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 .\lc(iuigan. L'K. I998) Stephen McCole. Kevin Schidd. liwen Bremner. l l I mins. Irvine Welin adapts a trio of tales from his early short story collection. From the coarse revenge scenario of "l‘he (iratitoti Star Cause'. throuin the sorrowful despair of 'A Soft 'I‘ouch'. to the iii-your-face body swap comedy of "The Acrd House' — Welsh and director .\lc(iuigan vary visual style and dramatic tone. no doubt alienating more viewers that) they win over. 'l‘wo lingers in the face of anyone expecting a 7i'tlllla/lulllllﬂ clone. (ilasgow: (il’l'. ()deon Quay. Showcase. L‘Cl Clydebaiik. Edinburgh: ABC Multiplex. Cameo. I'Cl. liast Kilbride: I'Cl. Kiliiiarnock: ()deon. Paisley: Showcase. Anchors Aweigh (l'i ((ieorge Sidney. [19. I945) Frank Sinatra. Gene Kelly. Kathryn (iray son. I39 mins. Long for a musical wttli such lightweight material. btit it's still charm all the way from the leads as a couple of sailors on shore leave. singing their way through a gltit of Styne and Calm songs. Kelly even has time to share a dance with cartoon mouse hero Jerry. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Angel Sharks .liul'lt’ lime Dr‘s .’iIlQ(’\ I IS) (Manuel I’radal. l‘i'ance. I998) l'i‘ederic .\lalgras. \"ahina (iiocanfe. 9() mins. Stylised fairy tale love story set on the Cote d'Azur. ln hiding in a .\lonte Carlo villa. fourteen-year- old young offender ()i'so looks back over his doomed love affair with fellow juvenile delinquent Marie. (ilasgow: (il’l'. Antz (PG) (lii'ic Darnell/Tim Johnson. L'S. I998) The \oices of Woody Allen. Sharon Stone. (iene Hackman. 83 mins. When worker ant Z-JI‘)5 (Allen) meets Princess Bala (Stone). he falls completely in love: but. while tiy mg to prove himself as a soldier. he uncovers a dastardly plan to flood the colony. 3‘)”.- is brightly coloured and full of gags. so adults w ill chuckle while kids are pulled in by the slick computer animation (ieiieral release. The Apple il’(ii (Samii'a \lakhmalbaf. Iran. I997) XS mins. In a small 'Ieheran community. a (i5-yeai-old man and his blind w ife were reported to the authorities by concerned neighbours for keeping their tw in daughters locked tip for the entire twelve years of their li\es. 'l‘aking tip this true story Ill I997 alter ll hit the headlines in Iran. director \lakhiiialbafk docti-drama observes the changes undergone by this family alter their ll\ es were publically exposed. See re\ iew. lidinburgh. l-‘ilmhouse. Babe: Pig In The City (l’( i) (t ieot'ge Miller. [S I998) James ('i'omw ell. \lagda S/ubaiiski 99 mins. .ltist as precocious as before. young Babe accidentally injures l‘aimei’ lloggett and puts the farm in jeopardy . In desperation .\li‘s II and llabe set off to make a lee-pay mg appearance at a State l’aii'. But fate is not smiling upon the farmer's w Ife and her innocent pig. as their ads entities in the big city begin. .-\ darker film than the original. [fa/iii l’ie Iii 'I'lie('i1\ is nevertheless entertaining (ietteral release. BAFTA‘s New Scottish Talent l’rograiiime featuring the cream of Scottish filmmaking talent. all of whom were recognised at the recent llAhlA Scotland awards atid some of whom w ill be present at the screening. lidiiiburgh; l.umieie. Big Night ( l5) (Stanley ‘l'ucci/('ampbel| Scott. [S I995) Stanley lucci. lull} Shalhoub. Ian lloliii Ill) mins lliotliei' Point) and Secondo l’ilaggi run a \ew Jersey ltaliaii restaurant (hats .ill btil bankrupt because of l’rtmo's puiictiltous attitude to cuisine. so Secotido is jx-isuadcd to set tip .I ‘big niglit‘ for famous siiigei lotus l’i'ima. lhe 5(ls setting is nicely btit simply detailed. the chatactei'isalioiis ' siioiigly obsened and the dialogue gently llllflltiltitls. .\ waiin and II)\ iting independent iiio\ ie that doesn't slip into easy resolutions. l;dinbuigh. l.umieie The Big Sleep il’fi) I llowai'd llaw ks. l'S. l9-lb) lIuiiiphi'ey llogait. l.auieii Bacall. John Ridgely. \lartha \'ickers. |l~l Illllls. \lai‘lowe gets caught tip in the peccadtlloes of the Stcrnwood family as he tries to stop a spot of blackmail. Needless to say. the broad knows iiioie than she lets on. \Vitty. sultry.
