FILM INDEX continued
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. triple-crossing heist movie about a Federal Agent sting to trap a gun runner. A classic Ilollywood thriller in the sense that it is about the enjoyment of the moment. rather simply finding out wltodunit. Glasgow: GET.
Just A Phase . . . ( I5) 87 mins. A package of short films for young people dealing with coming out. cnrshes and sexual identity. presented in conjunction with the Stonewall Youth Project. The programme includes: Came ()ut. starring Jane llorrocks: Dottie Ct'tx Spanked. directed by Todd llaynes (Velvet Goldmine. [Sale/l; Trevor. and Favourite. Starring Sinead C usack. Edinburgh: Frlmhouse.
Kiss 0r Kill ( l8) (Bill Bennett. Australia. I997) Matt Day. Frances O'Connor. 96mins. When a scam goes wrong and leaves a victim dead. Nikki and Al flee itrto the Australian outback with cops and other inter- est panies on their tail. Running from motel to motel. they leave tally of dead bodies in their wake and each grows to suspect the other of the murders. A creepy soundtrack oI'environrnental noises reinforces the alienating mood of this exciting. sexy thriller. Glasgow: GFI'.
Kurt And Courtney ( l8) (Nick Broomlield. UK/US. I997) 93 mins. Was Nirvana mainman Kun Cobain's death suicide or something more sinister? Courtney Love's father reckons Counney herself had a hand in her lursband's untimely demise - and that allegation was enough to get Broornfield's documentary into a lot of hot water on both sides of the Atlantic. llowever. the interviewees are too dnrg-addled to be coherent. let alone convincing and Broomfield seems too keen to get his own tanned tmtg into the shot. Edinburgh: Cameo.
LA. Confidential (I8) (Cunis lIanson. US. I997) Kevin Spacey. Guy Pearce. Russell C rowe. Kim Basinger. I35 mins. Adapted from James Ellroy's neo- norr novel. the best American filtn of I997 evokes a glitzy post-WW2 Los Angeles underpinned by an all- pervasive. festering corruption. An intricate. drop- dead brilliant plot links bent cops. good cops. llollywood star lookalike prostitutes and the mob. The dialogue crackles and the actors burn up the screen: one of the few lilrns one would dare mention in the same breath as the definitive Chinatown. Edinburgh: Cameo. The little Mermaid (U) (John Musker/Ron Clements. US. I989) 82 mins. Disney's ailing fontrnes quickly reversed when this delightful animated feature first came out in I989. There's the universal appealling story of the mermaid Ariel's love for hand- some Prince Eric. Oscar-winning songs. humanised animal sidekicks and some colourful set-pieces. Now with electronically cleaned-up colours and digital sound. General release.
lost Highway ( l8) (David Lynch. US. I996) Bill Pullman. Patricia Arquette. Robert Loggia. I35 mins. Funher out than even the celluloid version of Twin Peaks: Fire Walls Witlr Me. Lynch's latest radicalisa- tion of the film noir traditions concerns jazz saxman Pullman. his wife (Arqttette). a mystery man (Robert Blake). a garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) and a crime kingpin (Loggia) - but in typically Lynchian non-linear plotlines that exist within the logic of dreams. llaunting. provocative. and a genuinely per- sonal undenaking. Edinburgh: l-"rlmhouse.
lost In Space (PG) (Stephen llopkins. US. I998) William llun. Gary Oldman. Matt Le Blanc. I09 rtrins. 'lhe cult TV series for the 60s gets a 90s make- over and. despite the state-of-the-an special effecrs. it's every bit as cheesy as the original. Professor John Robinson (Ilun) and his family are sent to colonise the distant planet of Alpha Prime. bttt an act of sabo- tage causes them to spin into the stratosphere. Certain perfonttances are so irritating that tnost viewers will sympathise with Oldman‘s craven villain. General release.
Mad City ( I5) (C osta-Gavras. US. I997) John Travolta. Dustin Hoffman. ll-I mins. When he's laid off. museum security guard Sam (Travolta) tries to get his job back at gunpoint and causes a siege at his for- ruer place of work. Local TV reporter Max (Hoffman) turns the situation to his own advantage. moulding Sam into a media celebrity. This may not be first-class C osta-Gavras (Z and State 0} Siege). btrt it's top-notch Ilollywood lilmrnaking. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Magic Sword (U) (Frederik Du Chau. US. l998) With the voices of Gary Oldman. lessalyn Gilsig. Cary Elwes. 88 mins. All is happy under King Anhur‘s nrle until evil Lord Ruber tries to steal Excalibur. When the wondrous weapon becomes lost in the Forbidden Forest. plucky young Kayley reckons she's brave enough to save the day. This animated fea- ture sticks to the Disney formula - action. bawled-out ballads. kooky sidekicks - but the animation itself lacks Walt's grace. General release.
