FILM INDEX continued
Liebestraum (18) (Mike Figgis. US. 1991) Kevin Anderson. Pamela Gidley. Bill Pullman. 95 mins. An architectural theorist arrives in a small-town and becomes equally enraptured with a 19th century cast-iron building and the wife of a former college chum. with dramatic consequences for all concerned. As turned on and unsettling adult entertainment as you’ll come across in mainstream cinema. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. A Life Less Ordinary (15) (Danny Boyle. UK. 1997) Ewan McGregor. Cameron Diaz. lan Holm. 101 mins. The follow-up to Trainspotting is something else entirely — an original script that boldly plays with the conventions of the romantic comedy. McGregor is a young Scot who kidnaps his boss‘s daughter when he gets the sack. only to ﬁnd his hostage turns the tables and uses events to get back at her dad. Not everything works — Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo as bounty hunters/angels are misconceived — but it's brilliantly designed. funny. romantic and more inventive than most of Hollywood's output combined. General release.
Ma Vie En Rose ( 12) (Alain Berliner. France/Belgium/UK. 1997) Georges Du Fresne. Michele Latoque. Jean-Philippe Ecoffey. 93 mins. Happy seven-year-old Ludovic loves cross-dressing and is convinced he will grow tip to become a girl. His parents hope it's a passing phase. but hostility from their neighbours causes problems. The child's eye world is visually striking. the message of accepting the ‘difference' of others worth repeating. the performances by all trememdous. A refreshingly honest look at a complex subject. Glasgow: Gl’l'. Andrew Stewart. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
The Madness 0f King George (PG) (Nicholas Hytner. UK. 1994) Nigel Hawthorne. Helen Mirren. Rupert Everett. 11() mins. Alan Bennett's adaption of his own stage play is a great British film in its own right with no lingering sense of theatricality. Nigel Hawthorne's excellent
portrayal of the King. his demented behaviour threatening the stability of the nation. gives the ﬁlm an emotional core. while the script's themes are intelligently handled throughout. Edinburgh: Cameo. Maximum Risk (18) (Ringo Lam. US. 1996) Jean-Claude Van Damme. Natasha Henstridge. Jean-Hughes Anglade. 100 mins. Hong Kong action specialist Lam (City On Fire) fails to add a John Woo-like spark to this routine Van Damme actioner. The start plays a former soldier who head to New York's Russian community to root out his twin brother‘s killer. Calling it Maximum Risk is. shall we say. pushing it a bit. lt's all very safe. See review. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: UCI. Paisley: Showcase.
Men In Black (PG) (Barry Sonnenfeld. US. 1997) 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.
Midnight Cowboy (18) (John Schlesinger. US. 1969) Jon Voight. Dustin Hoffman. Brenda Vaccaro. 113 mins. Voight is the dim-witted Texan getting by in the Big Apple by acting as a gigolo for the rich ladies of New York. while Hoffman is the tubercular conman he befriends and helps through the cold winter in this seminal buddy movie. which helped both protagonists to major stardom in the early 1970s. set Schlesinger off on an intermittently successful career. and further shifted the censorship parameters of mainstream American ﬁlm. This new print is part of a touring set from MGM. taken from their Cinema Classics series. and which will be available in video form early next year. Other titles — including Annie Hall. Lost 72m go In Paris and Twelve Angry Men are available in shops now. Edinburgh: Cameo. Mrs Brown (PG) (John Madden. UK. 1997) Judi Dench. Billy Connolly. Antony Sher. 103 mins. Queen Victoria's obsessive
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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. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCI. Galashiels: Pavilion. Largs: Barrﬁelds. Paisley: Showcase.
My Best Friend's Wedding (12) (PJ. Hogan. US. 1997) Julia Roberts. Dermot Mulroney. Cameron Diaz. 105 mins. The director ofAustralian hit Muriel's 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.
Night Falls On Manhattan (15) (Sidney Lumet. US. 1996) Andy Garcia. lan Holm. Lena Olin. 113 mins. Veteran director Lumet ([2 An gr_v Men. .S'et'pt'eo. Network) goes back to his pet subject of police corruption. but with diminishing returns. Hot-shot attorney Sean Casey (Garcia) faces a moral minefield when he investigates a drug bust shoot-out in which his policeman father (Holm) was wounded. Top class performers give the movie a rock-solid bottom for its feverishly unfolding saga. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG) (Henry Selick. US. 1993) With the voices of Chris Sarandon. Danny Elfman. Catherine O'Hara. 76 mins. Jack Skellington. the skinny trickster king of Halloweentown. is restless with success and needs a new challenge. so he hatches a plot to kidnap Santa and create a mixed-up Yuletide isn‘t quite what the kids of the world expected. Produced and based on a story and characters by Tim Burton. this is a real imaginative treat — deliciously dark stop- motion animation on the big screen. Glasgow: UCl Clydebank. East Kilbride: UCI. Stirling: MacRobert.
