FILM INDEX continued
Dance Of The Wind (PG) (Rajan Khosa. Germany/UK/lndia. I997) Kitu Gidwani. Bhaveen Gosain. B.C. Sanyal. 85 mins. When her mother dies. traditional singer Pallavi becomes so distraught that she loses her voice. She withdraws and starts seeing a little girl. Tara. who has a beautiful voice herself. The antithesis of lumbering. Godzillawood culture. this idea-laden ﬁlm . relates its mystery by haunting music and lingering images rather than special effects trickery. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Daytrippers ( IS) (Greg Mottola. US. I997) Hope [)avis. l.iev Schreiber. Parker Posey. 87 mins. Strained as a family unit. the Malones pull together when daughter Eliza suspects her husband is having an affair. So begins a chaotic and disputatious trawl through New York in a station wagon. Mottola's script is as painfully incisive as it is funny and compassionate. 'Ihat it succeeds as a film is thanks to its talented cast. who revel in the psychological subtleties of their parts. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Cameo. Dead Man (I8) (Jim Jarmusch. US. I995) Johnny Depp. Gary Farmer. Lance Henn'cksen. l2I mins. After heading out west for ajob vacancy that's already been filled. accountant Bill Blake (Depp) finds a posse on his tail after the shooting of his would-be employer's son. With a bullet in his own chest. Blake hooks up with an Indian called Nobody (Farmer). who reckons this is the spirit of the poet Blake and so prepares a proper funeral. Glorioust shot in black and white. meticulously paced and imbued with a spiritual transcendence. Jarmusch's existential Western is innovative and unexpected. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Deconstructing Harry ( l8) (Woody Allen. US. I997) Woody Allen. Kirstie Alley. Billy Crystal. 94 mins. Author Harry Block has writer's block. and his friends have all but abandoned him due to his habit of recasting them as characters in his best-selling ‘fiction'. Allen plays with the received. perceived idea of ‘Woody Allen'. and Stardust Memories floats in the background. There are flaws in the film. but there are also many. many prime Woody throwaways. Edinburgh: Cameo. Deep Impact (12) (Mimi Leder. US. I998) Morgan Freeman. Tea Leoni. Robert Duvall. I2] mins. A massive comet is tearing towards Earth at extinction-level speed. President Morgan Freeman reveals that an underground shelter has been built to house a chosen few. and a national lottery will decide who gets to join the bigwigs down below. Deep Impact is a perfectly respectable disaster epic. rather like they used to make 'em. only flasher. As lotto fever rages. the film conveys disconsolation more than desperation. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Showcase. UCI Clydebank. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCI. Galashiels: Pavilion. Paisley: Showcase. Diary Of A Mad Housewife ( IS) (Frank Perry. US. 1970) Richard Benjamin. Frank Langella. Carrie Snodgress. 95 mins. 'lired of her workaholic husband. a bored housewife embarks on an affair with a writer — but he's so self-centred. this relationship is just as bad. Rarely screened these days. this swiping satire gets to the heart of success- driven America. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Double Indemnity (PG) (Billy Wilder. US. I944) Barbara Stanwyck. Fred McMurray. Edward G. Robinson. I06 mins. Cracking adaptation by Wilder and Raymond Chandler of the James M. Cain novel has insurance man McMurray attracted by the alluring Stanwyck. who talks him into murdering her spouse. and all goes well until his boss Edward G. begins to suspect foul play. Sexual chemistry. labyrinthine plotting. tart wordplay. it's all here. A classic. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Dr Dolittle (PG) (Betty Thomas. US. I998) Eddie Murphy. Ossie Davies. Oliver Platt. 85 mins. A turkey with Rex Harrison in its original form. and still pretty dire this time round. This wild family adventure offers crude bottom humour for the Babe audience. but the talking animals gimmick battles with cheesy morality and nothing comes together. Overall. the film might have benefitted from a simpler. less snappy and more family orientated tale. while Murphy‘s comic
38 THE UST 23 Jul—6 Aug 1998
judgement has again become decidedly questionable. See review. General release. Early Disney Animation (U) 70 mins. Some landmark cartoons from the early days of Walt's empire receive a rare outing to the big screen. Included are Steamboat Willie. Steamroller. The Mail Pilot and the ‘Rite ()f Spring' sequence from I-‘aniasia.
Event Horizon (I8) (Paul Anderson. US/UK. I997) Laurence Fishburne. Sam Neill. Joely Richardson. 91 mins. The crew of a rescue ship discover that hell has been unleashed inside a missing craft that reappears near Neptune. as their deepest fears begin to terrorise them in physical fonn. Effectively a haunted house movie set in space. Even! Horizon boasts stunning'Techno Medieval‘ design; but tight editing leaves the characterisation and story stripped to within an inch of their lives. Glasgow: GET.
The Exorcist (l8) (William Friedkm. US. I973) Linda Blair. Ellen Burstyn. Max Von Sydow. 110 mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little possessed girl in this hugely effective scarefest. Now re- released in remastered form. with a super stereo soundtrack (so you can hear those obscenities in full). Dead good. dead scary. dead priest. General release.
