Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certiﬁcate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
All About My Mother (15) (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins. Almodovar’s new ﬁlm is without a doubt his best to date. When Madrid hospital worker Manuela’s son is killed in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fulﬁl her son’s last wish to know his father, and goes to Barcelona to ﬁnd the transvestite she ran away from eighteen years earlier. Renowned for his portrayal of strong women, Almodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Glasgow: GF'I‘. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Another Day In Paradise (18) (Larry Clark, US, 1999) Vincent Kartheiser, James Woods, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Melanie Grifﬁth. 122 mins. Bobbie is a teenager fending for himself in a cruel world of drugs and desperadoes. When an older more experienced criminal, Mel (James Woods), offers Bobbie the chance of escape there isn’t another option the teenager can turn to. Clark’s (Kids) keen eye for psychological detail ensures that this is not run-of-the-mill heist/road movie. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. At The Sharp End Of The Knife (12) (Barbara Orton, UK, 1999) 73 mins. Orton's documentary follows Scottish activist and Easterhouse resident Cathy MeCormack 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, MeCormack proves to be an articulate, unassuming and often humbled observer. An uplifting ﬁlm, full of the unsupprcssable vitality of the South African communities. The ﬁlm will be available from October through Scottish Education and Action for Development (SEAD), 23 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DN. Tel: 0131 225 6550. Glasgow: GF'T‘.
Austin Powers: lnternational Man Of Mystery (15) (Jay Roach, US, 1997) Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York. 94 mins. Austin Powers, the Sixties’ silliest superspy, is brought out of suspended animation and pitted him against his old nemesis. But the world has moved on three decades, so his un-PC catchphrases and behaviour create a bit of a comic time-clash. Written by and starring Wayne’s World’s Mike Myers, Austin Powers has perfect detail, spot-on casting and a hilarious mix of clever pastiche and toilet gags. Kilmamock: Odeon.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ( 12) (Jay Roach, US, 1999) Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley. 96 mins. The Spy Who Shagged Me doesn’t really make any advances in what is surely, by now, a new ﬁlm franchise -Austin Powers 3: Live And Let Shag, Austin Powers 4: The Man With The Golden Mojo, perhaps? - rather, it consolidates its three types of jokery - 60$ kitsch, ﬁlm references and sexual innuendo. General release. Babe: Pig In The City (PG) (George Miller, US, 1998) James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski. 99 mins. Just as precocious as before, young Babe accidentally injures Partner Hoggett and puts the farm in jeopardy . In desperation Mrs H and Babe set off to make a fee-paying appearance at a State Fair. But fate is not smiling upon the farmer’s wife and her innocent pig, as their adventures in the big city begin. A darker ﬁlm than the original, Babe: Pig In The City is nevertheless entertaining. Ayr: Odeon. Beautiful People (15) (Jazmin Dizdar, UK, 1999) Charlotte Coleman, Edin Dzandzanovic, Danny Nussbaum. 107 mins. Tackling the legacy of faraway war in Bosnia and the break-up of domestic bliss among the English professional classes makes for a ﬁlm that’s far from unambitious. Dizdar has a keen eye, an eye
trained on an often precarious British social scene. Drug-takers, racists, snobs, alternative therapists, liberals, forlorn
. housewives, lone fathers, even BBC
executives all feature kicking at life with varying degrees of hate and savagery. Dizdar’s cleverness comes in taking a diseased rump of British insularity and throwing in a good hand of common humanity. See review. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Best Laid Plans (15) (Mike Barker, US, 1999) Alessandro Nivola, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin. 93 mins. It’s impossible to reveal much of the plot of this super-stylish, well-crafted thriller without ruining it - so let’s just say it involves The reunion of two old college pals and an accusation of rape. There’s much to recommend: a palpable atmosphere of brooding menace and dark desire, a plot full of U-tums and an enormously impressive cast. Falkirk: FTH.
The BFG (U) (Brian Cosgrove, UK, 1989) 105 mins. Animated version of the Roald Dahl favourite has young Sophie battling against evil, aided and abetted by the Big Friendly Giant. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Big Tease (15) (Kevin Allen, UK, 1999) Craig Ferguson, Francis Fisher, Chris Langham. 88 mins. The American Dream comes to Scotland in this tale of Crawford Mckenzie (Ferguson), a Glaswegian hair- stylist cutting and crimping his way to the top of the hair hierarchy. Shot in semi-mock documentary style, the ﬁlm follows his endeavours to take on all comers at the World Freestyle Hairdressing Championships in LA. The Big Tease is a premier league feelgood movie that taps well into Ferguson’s national identity and, no doubt, the abundance of tartanry will go down a treat Stateside. General release. Braveheart ( 15) (Mel Gibson, US, 1995) Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, Sophie Marceau. 177 mins. Mel Gibson’s long and bloody account of the life of Scottish warrior hero William Wallace boasts some remarkable battle scenes and great performances. Aiming to entertain on a wider scale than the more literate Rob Roy2, Bravehearr’s Scottish passion is tempered by a few Hollywood moments — touches of sentimentality and ‘dramatic’ historical inaccuracy. Nevertheless, it’s a ﬁne, full- bIooded attempt to tap into the spirit that ﬁres Scotland’s history and heroes. Stirling: MacRobert.
