The Blair Witch Project *****

yes wide open: The Blair Witch Project

So much has already been written about this micro-budget horror movie that. were it not such a nerve-shredding slice of psychological terror. it would risk becoming a victim of its own hype. It starts like this: ‘On October 21, 1994, three students - Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams - hiked into Maryland's Black Hills Forest to shoot a documentary film about a local legend, The Blair Witch. They were never heard from again . . .' We then see what is purported to be an edited version of the footage that they shot over the next few days, during which time they become hopelessly lost. At night, inside their tent, they are assailed by creepy scufflings and eerie cries.

The raw, shaky hand-held footage lends immediacy and visceral impact, while the personal conflicts and quieter conversations draw us closer to the young student filmmakers. What is most impressive about Daniel Melnick and Eduardo Sanchez's debut film, though, is the level of control, the subtle artifice that sustains this illusion of unfiltered reality. It is this that allows them to play such clever, nerve-shredding tricks with your mind. But while you're watching, the cumulative horror leaves you too scared to think. (Nigel Floyd)

I The Blair Witch Project, Cameo 1, 21 Aug, 12.30am, £7 4.50).

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post-apartheid in order to address the theme of tradition vs. progress. Unfortunately, the film's aesthetics don’t quite match its concept and, well-intentioned as it is, A Reasonable Man lacks real inspiration. (Miles Fielder)

I A Reasonable Man, Cameo 1, 24 Aug, 5. 30pm; Cameo 2, 26 Aug, 7pm, £7 4.50).

From The Edge Of The City (Apo Tin Akri Tis Polis) ****

Scarfies * * *9:

Shallow Grave meets Animal House in this ingenious low budget shocker from New Zealand. Shortly after five Scarfies (university students at Dunedin, Edinburgh’s NZ twin town) install themselves in an enormous, dilapidated mansion, they find a marijuana plantation in the cellar. Harvesting the lot for a quick $50,000 profit, they find themselves up shit creek when the hash shepherd returns unexpectedly. They lock the angry dealer in the now empty cellar, and thus begins a battle of wits and wills which divides the Scarfies. Brash and energetic, director Robert Sarkies’s blackly comic debut also raises some intriguing moral dilemmas. (Miles Fielder)

I Scarfies, Cameo 1, 20 Aug, 12.15am; Cameo 2, 24 Aug, 9pm, £7

Calling this film the Greek Trainspotting wouldn’t be doing it justice. Just as Danny Boyle's film recounted suburban Leith boys' search for kicks in the capital, British-born director Constantinos Giannaris transplants the action to the suburb Menidi, on the outskirts of Athens. The rebel without a cause is Rosso Pond

(£4.50). and, pushing the outsiders theme, he

and his gang are Russian immigrants. A Reasonable Man The camerawork keeps up with the *** fast pace of the film and the

How sensitive to religious beliefs should a court of law be? Actor/writer/director Gavin Hood explores the question in a tale based on an historic South African court case in which a Zulu herd boy was charged with the murder of a child. The boy's defence was that he believed he was killing an evil spirit. Hood sets his story

destructive nature of the thrill-seeking keeps you guessing just how many of the boys are going to see it through to the credits. (Catherine Bromley)

- From The Edge Of The City, Cameo 1, 22 Aug, 10. 30pm; Cameo 3, 24 Aug, 10pm, £ 7 (£4.50).

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Movie Makars is Scottish Screen’s highly acclaimed residential course of UK based writers and producers on the threshold of the film and television industries.

The course is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials delivered by high-profile industry practitioners.

Entry is competitive, and selection is based on the submission of a full first draft screenplay in any format. Submissions are considered by a panel of industry representatives. V

Course fee: £325.00 (incl. accommodation, all meals and refreshments).

For further details and an application form please contact:

Sarah Jane Kerr

Movie Makars Scottish Screen 249 West George Street Glasgow 02 40E

Tel: 0141 302 1767. Fax: 0141 3021715. email: sarahjane.kerr@scottishscreen.com



Deadline for entries: Monday 13th Sept. 1999. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

19—26 Aug 1999 THE flat as