Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
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. Edinburgh: Cameo. Analyze This (15) (Harold Ramis, US, 1999) Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow. 104 mins. It must have seemed like a genuinely brilliant idea at the time. A tough Maﬁoso is struggling to hold it all together and in desperation, and to his utter embarrassment, decides to seek out a therapist. But then The Sopranos came on telly and nicked his thunder while nabbing a bunch of Emmys. Analyze This is mainly an excuse for Crystal and De Niro to ham their way through the motions and its undoubtedly fun for a while but is ﬁnally simply too, too familiar. Se review. General release.
Annie (U) (John Huston, US, 1981) Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry. 128 mins. Nauseatingly sweet screen version of the unprepossessing stage musical tale of a plucky orphan who wins the heart of a mean millionaire. Staid and wholly unimpressive. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
Arlington Road (15) (Mark Pellington, US, 1998) Jeﬁ' Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack. 117 mins. Pellington’s second feature goes a long way towards revitalising the paranoia thriller genre, drawing on the Oklahoma City bombing and the Waco siege. Single parent, widower and university lecturer in American terrorism Bridges becomes suspicious of neighbours Robbins and Cusack when he discovers a worrying, hidden past. St Andrews: Picture House.
Artemesia (18) (Agnes Merlet, France, 1997) Valentina Cervi, Michel Serrault, Miki Manojlovic. 118 mins. Agnes Merlet’s study of the first woman painter in the history of art (who was persecuted in seventeenth century Italy for practising it) is a visually lavish period drama. Well-crafted, solidly-acted cinema. Glasgow: GFT. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who snagged 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 - 605 kitsch, ﬁlm references and sexual innuendo. General release.
Barbarella (18) (Roger Vadim, ltaly/France, 1967) Jane Fonda, John Philip Law, David Hemmings. 98 mins. in the year 40,000 AD, sex kitten Fonda travels to the planet Sorgo to divest herself of much futuristic clothing, fall in love with Law’s angel and tussle with Hemmings’ mad scientist character Duran Duran (yes, fact fans, it is he). Dated Vadim romp of interest mostly to kitsch aﬁcionados or horny twelve year-olds. Stirling: MacRobert.
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
32 TllEUBT 23 Sap-7 Oct 1999
of common humanity. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Beloved (15) (Jonathan Demme, US, 1998) Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise. 172 mins. Few novels convey the emotional and psychological consequences of slavery quite as vividly as Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winner, Beloved. Unfortunately Jonathan Demme’s ﬁlm doesn’t have the same power as the book. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Big Daddy (12) (Dennis Dugan, US, 1999) Adam Sandier, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart. 93 mins. Sadly not an homage to the late wrestling great, this is the new comedy vehicle for Adam Sandier’s similarly unsubtk comedy talents. Which is not to say he isn’t funny, just that most of it, in this case, seems to revolve around his abrasive screen persona Sonny Koufax, a full time slob who becomes the unwilling daddy to a sweet ﬁve-year-old. Silly it may be, but despite the lack of ambition it’s occasionally funny, and brief too. See feature and review. General release.
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. Edinbur : UCl. lrvine: Magnum.
Birth A Nation (15) (D.W. Griﬁith, US, 1915) Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry Walthall. 158 mins. Given that Grifﬁth’s groundbreaking ﬁlm - the biggest grossing silent ever - is based on a novel called The Clansman, there’s likely to be a nasty racist flavour to its heroic depiction of the Klu Klux Klan. That said, this is an astounding work of art, with epic battle scenes and a melodramatic emotional punch. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Bullitt (18) (Peter Yates, US, 1968) Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn. 114 mins. McQueen’s maverick cop is Dirty Harry ’s predecessor, here attempting to unravel a corruption in high places plot after a witness in his protection programme is assassinated. McQueen’s utter cool aside, this still has the best car chase ever, up and down the streets of San Francisco. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Central Station (15) (Walter Salles, Brazil, 1998) Vinicius de Oliveira, Fernanda Montenegro. 110 mins. Sugar-coated neo- realism or a ﬁlm that stares poverty in the eye? Salles’s international hit is the story of a young Rio de Janeiro street urchin and a former schoolteacher who go on the run together in a ﬁlm explores that Latin American mainstay: the search for a missing loved one. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Chance 0r Coincidence (llasards Ou Coincidences) (PG) (Claude Lelouch, France, 1998) Alessandra Martines, Pierre Arditi, Marc Hollogne. 121 mins. Alessandra Martines, Pierre Arditi, Marc Hollogne. 121 mins. More than 30 years on from the double-Oscar winningA Man And A Woman, veteran French director Lelouch returns with this his 37th ﬁlm, a melodramatically overblown yet disappointingly superﬁcial romantic drama. Canadian futurologist Marc chances upon a lost camera and, infatuated by the images of its roll of ﬁlm, resolves to track the woman down Miriam, a beautiful, bereaved ltalian ballerina. However, convoluted plotting, some unremarkable performances and the archness of the dialogue hinder any real sense of poignancy. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Children Of The Marsh Land (PG) (Jean Becker, France, 1999) Jacques Villeret, Andre Dussollier, Jacques Duﬁlho. 115 mins. Part of 'lhe Martel] French Cinema Tour. See preview. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Citizen Kane (PG) (Orson Welles, US, 1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead. 119 mins. Stunnineg 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: Odeon. Falkirk: FTH.
