Chance 0r Coincidence (Hasards Ou Coina'dences)

(PG) 121 mins *ir

More than 30 years on from the double-Oscar winning A Man And A Woman, veteran French director Claude Lelouch returns with this his 37th film, a melodramatically overblown yet disappointingly superficial romantic drama.

Miriam (Alessandra Martines) is a beautiful, bereaved Italian ballerina who, while in Venice, falls passionately in love with an art forger Pierre (Pierre Arditi). The couple promptly embark on a world trip but tragedy strikes - Pierre and Miriam's eight-year-old son Serge are accidentally drowned in- a boating accident. She however remains determined to film their planned holiday, until her camera and tapes are stolen at Montreal airport. The missing items fall into the hands of Canadian futurologist and filmed-theatre performer Marc (Marc Hollogne) who, infatuated by the images of Miriam, resolves to track the woman down.

Partly a modern fairy tale (hence the improbable narrative developments and profusion of Prince Charming figures), and partly a love letter to Lelouch's own wife, Martines, Chance Or Coincidence leads the viewer throughan array of exotic locations and sights: ravenous polar bears in Canada, whirling dervish dancers in Turkey, cliff divers at Acapulco and jazz dancers in the Big Apple. It's all

Run Miriam Run: Alessandra Martines in Chance Or Coincidence

gloriously shot in widescreen by the veteran cinematographer Pierre William Glenn, but the convoluted plotting, some unremarkable performances and the archness of the dialogue hinder any real sense of poignancy that Lelouch presumably intended. (Tom Dawson)

I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 24 Sep.

A Kind Of Hush (15) 95 mins i:er

Following in the tradition of Alan Clarke's Scum and early work by Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, comes this hard-hitting gritty tale about six teenage boys who become self-styled vigilantes in an attempt to come to terms with the abuse they suffered as children.

The film opens with a familiar den of iniquity - Kings Cross, London. A fresh- faced innocent tempts an elderly gent down a seamy sidestreet. Unzipping the man‘s fly and about to go down, the pair are jumped by a gang of lads who beat the man and chastise their friend for perpetuating the abuse they've all suffered. Meanwhile, Stu, the one that got away or at least is trying to, works away as a trainee chef

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Cheeky bleeders: A Kind Of Hush

under the watchful eye of his boss and surrogate father, played by Roy Hudd. Desperate to carve some kind of normal life for himself, but unable to shake the past that haunts him, Stu is drawn back to King's Cross and the community of pain that the boys represent.

A superb standard of acting from a mix of newcomers and seasoned pros, fine cinematography, and an evocative soundtrack from Estonian composer, Arvo Part, combine to produce an intense film worthy of the sensitive issues it explores. It is also a significant feature film debut for writer/director Brian Stirner, who excels in fusing raw physical violence with cheeky humour and the numbing ache of abuse. (Catherine Bromley)

I Edinburgh Filmhouse from Mon 27 Sep.

new releases FILM

LA Without A Map

(15) 106 mins ski

LA Without A Map has all the elements of a cult classic. It's adapted from Richard Rayner's cult, autobiographical novel for a start. It’s directed by Mika (brother of Aki) Kaurismaki, whose credits include the rarely seen Tigrero starring Jim Jarmusch and Sam Fuller (who died before being able to appear as himself in Mika’s film). The entire cast, bar the lead (little known - on film - Scottish actor David Tennant), are either stars (Vincent Gallo, Johnny Depp) or cult figures (Warhol performer Joe Dallesandro). The filming of Los Angeles itself is super cool - all sun- bleached boulevards and advertising billboards. The soundtrack is by Finland's much filmed Leningrad Cowboys. Finally, there's a suitably wacky story: Richard, a Scots lad working as an undertaker in Bradford, falls in love with an American actress, follows her to LA, gets married and unwittingly becomes a Hollywood screenwriter.

And yet, virtually every scene falls flat. Richard's fantasy conversations with an animated poster of the Depp film, Dead Man; Hollywood parties populated with stars playing themselves, Player-style - these scenes are uninvolving where they should be dynamite. So, what went wrong? The source novel, which is self- consciously 'cult', may be the problem. Or perhaps the shoot was too laid-back, or chaotic? Nevertheless, this is an oddity of the required viewing variety.

(Miles Fielder) - I Edinburgh Fi/mhouse from Fri 1 Oct.

Classy supporting act: Vincent Gallo and Julie Delpy in LA Without A Map

Mifune (15) 98 mins “in

Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's film, the third made under the Dogma banner, distinguishes itself by not playing fast and loose with the rules, by telling a simple, linear story with a minimum of formal fussiness and by eschewing the characteristic ’shaky-cam’ visuals found in the two previous films. So, ironically, while Mifune is less ambitious and innovative than Festen and The Idiots, it is also the purest, most involving and most emotionally satisfying.

On the eve of his wedding, Copenhagen yuppie Kresten (Anders W Berthelsen) learns that his father has died and reluctantly returns to the remote, neglected family farm. Unable to cope with his mentally handicapped brother, Rud (Jesper Asholt), he advertises for a housekeeper, and is delighted when the beautiful Liva (lben Hjejle) arrives to take on the job. But Liva too has a secret.

The cryptic title refers to Toshiro Mifune, Japanese star of Seven Samurai; but this is not the film’s only enigma. Beneath the characters' almost child-like simplicity lurks a complex inner life hidden behind a flimsy tissue of lies. Liberated by the spontaneity of the filming process, the actors reward the director with engaging, unaffected performances that add emotional depth and resonance to a simple story well told. (Nigel Floyd)

I Glasgow Film Theatre; Edinburgh Cameo from Fri 1 Oct. See preview.


You're Dead (15) 97 mins

Its tag line is, 'Pulp Fiction meets Monty Python’, which gives you some idea of the tone of this comedy caper movie.

The plot is nothing new: a veteran bank robber (John Hurt) and two younger, more reckless partners (Rhys lfans and David Schneider) mastermind the perfect heist. Except, as we all know, there is no such thing. So, the trio of confident criminals walk into their target bank dressed in Saville Row suits and wearing bowler hats only to find their plan scuppered by the arrival of a second team of criminals. Cue police and SWAT teams led by a bungling detective and before you can say ’stick ’em up’ the heist becomes a siege. Thereafter, matters are further complicated by the arrival of super efficient Prof Corner and her mysterious government agency, Cyclops.

It’s hard to imagine what new angle could be added to the heist movie. Tarantino got seriously self-referential with the genre in Reservoir Dogs, while Bill Murray went the way of humour with Quick Change. And, while You’re Dead’s leads are capable of great comic heights, both Hurt and lfans have plumbed the depths of dire filmmaking: Love And Death On Long Island and Twin Town anyone? (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 1 Oct.

Gentlemen thieves: John hurt and Rhys lnfans in You're Dead

23 Sep-7 Oct 1999 THEUSTM