Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
The Acid House (I8) (Paul McGuigan. UK. I998) Stephen McCole. Kevin McKidd. Ewen Bremner. lll mins. Irvine Welsh adapts a trio of tales from his short story collection: "The Granton Star Cause'. ‘A Soft Touch' and "The Acid House'. He and director McGuigan vary visual style and dramatic tone. no doubt alienating more viewers than they win over; but The Acid House's boldness is a victory in itself. Two lingers in the face of anyone expecting a Trainspotting clone. See feature and review. Glasgow: (if-T. ()deon Quay. Edinburgh: Cameo. UCI. Kilmarnock: ()deon. Paisley: Showcase. Air Bud (PG) (Charles Martin Smith. US. I997) Kevin Zegers. Wendy Makkena. Bill Cobbs. 98 mins. Poor Washington State high school kid Josh is having a hard time contending with a new town. school and friends after the loss of a parent. 'lhings change for the better with the arrival of a new companion. a Golden retriever named Buddy who can do fancy tricks with a basketball. Shame the film doesn‘t concentrate more on the super dog. as the sequel did. Glasgow: Showcase. UCI Clydebank. Iiast Kilbride: UCI. Paisley: Showcase. A Toute Vitesse ( l 5) (Gael Morel. France. I996) Stepliane Rideau. lilodie Bouchez. 90 mins. Some of the cast of Andre 'l'echine's I995 coming-of-age drama Luv Rummy Stun-tiger reunite for this look at the nature of friendship and lonliness. The relationship between three friends is unbalanced by the arrival of a broody. gay Algerian whose childhood friend was killed in a car crash. l-‘rench navel-gazing for twentysometbings. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. An American In Paris (U) (Vincente Minnelli. US. I951) Gene Kelly. Leslie Caron. Oscar Levant. Nina l-‘och. ll3 mins. Splendid — if sometimes garish — romantic musical. with Kelly on top form as a would- be artist kicking up a storm in /u /)t’//t’ rite2. Supported /)_\ I/lt‘ .y/IUI‘I film Magic Moments. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Anastasia (U) (Don Bluth/Gary Goldman. US. I997) Voices of Meg Ryan. Christopher Lloyd. John Cusack. 94 mins. Rewriting history somewhat. evil magician Rasputin puts a curse on the 'I'sar's family and causes the |9l 7 Revolution. The child princess Anastasia survives. but grows up as an orphan. unable to remember her past. With extraordinary action sequences. exquisite characterisations and beautiful songs. Edinburgh; Lumiere Antz (PG) (liric Darnell/I'iiii Johnson. US. I998) The voices of Woody Allen. Sharon Stone. Gene Hackman. 83 mins. When vvorker ant Z-4I95 (Allen) meets Princess Bala (Stone). he falls completely in love; btit. while trying to prove himself as a soldier. he uncovers a dastardly plan to flood the colony Ant: is brightly coloured and ftill of gags. so adults will chuckle vvhile kids are pulled in by the slick computer animation General release. L'Appartement ( I 5) ((iilles .‘vlimouni. lirance. I996) Vincent Cassell. Roiiiane Boliringer. Jean-Philippe Iicoffey. I I6 mins. Young exec Mas (Cassell) finds himself dravvn into the mystery of his own past when a chance encounter in a cafe sends him hot on the trail of the girl he loved and lost. Mimoum marshals the svv-itchback between past and present with effortless elan — it's all very Hitchcockian. but the film‘s emotional component stops it from being mere pastiche, Quite possibly the coolest French debut since [)iiu lidinburgli Cameo. Babe: Pig In The City (PG) (George Miller. US. I998) James Cromwell. Magda Szubanski 99 mins. Just as precocious as before. young Babe accidentally initii'es Farmer Hoggett and puts the farm in ieopardy In desperation Mrs H and Babe set off to make a fee-paying appearance at a Slate Hill. Btit fate is not smiling upon the farmer's wife and her innocent pig. as their
adventures in the big city begin. A darker film than the original. Billie." Pig In The City is nevertheless entertaining. General release. The Bells Are Ringing (U) (Vincente Minnelli. US. I960) Judy Holliday. Dean Martin. Fred Clark. l25 mins. Telephone operator Holliday can't help meddling in the lives of her clients. and finds herself in the clutches of drunken playwright Martin (who else?) Not as lively as Minnelli‘s best work. and the script clanks rather than chimes. btit the two leads are likeable. lidinburgh: Lumiere.