Majorettes In Space (Various. France. I996-97) Sneak preview of a new package of French gay short films. The programme includes: A Little Death (26
121 THE LIST 6-13 Aug I998
Driven to suicide: Sataar Ali Moradi in A Tast 0f Cherry
mins) and A Summer Dress (I5 mins). directed by Francois Ozon (whose longer films Regarde La Her and Sin-om are being screened during the Edinburgh lntemational Film Festival): One Moment (6 mins). direcred by Pierre Salvadori: Sonretlriug Dij/‘erent (30 mins). directed by Bruno Rolland; and Majorettex In Space (6 mins). directed by David Fourier. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Mimic (l8) (Guillermo Del Toro. US. I998) Mira Sorvino. Jeremy Nonham. Charles S. Dutton. l05 mins. Genetically altered insects designed to eradicate disease-carrying cockroaches have mutated and bred in the tunnels beneath New York. While scientists and other humans wander around not always avoiding the razor-sharp legs and bone-cntshing mandibles of the insect predators. Mexican director Del Toro juxtapos- es images of poetic beauty with scenes of stark terror. A superior big btrg movie. Edinburgh: Cameo. Mousellunt (U) (Gore Verbinski. US. I997) Nathan Lane. Lee Evans. Christopher Walken. 98mins. Lane and Evans play hapless brothers who inherit a decripit mansion. but when they decide to renovate auction it. a resident rodent is not willing to be evicted. An excellent blend of Laurel and Hardy slapstick and black humour. Mottxelltmt is sheer entertainment and has some real belly laughs. The tone and the pacing are spot-on throughout. and the sets and special effects are the icing on the cake. Edinurgh: ()deon. Kirkcaldy: Odeon. Motherwell: Moviehouse.
My Son The Fanatic (l5) (Udayan Prasad. UK. I997) Om Ptrri. Rachel Griffiths. Stellan Skarsgard. In Ilanif Kureishi's screen adaptation of his own short story. put-upon Bradford taxi driver Puri is caught up in a domestic battle that pits pits whisky and Louis Armstrong against the Koran. Those expecting anoth- er rock 'n' roll rites of passage tale a la Btaldlta ()f Suburbia may be disappointed. btrl here is an absorb- ing account of conflicting moralities and generational tensions in ﬁn de .viet-Ie Britain. East Kilbride: Ans Centre.
The Object Of My Affection ( I5) (Nicholas Ilytner. US. I998) Jennifer Aniston. Paul Rudd. Nigel llawthorne. I l l mins. Nina falls for George and. as it the way of llollywood romantic comedies. there's a major obstacle lying in the way of true love. This time. however. the complication has a twist - he's gay. The film plays against its genre by being more con- cerned with the pain of unrequited love than with romantic fulfilment. but there's a blandness that pre- vents it from being tnrly successful. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Paulie (PG) (John Roberts. US. I998) Jay Mohr. Tony Shalhoub. Gena Row-lands. 9| mins. Caged in a research institute. Paulie the parrot relates his life- story: from helping a little girl with a stutter to a series of adventures with various adults. Neither as immediately cute nor as bizarrely inspired as Babe. Paulie nevenheless marks a step in the right direction for the DreamWorks studio. Jay Mohr's vocal talents give the parrot a streetwise sense. wile the mix of live action and animatronics is always realistic. Glasgow: UCI Clydebank. Virgin. Edinburgh: Dominion. UC I. Galashiels: Pavilion
Point Blank (l8) (John Boorman. US. I967) Lee Marvin. Angie Dickinson. Keenan Wynn. 92 mins. Revenge-ridden Marvin is bent on justifying his dreamlike existence and turning the tables on the mys- terious criminal Organisation which employed him in this tense. well crafted thriller that boasts an imagini- tive and inﬂuential treatment of time. Boonnan‘s impressive first American feature is made memorable by Marvin's brilliant portrayal of an outmoded gun- man confusedly taking on a world overrun by technol- ogy. Glasgow: GFl'. Stirling: MacRoben.
Psycho (l5) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. I960) Anthony Perkins. Janet Leigh. Vera Miles. I09 mins. llitch's horror masterpiece has a young secretary take off to hicksville with a bagful of her boss's money. Unfonunately for her she chooses to pttt up at the Bates' Motel. run by that nice Norman boy. The ironic dialogue (‘Mother's not quite herself today') make it a joy to catch anytime around. We liked it. didn't we mother. . . mother‘.’ Edinburglt: lilmhouse.
A Question Of Silence ( l8) (Marleen Gorris. Netherlands. I982) 96 mins. What could have been a routine counroom thriller is lifted by the fact that the defendants are three ordinary women who have mur- dered a seemingly inoffensive Amsterdam boutique owner. As their trial continues. a sense of insiduous male oppression emerges. The film may have feminist leanings. but they're not allowed to dominate with dogma. Edinburgh: Filmhorrse.