36 THE UST / z"! Jan 1999
atmospheric. mainstream/71m nnir with Bogey and Bacall doing their excellent double act. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Birds (18) (Alfred Hitchcock. US. I963) Rod Taylor. Tippi Hendren. Suzanne Pleshette. I I9 mins. Brilliant macabre idea from a Du Maurier tale to have our winged friends turned into malevolent killers. this is Hitch at his most mischeviotis. Oh. and for the amateur psychologists among you. there is a glacial blonde leading lady. and she is mistreated. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Blade (18) (Stephen Norrington. US. I998) Wesley Snipes. Stephen Dorff. Kris Kristofferson. l2l mins. Young Brit director Norrington‘s techno-vampire movie — based on the Marvel Comics character — is marred by weak storytelling and flashy computer-game visuals. One hoped for sustained atmospherics and coherent mythology: instead. this fashionably updated take on vampire lore squanders its innovative ideas on a series of disjointed set-pieces. (ilasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: Cameo. Paisley: Showcase.
Le Boucher ( l5) (Claude C habrol. France/Italy. I970) Jean Yanne. Stephane Audran. 93 mins. In a small French provincial town. a timid butcher courts an equally unassuming schoolinistress as a series of brutal slayings shocks the local community. Part Hitchcockian thriller. part character study. this is Cliabrol at his exquisite (iallic best. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
The Boys ( l8) (Rowan Woods. Australia. I998) David Wenhani. Lynette Curran. Toni Collette. 86 mins. Director Rowan Woods' fierce study of male violence. family loyalty and domestic imprisonment dissects the twisted psycho-dynamics of a dysfunctional. working-class family. Coupled with scriptwriter Stephen Sewell‘s deft handling of the complex time-shifts inherited from Gordon Graham‘s original stage play. Woods' rich visual language transforms T/ie Burs into a quintessentially cinematic experience. And a damned scary one at that. (ilasgow: (EFT.
The Bristol Short Film Festival On Tour (Various. Germany/Mexico/New- Zealand/L'K. l987-97) approx. 50 mins. Shoit films include: Ariel (iordon's Ai/iuv .thflltl.'. Cathleen Klein's Big 310/). Peter Peake's Hana/rant. .Vlike Booth's [.iit/e [)ark I’m’l. Brad McGann's I’miani and Alan Randall's Dem Iii .llae/iina. lidiiiburgh: l‘ilmhouse.
Buffalo 66 ( l5) (Vincent (iallo. l'S. I998) Vincent (iallo. Christina Ricci. Angelica Huston. ll() mins. Life for Billy Brown is so awful that he reconstructs himself from lies upon his release from a five year prison spell. Kidnapping a young girl named Layla. Brown concocts a story for his parents. whom. it turns otit. bear very little love for their son. (iallo has a black sense of humour. finding absurdity in lower-class American life. btit it becomes clear that Buffalo ()6 is a deeply life-affirming film. lidinburgh: Cameo.
The Cow ( l5) (Karel Kachyiia. C/ecli Republic. I995) so mins. Through the story of Adam. the son of an unmarried mother living in a lonely mountain settlement. Kachyna‘s film medttates upon eternal questions about the meaning of existence. Part of the Czech Cinema on Tour season. Iidiiibtirgh: l’iliiiliotise.
Dancing At Lughnasa (PG) (l’al ()‘Connor. lreland/L'K/L'S. I998) Meryl Streep. Michael (iainhon. Catherine McCortttack. 95 mins. The screen version of Brian liriel's successful and much loved play is strong in its sense of a community and a time -- rural Donegal in I936 — btit 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-handed red ink of a school exam text. lidinburgh; l-‘ilmhouse. Dobermann (Jan Kounen. liraiice. I998) ( I8) Vincent Cassel. 'I'clieky Karyo. |()3 mins. Cassel play s Yaiiii. nicknamed "l'he Dobermann'. a touin but sexy criminal who leads his gang in a series of bank robberies pursued by corrupt cop Chi'istini (Karyo). Kounen's references are IIXM cinematic — spaghetti westerns. llong Kong action movies. ‘l'arantino stand-offs — he even throws in a Trains/wrung poster. But beneath its flashy surface. I)ul>eriiiaiin is a shallow movie. See review. lidiiiburgh: I-‘ilmhouse.
