Swing time: Roshan Bano and Kim Gidwani in Dance Of The Wind
Dance Of The Wind
(PG) 85 mins at: a a it
There is a gentle innocence to this Indian-European co-production which insinuates you into its tangled, dreamlike state, ieavrng you feeling slightly bemused but certain Iil§lf your dream has had a happy ending.
PallaVI, a successful cornrnercml singer in the amiierit Hindustani tradition, becomes so distraught when her mother and guru dies that she loses her VOice and is unable to perform While PallaVi's husband and manager, Ranmal, is unable to understand her problem, she Withdraws and starts seeing a little girl, Tara, who has a beautiful voice herself
The antithesis of liiriiber'iiig, GOdZillawood Culture, this is the sort of idea-laden film which works precisely because it is so obwously underfunded.
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The Gingerbread Man (15) 114 mins at at i
The combination of director Robert Altman and writer John Grisham seems like an ObVIOUS mismatch, Grisham, famOus for lean, commeroal thrillers, has seen several of his books turned into hit films in which the Suspenseful plot is paramount (The Firm and The Pelican Brief to name two) Altman, by contrast, revels in non-linear stories peopled by off-beat characters. His classics M'A'S'H and Short Cuts are the basis of his reputation as a 'maverick’ who refuses to play to the mass market.
Together for The Gingerbread Man, an unpublished story by Grisham, the two masters seem to get in each other's way. Eccentric characters and
Rainmakers: Embeth Davidtz and Kenneth Branagh in The Gingerbread Man
With no expensive trickery to relate the mystery, it is left to the haunting mUSIC and lingering images to work their own magic. The film's only real failing is during Pallaw's downfall, when the complicity between the supporting characters is hinted at so elliptically that what should be plot development becomes plot obfuscation
As an examination of ancient and modern traditions, this is fascmating stuff. At the centre of Pallavis problem is the SOOO-year-old oral tradition of DaSSIrig singing technique from guru to pupil, yet the film is set in contemporary New Delhi. At one key moment, Ranirial plays .sorne Bangra house lllllSK on solid, 70s stereograrn. music, it seems, is the one thing that (an transcend both time and culture. (Thom Dibdin) so Edinburgh Film/rouse from Fri 24 lul.
improwsed dialogue bring a looseness to the film which counters the forward momentum of the plot, and well before the end this has become a baggy thriller.
Kenneth Branagh stars as the emotionally naive lawyer who falls for vulnerable waitress Mallory (Embeth Dawdtz) and slides into a nightmare. Nothing and nobody is qurte what it seems, and the backdrop of a c0ming hurricane serves to heighten the tension and the melodrama. Robert Duvall contributes to a suitably paranord atmosphere as Mallory’s insane father, but on the bottom line, the tone is uneven and we never do feel that chill running down our spine. (Hannah Fries)
a Selected release from Fri 24 Jul.
new releases FILM
The Magic Sword
(U) 88 mins * a:
Every so often, one of the other Hollywood studios tries to take on Disney in the animated feature stakes. The subiect seems promising, the formula is adhered to, but the result falls short of a Lion King or Aladdin.
Such is the fate of The Magic Sword: Quest For Camelot. King Arthur is on the throne and all is happy in the land until evil Lord Ruber decides that, With Excalibur in his hands, he could rule the world. When the wondrous weapon becomes lost in the Forbidden Forest, plucky young Kayley, daughter of a knight killed by Ruber, reckons she's brave enough to save the day.
The Arthurian setting prowdes plenty of action and typically kooky Sidekicks come in the shape of a two-headed, puff-breathing dragon and a chicken With an axe blade fOr a beak. But the songs are bombastically boring — although Scotsman Patrick Doyle's celtic-tinged score is good elsewhere — and the animation itself lacks Disney's grace.
Gary Oldman, Pierce Brosnan, Sir John Gielgud and Eric Idle provide character v0ices (and Celine Dion is among those belting out the ballads with no subtlety whatsoever), but you w0uldn’t call The Magic Sword cutting edge animation. (Alan Morrison)
I General release from Fri 24 Jul.
Our heroes in The Magic Sword
(18) 103 mins
In Welcome To Sarajevo, Michael Winterbottom criticised Western complacency during the war in former Yugoslavia. Woody Harrelson represented America's gurlty conscience, but his was very much a lone and rather eccentric voice. It’s surprising, therefore, to find such strong American involvement in Saviour, a truly brutal and damning indictment of war in general and Bosnia's ethnic bloodshed in particular.
Dennis Quaid plays a mercenary who kills a Serbian ally when the latter tries to beat an unborn baby out of his sister, who has been raped by Muslims. Quaid then undertakes to move the traumatised woman and child to safety through the hell that is Bosnia in 1993.
Oliver Stone's name is among the producers’ credits, but Saviour is possibly more shockingly realistic than anything in the Vietnam cycle of movies he inspired. Director Peter ATTIOHIJQVIC has been accused by some critics of Serbian bias, but others have been qurck to note that the film's overall impact is to condemn atrooties on all sides.
Quaid is worthy of special mention. According to Time Out, ’this is a brave, concentrated, resolutely unsympathetic performance unlike anything he’s done before'. The film hasn't yet been seen in America, and it will be interesting to see Just how high profile a release it receives. (Alan Morrison)
3 Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 24-Sun 26 Jul.
Paulie (PG) 91 mins 1% ‘k t
While Eddie Murphy's busy talking to the animals in Dr Do/itt/e, there's another bit of non-human chit-chat gomg on in Paulie. Our feathered friend in this above-average kids movre is well beyond the level of 'Who's a pretty boy then?'. He yaps away like a politioan on polling day. Only with a touch more intelligence. Caged in a research institute, Paulie relates the story of his life to a Russian ianitor A quarter of a century earlier, he was the pet of Marie, a little girl wrth a stutter and, through his own verbal skills, helped her speak more confidently. Unfortunately her father didn't believe in Paulie’s powers and so the bird was banished from the house. So begins Paulie's further adventures, during which he shares his Winged Wisdom wrth a widow, a Mexican troubadour and a small time criminal, all the time hoping to be reunited with the adult Marie. Neither as immediater cute nor as bizarrely inspired as Babe, Paulie nevertheless marks a step in the right direction for the DreamWorks studio (whose high profile movies to date — The Peacemaker, Deep Impact — have been less than successful). Jay Mohr’s vocal talents give the parrot a Streetwise sense, wile the mix of live action and animatronics is always realistic. (Alan Morrison) I General release from Fri 24 Jul.
Bird brain: Paulie the parrot
23 Jul—6 Aug 1998 THE “8733