FILM index


Men In Black (PG) (Barry Sonnenfcld. US. I997) Tommy Lee Jones. Will Smith. Vincent D‘Onofrio. 95 mins. Smith and Jones are two cryptically named ‘cosmic G- men‘ who monitor extraterrestrial aliens living on Earth. while stopping the nastier breed of space baddie from colonising the planet. Jones's seen-it-all straight man is the perfect foil for Smith's wide-eyed new kid on the block. General release. The Misfits (PG) (John Huston. US. l96l) Marilyn Monroe. Clark Gable. Montgomery Clift. I24 mins. Heaven knows what mood persisted on the set of sombre Western. as it ended up being the last film for both Monroe and Cable - and Clift too was in something of a decline. despite his superb performance. Gable plays a cowboy who comes across divorcee Monroe when she‘s freeing captive horses with disillusioned rodeo rider Clift. Arthur Miller‘s intelligent script is a character study set as dusk falls on the Old West. Edinburgh: Cameo. Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (PG) (Jacques Tati. France. I953) Jacques Tati. Nathalie Pascaud. Michelle Rolla. 9I mins. M. Hulot. the bachelor with the accident-prone touch. arrives at ajaunty coastal resort and devastation very soon ensues. Comic timing at its most irresistible. as Tali gets away with a number of memorable. slow-burning gags. all undercut by the stabbing notion that we all have an uncle exactly like Hulot. East Kilbride: Ans Centre. Moonwalker (U) (Jerry Kramer & Colin Chilvers. US. I988) Michael Jackson. Sean Lennon. Kellie Parker. Joe l’esci. l00 mins. The Jacko plan for world domination continued with this ragbag of pop videos and archive footage masquerading as a feature film. Criticism is pointless. but there‘s a lot to dislike about a movie which exploits kiddies' short attention spans. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Mrs Brown (PG) (John Madden. UK. I997) Judi Dench. Billy Connolly. Antony Sher. l03 mins. Queen Victoria's obsessive mourning for Prince Albert is casting gloom over the entire country. so Highland ghillie John Brown is called down from Balmoral to shake up the stuffy English court. Madden‘s film can‘t match the comic brio and visual panache of The Madness 0f King George. but his understated direction undeniably suits the story. The performances are uniformly splendid. with Dench and Connolly (both perfectly cast) giving the film a surprising emotional depth. General release. My Best Friend's Wedding (12) (PJ. Hogan. US. I997) Julia Roberts. Dermot Mulroney. Cameron Diaz. I05 mins. The director of Australian hit Muriel is Wedding takes Julia Roberts out of her usual. wide- eyed role of irritating innocence and re-casts her as a two-faced career girl who tries to scupper the wedding of a former boyfriend whom she suddenly realises she is still very much in love with. A wonderfully scripted film with a fun performances all round. it ultimately affirms the enduring nature of friendship. General release. The Near Room (l8) (David Hayman. UK. I995) Adrian Dunbar. David O'Hara. Julie Graham. 89 mins. Enter a vision of Glasgow where Mr Happy never smiles better and washed-up newspaper hack Charlie (Dunbar) realises that the young girl he is searching for in a sewer of corruption and child pornography is his own long-lost daughter. Robert Murphy‘s screenplay throws a tight net over the characters. creating a world where the past hunts everyone down with a relentless. merciless inevitability. Stirling: MacRobert. Nil By Mouth (l8) (Gary ()ldman. UK. I997) Ray Winstone. Kathy Burke. Charlie Creed-Miles. I39 mins. Oldman‘s directorial debut is an account of alcoholism and marital abuse which stalks smoky East [ind 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. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Showcase. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI.

