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Bone of contention: Federico Luppi in Men With Guns

Men With Guns (l8)128 mins

One of the few true maverrcks of Amerrcan Cinema, writer-director John Sayles has never been afraid of dabbling in polrtrcal themes; and Men With Guns, for all its magic realist trappings, is no different.

Set in an unnamed Latrn American country, it follows Dr Fuentes (Federico Luppi) on a journey from polrtical naivete to a despairrng state of knowledge about hrs homeland.

Approaching hrs retirement, Fuentes deCrdes to vrSrt the students he trained to work as doctors rn the country's poorest rural areas. But as he journeys through eerily depopulated landscapes he lrnds no trace of hrs puprls, only tales of their murder by soldiers or


(15) 92 mins a: sat» at; as

Six people awake in a cubic chamber wrth a door in each wall They have no memOry of how they (got there, but qurckly learn they are rn a maze of Similar cubes, many ot whrth are booby-trapped wrth lethal ties/Hes Should they attempt to estape7 And how?

The execcrtron of Cube rs as Itt';ervrr)trs as rts concept The prisoners the fourth dimension of the maze as rt were - have specific roles to play (one, for example, rs an escape artrst) Their gradual comprehensron of the danger, and of the mind-bending mathematical complexrty of the maze, raises more quest‘ons Are they there for a reason7 Who, rt anyone rs in control? The government7 A rvrilrlary-rrtduslr'al COle0X7 Cube boasts the rngenurty of a (Omputer game every component rs significant

Shape of thing


Played out almost entrr‘ely rn Spanrsh, the lrlm forooes the tradrtronal American central character, The only US t‘rtrzens rn the frlm are a couple of sublrmely rgnor'ant tourists, brt part players cosseted from the realrty of their surroundrngs by their money and nationality. Nor does Sayles indulge in the cinematrc grandstandrng you could expect from Olrver Stone gryen srmrlar materral. Instead he adopts a spare, srmple style and lets the story frnd its own level

By not rdentrfyrnrr the settrnr; he rrranages to unryersalrse the horror Th's tragedy r‘-, not about tastrng the blame r r: lijt‘l‘T‘lef't’ {tr/‘nros Rather, as the trtle says, srrnp'y put rt down to rnen With (guns rTetr'rly lr'zrrrresonr Edinburgh Fr/rnborrse fro/r: Fri 2 Oct

J , K s to comezgetting gory in Cube

It's also a hoe example of treatryrty on a modest was completed on one and a half ldt’t square sets attrl (latrstrti-plwhr: ir‘oorl :s t>f)‘.‘.t”l"tlll‘,’

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‘.'.’ll()‘>{‘ comic book art and storyboardrno has parrl oil, (vies Star Wars as a llld]()l rnlluente Cube blends other sci-fr tradrtrons lpolrtrtrsed tales of luturrstrt (lystopras sut h as THXI 738, 7984 and pulp frttrons lrke Tbe Try/light Zone) \yrth Kafka-esoue rntellectual sadism and paranora

The resulting mrx rerrrrrtrstent of fellow Canadran lrlrrrrnaker Dayrd C r‘o'renherr; rs (old, cal; triatrnt), rrrrst hreyous r‘urr rl‘~.lrles Fielder) 93$ Glasgow Film Theatre from Fr: 2 Or t Fo’rrrburgb Film/rouse fro/r; Fri 9 Or! See prev/very, page 22

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