FILM new releases
(15) 84 mins s
There's no arguing the dedication that underpins Nick Nolte’s performance as smalltown New Hampshire lawman Wade Whitehouse Patronised (in both senses of the word) by his employer, divorced by his Wife, hated by his daughter, livmg in the shadow of childhood beatings by alcoholic father James Coburn and With a toothache to boot, Wade is forced to eat shit, grin and bear it The sheer grayity of Nolte's acting threatens to implode Wade before our eves vrscerally Visible in the close-up in which he pulls the bad tcioth
This performance is the outstanding compcr-nent of Paul Schrader's film. Despite the fact that Schrader has nutrztten at least two modern Cinema classics ’TciXl Driver, Raging Bull) and directed a string of films that range from solid brilliance to fascmatingly
Mighty Joe Young (PG) 114 mins
\iVlzzchever way you cut it, Mighty Joe Young is Just another big monkey home Never .1 particularly successful or satisfying genre, the only significant film it has produced so far is King Kong, which somehow was about so much more than its large simian anti- hero ’
That t933 classic: spawned several screen imitations th0ugh, including the 1949 moVie upon which this tale is loosely based. But in spite of infinitely more sophisticated effects, Mighty Joe Young is far less involvmg or entertaining than either film.
Opening in a sort of Gorillas In The Mist .clyll, this life of earnest scientific exploratian I‘, cut Violently short when poacleis attach killing the scientist incitliei c,-f lill Young Charlize Theron)
at, it ‘ :r'r'- 'Ii'7“‘ as the git-at ripe she
26 THEUST in i'.iat i AM i‘l‘lil
Nick Nolte in Affliction
inspired (including Blue Collar), Affliction is leaden, pummeling home its theme of paternal tyranny and child abuse With unneccessary heavy- handedness. The film's brutal, depressmg final scene - a father and son confrontation -- is followed by an unneccessary v0iceover by Wade's brother Willem Dafoe along the lines of 'the sins of the fathers?
Unlike The Sweet Hereafter, also adapted from a Russell Banks novel, Schrader’s script and direction slrun rather than inVite their audience into the protagonists mind and community In fact, powerful as Noite's performance is, it’s introspective almost to the [)Oll‘i of inaccessibility Nevertheless, Nolte probably deserves the Oscar nomination Wade has provrded him; Shrader, li()\‘.’(“-.‘Ol', is :‘Jell out of the running lls'liles Fielderi Edinburgh Fi/rnhouse from Fri 79 Mar
was studying. Suddenly finding themselves orphaned, Jill and he: ape pal Joe have only each other to depencl
As time passes Joe takes on epic proportions, growing over let tall and weighing in at a hefty 2000 pounds, which makes him a prime target for poachers once more i- including those who killed his and lill‘s mothers
Enter nice-but-bland zoologist Gregg (Bill Paxton) who suggests that Joe wouch be safest away from the poachers m a purpose built nature reserve In California, Yeah, right.
So predictable you would think the monkey wrote it, Mighty loci Young is a by the numbers rnonstet-in-the-city adventure, an antiseptic PC tale that may delight pre-teen audiences, but holds little appeal for those after nint‘e risky or intelligent clti‘v’t'lliitlt‘
General release frcir.’ l-"r .55 Mar
Bring out the chimp: Mighty Joe Young
l l l
The Rugrats Movie (U) 80 mins e rt ‘ ~ “ h The movie version of the popular TV _ y "* ‘ series introduces brand new baby
Dylan into the Pickles family. Almost
immediately, the other toddlers
deCIde they’ve had enough of his
demanding infant ego and resolve to
ferry him back to the hospital where
he was born. They do so in a Reptar "my Wagon, one of their inventor father 1 m. Stu’s contraptions, which careers out , W / ' ‘ of control and leaves them trapped in * a forest with a hungry wolf and some ’ grasping circus monkeys — two species With quite different ideas about how the tots can furnish them With food.
To the uninitiated, this could eaSIly seem like half-a-dozen whingeing brats stuck in a wood, but the film's message is well intentioned, and it might keep the little ones quret for a while.
The weekly adventures of the un-cutesy, irritatingly vorced Pickles family is big among kiddies and adults in the States, but the movie is definitely more of a JUlllOf entertainment. Bring back Charlie Brown, I say, and shoot the Teletubbies. i’lohn lvlackenzie)
a General release from Fri 26 Mar.
r LMAWARD Jim Poole Short Film Award
The List has often argued that short films and feature-length mowes are two artforms in their own right Every story has its perfect length, both on screen and on. the page; not orin that, but the concentrated nature of the short film often carries a particularly poetic intensity.
Edinburgh's Cameo Cinema agrees, and so has recently launched the Jim Poole Short Film Award Named after the cinema's former owner, who died last year, the award links the Cameo’s past to Scotland’s talent of the future, and comes after a weekend of events celebrating its 50th anniversary New short films made ll‘. Scotland during 3999 will be eligible for submission, all formats are acceptable and there is no length restriction. The winner \NIH receive a cash prize and guarenteecl screenings at all venues programmed by Oasis Cinemas.
The ,iury consists of it/lovieclrome's lvlark Cousins, List editor Alan Morrison, Claire ans and Sara Frain from Oasis Cinemas, and filmmakers Peter Mullan and Lynne Ramsey. Both lvlullan and Ramsey have recently completed their feature film debuts after much acclaim for their shorts - proof that short films can indeed lead to bigger things. (Patricia Wilson)
‘ 1 It *1, A Child's play: Tommy Pickles in The Rugrats Movie
Seul Contre Tous
(I Stand Alone)
Warning: you have three seconds to stop reading this reView. Three. Two. Cite French director Gaspar Noe uses a similar technique towards the end of Seul Contre Tous, when the audience is offered a BC-second break tc; leave the cinema lt's not adVIce to disiiisss lightly, because what follows includes the most disturbing and graphicaly realistic shooting ever put But by then the viewer has atreazly \.'.iitnessecl hardcore penetrative sex and a nauseating scene in which a pregnant woman is repeatedly punched in the stomach
Gratuitous shock tactics? .\lo, only material of such uncompromismg brutality can bring the viewer close to the utter desolation felt by the main character, an unemployed SO~year-o|d butcher who has been slammed into a dead-end existence where he feels emasCuIated, even dehumanised, because he cannot support himself
Noe forces the audience into the butcher's head by using continual voiceover to articulate the rage which boils beneath his sullen surface The aim isn’t for sympathy, but to uncover a frightening mess of fear and hatred made dangerous as the butcher slides fiorn social conforriiity to a personal moral code, where he iizight ultimately be unable to express his anger in words, only in murderous acts
Loud gunshots on the soundtrack combine wrth shock-cut edits to increase the sense of impending Violence and dislocation The experience is more like vrsiting a hard-hitting tcsnternpoiaiy art exhibition than watching a film Set/l Contre Tous,
is .is far from Hollyvia- taplblll as can be imagined
Rage against the obscene: Philippe Nahon in Seul Contre Tous
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