FILM new releases

Pretty Village, Pretty Flame (18) 129 mins a w v‘w

In the years since the war in Vietnam, numerous cycles of war movies have created a whole new film genre. In the years since the war in Bosnia, western cinema audiences have seen jUSI four films.

Welcome To Sarajevo presented an overtly western perspective, while YugoslaVia-born Emir Kusturica‘s Underground was criticised as Serbian propaganda and Perfect Circle, shot in besieged Sarajevo, hasn’t been seen in Scotland outside of its Edinburgh International Film Festival screening. It's good news then, that Pretty Village, Pretty Flame is getting a release.

Pretty Village charts the destruction of the friendship (and the country) of

Tanked up: Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

two young men lvlilan, a Serb, and Halil, a Muslim -- who take opposing sides after war breaks out. The drama climaxes With Halil's military forces trapping Milan’s small unit in the tunnel they believed, as boys, was inhabited by an ogre. According to the childhood legend, if the ogre is awakened, he Will burn their Village. Like Underground, Pretty Village uses allegory to invoke history and emphasise tragedy, but the film also rivals the dramatic impact of Welcome To Sarajevo’s innocents-caught-up-in- conflict scenario and Perfect Circ/e's bitter irony. More than an addition to another potential film genre, Pretty Village goes a long way towards an understanding of a horrific ciViI war. (Miles Fielder) Edinburgh Filmhouse.‘ Fri 3~~Sun 5 Jul.

Ponette (15) 93 mins a a a

Shot from the Viewpomt of a cute four- year-old, Ponette from Le Jeune Werther director Jacques Doillon is a novel portrayal of grief and its complex emotions.

Starring child actress Victoire ThiVisol as Ponette, a rosy cheeked child With a pout and a broken arm, this French film takes us into her world as she attempts to make sense of her mother’s recent death in a car accident. While the adults in her life attempt to explain what has happened, her young friends confront her with an assortment of imaginative explanations

28 THE lIST 25 Jun—9 Jul 1998

The age of innocence: Victoire Thivisol in Ponette

for her mother’s absence. However, Ponette is full of beWildered incomprehension and refuses to believe that her mother has gone. Tenderly painting a picture of the bizarre rituals created by children to make sense of a cruel world, Ponette is a moving tale. Although an adult interest in the world of a child can only be sustained for so long, DOillon diffuses this problem With a very timely tWist which takes the film onto a different level. A bitter-sweet tearjerker, Ponette offers a refreshing and beautiful new angle on the anguish of grief. (Beth Williams) a Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 26 Jul,

Killer Tongue

(18) 95 mins air

This calculatedly outrageous mix of jokey horror, road movre cliches and tacky camp certainly leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, but not in the way intended The presence of horror icons Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Doug Bradley (Hellrarser) and Mindy Clarke (Return Of The LIV/fig Dead l/l) might lead you to think that debut director Alberto Sciamma has got it licked. But while Clarke looks fetching in her latex bodysurt and black spaghetti Wig, the one-Joke scenario about her talking tonsil- tickler soon wears thin.

Clarke acquires her lengua asesina after flakes from a crashed meteorite land in her soup Havrng eaten from the same bowl, her beloved poodles inexplicably metamorphose into a pair of screeching drag queens. She's also on the run because of a bank Job she pulled five years before With her boyfriend (Jason Durr), Who's just escaped from a prison run by the sadistic Englund.

Everyone shouts a lot and seems to be enjoying themselves, but after about half an hour of their nOIsy, juvenile antics, you jUSI want to slice out their tongues and put them in a blender. (Nigel Floyd)

& Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Mon 6 - Thu 9 Jul

Melinder Clarke in Killer Tongue

FILM BOOK “mm Projections 8

Edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue (Faber & Faber £12.99) are e a: us

'There is indeed a crisis in film criticism,' Peter COWie mtones in one of the many foreboding essays in Projections 8. Set up as a forum for filmmakers, this annual publication gives half of the present volume over to their nerneses. Why this curious act of generosity?

Perhaps because filmmakers themselves see parallels With the t iitics Filmmakers looking towards the speculative and the personal are often avalanched by the very scripts that critics then watch in celluloid form.

There is often the sense, for both filmmakers and critics alike, that they're part of a huge combine. Critic Jonathan Romney's fears are almost apocalyptic: 'Hollywood is one giant Jamming deVice ~ one bad blockbuster sabotages countless superior products, perhaps wipes them out of your, and ultimately the culture’s, memory altogether,’

What are the alternatives? Romney has suggested elsewhere that the critic's ’Job is gomg to have to be reinvented . . Which may mean going underground and writing in peculiar magazines’, whilst others have talked of 'nomad cinema', Where films travel from festival to festival rather than receivmg a general release Projections 8 suggests, at least, that criticism need neither be sycophantic nor antagonistic: that critiCism's purpose lies in searching out films, not simply being deluged by them (Tony McKibbin)

The Hanging Garden

(15) 91 mins a ser e 3*

Set in Nova Scotia, Thom Fitzgerald's film tells the story of Sweet William (Chris Leavms), an attractive, openly gay guy Who returns to his childhood home after ten years for the wedding of his sister, Rosemary (Kerry Fox).

Reuniting With his dysfunctional family, William is haunted by Visions of his childhood, when he was a shy and overweight teenager, He remembers being forced into haying sex With a Willing local woman by his Catholic grandmother (Joan Orenstem) after she discovered him canoodling With his best male friend. As these Visions and memories progress, William gradually starts coming to terms With himself and his painful past.

Directed With dark humour, the anguish of William's st0ry is lightened by word play and floral symbolism which extends into the Visual tones. Featuring a particularly brave performance from Troy Veinotte as the teenage William, and a cast who capture the complex nuances of this family With both comedy and sensitivny, the film works on many levels. Intelligent and movrng, The Hanging Garden is an imaginative portrayal of how complicated family conditioning and toxic secrets can stunt a child’s emotional growth. (Beth Williams) at Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 26 Jun. Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 3 jul.

Chris leavins and Peter McNeil! in The Hanging Garden