FILM INDEX continued
Picture Perfect (12) (Glen Gordon Caron. US. 1997) Jennifer Aniston. Kevin Bacon. Jay Mohr. 101 mins. Advertising exec Kate (Aniston) fancies ofﬁce hunk Sam (Bacon). but he's only interested in women who are spoken for. She then invents a ﬁctional ﬁance based on a guy in a Polaroid (Mohr). but things get complicated when he turns up and genuinely falls for her. Aniston plays close to type (ie friends) but that‘s perfect for this light-hearted romantic comedy. See review. General release.
The Pillow Book (18) (Peter Greenaway. UK/Netherlands/France. 1996) Vivian Wu. Ewan McGregor. Yoshi Oida. 126 mins. Greenaway's distinctive style of frames within frames and text scrolling across the screen reaches its zenith in this visual masterpiece. A Japanese model chooses her lovers on the strength of their calligraphic skills. and slowly she puts in motion a revenge plan against the man who ruined her father. McGregor co-stars as a bisexual translator whose kit is more off than on. but the graphic nudity is sensually handled. Achingly gorgeous images make for sheer cinematic poetry. Edinburgh: Film Guild. The Portrait Of A lady (12) (Jane Campion. US. 1996) Nicole Kidman. John Malkovich. Barbara Hershey. 144 mins. Campion's follow-up to The Piano is a dark and difﬁcult adaptation of Henry James‘s novel which stays true to the original's subtle psychological observations. Kidman — at once proud. naive. sensitive and determined — is excellent as the young woman almost destroyed by a disastrous marriage. while Malkovich is a little too cold and ambiguous. Beautiful. but emotionally remote. Glasgow: GFI‘. Raising Arizona (15) (Joel Coen. US. 1987) Nicolas Cage. Holly Hunter. 94 mins. Married ex-con Cage settles down to a life of crime once more and remedies his wife's childless state by stealing a millionaire's recently whelped quintuplet. Exhilirating. live-action cartoon combining non-stop action. crazy situations and deadpan wit. This second feature from the Coen brothers is ajoy. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Regeneration (IS) (Gillies Mackinnon. UK/Canada. 1997) Jonathan Pryce. James Wilby. Jonny Lee Miller. 113 minutes. Faithful to Pat Barker's source novel. Mackinnon‘s ﬁlm touches on trench life during WW 1. but is mostly conﬁned within the walls of Edinburgh's Craiglockhart Hospital. where psychiatrist Dr Rivers (Pryce) nurses the shell-shocked back to mental ﬁtness. It‘s a sober. mournful work. and most of the ﬁreworks comes from the actors. all of whom excel. Glasgow: OFT. Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCl. Scream (18) (Wes Craven. US. 1996) Neve Campbell. Courteney Cox. Drew Barrymore. l 1 1 mins. 'lhe 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. mhouse.you agree. Edinburgh: Fil Shooting Fish (12) (Stefan Schwartz. UK. 1997) Kate Beckinsale. Dan Futterman. Stuart Townsend. 104 mins. Two 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 breathlessly pacy movie. Edinburgh: Cameo.
A Simple Wish (PG) (Michael Ritchie. US. 1997) 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. Glasgow: Virgin. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Smilla's Feeling For Snow ( l 5) (Bille August. Germany/Denmark/Sweden. 1997)
46 TIIE UST 9-22 Jan 1998
Julia Orrnond. Gabriel Byrne. Richard Harris. 120 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. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Song Roads (15) 55 mins. Mark [.ittlewood introduces his documentary on the musical partnership of Dougie Macl.ean and Grammy Awardwinning country singer Kathy Mattea. Part of the Celtic Connections programme. followed by a screening of Regeneration. Glasgow: G171 SpiceWorld: The Movie (PG) (Bob Spiers. UK. 1997) The Spice Girls. Richard E. Grant. Alan Cumming. 93 mins. ‘A 90s Hard Day '5 Nighr. with a pinch of Spinal 721p and a little Speed thrown in.‘ says the publicity material. The story chronicles the hectic ﬁve days in the lead-up to the girls' ﬁrst live concert at the Royal Albert Hall and. on the way. crams in so many celebrity cameos. you get the sense this could be the big screen equivalent of Noel is House Party. Of course. plenty of hit songs are included too. General release.
