Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Alien Resurrection (18) (Jean-Pierre qunet. US. 1997) Sigourney Weaver. Winona Ryder. 105 mins. livil boffins clone Ripley and the unborn alien inside her. btit the monster escapes and rampages about a labyrinthine spaceship. It's a shaky premise. with a pick 'n‘ mix selection ofelements from earlier Alien movies. Delicatessen director Jeunet retains enough of his own distinctive. retro-future vision btit damages the series’ serious tone with unfunny one- liners. liqually otit of place is Winona Ryder. Glasgow: Showcase. UCI Clydebank. Edinburgh: UCI. liast Kilbride: UCI. L'Appartement ( I 5) (Gilles Mimouni. France. 1996) Vincent Cassell. Romane Bohringer. Jean-Philippe Iicoffey. 1 16 mins. Young exec Max (Cassell) finds himself drawn into the mystery of his own past when a chance encounter in a cafe sends him hot on the trail of the girl he loved and lost. Mimouni marshals the svvitchback between past and present with effortless elan — it's all very Hitchcockian. but the film's emotional component stops it from being mere pastiche. Quite possibly the coolest French debut since [)iva. Stirling: MacRobert.
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (15) (Jay Roach. US. 1997) Mike Myers. Elizabeth Hurley. Michael York. 94 mins. Austin Powers. the Sixties' silliest superspy. is brought out of suspended animation and pitted him against his old nemesis. Btit the world has moved on three decades. so his un-PC catchphrases and behaviour create a bit of a comic time-clash. Written by and starring flame is ll’orltl's Mike Myers. Austin Powers has perfect detail. spot-on casting and a hilarious mix of clever pastiche and toilet gags. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
The Battleship Potemltin (PG) (Sergei Eisenstein. USSR. 1925) A. Antonov. Vladimir Barski. (irigori Alexandrov. 75 mins. Made for the 20th anniversary of the 1905 revolution. Iiisenstein‘s all-time classic follows the mutiny by the crew of the Prince Potemkin and the support given by the local civilian population. lixpressive camera technique and a grasp of editing that wrote the textbooks are just some of the innovations that put liisenstein and Russian film firmly on the cinematic map. Introduced by liisenstein biographer Ronald Bergan (see book review on page 43. Glasgow; Gl’l‘.
Beethoven (U) (Brian Levant. US. I992) Charles (irodin. Bonnie Hunt. Dean Jones. 87 mins. A small St Bernard pup escapes from an evil vet and attaches itself to the Newton family. Soon it grows to enormous proportions and begins to wreck domestic havoc. Endless visual gags and good timing. particularly from (irodin. enliven what might have been a run-of-the-mill mutt movie. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
The Blue Angel (PG) (Josef von Sternberg. Germany. 1930) [Emil Jannings. Marlene Dietrich. Kurt Gerron. 108 mins. Berlin's decadent cabaret era is vibrantly brought to life as Dietricb's voluptuous singer l.ola- Lola sets out to seduce and destroy a bourgeois schoolteacher. In her first major role. the actress taps into a potent current of female sexuality. Re-released in a new print. Edinburgh: Pilmhouse.
Boogie Nights ( I 8) (Paul ’lhomas Anderson. US. 1997) Mark Wahlberg. Burt Reynolds. Julianne Moore. 152 mins. Doing for porn filmmaking what Coot/fellas did for gangsters. Boogie Nights charts the rise. fall and redemption of a fictional porn superstar (Wahlberg) against the enormous changes wrought in the industry between the 70s and 80s. Large-scale social commentary and small-scale human dramas account for the film's epic feel. while the kitsch fashions and funky disco soundtrack create a film that is as ambitious as it is entertaining. See feature and review. Glasgow: ()deons. Edinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes. Cameo.
44 THELIST 9—22 Jan 1998
UCl. Paisley: Showcase.
The Borrowers (l‘) (Peter Hewitt. (K. 1997) John Goodman. Jim Broadbent. Celia lmrie. 86 mins. At a height of only four inches. the Borrowers hide in wall cavities and living beneath the floorboards of the Lender household. When a nasty law yer tries to swindle the humans out of their inheritance. families big and small join forces. 'lhe design and effects create a strangely familiar. oddly unplaceable world. and children will have little difficulty suspending enough disbelief to be spellbound by the magic of the film. (ieneral release.
The Bostonians (PU) (James Ivory. t'is’. 198-1) Vanessa Redgrave. Christopher Reeve. Madeleine Potter. 'l‘he Merchant- lvory filmmakiug team. complete with scriptwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabsala. tackle Henry James's story of a love triangle set against the early days of the suffragettc movement. l-‘ine acting. btit rather ploddineg paced. Glasgow; (ilfl‘.