Bicycle Thieves (PG) (Vittorio De Sica. Italy. I948) Lamberto Maggiorani. linzo Staiola. An unemployed Italian workman has his bicycle stolen. and badly needs it for a new job. so he and his small son search the busy streets of Rome for it. The epitome of Italian neo-realism. with the Roman setting vividly sketched and the performances compellineg natural. so that this unromantic drama takes on an overwheming power. Masterly stuff. Iidiiiburgh: Cameo.
The Big Lebowski ( )8) (Joel Coen. US. I997) Jeff Bridges. John Goodman. Steve Btiscemi. I I 3 mins The Coen brothers give their unique twist to a Chandler-esque LA noir. as 70s Iiippy throwback Jeff "I'he Dude' Lebowski (Bridges) is dravv n into the sordid affairs of his millionaire namesake. Suddenly he has to sleuth his way through disorganised crime. 'l‘radcmark oddball characters. surreal imagery and excellent performances grace this virtuoso comedy. Iidinburgh: Cameo.
Blade ( I 8) (Stephen Norrington. L'S. I998) Wesley Snipes. Stephen I)orff. Kris Kristofferson. IZI lllllls. Young Brit director Norrington‘s techno-vampire movie — based on the Marvel Comics character is marred by vveak storytelling and flashy computer- game visuals ()ne hoped for sustained atmospherics and coherent mythology instead. this fashionably updated take on vampire lore squandcrs its innovative ideas on a series of disioinfcd set-p:cccs, General release.
The Boys ( l8) (Rowan Woods, Australia. I998) David Wenham. Lynette Curran. Toni Collette. 86 inins Director Rovv an Woods' fierce study of male violence. famin loyalty and domestic imprisonment dissects the twisted psycho-dy namics of a dysfunctional. working-class family. Coupled with \CI'IPIWFIICI' Stephen chvell‘s‘ deft handling of the complex time-shifts inherited from Gordon Graham's original stage play. Woods' rich visual language transforms 'I'lit' Bun into a quintessentially cinematic esperience And a damned scary one at that. Glasgow: Gl’l’ Edinburgh Cameo.
Bullets Over Broadway ( l S) (woody Allen. L'S. I994) John Ciisack. Dianne Wiest. Chau. Palminteri. l()5 mins. Self-
Just because you're paranoid: Will Smith and Gene Hackman in Enemy Of The State
absorbed playwright David Shayne (Cusack) compromises all the way down the line as he attempts to get his new masterpiece staged — he's willing to cast a gangster‘s girlfriend for the necessary funding and take writing tips from her streetwise bodyguard. Allen‘s emphasis is on witty dialogue and strong performances. which gives the film a slightly theatrical feeling. lidinburgh: Cameo.
Carla's Song(l5) (Ken Loach. UK. I996) Robert Carlyle. Oyanka Cabezas. Scott Glenn. I27 mins. Carlyle plays Glaswegian bus driver George. who gives up everything to help refugee Carla return to Nicaragua and find her boyfriend. The love story aspect of the first (Scottish) half of the film is its strongest point; the revelations in Central America don't hold surprises nor does the director seem totally at home with the ‘action’ elements. Carlyle. however. is excellent — mildly tough and totally charming. Supported by the short film .'\'tll'tlll('t’. Iidinburgh: Lumiere.
