RENTAL The Battle Of Algiers
(15) 120 mins *‘kﬁ‘k‘k
Gillo Pontecorvo's film set the standard for all subsequent political cinema and is truly deserVing of the word 'masterpiece’. A documentary-style dramatisation of the nationalist uprising in Algeria in the mid-50s, it initially introduces a thriller element with a cliffhanger flashback, and its progreSSion of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary attacks keeps the excitement level high. The morality of terrorism is brought under the spotlight with an immediacy of mood that's all the more remarkable when y0u discover that not a frame of archive footage was used. (Tartan)
Everyone Says I Love
(12) 100 mins we
Woody Allen's first all-out musical has its magical moments, but they're pulled sharply down to earth by dud scenes and performances. The director stars as a divorced, Paris-based writer who goes on holiday to Venice with his 3 daughter and falls for Julia Roberts,
and there are other related sub-plots. Allen is too old now to be believable in such a role, but his main faults take
place behind the camera — the song 'n' dance routines are often wooden and, , annoyingly, he allows actors to hold conversations either off the edge of
the screen or With their backs to the audience. (Buena Vista)
' Kama Sutra
(18) 110 mins a a
Nope, not a Lover’s Guide edition, but , a richly atmospheric tale set in 16th
century India. When her childhood
; friend marries a king, servant girl Maya sleeps With the husband-to-be and is thrown out of her Village. Putting
personal and ancient seductive charms to good use, she regains some
measure of power. lvlira Nair's vibrant film is less about sexual acrobatics than the equally complex psychological balancing acts that define relationships between men and women. (Film Four)
Scare tactics: Drew Barrymore tastes terror in Scream (18, mins, tit t). Available to rent from Mon 17 Nov.
106 THELIST 21 Nov-4 Dec 1997
Ghosts From The Past (15)125 mins 1t tr
Years after the event, an American white supremacist is brought to trial for the murder of a black community leader, and all sorts of old and new wounds are opened. Given the film’s villain (James Woods) and director (Rob Reiner) we could reasonably expect more than the slightly wishy- washy liberal courtroom drama we're offered. Alec Baldwin is slick as the Assistant DA handling the prosecution and Whoopi Goldberg gives a dignified performance as the dead man’s loyal widow. Perhaps the problem is that all our hatred is sucked
towards Woods's personification of
evil, and so the society that
encouraged it is let off the hook. (Columbia Tristar)
(15) 92 mins it it at
East Lothian provided locations for part
of this period drama set in Nova Scotia.
Helena Bonham Carter plays a young woman with a hatred of the local
mines — her brother and father died
there — so when her new love (Clive Russell) goes back on a vow and takes work there, the fuse is lit on inevitable tragedy. The setting and music create an evocative mood, but the story is both drawn out and predictable. (Fox Pathe)
Mon Homme (18) 98 mins “k a.
. Bertrand Blier, the dirty old man of
French cinema, cements his reputation with this tale of a happy hooker (Anouk Grinberg) who finds her 'vocation' is satisfying men for money. She takes in a tramp, begs him to be her pimp and is betrayed by him. The underlying message would appear to be that women aren't complete without a man, and a man isn't complete Without two or more women. If you can get over the moral
hurdle, y0u’ll find the film is beautifully
shot; but Just when you're warming to it, Blier slaps his heroine about a bll.
; Leaves you feeling unclean. (Artificial
1 Eye; also retail £15.99)
RENTAL Private Parts (18)105 mins if it
All talk: Howard Stern in Private Parts
There's not really a British equivalent to American 'shock jock’ radio DJ Howard Stern, and that's part of the problem with Private Parts. Stern may be Number One in the ratings at home, but if we come to him cold, all we see is a rude geek who won't inspire sympathy in strangers.
This autobiopic - Stern stars as himself and provides voiceover narration - is at its worst when clumsily chronicling his rise to stardom from rundown stations to the networks of New York. The best moments come late in the
3: movie, with Howard in full flow, making the hairs on the necks of big station executives stand on end as he enters new territories of radio rudeness. but also sending out an anti-censorship rallying call.
But does Stern have anything to communicate or does he just like the
sound of his own voice? Unlike other talk Dis, he doesn’t have an
interesting personality to share, and it's no surprise that listeners who hate him tune in for longer than his fans. It's also noticeable that director Betty Thomas keeps cutting away to show listeners and Stern's ’posse' laughing at his monologues. as if to reinforce the impression that, hey, Howard really
is funny - these people think so.
Sure, Stern's a phenomenon. but Private Parts doesn't reveal why because it concentrates on the individual and ignores the millions of listeners - with
i all of their deep-rooted animosities - who put him at the top of the charts.
Really, this is just an ego magnified to the size of a screen. (Alan Morrison) a Private Parts is available to rent from Mon 17 Nov.
(15) 103 mins virkaer
, Sentiment, comedy, politics, romance, ' brass band music — not yOur typical
mix, but one that charms every Viewer into submission. Ewan lvchregor plays a miner at a troubled Yorkshire
pit, whose brass band refuses to cave
in when the men are placed on the dole. There are elements of Ken Loach — scabs come off particularly badly — perfectly in balance With memories of Ealing clasSics in a centemporary British film that can’t help but be a Winner, (VCl/Film F0ur £14.99)
(U) 95 mins was a a a
The great maverick director Sam Fuller died two weeks ago, but not before he’d left a legacy of so-called '8' mOVies With a tough, sentimentalised edge. This war pic follows the US Army's attempts to rid Burma of the Japanese in 1942. We're thrown in among the platoon when they're already gomg Jungle crazy after three months' active service. Fuller makes comradeship credible and noble — officers lose 'friends' not iust 'men' — and because
there aren't any real star names in the
mix, we're never Sure who’s gomg to surVive the next onslaught (Warner Big Picture £5 99)
Eisenstein Collection ’ (12) 251 mins MM *
l While other film box sets might receive
more prominent positioning in the
shops, don't forget that square-eyed
i Cineastes need presents too. This collection brings together three
remarkable RuSSian silent films which
have stood the test of time. Battleship
I Potemkin, Strike and October are,
I Without doubt, required viewing not
i just for those interested in Eisenstein's
l unequalled montage style, but anyone
I wanting to catch the buzz of people's
politics in action. Also included is Faber
& Faber's book Sergei Eisenstein: The
Fi/m Sense. (Tartan £34.99)
Freddie Starr: The
Legend Is Back
(18) 57 mins at This couldn’t be any worse if it tried.
With an increaSIng number of sweat
patches on his shirt, one of the world’s
unfunniest men pads out his no-material
act With crap magic tricks and three -
, yes, three — song routines. If, like the audience, you'll readin laugh at the
2 misprOnunciation of 'magician’ or cheer
an impression of Norman Wisdom, then this is the level of entertainment you deserve. (VVL £12.99
STAR RATINGS s: it it it * Unmissable 4: at at r Very ood « a 1» W0rt a shot s *- Below average * You‘ve been warned