Eat Drink Man Woman (l’(ii (Ang Lee. 'l‘aiw'an. I993) Sihung l.ung. Kuei .\lei Yang. (‘heiti Lien Wu. l33 mins. Aug l.ee's 'I‘lie
Wet/(ling Banquet was a surprise international hit; Eat Drink Man Woman surpasses it on every level. Chti is the greatest chef in Taipai. but for years his affection for his three grown- up daughters has been redirected into the lavish meals he prepares for them. When love unexpectedly enters into the lives of all four. their inability to communicate comes to a head. Warm. funny. colourful. Ajoyful experience. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Elizabeth ( IS) (Shekhar Kapur. UK. I998) Cate Blanchett. Geoffrey Rush. Christopher Ecclestone. I20 mins. Not your typical frock flick. Shekhar Kapur's film may be ravishing to look at. but it‘s altogether darker and more disturbing than you‘d expect. A political thriller from Tudor history. in which Blanchett's performance tums cherished notions about England's Virgin Queen on their head. Edinburgh: Brunion Theatre. Dominion. Falkirk: FT H .
Enemy Of The State ( l8) (Tony Scott. US. l998) Will Smith. Gene Hackman. I28 mins. A chance meeting with an old college friend plunges the unwitting Smith into a dangerous. convoluted conspiracy involving a rogue National Security Agency boss with an agenda of his own. When his life is electronically invaded and systematically dismantled his only hope is ex-CIA surveillance expert Hackman. A slick. entertaining stab at updating the 70s conspiracy thriller. General release.
Eraserhead ( )8) (David Lynch. US. I976) John Nance. 90 mins. You may never eat jelly babies again after the repellent btit compelling tale of Henry. his haircut. his girlfriend. his strange offspring and a sizeable quantity of pus. Disturbing stuff. mercifully filmed in black and white. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Ever After (PG) (Andy Tennant. US. I998) Drew Barrymore. Dougray Scott. Angelica Huston. I20 mins. The filmmakers invest the tale with some PC values. most obviously in its heroine who shows ‘girl power' independence and intellect. Barrymore manages to be both sweet and gutsy. btit the surprise lies in Scott‘s engaging turn as the Prince. Glasgow: L’Cl Clydebaiik. East Kilbride: L'Cl.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas ( l8) (Terry Gilliam. US. I998) Johnny Depp. ll8 mins. As adaptations of cult books go. Gilliam‘s take on Hunter S. Thompson's assassination of the American Dream is a glorious mess of a movie. It remains true to the author's vision of moral tomor and psychosis. whilst injecting a good shot of Gilliam's own obsessions. Flawed. certainly. btit epically degenerate. And thus pure gonzo. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Fire ( l5) (Deepa Mehta. Canada. I996) Shabana Azmi. l()-'l mins. Sensitive examination of the break up of a New Dehli family as seen from the perspective of devoted wife Radha. When Radha's brother-in-law brings his fiesty. new wife into her home. the ties that biiid begin to unwind. lidinburgh: I-‘ilmhouse.
First Knight (P(i) (Jerry Zucker. L'S. I995) Richard Gere. Sean Connery. Julia Orinond. I32 mins. Without the action set pieces of other period epics or even the mysticism of Iiiea/i/iei: this disappointing tale of Lancelot's ((iere) love for Guinevere (Ormond) despite her mairiage pledge to King Arthur (Connery) is pretty leaden stuff. The matte Camelot landscapes are tacky. (iere is miscast and Ormond can't carry a role that's obviously been beefed tip due to her recent rise to stardom. lidinburgh: Lumiere.
The Fisher King ( I5) (Terry Gilliam. L’S. l99l) Robin Williams. Jeff Bridges. Amanda Pluinmer. Mercedes Ruehl. I37 nuns. A suicidal former radio DJ (Bridges) and a drop- out former professor of medieval history go in search of the Holy Grail in contemporary New York. The visual splendour of" (iilliam’s previous movies — Yiiiit' Bum/ifs and Bani/i ,lfiaie/iaiiveii — is more restrained here. btit the blend of myth. satire and romance is strong. L'nf'ortunately. the wonderful central performances by Williams and Bridges are let down by a cop-out. tip-beat ending. lidinburgh: Cameo.