Starship Troopers (15) (Paul Verhoevcn. US. 1997) Casper Van Dien. Dina Meyer. Denise Richards. 129 mins. Way in the future. Earth is run by a crypto-fascist regime. and the members of the Galactic Armed Forces are sent into space to fight a race of alien bugs hell-bent on wiping out humanity. The computer animation work is ﬁrst rate and. despite its gory slice ‘n' dice violence. one reading of the movie‘s sub- text is decidedly anti-militaristic. General release.
Stella Does Tricks (18) (Coky Giedroyc. UK. 1996) Kelly Macdonald. Hans Mathieson. James Bolam. 97 mins. Kelly Macdonald takes on her ﬁrst leading role after debuting as schoolgirl Diane in Trainspotting. Here she plays a teenage prostitute who escapes from her life in London to bring revenge to those who wronged her in her native Glasgow. Writer A.L. Kennedy discusses the ﬁlm. which goes on general release later in January. Kelly Macdonald interview next issue. Glasgow: GET.
Strike (U) (Sergei Eisenstein. USSR. 192-1) Maxim Straukh. Grigori Alexandrov. Mikhail Gomorov. 70 mins. The Russian master's debut feature is a searing. epic account of the eternal struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie. in which the hero is the masses: a potent symbol of collectivism. The editing is superb and the imagery. though crude (the slaughter of innocent workers cut with footage from an abattoir). has a stark beauty which transcends the ugliness it depicts. A rousing celebration of human strength and Russian stoicism. Glasgow: GET.
Temptress Moon (15) (Chen Kaige. Hong Kong. 1996) Gong Li. Leslie Cheung. Zhou Yemang. 130 mins. Opium addiction. incest and raging passions are the highlights of this complex love story mirroring the fate of a changing China during the 1920s. The ﬁlm shares the visual luxury of Kaige‘s Farewell
War requiem: James Wilby in Regeneration
My (‘onmhintu but sacrifices clarity by attempting to tackle a mountain of issues. Rich in period detail. this emotional storm of political and personal passion is perhaps too confusing for those unfamiliar with Chinese history. Stirling: MacRobert. Tomorrow Never Dies (12) (Roger Spottiswoode. UK. 1997) Pierce Brosnan. Jonathan Pryce. Michelle Yeoh. l 19 mins. Media mogul Elliot Carver (Pryce) is manipulating events to bring the planet to the brink of World War Three. but James Bond is on hand to break a few skulls and save the planet. Some of the stunts inspire more admiration than excitement. but. on the plus side. Brosnan has added a more dangerous edge to the charm and Yeoh. doyenne of Hong Kong action films. is a Bond girl who brings a lithe grace to her ﬁght scenes. General release.
Trees Lounge (15) (Steve Busccmi. US. 1996) Steve Buscemi. Chloe Sevigny. Anthony LaPaglia. 95 mins. Proliﬁc US indie actor BUscemi comes tip trumps in front of and behind the camera in this carefully detailed. character-driven movie that's more Cassavettes than 'l'arantino. It's to Buscemi's credit as actor. writer and director that he encourages such sympathy for his barﬁy loser. whose self-pitying journey through (low) life is funny and unsentimental. The greatest. most phenomenal. small. unassuming ﬁlm you‘re likely to see all year. Edinburgh: Cameo. Until the End of the World (15) (Wim Wenders. Germany/US/Japan/Australia. 1992) Solveig Dominartin. William Hurt. Sam Neill. 158 mins. After having been chased across the world by various nefarious types. Claire 'l'ourneur (Dommartin) and lover Trevor (Hurt) end tip in an Aussie underground lab. with nuclear armageddon around the corner. The sci-fi and ‘female Peer (iynt’ elements don't gel. but Wender‘s flawed rock ’n' roll-powered odyssey does have its own kind of fascination. Glasgow: Gilmorehill.