30 THE LIST 23 Oct—6 Nov 1997

The Peacemaker ( I5) (Mimi Leder. US. I997) George Clooney. Nicole Kidman. Marcel lures. I23 mins. When Russia prepares to deactivate its remaining nuclear warheads. a renegade Eastern European steals one and plans to hold the world to ransom. In comes military expert Clooney and scientist Kidman. Action thrillers are so much harder to pull off now that the old East-West divide is no more. even for the much-heralded DreamWorks SKG studio. The film ups the set-pieces and scrupulously avoids romanc. but takes itself far too seriously for US to relish its pulp thrills for their own sake. See review. General release. Plein Soleil Purple Noon (IS) (Rene Clement. France. I960) Alain Delon. Maurice Ronet. Marie Laforét. l18 mins. Clement‘s lusth filmed reworking ofa Patricia Highsmith story hooks viewers into its skewed moral universe. Ripley (Delon) nurses a grudge against a friend with girl trouble and hatches a plan to kill him on a yachting trip. The film clumsy in places. over-long in others becomes an absorbing excercise in careful plotting and spooky emotional manoeuvering. Stirling: MacRobert.

Portraits Chinois ( I5) (Martine Dugowson. France/UK. I996) Helena Bonham Carter. Jean-Philippe Ecoffey. Elsa Zylberstein. I I6 mins. Dugowson's follow-up to the rather marvellous Mina Tannenbatrm paints a broad canvas of thirtysomething Parisian life and romance. Bonham Carter (in not unimpressive French) gets the nominal lead as a couture assistant going through a double-crisis at work and at home. while the director's insight into her lovers and liars remains wise and humane. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.

Private Parts (I8) (Betty Thomas. US. I997) Howard Stern. Robin Quivers. Mary McCormack. l09 mins. This autobiography ofAmerica‘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 burns 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. Stirling: MacRobert.

Pulp Fiction (18) (Quentin T‘arantino. US. 1994) John Travolta. Samuel Jackson. Uma Thurman. Bruce Willis. 150 mins. Much more ambitious than Reservoir Dogs. the most awaited second feature of the 90s has many scenes that crackle with T'arantino wit. and a few others that fall flat as the writer- director bravely experiments. Interlocking stories in the pulp crime manner concern hitmen. ailing boxers. gang bosses and their molls. drug fiends. and assorted riff-raff. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Pusher (l8) (Nicolas Winding Refn. Denmark. I996) Kim Bodnia. Laura Drasbaek. Zlatko Buric. 105 mins. Watching this Danish thriller is rather like gazing into a basin full of piranhas in the midst ofa 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. Glasgow: Gilmorehill. Quadrophenia (I8) (Frank Roddam. UK. I979) Phil Daniels. Leslie Ash. Philip Davis. Sting. I20 mins. Mods and rockers live it tip on Brighton beach by swapping buckets and spades for chains and sticks. Lively first half has enough energy. music. violence and period flavour to carry it along. but all too soon it degenerates into some sort of treatise on the morality of youth. set to tunes by The Who. Glasgow: Gilmorehill. the Red Squirrel (l8) (Julio Medem. Spain. I993) Nancho Novo. Emma Suarez. ll4 mins. Narrower in scope than the director's debut. Vocos. The Red Squirrel has elements in common with the hysterical sex farces dominant in Spanish filmmaking. but is itself a complex melodrama about deceit. betrayal and love. shot through with angled symbolism. A clever blend of psychodrama and thriller. Glasgow: GFT. Romeo And Juliet (I2) (Baz Luhrmann.

Otherwise engaged: Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in My Best Friends Wedding

Australia/US. I996) Leonardo DiCaprio. Claire Danes. Pcte Postlethwaite. I20 mins. The Strictly Ballroom 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 ‘MTV filmmaking' misses the point that the camera tricks and in-jokes don't in any way distract from the fact that Luhrrnann 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. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.

