The Winslow Boy
Attracted, perhaps, by its structural ingenuity and precise, formal language, David Mamet takes on Terrence Rattigan’s venerable stage play set in 1912, about a young naval cadet accused of stealing a five shilling postal order. Certain of his son's innocence, Arthur Winslow (Nigel Hawthorne) instigates a public campaign, then hires celebrated lawyer Sir Robert Morton (Jeremy Northam) - at great financial and personal cost to his family. But at what point does an admirable defense of moral principle slide into arrogant, selfish intractability? The uniformly fine performances display subtle intonations and measured theatricality. (Nigel Floyd)
. The Winslow Boy, Dominion, 21 Aug, 5.30pm, £ 7 (£4.50).
Himalaya: L'Enfance D'Un Chef
This epic tale of divisions arising in a remote mountain community upon the death of their chief is a strong contender for the most visually spectacular of all the Festival films. As the close-knit tribe comes to terms with its loss, and the need arises for a new leader to head the hazardous trade expedition into the mountains, rivalries emerge between the dead man's young son and his best friend. Dry and worthy as this might sound, it's redeemed beyond measure by astounding photography, breathtaking landscapes and effortlessly convincing performances. Every image is stunning; even the sound quality is remarkable. (Hannah McGill)
n Himalaya: L'Enfance D'Un Chef, Fi/mhouse 2, 21 Aug, 5. 30pm; 22 Aug, 1pm; 25 Aug, 1pm, E 7 (£4.50).
l-Iaut Les Coeurs
* at at it
All you ever wanted to know about the big C and pregnancy. Solveig Anspach’s excellent French film takes the conventions of the problem picture and fills it with as many variables as a hundred minute film can realistically cope with. There isn‘t just Karin Viard’s
character, pregnant and cancerous, to worry about. There's also her partner, concerned with his dissertation and her brother, unemployed and unwilling to hang around to watch his sister deteriorate. If we become better people in the wake of family illness, Anspach seems to suggest, it isn’t just out of some intrinsic decency; it's also about knowing more about ourselves and our limitations. (Tony McKibbin) I Haut Les Coeurs, Filmhouse 3, 22 Aug, 6pm, £7 (£4.50).
** ﬁr A A
Chantal Akerman's brilliant, brief and centrifugal documentary on the murder of James Byrd Jnr in Jasper, Texas runs to little short of 70 minutes. And of that, much time is given to travelling shots passing through smalltown America and hyperbolic speechifying in Bird’s memory. The actual details of Bird's horrific death - he was chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged along the road for three miles — interest Akerman no more and no less than the dead space that lends reflective weight to a brutal crime. Like other great documentaries (most obviously Claude Lanzmann's Shoah), Akerman understands the presence of absence. (Tony McKibbin) I Sud, Fi/mhouse 2, 20 Aug, 10.30pm; Filmhouse 3, 23 Aug, 9pm, £7 (£4.50).
it :k at
Patrice Toye's film has the bobbing camerawork, cheerless colours and deadened locations that bring to mind Britain's own Alan Clarke - a reference begged and borrowed for every bit of gritty realism since last year's Edinburgh retrospective, but here genuinely justified. At its centre is Aranka Coppen’s thirteen-year-old, who works hard, though a vivid fantasy life, to blot out tough reality. In the film's opening scene, Rosie explains she has no mum and dad; where she lives is a muddy, depopulated Belgian housing estate. Toye skillfully explores the dangers of an inner life running so contrary to the external environment. (Tony McKibbin)
' Rosie, Fi/mhouse 2, 20 Aug, 8pm; Cameo 2, 22 Aug, 7pm, £7 (£4.50).
Winner: Emilie Dequenne, who oped the best prize in Cannes for theé
Dardenne brothers's Palme d‘Or winning Rosetta,
as THE US! 19—26 Aug 1999
Filmhouse 1. 22 Aug. 9.30pm, £7 (£4.50)
All About My Mother *****
Pedro Almodovar’s increasingly mature vision of contemporary Spain is fused here with his passion for Hollywood melodrama, in particular the tears and resilience of its exquisitely suffering heroines. Following the sudden death of her eighteen-year—old son, Manuela (Cecilia Roth) returns from a self-imposed exile in Madrid to the Barcelona from which she fled twenty years before. There, she searches among the transvestite hookers and drug addicts for the father of her then unborn child — a transvestite
prostitute now known as Lola.
A theatrical production of A Streetcar Named Desire, an angelic nun (Penelope Cruz) who was the last person to have seen Lola. and her old transvestite friend Huma Rojo, draw Manuela back into the past. Memories flood back and patterns repeat, driven by forces beyond Manuela's control. But through her involvement with another of the unwitting Lola's tainted legacies, Manuela finds the strength and purpose to face the uncertain future that lies ahead. Blending tough, contemporary social reality with cinematic and theatrical artifice, this female world of pain and deception is, even so, not without its tough, edgy humour. Like all the best melodrama, this is a film brimming with tears. but also shot through with piercing
intelligence. (Nigel Floyd)
. All About My Mother. Cameo 1, 21 Aug, 10.30pm; Filmhouse 7, 23 Aug.
7.30pm, £7 (£4.50).
The third Dogma 95 film, Seren Kragh- Jacobsen’s tale of a Copenhagen yuppie dragged back into his peasant past, is the least innovative but the most emotionally satisfying. On the eve of his wedding, Kresten learns that his father has died. This also comes as a shock to his wife-to-be, who thought he had no living relatives. Back at the remote, neglected family farm, Kresten advertises for a housekeeper to look after his mentally handicapped brother, Rud, and is surprised when the beautiful Liva arrives to take on the job. The cryptic title refers to Toshiro Mifune, star of Seven Samurai. (Nigel Floyd)
ﬂ Mifune, Filmhouse 1, 27 Aug, 7pm; Filmhouse 2, 23 Aug, 5.30pm; Glasgow Film Theatre, 26 Aug. 8.15pm, £7 (£4.50).
Nadia And The Hippos
Amid the drama of the transportation strike, gridlocking Paris in December 1995, a young woman named Nadia looks for the father of her child. Baby in tow, she befriends three of the picketing railworkers and tags along while they debate the politics of exclusion. In the rail depots, which are depicted as post- apocalyptic wastelands, we see how the
dehumanised workers subserve their personal relationships to the greater political cause. But, in this slow-moving film problems are seen to be insurmountable and the characters walk away having resolved none of the drama. (Catherine Bromley)
. Nadia And The Hippos, Cameo 3, 20 Aug, 4pm, £ 7 (£4.50).
Lola And Bilidikid
Escaping the confines of his family, seventeen-year-old Murat flees to Berlin's underground gay subculture and discovers the brother he never knew, transvestite performer Lola. More than a ’coming out' story, Kutlag Ataman's film is further evidence of a Turkish mini-movement that's growing inside contemporary German cinema. Young Murat’s alienation is two-fold: he's German-born to an immigrant family and gay in an aggressively heterosexual world. Likewise, Ataman points out that the story's inevitable tragedy has its roots both within the home and in racist society at large, thereby broadening the film's scope without losing its poignancy. (Alan Morrison)
I Lola And Bilidikid, Cameo 1, 23 Aug, 10.30pm; Cameo 2, 26 Aug, 9. 15pm. £7 (£4.50).