mission to deliver a computer disc. but is being tracked down by the unpleasant baddie who killed his master. Befriending computer whizz kid Zac. the mutt links up to a voice simulator and starts talking with the broad twang of Billy Connolly. Some genuinely funny moments allow for a whole range of teenage crises to be dealt with in an uncringeworthy fashion. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Kilmamock: Odeon. A Perfect Murder (18) (Andrew Davis. US. 1998) Michael Douglas. Gwyneth Paltrow. Viggo Mortensen. 107 mins. There is. quite simply. no one to touch Douglas when it comes to playing alienated. middle-class. middle-aged. white American males. Which is precisely why he‘s so perfectly cast as a manipulative. predatory ‘control freak‘ with a talent for exploiting human weakness in this entertaining aitd intelligent re-working of Hitchcock's dramatically flat 3-D thriller. Dial M For .llun/er. See review. General release. The Pharmacist (18) (Rainer Kaufman. Germany. 1997) Katja Riemann. 108 mins. A big hit at the Edinburgh lntemational Film festival this year. In this slick black comedy the pharmacist of the title is befriended by a rich young brat. whose ulterior motive is to bump of a wealthy relative. Glasgow: Gl-T. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Ponette (I5) (Jacques Doillon. France. 1997) \'ictoire Thivisol. Xavier Beauvois. Claire Nebout. 93 mins. Shot from the viewpoint ofa cute four- year-old. I’miette is a novel portrayal of grief and its complex emotions. After her mother's death in a car accident. the girl is left bewildered by conflicting explanations from adults and fellow children. This bitter-sweet tearjerker tenderly paints a picture of the bizarre rituals created by children to make sense of a cruel world. Stirling: MacRobert. Riff-Raff ( 15) (Ken Loach. CK. 1991) Robert Carlyle. Enter McCourt. Ricky Tomlinson. Jimmy Coleman. 94 mins. A lighter-than-usual investigation of British poverty from our foremost political director. Glaswegian-in-London Stevie (Carlyle) grinds out a meagre living on a building site and enters into a relationship with Susan (McCourt). who has musical aspirations. The jolly badinage of Stevie's co-workers provides an enjoyany humorous backdrop. for which the Grim- Down-South message comes over all the more forcefully. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Saving Private Ryan (15) (Steven Spielberg. US. 1998) Tom Hanks. Tom Sizemore. Matt Damon. 170 mins. Like no film in recent memory. Saving Private Rvan focuses its attention squarely on the brutalities endured by American soldiers in World War II. Central to tltis impact is the already legendary opening half hour. detailing with reniorseless brilliance the carnage of the D-Day landings. The actual meat of the story. in which Hanks is sent off is Illl the remnants of his unit to locate the eponymous Ryan. is built on rugged rather than subtle lines. A landmark piece of moviemaking. General release. Screenworks Glasgow Film and Video Workshop's I998 offerings. The programme highligth work by new. local filmmakers and includes: Wee Three. Shagg v [)ug Tales. Drink The Drug. Shadow Baring. The 23rd. A Cartographers History. Elizabeth Ret. and Mantistriit‘k. Glasgow: OFT. The Searchers (PG) (John Ford. CS. 1956) John Wayne. \"era .‘vliles. Jeffrey Hunter. Natalie Wood. 119 nuns, Wayne is the obsessive Ethan Edwards. a man whose five-year quest to hunt down the Indians w ho murdered his wife and captured his young daughter has developed into a thirst for murderOus re\enge. Indeed. his drive is not only to nturder the Indians but to kill his own offspring because she's been tainted by her time with the Redskins. With Wayne at his most intense. this is one of old Hollywood‘s darker. richer moments. Glasgow: GFT. The Secret Of Roan lnish (PG) (John Sayles. L'S/lreland. I994) Jeni Courtney. Eileen Colgan. John Lynch. 103 mins. Master filmmaker Sayles delivers a wonderfully wistful Celtic fantasy that should appeal to older and younger viewers alike. Capturing the mood of rural Ireland and the legend of the half-human. half-seal selkies. he spins a rich tale of everyday magic which taps into the cultural identity of the setting without a hint of condescension. Glasgow: GFT. Seven Years In Tibet (15) (Jean-Jacques Annaud. CS. 1997) Brad Pitt. David Thewlis. B.D. Wong. 131 mins. Sporting Hitler Youth peroxide and spouting suitably strangled vowels. Pitt is ace climber Heinrich Hatter. who strays across the Tibetan border and becomes a friend of the young Dalai Lama. L'nfortunately. Brad seems to have very little purchase on the material. and we're left with fabulous landscapes in search of a movie. Edinburgh: Odeon. Shine ( 12) (Scott Hicks. Australia. 1996) Geoffrey Rush. Noah Taylor. Armin Mueller-Stahl. 105 mins.