Fairytale: A True Story (U) (Charles Sturridge. UK. I997) Florence Hoath. Elizabeth Earl. Paul McGann. 98 mins. In telling the story of two Edwardian girls who cause a sensation when they capture a photographic image of fairies. Fairytale manages to be more coherent and less downbeat than the similar Photographing Fairies. A carefully judged film that provides moving entertainment for the family audience. Edinburgh: ()deon. Galashiels: Pavilion. Glenrothes: Cinema. Fargo (I8) (Joel Coen. US. I996) Frances McDormand. Steve Buscemi. William H. Macy. 97 mins. Hoping to make some bucks. a car salesman attempts to have his wife kidnapped by hitmen; but quickly blood is spilt. As the pregnant police detective on the case. McDormand provides a wami-hearted centre for the movie. while the absurdist plot and weird local colour gain momentum. Edinburgh: Cameo. Flubber (U) (Les Mayfteld. US. I997) Robin Williams. Marcia Gay Harden. Christopher McDonald. 93 mins. 'lhis remake of I96I Disney favourite The Absent Minded Professor casts a subdued Williams as a scientist who invents a gravity defying goo. but may well lose his fiancée in the process. Combining many of the worst. most annoying attributes of films designed to have ‘family appeal'. Flubher merely ﬂops when it should ﬂy. Ayr: Odeon. Largs: Barrﬁelds.
Song without words: Kitu Gidwani in Dance Of The Wind
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (l2) (Jon Avnet. US. I99I) Kathy Bates. Jessica 'I'andy. Mary Stuart Masterson. Mary-Louise Parker. I30 mins. After the local Ku Klux Klan threatens the busy cafe in Whistle Stop. Alabama for serving coloured customers. the female owner and her black handyman find themselves on trial for an unsolved murder. A chronicle of courage and ingenuity that avoids becoming as overwhelmingly heart- warming as one might have feared. Not the most tantalising item on the menu. but a Ilavoursome little dish nonetheless. Glasgow: GI’I'.
The General (I5) (John Boorman. UK. 1998) Brendan Gleeson. Adrian Dunbar. Jon Voight. I24 mins. Controversy and ambiguity surrounds the story of one of Ireland's most notorious gangsters. Martin Cahill. On one hand. he's a Robin Hood figure who shares out the spoils of his theft; on the other. he is vicious. brutal and amoral. Gleeson‘s performance is compelling. while the black and white photography hardens the edges of the Irish landscape by making very simple things stark and beautiful. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. George Of The Jungle (U) (Sam Weisman. US. I997) Brendan Fraser. Ieslie Mann. Holland Taylor. 9| mins. Loincloth-clad hero Geroge (Fraser) saves San Fransican socialite Ursual (Mann). but his trip to the urban jungle is shortlived when he hears of the kidnap of his hairy sidekick. Ape (voiced by John Cleese). 'Ihe plot is the usual blend of humour. action. slapstick. adventure and. of course. romance. while the knowing and punchy script is easily up with the best of modern Disney. Glasgow: UCI Clydebank. Galashiels: Pavilion.
The Gingerbread Man (IS) (Robert Altman. US. I998) Kenneth Branagh. Embeth Davidtz. Robert Duvall. ll4 mins. The combination of director Altman and writer John Grisham seems like an obvious mismatch. and the two masters do seem to get in each other‘s way. Branagh plays an emotionally naive lawyer who slides into a nightmare when he falls for vulnerable waitress Davidtz. Eccentric characters and improvised dialogue bring a Iooseness to the film which counters the forward momentum of the plot. and well before the end this has become a baggy thriller. See preview and review. Glasgow: Odeons. Showcase. Edinburgh: ABC Wester Hailes. FilthUSe. UCI. Kilmarnock: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.
Godzilla (PG) (Roland Emmerich. US. I998) Matthew Broderick. Jean Reno. Maria Pitillo. I40 mins. Nuclear testing causes a lizard to grow to an enormous size. reproduce asexually and head to New York
to lay some eggs. When the military take the offensive. it's time for the rampaging reptile to demolish Manhattan. Godzilla goes beyond insulting its audience and makes the grave error of forcing our sympathy away from the monster and onto the non-descript humans. When a ﬁlm like this fails to thrill with its effects — it's Jurassic Park all over again — it can only fall flat on its over-sized Hollywood ass. General release.
Good Will Hunting (l5) (Gus Van Sant. US. I997) Matt Damon. Robin Williams. Minnie Driver. I26 mins. A young college janitor (Damon) with a history of abuse is given the opportunity to fulfil his potential as a maths genius by a kindly therapist (Williams). Hot-shot Damon and co-star Ben Afﬂeck won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. but it‘s Williams in an understated perfomiance who steals the show. An insightful scn'pt. tenderly acted. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Grease (PG) (Randal Kleiser. US. I978) John Travolta. Olivia Newton John. Stockard Channing. IIO mins. 'Ihe colourful goings-on at Rydell High — particularly the romance of square out-of-towner Sandy and tough guy Danny — is the stuff of classic movie escapism. In addition to a plot which groans with frustrated passion. bn'stles with gang tensions and swings with teen verve. the songs are the soundtrack for a generation. Twenty years on. Grease is still the word. and still the way we are feeling. General release.
Hearts of Darkness ( l5) (Fax Bahr/George Hickenlooper. US. I990) Francis Coppola. Eleanor Coppola. Martin Sheen. Marlon Brando. 97 mins. Compelling mixture of documentary footage and recent interviews concerning the troubled production of Francis Coppola‘s Apocalypse Now. Artistic vision battles with escalating budget. typhoons and heart attacks deep in the Philippinejungle. As important and fascinating as the film it portrays. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Confess (l5) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. I953) Montgomery Clift. Karl Maiden. 95 mins. Quebec priest Clift hears a confession from a murderer. but discretion and duty leads him to become the prime suspect. At last Hitchcock's sttidy on the nature of guilt is available in a sharper print. Also screening is Scottish director Nicola Black’s 25-minute documentary Clifr — Beautiful Loser. Glasgow: OFT.
Jackie Brown (I5) (Quentin Tarantino. US. I997) Pam Grier. Samuel L. Jackson. Robert De Niro. 154 mins. Tarantino's blaxploitation homage is proof that the director just loves to hear his characters run their mouths off. However. the dialogue is pure pleasure in this sprawling. funky.