FILM INDEX continued
Koyaanisqatsi (U) (Godfrey Reggio, US, 1983) 87 mins. Philip Glass’ soundtrack and Ron Fricke's cinematography are the twin pillars of the narrative voice in this ﬁrst ﬁlm of Reggie's ‘qatsi’ trilogy. It opens with a single deep red word, some archaic cave drawings and a moumful hum. All of which represents our collective ‘life out of balance’, a translation from the Hopi Indian word ‘koyaanasqatsi'. Perfect ﬁlmmaking in harmony with all its creative elements. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Last Night (15) (Don McKellar, Canada, 1999) Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, David Cronenberg. 94 mins. There are six hours left until the world ends, but there’s no Bruce Willis blasting asteroids here: Last Night is about real people experiencing real emotions. As their particular brand of anger, grief, wonder or frustration works its way towards a resolution, each character fulﬁls his or her dream in an against-the-clock scenario. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Last Of England (18) (Derek Jarman, UK, 1987) Tilda Swinton, Spencer Leigh, Spring, Derek Jarman. 90 mins. Part autobiographical study, part examination of post-Empire Britain’s decline and fall, this expressive vision of a country edging towards anarchy exudes a technical bravura placed wholly at the service of a singular painterly sensibility. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Manon Des Sources (PG) (Claude Berri, France/Italy, 1986) Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Beart. 114 mins. Ten years after the demise of Jean de Florette, the Soubeyrans run a prosperous carnation farm. Steering this epic rural saga towards the realms of Greek tragedy, this is a full and satisfying second half that explores the suffering of the guilty as they pay a crippling penance for man’s greed and envy. The production values are as high as ever and Auteuil assumes Depardieu's mantle in his development from glaikit idiot to broken- hearted suitor. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Match (15) (Mick Davis, UK, 1999) Max Beesley. Laura Fraser, Richard E. Grant. 96 mins. In a Highland village, Wullie Smith carries the physical and emotional scars of a childhood tragedy. His only way to salvation seems to be through his childhood sweetheart, Rosemary who has returned from the Big City. Or he can manage Benny’s Bar football team to glory in their annual clash with Le Bistro, coached by the sleazy Gorgeous Gus. The result of all this is not exactly a tale of the unexpected. General release.
The Matrix (15) (The Wachowski Brothers, US, 1999) ) Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lawrence Fishbume. 139 mins. In the future, reality is actually an illusion - the human race is enslaved by a computer virus which has taken over the world. Computer genius Neo (Reeves) is one of the few people who doesn’t believe his eyes, so it's up to him and a couple more cyber commandoes to save the world. Glasgow: Odeon Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: Cameo, Dominion, UCI. Paisley: Showcase. Mighty Joe (PG) (Ron Underwood, US, 1998) Charlize Theron, Bill Paxton. 114 mins. Whichever way you cut it. Mighty Joe is just another big monkey movie. Despite inﬁnitely more sophisticated effects than its 1949 predecessor, this version is far less involving or entertaining - it’s so predictable you would think the monkey wrote it. Glasgow: Grosvenor, Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Odeon. Ayr: Odeon.
Mrs Brown (PG) (John Madden, UK, 1997) Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Antony Sher. 103 mins. Queen Victoria’s obsessive mourning for Prince Albert is casting gloom over the entire country, so Highland ghillie John Brown is called down from Balmoral to shake up the stuffy English court. Madden’s ﬁlm can’t match the comic brio and visual panache of The Madness 0f King George, but his understated direction undeniably suits the story. The performances are uniformly splendid, with Dench and Connolly (both perfectly cast) giving the ﬁlm a surprising emotional depth. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Mulan (U) (Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft, 1998) Voices of: Ming-Na Wen, Donny Osmond, Eddie Murphy. 89 mins. After Disney’s tastin designed venture into Greek mythology with Hercules, the studio has brought its lens to bear on the rich and colourful possibilities of Chinese legend. The most striking aspect of
127 THE usr 12-19 Aug 1999
Tokin': James Woods and Melanie Griffith in Another Day In Paradise
this romantic epic is its magniﬁcent animation. Details of character, movement and expression are as ﬁne as should be expected from the world’s best known cartoon studio, but the stunning large-scale set pieces are truly astonishing, while the design team stirs in an authentic flavour of China. Glasgow: UCI. Edinburgh: UCI. East Kilbride: UCI. Galashiels: Pavilion. Irvine: Magnum Theatre. Largs: Barrﬁelds. Wishaw: Arrow.
The Mummy (12) (Stephen Sommers, US, 1999) ) Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah. 115 mins. The secret of the ﬁlm’s success lies in its reinvention as an Indiana Jones-style adventure in which rugged hero Fraser, luscious librarian Weisz and comic sidekick Hannah scour 19305 Northern Africa for the fabled City of the Dead and unwittingly resuscitate dead Egyptian priest, who immediately busies himself with ravaging the land with apocalyptic plagues. General release. My Favourite Martian (PG) (Donald Petrie, US, 1999) ) Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Daniels, Elizabeth Hurley. 92 mins. This movie remake of an American TV favourite, scarcely known in the UK, is a breezy family adventure that’s amusing and disarrningly entertaining. Some excellent special eﬂ'ects help, as we meet a hapless Martian visitor who has crash landed on Earth and is keen to leave as soon as possible. Glasgow: Odeon, Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Odeon. Ayr: Odeon. Kilmamock: Odeon. Stirling: MacRobert.
