RENTAL An Autumn Tale (U) 107 mins * it ii i

The fourth and final instalment of French auteur Eric Rohmer’s Tales Of The Four Seasons is a breezy comedy set among the sunny grape fields of the Rhone Valley. A laid-back pleasure it is too, drifting along with a loose narrative concerning the separate efforts of the best friend and the daughter of stubbornly independent Vineyard owner Magali to set her up With a man. The antithesis of a Hollywood blockbuster sfx movie. And that’s recommendation enough. Also available to buy, priced £15.99. (Artificial Eye) (MF)

Arlington Road

(15) 113 mins * t 1r it

The dodgy neighbour has been a source of much claSSic filmworks from Rosemary’s Baby to The People Under The Stairs and here, Tim Robbins' grinning Militia demon is among the creepiest yet. Havmg found the right- Winger’s son bleeding in the street, liberal lecturer Jeff Bridges learns some dark secrets about his streetmate. Before you know it, his own lad has gone missing and there is a frantic race to prevent a very big bang. All of which threatens to get a bit silly but is saved by its shattering finale. (Universal) (BD)


(18) 97 mins at at *

Bloody set-pieces, ramshackle plotting, terrible music, a non-plussed American actor hamming it up among badly dubbed Italians. It could be any Dario Argento film, but this time it's Tenebrae, made in 1982 and banned on Video in the UK from 1983 onwards. The censors have made an additional snip or two to this story of an American author Who's visiting Rome when a maniac starts killing people in a manner straight out of his latest novel. However, the brutality of the murder scenes remains intact. (Nouveaux Pictures) (AM)

Affliction (15) 109 mins ‘k * at Paul Schrader’s characteristically stern,


muscular melodrama is hard on its characters and tough on the viewer. The story of bitter childhood memories and their painful lifelong legacy, it homes in uncomfortably close on Nick Nolte’s troubled cop, and full concentration is required to keep up with a slightly vague and shifting plot. Still, it is more than redeemed by a clutch of staggering performances; James Coburn got the Oscar, but Nolte, Sissy Spacek and Willem Dafoe are all at their best. (Artificial Eye) (HM)

The Honest Courtesan (15) 108 mins * *

Life was hard for a gal in ye olde Venice, unless of course you hung about Court. Then you get to snog fellas, read poetry and generally live the high life. Catherine McCormack is wetter than a haddock's bathing suit as Veronica Franco, a pleb trained in the ways of Court to Win her man, her interpretation of ’period drama’ means being permanently breathless and flushed. Rufus Sewell is disappointingly cheesy and while the whole thing IS beautifully set and shot, it is ultimately pretty flat. (Fox Pathe) (MR)

Bedrooms & Hallways (1 S) 92 mins as at

Kevin McKidd’s Leo is a thirtysomething with a nice job but no personal life to speak of, while his flatmate Tom Hollander is having a torrid affair with estate agent Hugo Weaving. For no good reason Leo falls in with a men’s group and slips in love with one of the members. The problem with Bedrooms & Hal/ways is that there is too much thrown in to the mix with characters and stories spread rather thinly over an hour and a half. Modern romance has'never seemed so flaccid. (Alliance Atlantis) (BD)

Dance With Me (PG) 126 mins it it

Rafael is a poor Cuban lad who has left home after the death of his mother for his father’s dance school in Texas. His dad doesn’t know he has a child, of course, and Rafael must first prove

himself as a dancer and Chevvy

mechanic, win a few big dance contests and the love of a beautiful ice queen before he can truly become his

Rollover and die: The number's up in Waking Ned (Fox Pathé, PG, 88 mins, *ttt) Available to rent from Mon 27 Sep


. American History X

(18) 132 mins air it 1:

reviews VIDEGS

,,..Nazi by nature?: American History X

Tony Kaye is a complex bloke. Former advert maker and Late 'n’ Live stand- up skitter, you can tell very easily which one of those two skills he brought to the direction of American History X. This portrayal of smalltown US

. Nazism and the fight between good and evil on the streets and in the head,

is a flashily directed work with little laughs on the way to its sadly

predictable and overly-symbolic finale.

