Les Voleurs (18) 118 mins at at

The latest film by Andre Techine, director of /nclochi'ne, begins late at night when a young bOy is woken by his mother’s scream. He comes downstairs to be told his father has had an 'accident’. The arrival of the dead man’s estranged brother (Daniel Auteuil) disrupts the staid calm and, in typical French fashion, the scenario is further complicated by the involvement of the mentally unstable, chain- smokirrg, short-dress-wearing, bi- sexual woman (Laurence Cote) who arrives with him. Her female lover rs played by a plump but stylish Catherine Deneuve.

Slickly cast, the film alternates between perspectives to create complex and twrsted characters.

Catherine Deneuve and Laurence Cote in Les Voleurs

Auteuil’s detective is unbelievably morose and fatalistic. His gloom is nothing, however, compared to that of his nephew, who makes The Orrreii's Damian look like a happy kid.

Jumping in time, Techrne (hips away relentlessly at the smooth family veneer to reveal an involvement in dangerous Criminal actrVities that crosses generations. The brothers stand on different sides of the fence, a situation complicated by the personal relationships which link them together and their history of Sibling rivalry Les Voleurs's intensity fizzles drastically towards the end, however, and, like a piece of croissant that you JUSI can't swallow, the overlong denotiemeiit rs tiresome and unsatisfying.

(Sophy Brrstow) 3 Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 2/ Mar

Picture of perfection: Uma Thurman in Gattaca

Gattaca (15) 106 mins at a: it it

In the future, discrimination isn't based 0n the colour of a man's skin, but his genetic make-up PhySical strength and mental aptitude are handed out pre- birth in the lab, allowrng ‘de3igner' people to form an elite and the 'naturally born’ to take all the menial work.

Vincent (Ethan Hawke) was born Without any genetic tinkering, but is determined to become an astronaut. He forms a pact wrth Jerome (Jude Law), a young man destined to be a great athlete but paralysed after a car accrdent. Using Jerome’s blood samples, hair and skin tissue, Vincent passes himself off as a "valid until a murder in the Gattaca corporation and

the discovery of one of his ‘tn-Valrd' eyelashes threatens his plan

Debut writer-director Andrew Niccol’s extraordinary film is beautiful to look at: the photography is washed by coloured filters and the retro-future (leSign is as distinctive as Blade Runner But, like human beiiios tlieniselve‘ the film's true identity lies below the surface and Niccol structures his themes layer by layer. Even this SCrentifrcally regulated society is Susceptible to human arribitw-n, because personal potential tdllliOi be genetically pre-ordained.

These bold ideas develop at their own pace and, despite the intrusive ’Hollywood’ moments, Gattaca

new releases FILM

FILM BOOK Robert Bolt: Scenes

From Two Lives

Adrian Turner (Hutchinson £20) * 1k 1k

As anyone who sat '0’ Grade English knows, Robert Bolt wrote A Man For

All Seasons. He also wrote the screenplays for Lawrence Of Arabia

and Doctor Zhi'vago, which means that

a biography by a self-confessed cinema enthusiast is a legitimate approach.

After all, however good his Thomas s More play is at helping pupils write

their essays, it was the film industry

that consumed Bolt's talent for better or worse.

His is a fascinating, dramatic life story, which makes a naturally addictive read, particularly when characters like Davrd Lean and Sarah Miles form an eccentric supporting cast. However, because it’s told through interviews With friends, colleagues and lovers, as well as quotations from Bolt's extensive letter correspondance, the SUbJGCI is given a peculiar voice that shifts him one step away front anyone else.

Early episodes dwell on Bolt's impoverished existence when struggling as a teacher. Later accusations that he sold out for the comfort of the film industry big cheques, parties and cushy hotels - ring less true given his strong Northern work ethic and desire to communicate ideas on the widest possrble level. Tragedy seemed to dog Bolt all along the way: the early death of his daughter, his son's heroin addiction, his unease with his own career path, his illness. However, this only make his battle back from a stroke all the more heroic. (Alan Morrison)

Robert Bolt: epic stories. epic life

The Blackout

(18) 99 mins * a a

Abel Ferrara has already documented the emotional fallout of the movie industry in Dangerous Game. Here, however, he ups the stakes and delivers a film that spills off the screen like an anguished howl from a diseased soul.

Matthew Modine plays Matty, a top Hollywood star whose addiction to drugs and alcohol is way out of control. In the heat of Miami, he proposes to his pregnant girlfriend Annie (Beatrice Dalle), only to discover she’s taken his stoned adwce and had an abortion. Matty's substance binge now enters tornado proportions, drawrng in film director friend Mickey (Dennis Hopper) and an innocent young waitress, also called Annie (Sarah Lassez). Over a year later, the now sober Matty becomes convmced that, during his blackout, he killed someOne <- but was it Annie one or Annie two?

After the gangster character drama of The Funeral and the philosophical horror of The Addiction, Ferrara is back in the moral gutter, following the painful Spiritual jOUTIle of a single character like he did in Bad Lieutenant. Modine gives his all in this portrait of excess: writhing on the ground or spitting out drug- iuelled venom, he’s totally committed to a character who seems to be have a death WlSlt. It‘s a raw, uncomfortable movie, but an essential development of the director's pet themes. (Alan Morrison)

a Glasgow Film Theatre from Mon 23 Mar

Best Men

(15) 90 mins were A wedding is perhaps the most

pressurised situation a grown-up will ever Willineg enter into, this Side of being Bill Clinton's dry cleaner. But the problems fOr a group of friends giving one of their number moral Support on his big day escalate beyond the iiiceties of who sits where.

On their way to the wedding of recently released ex-con Jesse (Luke Wilson), Buzz (TV’s Superman, Dean Cain) and his buddies find themselves distracted by the small matter of a bank robbery ‘Just stopping off to get some cash‘ proves an understatement as the friends become embrorled in a tense stand-off wrth the police. As the cops are headed by one of the gang's estranged father, things take On a surreal tone

With nicely iudged performances, the indiVidual scenes trip over themselves in a mix ’n’ match selection of lifts from and homages to other moVies prrrne among them 009 Day Afternoon. That's the style of this hip, funny and knowrngly derivative entertainment - coming across as a kind of Reservoir Dogs-lite, with a taste for the satisfying absurdities

Dean Cain in Best Men

emerges as a true indiwdtial from an t played out Within familiar cinematic territory. (Anwar Brett)

industry of clones. (Alan l\/lOlll‘$"lil 3 Selected release from Fr. 20 Mar

3 Selected release from Fri 27 Mar.

20 Mar—2 Apr 1998 THE “ST 29