Nights Of Cabiria (PG) (Federico Fellini, Italy/France, 1957) Giulietta Masina. 117 mins. Cabiria (Masina, collaborator and wife to Fellini) works the wastelands on the outskirts of Rome as a spunky, if soft-hearted whore. Her naiveté leads her to being dumped on and abandoned by every man she encounters. Masina is allowed to shout a little too much when sombre pain would have been better and the whole ﬁlm is as annoying and masterly as Fellini could make it. Glasgow: GFI‘
N6 (15) (Robert Lepage, Canada, 1998) Anne- Marie Cadieux, Alexis Martin. 85 mins. Adapted from stage and ﬁlm director Lepage’s own seven-hour play, The Seven Branches Of The River Ota, N6 draws parallels between Quebecois separatism and Japanese Noh threatre. But the plot strands, concerning an actress performing on stage in Osaka and her boyfriend, an amateur political activist in Montreal, have been sewn together with a skilful hand, so that the themes resonate harmoniously, and often hilariously. Stirling: MacRobert.
Notting Hill (15) (Roger Michell, UK, 1999) Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts. 110 mins. Screenwriter Richard Curtis’s eagerly awaited follow-up to Four Weddings And A Funeral has Grant playing William Thacker, the divorced owner of a travel bookshop into whose life walks Hollywood megastar Anna Scott (Roberts) and, before you know it, they kiss. General release.
Palookavllle (15) (Alan Taylor, US, 1996) William Forsythe, Vincent Gallo, Adam Trese. 92 mins. The simplest way to nutshell Paloolcaville would be to describe it as a heist movie starring the Three Stooges. Incompetence causes our heroes to break into a bakery instead of the next door jeweller’s,
but then their humanity wins out as they save a security driver’s life. The jokes are everywhere - all over the script, in the visuals and off- camera. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Playing By Heart (15) (Willard Carroll, US, 1999) Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands, Gillian Anderson, Dennis Quaid. 119 mins. This is a kind of self-contained soap set in LA over eight days and nights, which features a number of famous faces, and which attempts to say something about love and relationships through a seemingly unconnected group of people. Unfortunately, none of the relationships really holds water, and so Playing By Heart seems dilettante, self- absorbed and basically misguided. Perhaps for the mawkish, but deﬁnitely not for the cerebral. Glasgow: Showcase, UCI. Edinburgh: UCI. Kilmamock: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.
The Rugrats Movie (U) (Norton Virgien/Igor Kovalyov, US, 1998) Voices of: EC. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie. 80 mins. The weekly animated adventures of the un- cutesy, irritatineg voiced Pickles family is big among kiddies and adults in the States, but the movie is deﬁnitely more of a junior entertainment. The ﬁlm’s message is well intentioned, and it might keep the little ones quiet for a while. Edinburgh: ABC, Odeon. Ayr: Odeon. Kilmamock: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase. Stirling: Carlton.
Safe (15) (Antonia Bird, UK, 1993) Kate Hardie, Aidan Gillan, Robert Carlyle. 65 mins. A harrowing depiction of teenage homelessness in London, made for the BBC, with brave, uncompromising performances from a young cast. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
A Simple Plan (15) (Sam Raimi. US. 1998) Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda. 121 mins. T\vo close but very different brothers accidentally stumble upon 34m in a wrecked plane, and decide to hold onto the cash. But of course, their illegal lottery jackpot is just the start of a nightmarish descent into greed, suspicion and murder. Stirling: MacRobert.
Small Time (18) (Shane Meadows, UK, 1996) 60 mins. Meadows’s hilariously cheeky ﬁrst feature debuted at the 1996 Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it was a resounding success with audiences and critics alike. Focusing on the dodgy deals of a bunch of unemployed lads, the humour is similar to that of Mike Leigh — but with more of an inherent sense of mischief. Also screening is Meadows’s short ﬁlm Where's The Money Ronnie?, which is also smartly written, sharply acted and stylishly shot. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace (U) (George Lucas, US, 1999) Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman. 132 mins. On the surface, the plot structure isn’t a million light years away from the original Star Wars. In visual terms, The Phantom Menace stands alone in the cinematic universe. At times you’d think there was more animation than live action on screen - and maybe it’s this toning down of the human element that has left the ﬁlm lacking soul. General release.
Tea With Mussolini (PG) (Franco Zefﬁrelli, Italy/UK, 1999) Cher, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith. 117 mins. Zeﬁirelli's ﬁlm is partly autobiographical, partly ﬁctitious, and concerns the effect on his own upbringing and education by a group of English ladies living in Florence at the time of II Duce’s rise to power. This particular brew by Zefferelli and John Mortimer has a melange of ﬂavours and is deftly poured in the most idyllic of settings, yet it seems oddly lacking in zest. Stirling: MacRobert.
