FILM new releases

- A .‘ Mother's pride: Dominique Reymond in Will It Snow Fo Christmas?

Will It Snow For Christmas? (12) 91 mins * ‘Jic ie at

Who does pastoral drama better than the French7 And who are better at twrsting the knife into the idyllic exrstence which the sub-genre sets up? In Sandrine Veysset's Will It Snow For Christmas?, rt takes all of six and a half minutes for rt to become apparent that not everything rs rosy in the garden and land owned by the family here While lovrng mother (Dominique Reymond) works her fingers to the bone, all father (Daniel Duval) can do is criticise her and their children, seeing them as economic tools rather than a septet of Joy bundles - although one

of the daughters appears to takes his fancy and allegations of incest reach her mother. As time goes on, things don't get any less miserable, and the prospect of a white Christmas offers the only hope of salvation,

As expected, there is hardly a barrel of laughs to be had, yet the end result remains deeply memorable Who are more masterly than the French at producrng a 90-minute movre whose plot takes ten seconds to summarise, but still leaves you vrrth a work which is utterly engrossing and preys on the mind long after the closing Credits have faded? (Brian Donaldson)

Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 72 Dec Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 2 Jan

\h‘ 1cm: ,_ w "a.

Bridge over the river choir: Frances McDormand and Cate Blanchett in Paradise Road

Paradise Road

(15) 114 mins v'<

This prrsoner-of—war orama rs like a two-hour pilot episode of Ten/<0 crossed With Songs Of Praise. lt opens in Hong Kong at an ex-pat shindig where bombs sound above the chinkrng of glasses. Women and children are ferried aboard an escape boat, but kamikaze pilots blast them out of the water. Unfortunately for the audience, several survivors manage to mm to shore.

Imprisoned on Sumatra and facing permanent fear of malaria, rape and execution, the women come up With something to help them through a vocal orchestra. One look at the choir indicates what a minefield of cliches this IS gomg to become: an ageing

30 THE lIST 5—18 Dec 1997

English \'.'orrian With her poodle, a tricky German, a nun wrth attitude and a token Oriental lady who no one trusts Pauline Collins is a missionary With a heart of gold, ER's Julianna Margulies throws away her plastic gloves to play the feisty American, and Glenn Close is first sOprano

After uncovering a strictly forbidden but partiCLilarly movrng humming rendition, the most evrl Japanese officer in the camp drags Close into the jungle. He looks like he's about to slit her throat but, no, he starts singing to her. Laughter is the only option. Terrible, especially cOnsidering the harrowrng time the real women behind this 'true story' must have experienced. (SOphy Bristow) I Selected release from M 5 Dec.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (18) 101 mins as

A former chart-topper at the US bOX office, this is the sort of stalk 'n’ slash flick that would have been lucky to get a Video release ten years ago However, thanks to the recent success of Scream, whose writer Keyrn WilliamsOn is scriptwrrter here, it stands to get a free run in multiplexes up and down the cOuntry.

Four high school friends accidentally run over a man on a dark coastal road Panrcking, they ditch the seemingly dead body in the ocean. Exactly a year later, one of them (Jennifer Love Hewrtt) receives an anonymous letter stating simply 'I know what you did last summer'. Did someone Witness the incident, or has the vrctim come back from the dead for revenge?

It doesn't take Taggart to figure Out the rest of the plot. Bloody murder is followed by bloody murder, as Scottish first—time direitoi Jim Gillespie rorns the dots to make an oh-so-familiar picture, employing enough red herrrngs to feed the five thousand and piling on the horror cliches

The filmmakers try to cover up their lack of imagination by pretending to be all |l0fll(. and post-modern, but, unlike Scream, VJllKll at least had a semblance of Wit, their efforts raise more of a groan than a (fun kle (Srrrior‘ Wardell)

3% General release from Fri 12 Dec

Jennifer Love Hewitt in I Know What You Did last Summer

The Tango Lesson (PG) 102 mins is 2’: st.- as

No prizes for guessing what dornrnates the screen in this film by Orlando director Sally Potter Set in London, Paris and Buenos Aries, the story of The Tango Lesson is driven along by the steamy syncopated footwork of Argentina's national dance

Playing herself, a filmmaker distracted from writing a stript by her obsession wrth the magic and passion of the tango, Potter sets out to learn the steps from sexy Argentinian dancer Pablo Veron Travelling to [aim Arrrerrca to experience the dance first hand in the Buenos Arres (lubs, she ends up totally abandoning her sr rrpt to pursue her growing obseSSron.

While her dancing relt'itionshrp wrth Veron reaches intreasrngly sophisticated levels, so too does her personal relationship wrth the man However, their mutual attraction is not all sweetness and light because, while Sally has a filmmakers instinct to direct, Pablo has a dancer's instinct to lead Whit happens when both people have an ocr upatronal need to be in control?

RllyllllllK and passionate, this frlrn is a credit to l‘otter's creative talents as director, actor, dancer, composer and singer Combining the rrragical style she demonstrated in Orlando with a fascinating dose of realism and an excellent soundtrack, The Tango Lesson tenderly expresses the choreography of modern love (Beth Williams)

Glasgow Film Theatre l/‘r‘m Mon 75 Thu 18 Dec See preview

This World, Then The Fireworks

(18) mins s Si

Based on a grisly short story by pulp king Jim Tltorripson, This l‘r’or/d, Then The Fireworks is set in a stylish- looking SOs Arrierrca, whe'e cool Jan and crime run side by side

Curvaceous Gina Gershoo plays psycho twm Carol, a prostitute who insists on working 'to keep up her self-respect Billy Zane is her brother Marty, a si:ck and sexy madman His purring private eye’ drawl drips over the filth as the siblings indulge in various irrational acts Extortion, murder and incest are Just a few of the things they have lll common other than their birthdays

The crux of the film seems to be whether the turns were born bad or whether childhood experiences drove them there There are claustrophobic mOments as they mentally t0rture and physically pois0n their mother and, as Marty spends mom and more time wrth his bondage-loving police-officer girlfriend, we see another take on dysfunctional love as the lines between sex and brutality are blurred.

These interesting ideas are obsCured by scene after scene of style fOr style's sake, barely hiding a distinct lack of st0ry There isn't enough to keep up the pace and. amid a lot of blood and innovative ideas fOr doing people in, the film lapses into c0nfusron. (Sephy Bristow)

l Opens late December

Billy lane and Sheryl Lee in This World, Then The Fireworks