Winner of nine top awards at Australia's equivalent of the Oscars. Shine is a remarkable and devastating film about the life of child prodigy and pianist David Helfgott. who was forced to retire from the stage due to a mental breakdown. but returned later in life. The performances show real love. while the recital passages are presented with a conviction that underlines the quality of the film as a whole. Falkirk: FTH.

The Singing Ringing Tree (U) (Francesco Stefani. East Germany. 1958) 73mins. Imaginative adaptation of the Grimm Brothers‘ tale. in which Princess Thousandbeauty's suitor prince has the unenviable task of supplying her with said vegetation in order to win her hand. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Solidarity Song (12) (Larry Weinstein. Germany. 1996) 84 mins. Documentary portrait of Hanns Eisler. close friend and artistic collaborator of Berthold Brecht. Solidarity Song charts Eisler's life from his communist days in the Weimar Republic to his disillusionment with the GDR in the 1950s. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Star Kid (PG) (Manny Coto. US. 1997) Joseph Mamllo. Richard Gilliland. Corinne Bohrer. 100 mins. Shy. bullied Spencer (Jurassic Park‘s Mazzello) discovers an alien Cybersuit a voice and personality of its own. Climbing inside. he gets back at his school nemisis. but finds himself up against a deadlier foe when he faces intergalactic tough nuts. the Broodwam'ors. Clearly aimed at pre-adolescent boys who want to fill out their underdog fantasies. Star Kid is a better than average kids movie. Edinburgh: Odeon. Stirling: MacRobert.

The Stepford Wives (15) (Bryan Forbes. CS. 1974) Katharine Ross. Paula Prentiss. Nanette

Newman. 115 mins. They don't make sci-fi like they

did in the seventies anymore. Intelligent. creepy and with plenty of social comment. The Stepford Wives is both one of the finest examples of that decade‘s sci-ft output and a true cult gem of a film in it's own right. All that and nanette Newman going crazy as well. Glasgow: Fleapit at The Arches.

A Streetcar Named Desire (PG) (Eliz Kazan. US. 1951) Vivien Leigh. Marlon Brando. Kim Hunter. 122 mins. Brando takes the acting honours and. with this film. set the style for method acting for years to come. Tennessee Williams' steamy sex romp seems a little tame by today standards. but the realism of the drama remains in tact and the performances are to be savoured. Glasgow: GFT.

Taste Of Cherry (l5) Abbas Kiarostami. Iran. I995) 95 mins. Karostami's 1997 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner features a devastating premise: a man drives through the landscape of Tehran. looking for someone to assist him with his planned suicide. Fascinating. chilling. touching. Stirling: MacRobert.

There's Something About Mary ( 15) (Peter and Bobby Fanelly. US. 1998) Cameron Diaz. Matt Dillon. Ben Stiller. lI8 mins. The third Farrelly brothers movie. following their supremely fun. but dumb debut. Dumb And Dumber and bad taste extravaganza. Kingpin. with an even more outrageous comedy. The conceit says it all: Small town geek Ted never makes it to the high school prom with gorgeous Mary. because he ‘zips himself up.‘ Years later and all grown up. Ted remains obsessed with the date that never was. General release.

The Thief (l5) (Pavel Chukhrai. Russia. 1997) Vladimir Mashkov. Ekaterina Rednikova. Misha Philipchuk. 97 mins. When sis-year-old Sanya's widowed mother is seduced by an officer aboard a train crossing a war-torn country. the father-less family think their lives are about to improve. Tough luck then. that the seducer turns out to be a thief. dumps mother and son and moves onto his next victim. Chukhrai's allegory of Yeltsin‘s Russia. deserved its Oscar-nomination and more. Falkirk:


The Thing (18) (John Carpenter. US. 1982) Kurt Russell. Wilford Brimley. David Clennon. 109 mins. Scientists on an Antarctic research station thaw out an alien creature able to change its shape and horribly murder humans. Extraordinary effects in this tense shocker. which utilises the central gimmick from the original short story in a way the 1951 version did not. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Through A Glass Darkly (PG) (Ingmar Bergman. Sweden. 1961) Harriet Andersson. Gunnar Bjomstrand. Max Von Sydow. Lars Passgard. 91 mins. A young woman‘s descent into insanity at her lonely summer home is played against a cold background totally lacking in familial affection. Bergman turns what could so easily have become melodrama into a fascinating character study. not only of the mentally disturbed girl. but also of her emotionally crippled father and ineffectual husband. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

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