Boudu Saved From Drowning (t’ti) (Jean Renoir. France. 1932) Michel Simon. Charles Grandval. Marcelle llainia. S7 mins. The extraordinary confrontation of moral outlook between a tramp saved from drowning. and his well-to-do rescuer who becomes his host is both charming and disturbing. as Renoir explores relationships between opposite sectors of a polarised community. I-Idinburgh: l-‘iltnliouse.
Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis ( I5) (John Henderson. UK. 1997) Rik Mayall. Jane llorrocks. Danny Aiello. 9() mins. Mayall plays an) unscrupulous record label boss who tries to kill off a singer on his books (Horrocks) in order to make a quick buck from her posthumous popularity. limbarrassingly unfunny. with gratineg obnoxious characters. this film is a pimple on the buttocks of British filmmaking. See preview and review. Glasgow: ()deon Quay. Showcase. lidiuburgh: L'CI. Paisley: Showcase.
Carla's Song ( I 5) (Ken l.oach. t'fs’. 1996) Robert Carlyle. ()yanka Cabc/as. Scott Glenn. 127 mins. A more commercially viable outing for l.oach. without a loss of political commitment. Carlyle plays Glaswegian bus driver George. w ho gives tip everything to hpr refugee Carla return to Nicaragua and find her boy friend. The love story aspect of the first (Scottish) half of the film is its strongest point; the revelations in Central America don't hold surprises nor does the director seem totally at home with the ‘aetion' elements. Carlyle. however. is excellent — mildly tough and totally charming. Glasgow: (iilmorehill.
Cinema Paradiso (PG) ((iiliseppc 'l‘ornatore. Italy/France. I988) Phillipe Noiret. Jacques Perrin. Salvatore ('ascio. 123 mins. 'l'old largely in flashback. the winner of the 1990 Oscar for Best l-‘oreiiln Film traces young Sals atore's infatuation with his village cinema. and his grow ing friendship with its projectionist (played to
No more Mr Nice Guy: John Travolta in Face/Off
perfection by Noiret). Iissentially. it's 'lornatore's lament for the joyous movie- goiug experience of his youth and a recognition of the price we pay for our maturity. I‘alkirk; Arts Centre.
Cop Land (15) (James Maiigold. CS. 1997) Sylvester Stallone. Robert De Niro. Harvey Keitel. Ray I.iotta. 105 mins. Stallone plays sheriff l-‘reddy lleflin. bossed around by the NYPD men who make their home in (iarrison. New Jersey. When he uncovers deep-rooted police corruption on his turf. he has a one-shot chance to win back his self- respect. like l...'1. ('mi/Ii/ential. Cop [and has a stormer of a plot. but is essentially a character-driven movie. The acting is. unsurprisiugly. iii a league of its own. with Stallone's lumbering hero providing his best role since ls'ot (v Glasgow: Showcase. lidiiiburgh: Catiieo. Paisley: Show case.
The Devil's Advocate ( ls‘) ('l'ay Im- Hackford. 1S. 1997) Al Pacino. Keanu Reeves. CharIi/e 'l‘heroi). 145 mins. Hot shot law yer Kev in l.omax (Reeves) is recruited by a New York firm. but comes to realise its fotmder. John Milton (Pacino). is head of something a lot more scary than the legal industry This modern-day morality play allow s Pacino to grandstand in a part that's plainly absurd. while Reeves is too wooden for his supposedly charismatic role. See feature and review General release. Devil's Island ( I5) (l-‘ridrik 'I‘hor Iiridriksson. Iceland. 1997) BaItasar Kormakur. (iisli l-lalldorsson. Sveiiin (ieirsson. 103 mins. I5ridriksson‘s follow-tip to Cold I-‘ever is not nearly so freewheeling. although it also contains a winning mixture of humour and heartache. l-‘ollowing the fortunes of an impoverished extended family living on a former US army base. the film show s the painful consequences of a clash of two iiiimical cultures * America and Iceland — where imported values are as otit of place as a bright red convertible against the w ild. barren landscapes. See review. lidinbtirgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
Donnie Brasco ( 18) (Mike Nevvell. US. 1997) Al Pacino. Johnny l)epp. Michael Madsen. 127 mins. Depp plays a federal agent w ho gains the confidence of mob underling Pacino as part of a major surveillance operation in late 7(1s New York. but their grow mg bond threatens the forthcoming bust. 'llirough l)epp's eyes we learn the language. rituals and economic realities of being a made man. The violence and setting might not be new. but the filmmakers play with genre expectations. lidiiiburgh: Cameo.