Bride Of Chucky (l8) (Ronnie Yu, US, 1999) 89 mins. The dismembered corpse of the pint-sized homicidal maniac is exhumed for this knowing horror sequel to the Child ’5 Play series. The new edition offers diversion in the form of Jennifer Tilly as the once- human Chucky’s vengeful ex-girlfricnd Tiffany. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Celebrity (18) (Woody Allen, US, 1999) Kenneth Branagh, Melanie Grifﬁth, Winona Ryder, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio. 113 mins. A not always successful dissection of the nature and price of fame. The ﬁlm revolves around Branagh’s philandering hack and wannabe screenwriter, Lee Simon (Allen’s alter-ego), who is irresistible to a succession of dazzlineg attractive women. Edinburgh: Odeon. Falkirk: Fl‘H.
Char Adhyay (Four Chapters) (15) (Kumar Shahani, India, 1997) 110 mins. Set in the 19305 and played out against the backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle, director Shahani examines life in modern- day India through the eyes of an artist in love. Glasgow: GFI‘.
Citizen Kane (PG) (Orson Welles, US, 1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead. 119 mins. Stunningly successful biographical mosaic centring on a Hearst-like media tycoon. Welles’ ﬁrst ﬁlm remains scintillating viewing for its sheer technical verve, narrative conﬁdence and spellbinding performances. The best ﬁlm ever made? Who’s arguing? Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Cookie's Fortune (12) (Robert Altman, US, 1999) Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Patricia Neal. 118 mins. Neither a masterpiece like Short Cuts, nor a piece of studio hack work like The Gingerbread Man, Robert Altman’s latest is a likeable, very minor slice of Americana. The plot is simple enough, negligible even. Neal’s titular character commits suicide; her nieces, avaricious
Close and docile Moore, arrive and ﬁnd the body and frame the live-in help (Charles S. Dutton). However, Altman’s inquiring visual style fails to ﬁnd characters of any substance. Glasgow: GET, Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Cruel Intentions (15) (Roger Kumble, US, 1999). Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Reese Witherspoon. 98 mins. This teen remake of Dangerous Liaisons with horny high school kids taking the place of the sexual schemers is terriﬁc fun. Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillipe) are two spoiled, wealthy step-siblings living in Manhattan who devise a wager: he must seduce the new school principal’s daughter Annette (Witherspoon). If Sebastian fails, Kathryn gets his car; if he succeeds, he gets to have sex with his stepsister every which way. Edinburgh: Cameo. Irvine: Magnum. Dante's Peak (12) (Roger Donaldson, US, 1997). Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan. 109 mins. A volcanologist (Brosnan), haunted by the past, arrives in an idyllic town and tries to persuade the nice lady mayor (Hamilton) that a dormant volcano is about to erupt. In true Jaws style, the bigwigs don’t want to cause panic, and a couple of kids are missing up the mountain. Disaster on a huge scale, Dante’s Peak works on its special effects level, but the dialogue and characterisation is abysmal. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Doug's lst Movie (U) (Maurice Joyce, US, 1999) 77 mins. The animated adventures of quirky adolescent Doug Funnie graduates from its popular Saturday morning slot on American television to big screen glory, courtesy of Disney. Movie no. 1 sees the twelve-year-old torn between taking action against environmental pollution and taking his beloved Patti Mayonnaise to the high school dance. Glasgow: Showcase, UCI, Virgin. Edinburgh: UCI. East Kilbride: UCl. Paisley: Showcase.
Drop Dead Gorgeous (15) (Michael Patrick Jann, US, 1999) Denise Richards, Kirsten Dunst, Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin. 98 mins. Set in America’s heartland of traditional values and Christian morality,
this deliciously savage satire takes a bite out of an aspect of American life held most dear — the beauty pageant. Good girl Dunst begins to fear for her life when she goes up against bad girl Richards for the pageant queen title and fellow contestants start meeting with unfortunate accidents. From so simple a premise this sharply observed and well-paced comedy travels to a painful, poignant yet funny conclusion. See review. Glasgow: Odeon Quay, UCI Clydebank, Virgin. Edinburgh: ABC Multiplex, UCI. East Kilbride: UCI.
Entrapment (15) (Jon Amiel, US, 1999) Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones. 112 mins. Former ace cat burglar Robert ‘Mac’ MacDougal (Connery) attracts the attention of sexy insurance investigator Gin Baker (Zeta- Jones). She is determined to ﬁnd evidence connecting him with that opening sequence robbery, just as he is determined to not have that crime pinned on him. It’s all very To CarchA Thief, but not really in the same league. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Largs: Barrﬁelds. Paisley: Showcase. ET (U) (Steven Spielberg, US, 1982) . Dee Wallace, Ilenry Thomas, Peter Coyote. 115 mins. An alien creature gets stranded on earth (the opening sequence of threatening legs and flashing torches is beautifully done), where he is adopted by some kids, who help him construct a communication device to summon back his spaceship. All the little guy wanted to do was go home, but Spielberg made sure he had lots of cute and agreeable adventures ﬁrst, and slipped in the most tear-jerking pseudo-death since Baloo the Bear in The Jungle Book for good measure. Glasgow: Odeon Quay.
Eternity And A Day (PG) (Theo Angelopoulos, Greece, 1998) Bruno Ganz, Isabelle Renauld. 132 mins. Typically elegant meditation upon life from the Greek auteur. Ganz plays a writer who is preparing to leave his lifelong home by the sea. Discovering a letter from his long dead wife, he becomes ensnared by his memories of her. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Continued over page
"A JOY from start to iinish'f........
"CHARMING, ElEGANT and WITTY... One of Altman's warmest,
most generous-spirited movies”
"An ENTRANCING comedy with a SUPERB cast"
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
"Vintage Altman - WRY, WITTY and utterly COMPUISIVE"
"An absolute DELIGHT"
N O W GLASGOW Film Theatre 0141 332 6535 S H OWI N G EDINBURGH Filmhouse 0130 228 2688
9-23 Sep 1999 THE U8T21