The Rainmaker ( IS) (Francis Ford Coppola. US. I997) Matt Damon. Jon Voight. Danny DeVito. I36 mins. It's Gnsham time again. as idealistic law school graduate Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) discovers the realities of America's legal system when he takes on a giant corporation nrnning a monumental insurance scant. Grisham and C oppola's indignation at the iniq- uities of Arnercan capitalism is impressive. btrt the Iiltn's plot is too cliched and predictable for their analysis to make the impact it deserves. The acting. however. is excellent. Stirling: MacRoben.
Romeo And Juliet (I2) (Baz l.uhrmann. Australia/US. I996) Leonardo DiCaprio. Claire Danes. Pete Postlethwaite. l20 mins. 'lhe Strict/v Ballmom director's treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy is a magnificent riot of colour. action and sexy teen romance. without any need to sacrifice the text. To call it 'MTV lilmmaking' misses the point that the camera tricks and in-jokes don't in any way distract from the fact that Luhrmann has completely grasped the issues at the centre of the play. An intoxi- cating. breathtaking tnix of Catholic iconography. high carup and street violence that's both deliciously feverish and studiedly cool. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse. Shall We Dance? (PG) (Masayuki Suo. Japan. I997) Koji Yakusho. Tamiyo Kusakari. I35 mins. The biggest Japanese hit ever at the US box office. this upbeat movie might grab sortie of the mainstream crowd in the same way as If Poxtino. Shoei leads a predictable life at work and at home until he is trans- formed by his new hobby - ballroom dancing. A real charmer. with a hidden sense of emotional maturity. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Sherlock Junior (U) (Buster Keaton. US. I924) Buster Keaton. Kathryn McGuire. Joe Keaton. 45 mins. A cinema projectionist spends his life day- dreaming that he is a great detective. and one day actually finds himself in the movie he's projecting. Shown with two Keaton shons. with new sound effects and music on the soundtracks. The silent mas- ter proves his knowledge of cinematic fonn and. in terms of stunts and laughs. leaves everyone else stand- ing. Edinburgh: I-ilmhouse.
The Silences Of The Palace ( t5) (Moufida Tlatli. Tunisia/France. I99-I) I27 mins. A young woman returns to the palace where she was born and. iii a series of flashbacks. relives her upbringing itt pre- independence Tunisia. Female director Moufida Tlatli constntcts a complex view of a repressive regime. where intricate rituals reduce women to objects for the pleasure of the princes. Edinburgh: I-‘rlmhouse.
Siclt (no cen) (Kirby Dick. US. I997) 89 mins. 'lhis unforgettable documentary on the life and death of perfonttance anist and self-proclaimed ‘super- masochist' Bob Flanagan contains some extreme images - a penis nailed to a block of wood. real footage of Flanagan's death. But it's not simply sensa- tionalistic. Instead it shows how a man wracked by pain from cystic fibrosis claimed back his body by acts of self-mutilation and a brave humour. Inspiring. Glasgow: GET.
Six Days. Seven Nights (I2) (Ivan Reitrnan. US. I998) llarrison Ford. Anne lleche. David Schwirnrner. l02 mins. Ford is a dissolute pilot. content with island-hopping jobs in the south Pacific: lleche is the single-minded magazine editor with whom he unex- pectedly ends up stranded on a desen island. Will bitchy comments and knockabout humour lead to romance‘.’ The stars make a winning screen couple. although the film itself settles for easier comedic options and Iight-heaned adventure. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Virgin. Edinburgh: ABC W -ster llailes. Odeon. UCI. Galashiels: Pavilion.
Sliding Doors ( )5) (Peter Ilowitt. UK. I998) Gwyneth Paltrow. John llannah. John Lynch. 99 mins. Mousy-haired PR executive llelen gets fired and dis- covers her handsome Irish boyfriend is a two-timer. Blonde PR woman Helen is more successful and dates a handsome Scot. This sharply observed romantic comedy splits Helen's life in two when she misses/catches a tube train. Utterly entenaining. and one of the best British movies of I998. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: UC I. Galashiels: Pavilion. Paisley: Showcase.