Roseanna's Grave (l2) (Paul Weiland. US/UK. I997) Jean Reno. Mercedes Rtihl. Polly Walker. 98 mins. A sublimer moving. deliciously un-PC tale of love taken to the extreme. French actor Jean Reno stars as a devoted husband goes to extreme lengths to ensure that his ailing wife will be buried alongside their beloved daughter in the small local cemetery when the time comes. Moments of sweet-natured farce sit comfortably alongside heady romance and black humour. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Scream (l8) (Wes Craven. US. I996) Neve Campbell. Courteney Cox. Drew Barrymore. l I lmins. The teenagers of Woodsboro 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 rules ~ you'll find it perfectly scary and funny. Irvine: Magnum. Stirling: MacRobert. Shine (l2) (Scott Hicks. Australia. I996) Geoffrey Rush. Noah Taylor. Armin Mueller-Stahl. l05 mins. Winner of nine top awards at Australia‘s equivalent of the Oscars. Shine is a remarkable and devastating film about the life of child prodigy and pianist David Helfgott. who was forced to retire from the stage due to a mental breakdown. but returned later in life. The performances show real love. while the recital passages are presented with a conviction that underlines the quality of the film as a whole. Gillian Hell'gott will attend the matinee screening at the OFF on Sat 25. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes.

Shooting Fish (I2) (Stefan Schwartz. UK. I997) Kate Beckinsale. Dan l-‘utterman. Stuart Townsend. l04 mins. 'l’wo 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 case. A breathlesst pacy movie. General release.

A Simple Wish (PG) (Michael Ritchie. US. I997) 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. Small Faces (l8) (Gillies Mackinnon. UK. I995) Iain Robertson. Joseph McFadden. J.S. Duffy. I08 mins. Co-written with producer brother Billy. Gillies Mackinnon's marvelloust detailed study about the growing pains of a boy caught in the fringes of Glasgow's gangland violence in the 60s emerges as a warm and accurate portrayal of working-class family life. Centring on three brothers. it avoids the pitfalls of the Glasgow hard man movie. instead becoming a superior rites-of-passage tale. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Smilla's Feeling For Snow (l5) (Bille August. Germany/Denmark/Sweden. I997) Julia Ormond. Gabriel Byrne. Richard Harris. l20 mins. When Greenland native Smilla (Julia Ormond) investigates the death of her neighbour's child in a fall. her highly developed ‘sense of snow‘ convinces her it was murder. An Arctic conspiracy of iceberg-sized proportions unravels in August's version of Peter Hoeg's bestseller. Stark blue photography captures the landscape so effectively it makes you shiver. but doesn't stop the film from being any more than a bland thriller. See preview and review. Glasgow: UCI Clydebank. Edinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes. UCI. Snow White: A Tale Of Terror (15) (Michael Colin. US. I996) Sigourney Weaver. Sam Neill. Gil Bellows. I00 mins. This unanimated. un-Disneyfied version of the fairytale has a magical gothic setting wherein the attractive Claudia,(Weaver). new wife to Baron Hoffman (Neill) develops an irrational inferiority complex to her porcelein-skinned stepdaughter Lilli (Monica Keena). Weaver's performance dominates the screen and is so strong that the viewer empathises with the traditional baddy. Unfortunately. however. the supporting roles remain flat and artificial. See review. Glasgow: UCI Clydebank.

The Spy In Black (PG) (Michael Powell. UK. I939) Conrad Veidt. Valerie Hobson. Sebastian Shaw. 82 mins. Powell was as daring as ever when making this WWI thriller on the eve of WW2. as he forces the audience to sympathise with the clearly Germanic Veidt as he attempts to destroy the British fleet. Like I Know Where I'm Going. the director uses Scottish locations Scapa Flow most notably for atmospheric effect rather than pretty pictures. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Study Day: Film Noir lilam—me. It's a much used term —film noir but what exactly does it mean”? Alex (iilkison of Paisley University maps the history of the genre and brings it bang tip to date. With screenings of Double Indemnity and The Lox! Seduction. Sat | Nov only. Glasgow: GFI‘.

The Sweet Hereafter ( l 5) (Atom Egoyan. Canada. I997) Ian Holm. Bruce Greenwood. Sarah Polley. I ll) mitts. When a small community is torn apart by a school bus