Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate. credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
Un Air De Famille (15) (Cedric Klapisch. France. 1997) Jean-Pierre Bacri. Claire Maurier. Agnes Jaoui. 109 mins. Klapisch's follow-up to the delightful When Tlte Cat's Away is a witty expose' of family interaction. Gathering to celebrate a birthday. the family‘s dinner conversation crescendos from gossip to bitchiness. The ﬁlm retains an element of its stage roots. but has a sharply comic point of view. See preview and review. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Albino Alligator ( 18) (Kevin Spacey. US/France. 1996) Matt Dillon. Faye Dunaway. Gary Sinese. 97 mins. Spacey's directorial debut sees Dova (Dillon) as a complex and compromised gang leader who seeks refuge after a bungled raid in a basement bar only to be hemmed in by the cops and conﬂicts with fellow bad guys. While there are some ﬁne performances to be had. including Dunaway as the world- weary bartender. the whole seems to lack direction. falling down on its awkward family values message. Glasgow: Giltnorehill.
Amistad (15) (Steven Spielberg. US. 1997) Anthony Hopkins. Morgan Freeman. Djimon Hounsou. l52 mins. After a revolt on a ship off the coast of Cuba in 1839. a group of slaves are captured by an American naval cutter and put on trial for piracy and murder. Spielberg botches this fascinating tale not because of historical inaccuracy. but through narrative incompetence — the ﬁlm falls apart in the courtroom. where scenes come across as LA Law done in period costume. General release.
L’Amore (PG) (Roberto Rossellini. Italy. 1948) Anna Magnani. Federico Fellini. 79 mins. Rossellini's tribute to the presence of Magnani comes in two parts. In the ﬁrst. a woman tries to persuade her lover not to leave her; in the second. a peasant believes she has been seduced by St Joseph and that she is carrying the second Messiah. A clear break from fashionable neo-realism. the result is somewhat theatrical. but thrives on the power of its lead actress. Preceded by a talk on Rossellini by Italian academic Roberto Bertuol. Glasgow: GF'I‘. L’Appartement (15) (Gilles Mimouni. France. 1996) Vincent Cassell. Romane Boliringer. Jean-Philippe Ecoffey. 116 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 switchback 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 Diva. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
As Good As It Gets (15) (James L. Brooks. US. 1997) Jack Nicholson. Helen Hunt. Greg Kinnear. 139 mins. Neurotic writer Melvin suffers from obsessive-compulsive
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disorder. but compensates for his lonely life by becoming a master of abuse. Carol. the waitress in a local restaurant. is the only person tough enough to take him on. As romantic comedies go. it's an odd pairing. but the match works thanks to a sharply witty script and spot-on performances from Nicholson and Hunt. See preview and review. General release.
Austin Powers: lntemational 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. But 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 Waynes World's Mike Myers. Austin Powers has perfect detail. spot-on casting and a hilarious mix of clever pastiche and toilet gags. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Battleship Potemkin (PG) (Sergei Eisenstein. USSR. 1925) A. Antonov. Vladimir Barski. Grigon' Alexandrov. 75 mins. Made for the 20th anniversary of the 1905 revolution. Eisenstein's all-time classic follows the mutiny by the crew of the Prince Potemkin and the support given by the local civilian population. who are mown down by the Czar's troops in the famous Odessa Steps sequence. Expressive camera technique and a grasp of editing that wrote the textbooks are just some of the innovations that put Eisenstein and Russian ﬁlm ﬁrmly on the cinematic map. Glasgow: GFT.
Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (15) (Ridley Scott. US. 1982/92) Harrison Ford. Sean Young. Rutger Hauer. I 16 mins. Out go the pseudo-noir narration and the tacked-on happy ending; in comes a more deﬁned sense that Deckard himself may be a replicant. The look and feel remain as powerful. and the acting is superb. A ﬂawed masterpiece is now a restored masterpiece. Edinburgh: Cameo.
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 Dietrich’s voluptuous singer Lola- 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. Glasgow: GET.
Le Bonheur Est Dans Le Pre (15) (Etienne Chatiliez. France. 1995) Michel Serrault. Eddy Mitchell. Carmen Maura. 106 mins. Serrault excels in this wamily comic tale of a harried businessman who escapes his dull marriage and work problems by taking up another identity at a country retreat with Carmen Maura and a new family. The humour has a serious touch to it. and it's also worth checking out footballer Eric Cantona in his ﬁrst big screen cameo. Glasgow: Gilmorehill.
Boogie Nights (18) (Paul Thomas Anderson. US. 1997) Mark Wahlberg. Burt Reynolds. Julianne Moore. 152 mins. Doing for porn ﬁlmmaking what Com/fellas did for gangsters. Boogie Nights charts the rise. fall and redemption of a ﬁctional porn superstar (Wahlberg) against the enomtous changes wrought in the industry between the 70s and 80s. Large-scale social commentary and
Break the chains: the slaves revolt in Amistad
Dog's breath: Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets
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. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCI.