The Fountainhead (PG) (King Vidor. US. I949) (iary Cooper. Patricia Neal. I I2 mins. Loathed and reviled as it was on its release. the King‘s version of the Ayn Rand novel stands erect as one of the most ambitious. sttiiiiiiiig and. frankly. barmy films made by a major studio during Hollywood's golden age. Howard Roark (Cooper) is an architect with a
vision which will not be blunted by matters of cash. career or love. Inspired by the life of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Fountainhead is riddled with phallic imagery - the firm modernist buildings. Cooper boring into a slab of granite with his giantjackhammer. Glasgow: GFT.
A Goofy Movie (U) (Kevin Lima. US. (996) With the voices of Bill Farmer. Jason Marsden. Jim Cummings. 74 mins. After a school prank backfires. Goofy decides to take troublesome son Max off on a bonding fishing trip. Max is trying his best to be cool. but that isn't easy when your dad‘s this particular Disney star. An incident-packed journey provides plenty of laughs which should keep restless kids and accompanying adults amused. Kilmamock: Odeon.
The Governess ( l5) (Sandra Goldbacher. UK. I998) Minnie Driver. Tom Wilkinson. Jonathan RhyssMeyers. I I4 mins. Driver excels in this period film as the charismatic Rosina. a Jewish proto-feminist who moves from her London life to presbyterian Scotland. where she passes herselfoff as a Gentile governess for a dysfunctional family. An underachieving movie. but Driver‘s star will continue to rise on the back of what is an utterly memorable performance. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: MacRobert.
Grease (PG) (Randal Kleiser. US. I978) John Travolta. Stockard Channing. Olivia Newton John. lIO mins. The long-running Broadway show arrives on screen dripping with 505 nostalgia. cheery tunes. high camp value and the winsome charms of the plastic Newton- John and the toothy Travolta. A nice collection of old timers enhance the cast. Edinburgh: Odeon.
flamam - The Turkish Bath (18) (Fer-um Ozpenek. Turkey. I997) Alessandro Gassman. Francesca D‘Aloja. Halil Ergiin. 94 mins. Ozpenek's confident debut is a sensuous slice of cultural contrast and smouldering emotion. It's the tale of Francesco. a cool. independent Italian professional who discovers he has inherited a run-down ‘hamam' (a Turkish bath) in Istanbul from his aunt. He and the viewer are instantly beguiled: by the alien city. by the tales and letters describing his bohemian aunt. and by the welcoming family who look after the property. Glasgow: GFT.
Hana-Bi ( l8) (Takeshi Kitano. Japan. I998) ‘Beat' Takeshi. Kayoko Kishimoto. Ren Osugi. |03 mins. Japanese mega-star directs and stars as a cop suffering bouts of guilt. His wife is dying in hospital. his partner has been paralysed during a stakeout and he's so far in debt to the Yakuza that he‘s contemplating robbing a bank. Not as explosive as Takeshi's earlier films. Violent Cup and Slllllllfllc’. Hana- 8i's more subdued atmosphere floats over a work that skillfully draws together its visual and emotional plains. Falkirk: FTH.
He Got Game ( )8) (Spike Lee. US. I998) Denzel Washington. Ray Allan. Milla Jovovich. I34 mins. While doing time for murdering his wife. Washington is released for seven days and baited with a pardon if he can persuade his basketball star son sign tip with the right college. On one level this film honours the great game. on another it‘s a father/son relationship story. A few clumsy moments aside. it's both a touching and stylish film and the use of the classical Aaron Copland score and Public Enemy songs is wonderfully audacious. Stirling: MacRobert. The Horse Whisperer t )2) (Robert Redford. US. I998) Robert Redford. Kristin Scott Thomas. Sam Neill. l(i8 mins. Redford indulges several of his favourite passions at once in British author . 'icholas Evans' best- selling tale of an equine shrink. As with Redf‘ord's previous directorial efforts this is a fine looking and intelligent film. pitting the yuppie values of east coast magazine editor Scott Thomas against the virtuous all- American qualities of Midwesterner Redford. Dunfermline: Carnegie Hall.
The Ice Storm ( l5) (Ang Lee. US. I997) Kevin Kline. Joan Allen. Sigourney Weaver. ll2 mins. ln Nixon era Connecticut. Kline‘s dyitig affair with neighbour Weaver pushes wife Allen further into a numbed frigidity. just as both families‘ teenage children are making their first sexual forays. Lee's satiric eye may be acute btit he has a compassionate vision of human weakness. and beneath the humour is a sense of profound unease. Scene after scene. deftly directed and beautifully acted by the east. sends a chill into the heart. Edinburgh: Cameo.