10 Things I Hate About You (12) (Oil Junger, US, 1999) Julia Stiles, Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Heath Ledger. 98 mins. It could have been horrible. But this highschool-set reworking of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew is not only faithful to its source, but is a funny, charming and enjoyable ﬁlm in its own right. Purists may be aghast at the hijacking of such a literary jewel, but ﬁlms like this offer easy access to great stories. Glasgow: ABC, Odeon Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: UCI. Ayr: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.
That Sinking Feeling (PG) (Bill Forsyth, UK, 1979) Robert Buchanan, John Hughes, Janette Rankin. 89 mins. Forsyth’s debut feature, remarkable for the paucity of the resources at his disposal, uses a cast from the Glasgow Youth Theatre to tell the story of unemployed
youth driven by boredom into an audacious robbery of kitchen sinks. The easy-going performances and sprightly wit still catch the attention, and were an early indication of Forsyth’s quirky genius. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Thin Red Line (15) (Terrence Malick, US, 1998) Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, Sean Penn. 170 mins. This is very much a director’s ﬁlm, with the mythic and revered Malick as the star. Movie A-Iist types make cameo appearances, while the bqu of the action centres on the boys from Company C, the luckless outﬁt charged with taking a vital hilltop stronghold in the battle for Guadalcanal. Falkirk: F'I'H. Trees Lounge (15) (Steve Buscemi, US, 1996) Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Anthony LaPaglia. 95 mins. Proliﬁc US indie actor Buscemi comes up trumps in front of and behind the camera in this carefully detailed, character-driven movie that’s more Cassavettes than Tarantino. It's to Buscemi’s credit as actor, writer and director that he encourages such sympathy for his barfly loser, whose self-pitying journey through (low) life is funny and unsentimental. The greatest, most phenomenal, small, unassuming ﬁlm you’re likely to see all year. Edinburgh: Cameo. Under The Skin ( 18) (Carine Adler, UK, 1997) Samantha Morton, Claire Rushbrook, Rita Tushingham. 85 mins. Sisters Iris (Morton) and Rose (Rushbrook) are devastated when their mother (T ushingham) dies from a brain tumour, and Iris resorts to a series of increasingly high-risk sexual encounters which alienate her from both family and friends. Director Adler allows her three lead actresses to establish full and rounded characters with remarkable simplicity, but her plotting is wayward. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Venus Beauty (15) (Tonic Marshall, France, 1999) ) Nathalie Baye, Samuel le Bihan, Bulle Ogier. 105 mins. Despite ruling the roost at Venus Beauty, the local beauty salon, Angele (Baye) is very lonely, so much so that she frequently has one night stands with total strangers. Marshall's warm and perceptive drama dispenses advice in the form of truthful and worldly insights about the nature of
l 'amour. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
War Of The Buttons (PG) (John Roberts, UK, 1994) Colm Meaney, Gregg Fitzgerald, John Coffey. 94 mins. The rivalry between two villages in the south west of Ireland is taken up in childish skirmishes between local schoolkids, but soon their battles escalate. Colin Welland’s script oozes Irish charm and a love of childhood, but the repetitive structure begins to wear thin. Glasgow: GFI‘.
West Beirut (15) (Ziad Doueri, France/beanon/Belgium/Norway, 1998) Rami Doueiri, Mohamad Chamas, Rola AI Amin. 105 mins. Doueri's remarkably accomplished ﬁlm is a deft, unsentimental handling of a delicate subject lesson from history - the destruction of Beirut. When Tarik's school is closed down by the new Muslim militia in West Beirut in 1975, he and his friend Omar take to roaming the streets with their Super 8 camera and befriending a Christian girl, May, along the way. But Tarik ﬁnds himself in ever more bizarre situations as he unwittingly crosses various danger zones of the city. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Wild Wild West (12) (Barry Sonnenfeld, US, 1999) Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh. 106 mins. Based on a cult 605 American television series, this is, in essence, James Bond transferred to 19th century America with secret agents James West (Smith) and Artemus Gordon (Kline) saving America from Dr Arliss Loveless (Branagh), a Southern States villain who’s never forgiven the North for the loss of his legs and his beloved ante bellum South in the Civil War. Like Smith and Sonnenfeld’s Men In Black, Wild Wild West combines comic banter between its leads with an oddball plot and imaginative special effects. Unfortunately, the result is nowhere near as inspired. General release.
Witchfinder General (18) (Michael Reeves, UK, 1968) Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Rupert Davies. 87 mins. One of the best British horror ﬁlms ever, utterly bleak and ﬁlled with the nihilism of director Reeves (who committed suicide a year after its completion). Price is at his most completely evil as true-life witchﬁnder Matthew Hopkins, sadistically travelling the country to torture unfortunates in the name of church and state. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.