Vertigo (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. 1958) James Stewart. Kim Novak. Barbara Bel Geddes. 128 mins. Detective Stewart. a man with a fear of heights. falls in love with a woman who apparently commits suicide. When he meets her double. he becomes obsessed with the possibility that she is still alive. Extaordinary plotting in this undervalued Hitchcock study of romantic mania. with Stewart memorably cast against type as the distinctly on-the-edge cop. The Bernard Herrmann score is simultaneously lush and disturbing. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Volcano (12) (Mick Jackson. US. 1997) Tommy lee Jones. Ann Heche. Gaby Hoffman. 103 mins. When Los Angeles is hit by a mighty earthquake. the tremor opens a volcanic cavity and soon a torrent of molten lava is heading downtown. Unlike other recent disaster movies. Vii/(tum doesn‘t take itself too seriously and the effects are superb. Jones and Heche deliver far better performances than the script deserves. but Jones is given little opportunity to flash his cool. deadpan wit. Falkirk: Arts Centre.
War Requiem (PG) (Derek Jarman. UK. 1988) Nathaniel Parker. Lawrence ()livier. Tilda Swinton. 93 mins. Benjamin Brittan's choral hymn to paciﬁsm and the poetry of Wilfred Owen (spoken by Olivier) fomi the score of Jarman‘s visual masterpiece. which merges the life of the poet with uncensored footage of wars past and present. Glasgow: GET.
Wilde (15) (Brian Gilbert. UK. 1997) Stephen Fry. Jude Law. Vanessa Redgrave. 117 mins. 'lhe casting of Fry as Victorian wit. novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde seems almost inevitable. and it pays off. with the actor getting beyond surface details to the intelligent. kind man beneath. Gilbert's film is gritty in its portrayal of homosexual relationships than most British period dramas. but ﬁrst and foremost it is a moving story of tragic. obsessive love. Edinburgh: Cameo. Falkirk: Arts Centre. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Wings Of The Dove ( IS) ( lain Softley. UK. 1997) Helena Bonham Carter. Linus Roache. Alison Elliott. 108 mins. An intelligent. emotionally devastating adaptation of Henry James’s novel that conﬁdently side-steps the pitfalls of stuffy
Hit list the best, films this formula... g y
FIRST RUN Boogie Nights The worlds of hardcore pornography and disco kitsch combine in an acclaimed portrait of America in the 19705. See feature and review. Selected release.
Kissed A young woman‘s necrophiliac cravings are the subject matter for a surprisingly tender and poetic first feature. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Winter Guest Strong performances from all the cast, particularly Phyllida Law, are at the heart of this beautifully realised drama filmed in Fife. See preview and review. Selected release. The Wings Of The Dove A complex triangle develops when Helena Bonham Carter tries to pair her lover off with a dying rich American. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Starship Troopers Despite its cartoonish plot, this ultra-violent space battle between humans and aliens has a strong anti-military theme; General release.
Cop Land Sylvester Stallone is a small- town cop faced with~his one chance of glory in a heavyweight acting bout that also features De Niro, Keitel and Liotta. Selected release.
LA Confidential Crime and corruption lurk beneath the surface glamour of 505 Los Angeles in this magnificent version of James Ellroy's novel. Selected release. REPERTORY
Mephisto The Divine Decadence season includes this compelling film that retells the legend of Faust from the point of view of a gay actor and a Nazi general. See preview. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
costume drama. Prevented from marrying her humble lover. Kate (Bonham Carter) plots to pair him off with a rich. sickly American. Everything about this ﬁlm emphasises quality. including the costumes. photography. use of Venice as a setting and — above all - the peerless performances. Glasgow: GET. Gilmorehill. Edinburgh: Dominion. Filmhouse.
The Winter Guest (15) (Alan Rickman. 1 UK. 1997) Phyllida Law. Emma 'lhompson. Gary Hollywood. 1 10 mins. There's something about the way Rickman's directorial debut moves from one pair of characters to the next that suggests it's based on a play. but that's not a criticism. The ﬁlm works out themes of loss and emotional dependency against a snow-covered Scottish landscape. weaving its icy metaphor through the characters' inner lives and the ﬁlm's computer-enhanced images. The cast is excellent. with Law proving herself one of the country's hidden treasures. Glasgow: Odeon. Showcase. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI. St Andrews: New Picture House.