The film opens with the very brutal murder of a black youth by

; neighbourhood Nazi Derek Vinyard (the magnificent Edward Norton), the

action seen through the eyes of his doting kid brother Danny (the not-quite-

so-great Edward Furlong). Danny has taken on the ideology, if not quite yet

the methods, of his incarcerated big brother, writing a school essay on Mein

. Kampf and bringing him into conflict with the school’s liberal establishment

- part of which wants him heavily punished, the other looking to have him

, thoroughly re-educated. All Danny’s actions are concentrated towards the day when his idol is

released from prison to again pick up the baton of bigotry but Derek has

changed; he makes pals with a black inmate with whom he spends the day

folding the white sheets (oh, the symbolism). Plus, a right good buggering

in the shower by his fellow fascists probably also made him think twice. There have been few films about fascist figureheads which are

unwatchable but the glitz of American History X jars with the grit at its

' core. (Brian Donaldson)

I Available to rent on Entertainment from Mon 27 Sep.

father’s son. All cheese, salsa and gorgeous Latin boys With tight T-shirts. (Entertainment) (SB)

RETAIL The Red Violin (15) 130 mins it t *

FrancOis Girard mucked around With narrative conventions to great effect in Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. He takes such innovation a step further with The Red Violin, where the focus is not a mUSlClaT‘l, rather a musical instrument. The ’life story’ of the violin, is told in five stories spanning four centuries and three continents. There’s an interesting, eclectic cast (Samuel L. Jackson, Greta Scacchi, Jason Flemyng) but the tales vary in quality, all-too-often hitting bum notes. (FilmFour/VCI £14.99) (MF)

' Vigo: Passion For Life

(15) 99 mins * it t

ASpiring film-maker Jean Vigo is

consigned to a sanatorium where he meets Lydu. They fall desperately in love

' and leave to be married; Vigo is given a

camera by his father-in-law and sets

about making films. Haunted by the

death of his anarchist father, he

struggles to reconCile his marriage With his s'elf~consuming need to make films. . Beautifully shot in Nice and Paris, a

; working knowledge of Vigo might help, ' but is not essential to appreciate Julien

' Temple’s quasi-biopic of L'Ata/ante’s

f director. (FilmFour/VCI £12.99) (SB)

Solomon 8: Gaenor (15) 99 mins it it

A couple of Welsh folk get it on but,

Ii *****

alas, he is secretly JeWish and she is subiect to the cruel whims of her repressive rural community. As if that wasn’t grim enough, Durex haven’t been invented yet and it all goes qUIte horribly wrong. This miserable sub- Thomas Hardy yarn Will be Jaw- achineg dull to anyone who is not a flag-wavmg Welsh nationalist committed to seeing more of their native tongue spoken on film, or a pasSionate fan of loan Gruffudd. (FilmFour/VCI £9.99) (HM)

Snow White: A Tale Of


(15) 96 mins r. 1*

Rework a fairytale as period drama- cum-adult fantasy and What do you have? Nothing better than a lame Sunday evening TV serial. This not-at- alI-scary tale casts Sigourney Weaver as

the Wicked stepmother, Sam Neill as

the ignorant father Whose brattish daughter runs away to live With dwarves. It’s all been done equally unsuccessfully in Ever After: A

Cinderella Story and The Adventures

Of Pinocchio. For the real thing go to

Neil Jordan’s Company Of Wolves. ; (Vision £12.99)(MF)

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE: ? Simone Baird, Brian Donaldson, Miles

Fielder, Hannah McGill, Alan Morrison,

Mark Robertson


Unmissable * t t it Very good i * ir Worth a shot i * * Below average l * You’ve been warned _4

23 Sep—7 Oct 1999 THE “ST 105