The Borrowers (U) (Peter Hewitt. UK. 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 lawyer tries to swindle the humans out of their inheritance. families big and small join forces. The design and effects create a strangely familiar. oddly unplaccable world. and children will have little difﬁculty suspending enough disbelief to be spellbound by the magic of the ﬁlm. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Glenrothes.
The Boxer ( I 5) (Jim Sheridan. UK/US. 1997) Daniel Day-Lewis. Emily Watson. Brian Cox. 112 mins. Sheridan‘s follow-up to In The Name Of The Father brings the current drive towards a peaceful settlement right up to date. Day-Lewis is perfect as the slow-burning ex-IRA man trying to rebuild his life and rekindle love with his childhood sweetheart despite resistance in his neighbours. The boxing scenes have a hard. realistic aggression. while the political perspective allows us to understand the demands that peace makes on a divided Republican community. General release. Braveheart (15) (Mel Gibson. US. 1995) Mel Gibson. Patrick McGoohan. Sophie Marceau. 177 mins. Mel Gibson‘s long and bloody account of the life of Scottish warrior hero William Wallace boasts some remarkable battle scenes and great performances. Aiming to entertain on a wider scale than the more literate Rob Roy. Brai'elieart's Scottish passion is tempered by a few Hollywood moments. Nevertheless. it‘s a full-blooded attempt to tap into the spirit that ﬁres Scotland‘s history and heroes. Irvine: Magnum.
Breaking The Waves (18) (Lars von Trier. Denmark/France. 1996) Emily Watson. Stellan Skarsgard. Katrin Cartlidge. 158 mins. In a close-knit Calvinist community in the north of Scotland. a young woman faces banishment from the church when she makes a self-sacriﬁcing pact with God in order to save her husband's life. Unlike von Trier's austere arthouse works (Europa). this intimate melodrama is raw and exposed. Emotional connection transcends everything else in one of the most moving ﬁlms ever made. Glasgow: UCI Clydebank.
The Butcher Boy (15) (Neil Jordan. UK. 1997) Stephen Rea. Eamonn Owens. Aisling O'Sullivan. 108 mins. Jordan fuses an oblique. nightmarish view of life in a small rual Irish town during the early 60s with a brutally honest. painfully funny coming-of- age story. Everything is seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old Francie (Owens). who blots out the cruel reality of his borne life with increasingly ferocious ﬂights of fancy. Extraordinary. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Career Girls (15) (Mike Leigh. UK. 1997) Katrin Cartlidge. Lynda Steadman. Joe Tucker. 86 mins. Career Girls doesn't work within a narrative. but a series of character encounters. playing out in two time-frames. Annie and Hannah meet up for a reunion weekend years after they shared a ﬂat together as students. In the present and in the past. they cross paths — with credibility stretched to breaking point - with a past boyfriend. another ﬂatrnate. and a schizophrenic fellow student. The emotions and social backdrop ring true where the characters themselves crucially do not. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Carrington (18) (Christopher Hampton. UK. 1995) Emma Thompson. Jonathan Pryce. Steven Waddington. 123 mins. Hampton‘s debut as writer-director concentrates on the deeply loving. platonic relationship between Bloomsbury Group writer Lytton Strachey (Pryce) and painter Dora Carrington (Thompson). The ﬁlm takes an episodic approach to their life together. letting the performances flourish. but providing some extremely funny and literate one-liners to lighten the moments when tragedy looms. Darker and more intriguing than the typical British period piece. Glasgow: GFT.
Casper (PG) (Brad Silberling. US. 1995) Christina Ricci. Bill Pullman. Cathy Moriarty. 100 mins. Everyone‘s favourite friendly ghost has been living with his three bad-tempered uncles in an abandoned mansion. When it‘s bequeathed to a money- grabbing heiress who thinks it's ﬁlled with hidden treasure guarded by unquiet spirits. Casper comes into contact with ghost psychologist Pullman's tomboy daughter (Ricci). A very messy amalgam of Ghostbusters effects. Addaan Family gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. Falkirk: ABC.
Chasing Amy (18) (Kevin Smith. US. 1996) Ben Afﬂect. Joey Lauren Adams. Jason Lee. 111 mins. The third ﬁlm by the writer/director of Clerks is a wry and surprisingly mature look at twentysomething relationships. Comic book artist Holden (Afﬂeck) falls desperately in love with Alyssa (Adams). but she prefers gals to guys. Sexual desire and a crisis of masculinity come under the microscope in a ﬁlm that's bloody funny in a risque way. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Confessional (18) (Robert Lepage. Canada/UK/France. 1995) Lothaire Bluteau. Patrick Goyette. Kristen Scott-Thomas. 100 mins. Acclaimed theatre director Lepage makes his ﬁlm directorial debut with a complex. but marvelloust visual tale that clashes past against present. Pierre (Bluteau) returns to Quebec and his quest for identity merges with ﬂashbacks to the time Hitchcock came to town to shoot I Confess. Edinburgh: Film Guild.
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