Nil By Mouth (18) (Gary ()ldman. UK. 1997) Ray Winstone. Kathy Burke. Charlie Creed-Miles. 139 mins. ()ldman‘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 flaw-less 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: ()deon Quay. Nosferatu (PG) (WV Murnau. Germany. 1922) Max Schreck. Alexander Granach. Gustav von Wangenheim. 72 mins. Schreck is a truly terrifying ﬁgure as Bram Stoker‘s famous vampire. looking more like a skinned bat than a human being. A wonderfully visual movie. with twisted shadows and sexual undercurrents placing ’ well above the Kinski/Herzog remake. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
Once Upon A Time In America ( l8) (Sergio Leone. US. 1983) Robert de Niro. James Woods. Elizabeth McGovern. 228 mins. The story of two childhood friends and their early entrepreneurial activities. which blossom into careers in organised crime and politics. leone's epic chronicle scrutinises the emergent American society ( the early 20th century through the aspirations of the mob. Mammoth and often unforgivably vicious. yet somehow also lyrical and telling. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Pan (Li) (Harald Schwenzen. Norway. 1922) 96 mins. A former lieutenant decides to live alone in the woods with only a dog for company. but encounters with locals cause him to fall in love with merchant's daughter Edvarda. ()ne of only a few Norwegian silents. I’on was premiered using music by Grieg and here receives live accompaniment by Mike Nolan. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Peacemaker (15) (Mimi Leder. US.
1997) George Clooney. Nicole Kidman. Marcel lures. 123 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. General release.
The Pied Piper (12) (Jiri Barta. Czech. 1985) 57 mins. Stunningly impressive piece of Czech animation places the famous tale of greed and cruel justice in an cxpressionistic world of tortured buildings and souls. Inventive use of real rats is only one example of the rich visual texture on display. Also with his 1982 work. The [irtinet World (th/ores‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Pusher (18) (Nicolas Winding Refit. Denmark. 1996) 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 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. Edinburgh: 1-‘ilmhouse.
Raging Bull (18) (Martin Scorsese. US. 1980) Robert De Niro. Cathy Moriarty. Joe Pesci. 129 mins. Middleweight boxing champ Jake La Motta ﬁnds it difﬁcult to sustain his early success and as his career fades. he declines into a travesty of his former self. De Niro's stunning physical presence dominates Scorsese’s savagely bleak study of self-destructive machismo. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
The Red Desert ll Des‘erto Rosso (15) (h’lichaelangelo Antonioni. ltaly. 196-1) Monica Vitti. Richard Harris. Carlo Chionetti. l 16 mins. A woman who has recently suffered a nervous breakdown begins a tentative affair with a friend of her husband. Antonioni uses muted colours and an industrial landscape to magniﬁcent effect. as Vitti’s fraught heroine becomes dislocated and mcnaced by her surroundings. A masterpiece of cinema as art. Edinburgh: 1-‘ilm Guild.
Regarde Les Hommes Tomber See Hon- They Fol/(15) (Jacques Audiard. l-‘rance. I993) Mattieu Kassovitz. Jean-[outs 'l‘rintignant. Jean Yanne. 1()() mins. The arresting first feature by writer-director Audiard (A Self-illot/e Hero) follows an unscrupulous card-sharp and his simple- tninded pal as they trudge through l-‘rancc's seedy underworld. An even tricksier time- sequence than Reservoir Dogs and inventive. often disorientating direction give the ﬁlm a very particular llavour. Stirling: MacRobert.
Romeo And Juliet (12) (Bax. l.uhrmann. Australia/US. 1996) Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes. Pete l’ostlcthwaite. 120 mins. The Strictly Ito/[room director‘s treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy is a magnificent riot of colour. action and sexy teen romance. without any need to sacrilicc 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 l.uhrmann has completely grasped the issues at the centre of the play. An intoxicating. breathtaking tnix of (‘atholic iconography. high camp and street violence that's both deliciously feverish and studiedly cool. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Shooting Fish t l2) (Stefan Schwartz. UK. 1997) Kate Beckinsalc. Dan l-‘utterman. Stuart Tow nsend. Iii-I mins. Two contrasting con men recruit a beautiful assistant and set about fleecing the complacent rich (big lish) 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. 1997) Mara Wilson. Martin Short. Kathleen