The End Of Violence ( 15) (With Wenders. ('S/(iermany/l‘rance. 1997) Bill Pullman. Andie MacDoweIl. Gabriel Byrne. I20 mins. Reminiscent of those open-ended paranoia thrillers of the 7(ls (The ('inii‘ervalimi. The Para/lat lieu). The Iftii/ ()7 I'io/eme casts a caustic eye on modern LA. vs here reality and fiction are both most keenly experienced through the camera lens. 'Ilie plot revolves around the city 's hi-tech
surveillance system and a murder attempt on a top film producer. btit although the themes are intriguing. the overall effect is very patchy. See preview and review. Glasgow: (ii-'1‘.
Face (18) (Antonia Bird. UK. 1997) Robert Carlyle. Ray Winstone. Stephen Waddington. 100 mins. 'Ihink The [mtg Good Friday. think Get Carter. Ray (Carlyle) and his gang of liast [ind criminals pull off an armed robbery. but when the loot goes missing. it becomes obvious they have been stitched up by one of their own. Face tackles the spectre of the Thatcher years within the framework of a crime thriller. and the results are hit arid miss. Blur's Damon Albarn acquits himself well in a small role as a wannabe crook. Palkirk: Arts Centre. Stirling: MacRobert.
Face/Off ( 18) (John Woo. US. 1997) John 'I'ravolta. Nicolas Cage. Joan Allen. 133 mins. FBI agent Sean Archer ('l'ravolta) undergoes radical surgery to become terrorist Castor 'l‘roy (Nicolas Cage); btit when 'l‘roy comes out of a coma and undergoes a similar operation. he too is able to slip into his enemy‘s domain — domestic and professional. Part horror. part sci-fi. full-on action. with a cast that's uniformly excellent. lidinburgh: Catiieo. Paisley: Showcase.
The Fifth Element ( l 2) (I.uc Besson. France/US. 1997) Bruce Willis. Milla .lovovich. Gary ()ldman. 127 mins. New York City in the 23rd Century. and cabbie Korben Dallas (Willis) picks tip an unexpected passenger in the shape of l.eeloo (Milla Jovovich) — an alien who holds the key to saving the world. Besson's second linglish language filtn -— following the excellent [.eon — is a colourful jumble of camp designs (by Jean-Paul Gaultier). self- indulgent performances and genre rip-offs which plays for laughs as genuine sci-Ii ideas run dry. Iidinburgh: liilmhouse.
The Full Monty (15) (Peter Cattaneo. UK. 1997) Robert Carlyle. Tom Wilkinson. Mark Addy. 92 mins. Carlyle plays Gary. an unemployed Sheffield steelworker who. along with an odd mix of former colleagues. decides to go one better than the Chippendale troupes that fill the local halls. Cattaneo's laugh—out-lotid film comes from the same tradition as Brassed Off. mixing comedy with a strong social conscience and showing unemployment as an emasculating experience. General release.
Gaelic Shorts ( l 5) 75 mins. The four short films made from two years of the (ieur Ghearr scheme make a mixed bag. with moments of poetry occasionally hindered by rather uninspired filmniaking. The Sacrifice is a drama played out on a peatbank'. Before Winter Hinds is an atmospheric tale set in a whaling factory; Fishing is a cringworthy comedy of hopeful love; and The Jealous Sister has a strongly Celtic and mythic feel. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
George Of The Jungle (U) (Sam Weisman. US. 1997) Brendan Fraser. Leslie Mann. Holland 'l‘aylor. 9| mins. l.oineloth-clad hero Geroge (Fraser) saves San Fransican socialite Ursual (Mann). btit his trip to the urban jungle is shortlived when he hears of the kidnap of his hairy sidekick. Ape (voiced by John Cleese). The plot is the usual blend of humour. action. slapstick. adventure and. of course. romance. while the knowing and punchy script is easily tip with the best of modern Disney. General release.
La Grande Illusion (PG) (Jean Renoir. l-‘rance. 1937) Jean (iabin. Pierre liresney. lirich von Stroheim. II7 mins. Renoir's classic prison camp escape story is more than the strong anti-war statement that won it praise at the time of its release; it is also an ironic social analysis highlighting class differentiation. Glasgow: (ll-'1‘.
Harriet The Spy (PG) (Bronwen Hughes. US. 1996) Michelle 'l‘rachtenberg. Rosie O'Donnell. Gregory Smith. 102 mins. Precocious schoolgirl Harriet. convinced she has a future as a writer. notes down the minutae of daily life in herjournal; but when her classmates discover her criticisms of them. she has to work hard to win back popularity. 'l‘rachtenberg gives a fresh. sparky performance. but the teacherly tone won't amuse accompnaying grown-ups. Glasgow: (ii-'1‘.
Hercules (U) (John Musker 8; Ron Clements. US. 1997) With the voices of 'l’ate