Casablanca (PG) (Michael Ciirtiz. US. I943) Humphrey Bogart. Ingrid Bergman. Dooley Wilson. I02 mins. You must remember this . . . Bogart being impossiny noble. Bergman torn between two lovers. Claude Rains playing both ends against the middle. devious Nazis. a fogbound airport. a piano-player tininng that tune. A wonderful Iiill of beans. l-‘alkirk: I-TH. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (U) (Ken Hughes. UK. I968) Sally Anne Howes. Dick Van Dyke. Lionel Jeffries. I45 mins. Lengthy. effects-filled children's adventure conceived in the wake of Marv l’up/iiiiv' huge commercial success but with a charm (atid great songs) all of its own. Dick Van Dyke is the mad inventor whose flying car propels his children and romantic interest liovves to a far-off land of adventure Glasgow. GI’I‘. lidinburgli: l-ilmhousc. I‘alkirk; I’I‘H.
Clerks ( I8) (Kevin Smith. US. I993) Brian ()'Halloran. Jeff Anderson. Marilyn Ghigliotti. 90 mins. Jtist when you were sick of the very sight of the word 'slacker'. along came Clerks to give the whole commercialisation of the Gen X lifester a good hard kick tip the backside. Kevin Smith's hilarioust foul dialogue peps up the exchanges on life. sex and everyday living between bored convenience store check-out assistant Dante and equally bored video store manager Randal. Iidinburgh. Cameo. Cousin Bette ( l 5) (Des McAntiff. US. I998) Jessica Lange. lilisabeth Shue. Kelly .‘vIacdonaId. l(l8 mins. Based on a Balzac novel. the story centres on middle-aged spinster Bette. whOse status as poor relation is compounded when her more favoured cousin dies. Widower Hector Hulot offers her the position of housekeeper. but. vv hen
she is emotionally betrayed by Hulot's daughter Hortense. Bette constructs a plan of revenge. The witty script picks away at the hypocrisies of the aristocracy. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Cow ( I 5) (Karel Kachyna. Czech Republic. I995) 86 mins. Through the story of Adam. the son of an unmarried mother living in a lonely mountain settlement. Kachyna's film meditates upon eternal questions about the meaning ofexistence. Part of the Czech Cinema on Tour season. Glasgow: Gl-‘I‘.
Dancing At Lughnasa (PG) (Pat O'Connor. Ireland/UK/US. I998) Meryl Streep. Michael Gambon. Catherine McCormack 95 mins. The screen version of Brian Friel‘s successful and much loved play is strong in its sense of a community and a time — itiral Donegal in I936 — but doesn't quite develop any character outside of the five sisters at the centre of the story. It's a strong ensemble piece that doesn‘t let any one performance tip the acting scales: nor does director Pat O‘Connor underline any of its themes with the heavy-banded red ink of a school exam text. Glasgow: GI’I‘. Iidinhurgh: Filinhouse.
The Daytrippers ( 15) (Greg Mottola. US. I997) Hope Davis. Liev Schreiber. Parker Posey. 87 mins. Strained as a family unit. the Malones pull together when daughter Iiliza 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. Glasgow: GFT. Deconstructing Harry ( l8) (Woody Allen. L'S. 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 Slim/us! .Ilt‘ntm‘uiv‘ floats in the background. ’I‘here are (laws iii the film. but there are also many. many prime Woody throwaways. litlinburgh; Cameo.
Dr Dolittle (PG) (Betty: Thomas. US. I998) liddie Murphy. ()ssie Davies. ()liver PIatt. 85 mins. A turkey with Res Harrison in its original form. and still pretty dire this time round. This wild family adventure offers crude bottom humour for the Bit/2c audience. but the talking animals gimmick battles with cheesy morality and nothing comes together. Ayr: ()deon. Kilinarnock. Odeon. Stirling: MacRobert.
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)7 Dec 1998—7 Jan l999 THE LIST59