shock-jock' Howard Stern is as abrasive. loud and raunchy as you might have anticipated; but it’s also highly intelligent. ironic. downright hilarious at times. and bums with an anti-censorship fervour that's really cheering to see. Stern plays himself. and by the end. we‘ve rooted for him in his struggle against airwave bureaucracy and the repressive network powers-that-be. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Pusher (18) (Nicolas Winding Refn. Denmark. 1996) Kim Bodnia. Laura Drasbaek. Zlatko Buric. 105 mins. Watching this Danish thriller is rather like gazing into a basin ftill of piranhas in the midst of a feeding frenzy. Small-time dealer Frank (Bodnia) finds himself in hock to a Serbian gang boss after a drug transaction
is ruined by a police bust. but attempts to free himself are balked at every turn as it becomes apparent that fate has it in for him. The film has a documentary sheen and direction is admirably controlled but. God. is it cold. See preview and review. Glasgow: GFI‘. Raulien’s District (12) (Alice Agneskirchner. Germany. 1994) 85 mins. This critically acclaimed documentary follows an extremely likeable police superintendent and his unconventional methods of dealing with problems in a multicultural working-class district in the Ruhr area. German Film Festival. Edinburgh: l-‘iliiihouse.
Romeo And Juliet (12) (Baz Luhrmann. Australia/US. 1996) Leonardo DiCaprio. Claire Danes. Pete l’ostlethwaite. 120 mins. The Strict/i Bit/[mum director‘s treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy is a magnificent riot of colour. action and sexy teen romance. without any need to sacrifice the text. To call it 'M'l‘V filmmaking' misses the point that the camera tricks and iii-jokes don't in any way distract from the fact that Luhrmann has completely grasped the issues at the centre of the play. An intoxicating. breathtaking mix of Catholic iconography. high camp and street violence that's both deliciously feverish and studiedly cool. lFxlinburgh: Cameo. Romy 8: Michele's High School Reunion (12) (David Mirkin. US. 1997) Mira Sorvino. Lisa Kudrow. Jaiieane (iarofalo. 91 mins. It‘s been ten years since California's prettiest. most vacant airheads left Middle America. btit when they decide to return for their high- school reunion. old romantic longings might be given a belated second-chance. Terrific stuff from the two gals throughout and ftiii support from former teen tibergeek Alan (‘umming Looks like mainstream US movie comedy has a future after all. liast Kilbride: liCl.
Le Samourai (l’(i)(Jcaii-1’ierre Melville. France/Italy. 19o71:\lain l)eloii. Francois l’erier. Nathalie l)e1oii. 105 mins. The classic French filiii iioir. i'e-issued with. for the first time. subtitles rather than the appallineg I dubbed version that did the rounds years ago. Dclon is Jeff Costello. an enigmatic hired killer who becomes obsessed with the beautiful pianist who witnessed a hit btit refuses to testify against him. Minimalist dialogue and perfect attention to detail make this the director‘s masteipiece. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Scream (18) (Wes Craven. US. 1996) Neve Campbell. Courteney Cox. Drew Barrymore. 1 I 1mins. The teenagers of Woodsbom know they‘re typical stalker fodder. so when a killer hits town. they gather in an enormous house to watch horror movies as the real bad guy gets closer. Self-conscious references are good fun. the opening sequence is genuine white-knuckle material. and — if you know the mles - you‘ll find it perfectly scary and funny. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Secrets And Lies (15) (Mike Leigh. UK. 1996) Timothy Spall. Brenda Blethyn. Phyllis Logan. 140 mins. Leigh’s Palme D’Or-winning follow up to Naked is a bittersweet take on suburban domestic life. Young black optician Hortense searches for the mother who put her up for adoption as a baby. but is surprised to discover it‘s white working-class Cynthia. Genuinely emotional. with great performances by Marianne Jean- Baptiste and Timothy Spall. but the showstopping turn comes from Cannes winner Brenda Blethan. Edinburgh: Cameo. Film Guild.
The Sheepman (U) (George Marshall. US. 1958) Glenn Ford. Shirley MacLaine. Leslie Nielsen. 91 mins. What. after Babe the sheep—pi g we've got another confused mammal? Not quite. Sheep farmer Ford arrives in town and immediately causes antagonism with the cattle barons. Archetypal Western material. lifted by good performances and a nice touch of comedy. Edinburgh: St Bride‘s.
Shooting Fish (12) (Stefan Schwartz. UK. 1997) Kate Beckinsale. Dan Futtennan. Stuart Townsend. 104 mins. Two contrasting con men recruit a beautiful assistant and set about fleecing the complacent rich (big fish) in order to help the poor (themselves). The director and producer of Soft Top, Hard Shoulder turn a contrived. cheesy and very busy plot into a sublime story that unfolds on screen with seamless ease. A breathlessly pacy movie. See feature and review. General release.
A Simple Wish (PG) (Michael Ritchie. US. 1997) Mara Wilson. Martin Short. Kathleen Turner. 90 mins. When she makes a wish for her singer-actor dad to land the lead in a Broadway musical. Mara Wilson (of Matilda fame) finds herself saddled with a bumbling fairy godfather in the shape of Martin Short. The magic world of the fairytale is updated to the 90s for a colourful but ultimately sickly sweet kids movie that features good effects. General release.
The Sound Of Music (U) (Robert Wise. US. 1965) Julie Andrews. Christopher Plummer. Richard Haydn. Eleanor Parker. Peggy Wood. 173 mins. 1n the late 19305. vivacious iiun Maria (Andrews) introduces the Von Trapp children to the joys of music. and their widowed father (Plummer) to thejoys of love as Nazism begins to sweep Austria. One of the great screen musicals. completely uncynical. and boasting a host of memorable songs and chann-sodden moments. And it‘s all based on a true story. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
Space Jam (U) (Joe Pytka. US. 1996) Michael Jordan. Bugs Bunny. Wayne Knight. 87 mins. Nasty alien cartoons have captured Bugs Bunny and are going to enslave the Looney Tunes in their amusement park on Moron Mountain. btit Bugs has the brainwave of challenging them to a basketball game and enlisting the talents of Michael Jordan for his team. Lacking the class of Who Framed Roger Rabbit." and the pace of a real basketball game. Space Jam should divert the kids on Saturday mornings. Glasgow; UCI Clydebank. Edinburgh: Odeon. [East Kilbride: UCI.
Spawn (12) (Mark Dippe. US. 1997) John Leguizamo. Michael Jai White. Martin Sheen. 97 mins. Yet another comic book character to graduate from the page to the screen. left for dead by his corrupt bosses. covert soldier Al Simmons (White) undergoes transforitiation into Spawn and is sent to lead Hell‘s army in the destruction of mankind. lt's Leguizamo‘s astonishing performance as Clown. tliel)evil's envoy. that dominates this cinematic equivalent of an ear-drum splitting computer game. Glasgow: Showcase. UCl Clydcbank. Edinburgh: UCI. East Kilbride: UCl. Paisley: Showcase.
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