The Spanish Prisoner 4X15? “,4: air
A decade on from his directorial debut, House Of Cid/NT"), Davrd Mamet has again (rafted a film that revels in the elegant deceptions of master COHfIdE‘llCP tricksters This time the mark is Joe Ross (Campbell Scott), the earnest young inventor of a mysterious and valuable new process. Whom can he trust 7 H a aloof boss (A an Arkin), flirtatzouu company set retary Susan (Rebet ca Pidgeori), wry ((‘illeatjiue George triiagitian and long—time Mamet associate Ricky Jay), or Steve Martin's urbane businessman? Mamet tips the wrnk to the Viewer rather blatantly towards tne end, but until then he play, an almost flawless hand. A film that's worth seeing tvvice to saVOur fully the cruel twrsts and turns of its labyrinthine plot (Jason Best)
is The Spanish Prisoner, Cameo 7, Fri 27, 8pm, £6 50 ([4).
I Want You
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If atriiospliere is everything then wrth its bleak, out-of-season coastal resort setting and melancholic nostalgia for the good old blighty, this film has got it made. Empty beaches, grassy scrublands, forlorn holiday huts and quaint high streets are filmed in moody washes of colour and shadow. The plot, revolwng around the gorgeous Rachel Weiss and her psychotic ex- boyfiiend’s return home from prison, is hardly origrnal However, the fusmg of a classic cinematic style and offbeat setting (Hastings, East Sussex doubling as Farliaven) is new ~ this is a ’seaside nOir', The director of Jude and Welcome To Sarajevo continues to amaze (Miles Fielder)
$2 / Wan: You, Cameo I, Sat22, 70.30pm, Cameo 2, Thu 27, 9pm, £6.50 (£4)
Love Is The Devil
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We’ve seen plenty of films about the lives of artists, rife With biographical details of personal scandals. If all director John Maybury achieved was to focus on Francis Bacon’s tenipestuous relationship With his lover, George Dyer, this would be just another (respectable) portrait of an artist. However, Love is The Devil gets under the skin and into the mind of its subrect in a much subtler way —
68 THE LIST 20—27 Aug 1998
this film looks like a Bacon painting. Dark, with disturbing, fractured and blurred visuals and intense performances (Derek Jacobi excels), the film is all the more powerful for it. (Miles Fielder)
a Love Is The Devil, Fi/mhouse 7, Sat 22, 9.30pm, £6.50 (£4).
Concert movies are frustrating — sitting there, watching something you’d rather be experiencing in person Happily, Free Tibet is nerther mere concert movre, nor overly earnest diatribe against the Chinese occupation of Tibet -- it's both, wrth the balance pitched Just right. Check Beck and Beastie Boys at the Milarepa concert, but, before frustration sets in, find depth in frank Interviews headed up by the Dalai Lama. Too many words? Then it’s back to the stage wrth John Lee Hooker and The Smashing Pumpkins. That said, while there's no doubting this is heartfelt filmmaking, how long will Tibet remain in vogue? (Miles Fielder)
w Free Tibet, Fi/mhouse 2, Fri 2 l, 7 pm, £6. 50 (£4).
Memory And Desire
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The traditional film representation of a coachload of Japanese tourists is generally seen as the butt of a Joke. Niki Caro's observant and movrng film from New Zealand reorientates perspectives, however, telling its story from the point of view of a young couple on such an excursion. The retrospective narrative moves from the drowning of KQlJI (Eugene Nomura) while in mid-honeymoon, back to his courtship of Sayo (Yuri Kinugawa), where class prejudice is encountered from Keiii’s mother (Yoko Narahashi). Rich with imagery assooating the sea with both passion and death, the film is engrossing from traumatic opening to quiet resolution. (Steve Cramer) a Memory And Desire, Cameo 1, Wed 26, 8pm, Cameo 2, Sat 29, 7pm, £6. 50 (£4).
