FESTIVAL FILM continued
At The Sharp End Of The Knife
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Barbara Orton's documentary follows Scottish activist and Easterhouse resident Cathy McCormack on her journey to the townships of South Africa. There the hope and optimism of the local communities displaced from Johannesburg and Cape Town re- energises her campaign efforts. Finding many parallels with her own life in Easterhouse, McCormack proves to be an articulate, unassuming and often humbled observer. Relentless stories of beatings, shootings, rape and false imprisonment committed during and after apartheid, convince her that life in Easterhouse isn't that bad after all. An uplifting film, full of the irrepressible vitality of the South African communities. (Catherine Bromley)
I At The Sharp End Of The Knife. Filmhouse 2, 19 Aug, 1pm. £7 (£4.50).
Park Ki-Hyung appropriates the tricks and treats of the American horror movie for his creepy ghost story set in a Korean girls' school. Genre fans can name-check stylistic borrowings from Carrie, Halloween and The Shining among others, but connoisseurs of world cinema are likely to be just as interested in Park’s critique of the brutal education system in Korea. lt's primarily the teachers who are victimised by a murderous ghost, but who or what exactly is haunting the school corridors? Perhaps lower on thrills and chills than its American counterparts, Whispering Corridors nevertheless shines. (Miles Fielder)
. Whispering Corridors, Filmhouse 2, 17, 19 Aug, 70.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
Based On The Novel
Three young actresses are up for the lead role in a new film based on a hit book, but each is having boyfriend trouble: Julia is testing her new
theatre 0 dance 0 comedy
Moroccan lover, Sophie is trying out an open relationship with her flatmate and Noor is being hassled by her ex. The story cuts between them in a TV soap-style way, although the personalities that emerge have more depth than that suggests — these are real people with an attractive balance of emotion and intelligence, beauty and vulnerability. Director Eddy Terstall lets his trio of leading ladies shine in this utterly engaging study of modern relationships. (Alan Morrison)
I Based On The Novel, Cameo 3, 17 Aug, 10pm; 20 Aug, 7.30pm, £7
* * *ir
Structured Pulp Fiction-like around three inter-woven stories, this equally hip follow-up to director Doug Liman's Swingers has a darker, edgier feel. Over a frenetic, drink and drug-fuelled 24- hour period, the LA lives of check-out girl Ronna (Sarah Polley), soap stars Zack and Adam, and émigré Englishman Simon, collide, overlap and spin off one another. The tales, involving illicit drug deals, undercover police operations and Las Vegas craziness, are propelled by a pulsing techno soundtrack. Go is an adrenalised rush, yet John August's tight script never loses sight of its skilfully delineated characters' emotional lives. (Nigel Floyd)
. Go, Cameo 1, 16 Aug, 10.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
A Black Cat On The Snow (Musta Kissa Lumihanghella)
Visually ravishing, tender and subtle in its approach to its subject, this is an exemplary exercise in sensitive documentary-making. It focuses upon a woman who has spent four years in prison for murdering her husband during a drunken argument. Upon her release, she must reconcile with her seven-year-old daughter and, more painfully, explain her crime to the child. Sensationalism and melodrama are averted in favour of respectful, non-
Mmm. tasty . . . : Bangers. the short film directed by Andrew Upton and produced by
and starring his wife. Cate Blanchett. playing in Explosive Fragments. programme 2,
urucusr 12-19Aug 1999
Filmhouse 3, 17 Aug. 3pm. £7 (£4.50).
RETROSPECTIVE PREVIEW Robert Bresson
Now in his nineties, Robert Bresson has offered the world thirteen quietly publicised films over the space of 40 years, from the earlier and more readily accessible Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne (tutti) and A Man Escaped (*titt) to the refined, ascetic The Trial Of Joan Of Arc (tank) and L’Argent (*****).
His austere approach doesn't neccessarily mean he isn't manipulative, but his play with our feelings must serve a higher purpose. Bresson is less interested in the suspenseful payoff, than in fatalistic portent - in the way that what happens next isn't a move towards cinematic climax; but instead a move towards spiritual enlightenment. Bresson often holds
the tension, not just until the end of the film, but beyond the film.
The epiphanic music ending A Man Escaped, so contrary to the clipped tone of the film generally, demands from the viewer a leap of faith. In Mouchette (“a”), the bleakness seems to require simply an apathetic response - we must find in ourselves pity for a character who has sought no puppy dog approval. Usually, we take his films at face value. Bresson insists, and herein lies both his integrity and wonderfularrogance, that we look not just at the film, but inside our very souls. (Tony McKibbin)
I Les Dames Du Bois De Bulogne, Filmhouse 2, 77 Aug, 3.30pm; The Trial Of Joan Of Arc, Filmhouse 1, 18 Aug, 2.30pm; A Man Escaped, Filmhouse 1, 19 Aug, noon; Mouchette, Filmhouse 1, 23 Aug, noon; L'Argent, Filmhouse 1, 28 Aug,
noon, £4.50 (£3).
judgmental distance and incomparably graceful imagery; sparse, elegant Finnish landscapes contrast with intimate portraits of mother and daughter. Not easy, not cheerful, but wholly involving and beautifully visualised. (Hannah McGill)
u A Black Cat On The Snow (Musta Kissa Lumihanghella), Filmhouse 3, 17 Aug, 6pm; 20 Aug, 12.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
Welcome To Hollywood
The flipside to The Truman Show and Ed TV, this mock-documentary sets up a corridor of mirrors in which life imitates art imitates life. Director Adam Rifkin (played by himself) is determined to show the rise from obscurity to Oscar acceptance speech of Hollywood hopeful Nick Decker (co-director Tony Markes), but despite arranging auditions and taking him to Sundance, his subject turns out to be the acting world’s greatest loser. Laugh-out-Ioud funny in places, Welcome To Hollywood also has an edge when it spotlights Tinseltown's gullibility; but once you're aware of who's fooling who, it's impossible to root for Decker and the joke wears thin. (Alan Morrison)
l Welcome To Hollywood, Cameo 1, 9 Aug, 10.30pm; Cameo 2, 21 Aug. 7pm, £7 (£4.50).
Milestones (Milles Bornes)
* i ** Following the death of their friend, four thirtysomething buddies view a
videotape on which the deceased details how his mortal remains are to be conveyed from this world, which proves to be an unusual and most definitely illegal request. With the deceased’s reluctant sister in tow and grieving father on their trail, the friends set off on an outlaw trail of discovery where the power of friendship is well and truly put to the test. Actor Alain Beigel’s directorial debut is a well-written, tragi-comic, very French road movie that hardly strays off course on the way to its very moving conclusion. (Rod White)
| Cameo 1, 18 Aug, 5.30pm; Glasgow Film Theatre 2, 27 Aug, 6.15pm, £7 (£ 4.50).
A documentary filmmaker follows a girl, recently split up from her boyfriend, as she hits on men with increasing desperation and stalks her ex. But when she finally begins a new relationship, the unseen director can't let his subject drop and he becomes her stalker. Heidi Van Lier's film is edgy and uncomfortable viewing, particularly as we‘re emotionally repulsed by both 'characters’. With its hand-held camerawork, natural light and on-location sound, it's like an American Independent version of the Dogme95 technique that spawned The Idiots and Festen. A remarkable study of voyeurism and obsession. (Alan Morrison)
l Chi Girl, Cameo 1, 16 Aug, 5. 30pm; Cameo 2. 18 Aug, 9pm. £7 (£4.50).