Sling Blade ( l5) (Billy Bob Thornton. US. I996) Billy Bob Thornton. Dwight Yoakum. J.T. Walsh. I35
mins. Writer-director-star Thornton's Oscar-winning (for Best Screenplay) is nowhere near as mawkish as Rain Man or Forrest Gump. Thornton plays a slightly retarded man just ottt of prison. who returns to his small Southern hometown only to witness the same pattern of abuse that triggered his earlier murderous attack. Moving without being sentimental. with a ruorality that‘s far from simple-minded. Edinburgh: Cameo. A Taste Of Cherry (PG) (Abbas Kiarostami. Iran. I997) llomayoon lrshadi. 99 mins. A middle-aged Iranian. Mr Badiei. drives around the ugly country roads outside Teheran. trying to hire an accomplice to bury him after he commits suicide. Director Kiarostarni has no interest in plot or rounded-out char- acters. By refusing to reveal what lies behind Badiei's decision to kill himself. the focus falls instead on the decision-making process. Joint winner of the I997 Palme D'Or at Cannes . the film also underlines another pet theme - life goes on. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Ftlmhouse. Trainspotting (I8) (Danny Boyle. UK. I995) Ewan McGregor. Ewen Bremner. Roben Carlyle. Jonny Lee Miller. 93 mins. John llodge's screenplay perfectly captures the desperate humour of Irvine Welsh's novel. keeping the episodic structure of junkie scenes for the first half. before concentrating more on Renton in London in the later stages. Fast and stylish direc- tion. creative soundtrack and acting that‘s off-the-rails excellent. A cinematic blast from beginning to end. which also shows a complex - and true - understand- ing of the lure and fatal consequences of dntg-taking. Edinburgh: Frlmhouse. TwentyfourSeven ( I5) (Shane Meadows. UK. I997) Bob Iloskins. Bnrce Jones. Frank Ilarper. 97 mins. A down and out (Iloskins) sets up a boxing club to give the locals a sense of purpose. but tragedy is always lurking. Shot in dazzling black and white. this is almost cenainly the most notable ponrayal of Nottingham since Alben Frnney refused to be ground down in Saturday Night. Sunday Montittg. lloskins is marvellous in this harsh and beautiful film. Edinburgh: Frlmhouse. US Marshalls (I2) (Stuan Baird. US. I998) Tommy Ixe Jones. Wesley Snipes. Irene Jacob. I33 mins. Tommy Lee Jones reprises his Oscar-winning role as relentless US Marshal Samuel Gerard in this half- deceut sequel to The Fugitive. This time. it's CIA agent Snipes who has been framed for murder and is on the run. Snipes is a bit of a supennan compared to his predecessor (who had to rely solely on his wits) and this lessens the drama somewhat. Cumbernauld Theatre. Vertigo (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. I958) James Stewan. Kim Novak. Barbara Bel Geddes. I28 mins. Detective Stewan. a man with a fear of heights. falls in love with a woman who apparently commits sui- cide. When he meets her double. he becomes obsessed with the possibility that she is still alive. Extaordinary plotting in this undervalued llitchcock study of romantic mania. with Stewan memorably cast against type as the distinctly on-the-edge cop. The Bernard llerrruann score is simultaneously lush and disturbing. Screening as pan of the llitchcock Study Day. Glasgow: Gl-T. U-Turn (l8) (Oliver Stone. US. I997) Sean Penn. Jennifer Lopez. Billy Bob Thomton. l25 mins. Stone avoids controversy and goes instead for a smaller. genre piece with skilful storytelling. strong perfor- mances and punchy cinematography. Penn is an unlucky dude who gets embroiled in a seedy murder plot between husband and wife when his car breaks down in the desen. A small. perfectly fonned gem. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Stirling: MacRoben. Les Voleurs ( I8) (Andre Téchiné. France. I997) Daniel Auteuil. Catherine Deneuve. Laurence Core. I I8 mins. Slickly cast. Andre (hula-nine) Téchiné's tilm alternates between perspectives to create complex and twisted characters and jumps in time to chip away at a smooth family veneer to reveal an involvement in dangerous criminal activities that crosses generations. Les Voleurs's intensity fizzles drastically towards the end. however. and. like a piece of croissant that you just can‘t swallow. the overlong denouement is tire- some and unsatisfying. Stirling: MacRoben. The Wedding Singer ( l2) (Frank Coraci. US. I997) Drew Barrymore. Adam Sandler. Christine Taylor. 97 mins. After his bride dumps him at the altar. Robbie (Sandler) puts on a happy face at his day job - singing at other people's weddings. When his waitress friend (Barrymore) also suffers nuptual disappointment. an unexpected romance blossoms. Packed with a sublime 80s soundtrack. and featuring some of the most amus- ing fashions since Boogie Nights. this is a genuine out-of-nowhere delight. General release. Wilde (I5) (Brian Gilben. UK. I997) Stephen Fry. Jude Law. Vanessa Redgrave. “7 mins. The casting of Fry as Victorian wit. novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde seems almost inevitable. and it pays off. with the actor getting beyond surface details to the intelli- gent. kind man beneath. Gilben's film is gritty in its ponrayal of homosexual relationships than most British period dramas. but first and foremost it is a moving story of tragic. obsessive love. Glasgow: GFI'.