Twin Peaks actress Joan Chen makes her directorial debut wrth this story set
in the Wild-70$ during China's Cultural Revolution. Teenager Xiu Xiu is sent
= #2... a
Federico Luppi and Dan Rivera Gonzales star John Sayles' Spanish language movie Men With Guns, Filmhouse 1. Sun 23. 7pm. £6.50 (£4).
The Book Of Life *****
Apocalypse now: PJ. Harvey and Martin Donovan in The Book Of Life
Hal Hartley's 1998 Cannes prize-winning film. Henry Foot may be his magnum opus. but with that film still awaiting its UK release, Hartley has made another. The Book Of Life. an hourolong featurette conceived as a millennial project for French television. is a delightfully offothe-cufl, tongue. in-cheek flirtation with biblical convention.
Get this: Jesus (stony-faced Martin Donovan) arrives in modern day New York City to end the world at the behest of his grumpy dad. Accompanied by his assistant Magdalena (singer PJ Harvey), Christ‘s search for 'The Book’ is hampered by an unscrupulous law firm and the Devil (Tom Waits look~a- like, Thomas Jay Ryan) in disguise in a Manhattan bar.
Hartley’s hallmark metaphysical musings are funny as ever. while the frivolous approach to the apocalypse is inspired: The Book is a laptop computer, its mystical seven seals PC icons. To top it all, Hartley’s use of video, all gorgeous blurred images and dazzling colours, has the visual impact of a Wong Kar-Wai movie. The Book Of Life may be Hartley‘s best
film to date. (Miles Fielder)
a The Book Of Life, Cameo i, Sat22, 8pm," Cameo 1, Wed 26, 70-300”);
Fi'lmhouse 7, Fri 28, 7pm, £6. 50 (£4).
from the city to the countryside to train as a horse herder alongside emasculated peasant Luo JID, Desperate to return home, she offers sexual favours to anyone promising to help facilitate the necessary passes The two central performances are compelling, and the metaphor for the Communist eprOitation of a generation is strongly, if melodramatically, made. However, the storytelling point-of-vrew is confusing: a v0iceover by Xur Xur’s bOyfriend would appear to make this his story, yet he doesn't Witnesses any of the key scenes, nor could he have been told about them. (Alan Morrison)
£93 Xru Xiu, Cameo 7, Thu 20, 5 30pm, Cameo 3, Thu 27, 7.30pm, £6.50 (£4).
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Terry Gilliam's film is a faithful adaptation of Hunter S, Thompson's celebrated hilarious drug-guzzling odyssey. Journalist Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and his lawyer Dr 60nzo (Benrcro Del Toro) take turns at being completely out the game on a variety of substances - many of which should only be approached With a disinfected bargepole — under the gwse of covering a racmg stOry in Las Vegas. This shouldn't necessarily make for
entertaining Viewing, but Gilliam’s realisation of the hallucinatory elements of the tale make this a blast of a trip. There are excellent performances from Depp, dorng a convmcing impersonation of Thompson, and Del Toro, dorng a conVincing impersonation of the last person on earth you would choose as a travelling companion.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, ABC, Tue 25, 8pm, £6.50 (£4).
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In this darkly comic and stylish film nOrr, Hella is a pharmacist in small town Germany, whose ObSeSSlOD wrth perfection has left her bereft of friends or lovers. Enter Levrn, a careless charmer who comes complete With a rich father and potential ability to provrde house, hubby and brats. And, as daddy needs a little help to hasten the inheritance, Hella's fascmation wrth poison is equally handy to him. What elevates this above the thriller crowd is its scrupulous amorality and the sense of ineVitability that director Rainer Kaufman has extracted from Katja Riemann in the lead role. (Thom Dibdin)
a The Pharmacist, Fi/mhouse 7, Mon 24, 8. 75pm, Fi/mhouse 3, Fri 28, 9pm, £6.50 (£4).