You talking to me? Robert De Him in Analyze This
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 ’5 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 “vein help (Charles S. Dutton). However, Altman’s inquiring visual style fails to ﬁnd characters of any substance. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Le Diner De Cons (15) (Francis Verber, France, 1999) Thierry Lhennitte, Jacques Villeret, Catherine Frot. 80 mins. Each Wednesday upmarket professional, Pierre and his friends invite someone for dinner as a plaything for their own amusement. Lhermitte's chosen victim on one such night is Francois, an accountant whose hobby is making models out of matchsticks. if one ﬁnds interesting the idea of a lonely accountant abused for his stupidity before the tables are turned, then Verber’s ﬁlm offers much mirth. Falkirk: F'I'H. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Donnie Brasco (18) (Mike Newell, US, 1997) Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen. 127 mins. Depp plays a federal agent who gains the conﬁdence of mob underling Pacino as part of a major surveillance operation in late 705 New York, but their growing bond threatens the forthcoming bust. Through Depp’s eyes we learn the language, rituals and economic realities of being a made man. The violence and setting might not be new, but the ﬁlmmakers play with genre expectations. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Doug's 1st 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-oid torn between taking action against environmental pollution and taking his beloved Patti Mayonnaise to the high school dance. Glasgow: Showcase, UCl, Virgin. 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. General release.
Election (15) (Alexander Payne, US, 1999) Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein. 103 mins. Payne’s adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel, a comic satire on the 1992 American presidential election campaign set in a high school, focuses on the conflict between Jim McAllister (Broderick), a dedicated teacher who’s also suffering from a mid-life crisis, and Tracy Flick (Witherspoon), a model but precocious pupil over a student government election. Winning performances and a super sharp script make this the smartest comedy to come out of the States in years. Glasgow: Odeon Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: Filmhouse, UCl.
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 Catch A Thief, but not really in the same league. Falkirk: FI'H.
Eyes Wide Shut (18) (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1999) Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sidney Pollack. 159 mins. Had Kubrick chosen to stage his adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Novel in its original fin de siécle Viennese setting, audiences might have found the whole primitive Freudian mess easy to stomach. Transposing the would-be decadent psychosexual shenanigans to contemporary Manhattan, however, proves disastrous. What makes Eyes Wide Shut just about watchable is the screen presence of its two stars. The couple went to Kubrick humbly, submitting themselves to the vision of a genius. if only they’d thrown their Hollywood weight and commercial savvy around, the stars may have left the director with a more memorable cinematic epitaph. General release.
Festen (15) (Thomas therberg, Germany, 1998) 106 mins. Made under the banner of DOOME 95, a chief dictum of which ﬁlmic manifesto is that the inner lives of the characters must justify the workings of the plot, in this case the story of a country house party given to celebrate the 60th birthday of rich patriarch Helge Klingenfeldt. Tensions surface before long and a disturbing family secret is revealed. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Final Cut (18) (Dominic Anciano/Ray Burdis, UK, 1999) Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Ray Winstone. 93 mins. The death of a young actor Jude (Jude Law) brings together all his best mates at his funeral. His wife Sadie (Sadie Frost) insists they watch the ﬁlm that Jude was making just before his death (he was murdered, but by who?) The ﬁlm is comprised of the secret ﬁlming of Jude’s mates and the resulting montage pushes the limit of what friendship is. Chaos follows as home truths are given a painful airing. Lively and surprising enough to hold the interest and the improvising cast are very good. For pure home movieostyle voyeurism this ﬁlm is hard to beat. See review. Glasgow: Odeon Quay. Edinburgh: ABC Multiplex.
The General's Daughter (18) (Simon West, US, 1999) John Travolta, James Woods, Madeleine Stowe. 116 mins. Travolta plays Brenner, an undercover detective in the US Army's Criminal Investigation Division trying to get to the bottom of an explosive murder case on a military base in the Deep South. The victim is the daughter of a General about to make a bid for the Vice Presidency and so with the aplomb of Miss Marple, Brenner sizes up the numerous suSpects. The Generals Daughter would like us to take its pulp prurience seriously, but remains empty-headed pap. General release.
Get Carter (18) (Mike Hodges, UK, 1971)) Michael Caine, Britt Ekland, John Osborne. 112 mins. Get Carter stands out as a highlight in the artist formerly known as Micklewhite’s career. His superbly controlled performance as the relentless avenger on a score-settling trip to the North East of England only makes you wish Caine had played more villains. Hodges grimly eﬁ‘ective direction proves that you don’t need to be as worthy as Ken Loach to