FILM new releases
Felicra’s Journey (12) 116 mins ti After the sublime heights of the seductive Exotica and mesmerising The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan has fallen from grace with this clunking adaptation of William Trevor's novel. Felicia is a young Irish girl who makes a journey across the sea to England to find the father of her unborn child. Arriving in Birmingham, the naive girl accepts the help of Ambrose Hilditch, a seemingly benign middle-aged bachelor who has more than one skeleton in his closet.
Paternal instinct: Elaine Cassidy and Bob Hoskins in Felicia's Journey
It comes as no surprise that the intentions of Hilditch, who is one part Humbert Humbert, one part Norman Bates, are far from honourable. With the cat out of the bag so early on in this stagey drama, largely confined to its two lead performances, we are left with character study. Bob Hoskins and newcomer Elaine Cassidy give dedicated performances as Hilditch and Felicia, but they are badly served by a dull script from their director who employs none of his
Egoyan's regular composer Mychael Danna also fails to deliver with a soundtrack that merely grates. Only cinematographer Paul Sarossy's (another Egoyan collaborator) bleak and ominous rendering of the Midlands's industrial landscapes
impresses. (Miles Fielder)
I Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Filmhouse from Fri 8 Oct. See preview.
Dee Blue Sea (15)1 4 mins hurt: With its ferocious action, heart- stopping suspense and rib-shaking explosions, Renny Harlin’s hugely entertaining 'smart shark’ movie pulls out all the stops. Making maximum use of post-Jaws improvements in animatronic effects and CGI technology, it ups the stakes by bringing the primal killers into the human's own environment.
Lashed by a tropical storm, the Aquatica marine research laboratory, where Dr McAllister (Saffron Burrows)
Down boy: Deep Blue Sea
and her team are using brain tissue extracted from genetically manipulated sharks to search for a cure to Alzheimer's disease, is rapidly turned into a flooded environment that suits the mutated, predatory sharks better than their human prey. These sharks are bigger, faster, smarter and deadlier than their natural cousins, and move with ease inside the facility. When LL Cool J's cook is trapped inside one of his ovens by a hungry shark, the scare benefits from a clever juxtaposition of the familiar setting with the incongruous threat.
Ironically, the best sequences, including the film’s most breathtaking scene, are those achieved by the brilliant animatronics. The CGI sharks move quickly and gracefully; but they lack the weight and heft that would make them look real. Most impressively, the switch-back script repeatedly defies you to predict who will die next, and invariably succeeds in subverting your expectations. (Nigel Floyd)
I General release from Fri 75 Oct. See feature.
Head On (18) 104 mins **** Head On grips from the start, spending 24 hours with Ari (Alex Dimitriades - remarkable), a messed up nineteen-year-old whose quest for drugs and casual sex is overshadowed only by his own self-hatred. It’s an uncompromising look at what it means to be second generation Greek in what is supposed to be one of the most liberal cities in the world - Melbourne. It does not flinch from difficult issues such as the insidious racism and homophobia that seem to breed in any community.
Raw, frank and brutal, Head On side
Aussie stud: Alex Dimitriades in llead 0n
steps every cliche. Ari's journey through the Melbourne nightclub world is no learning experience. There is no moral centre here and the film is better for it - Candide this ain't. Moving and vital, Head On is an important comment on the veritable shitbag the poor children of immigrants are handed in the world's cities.
Director Ana Kokkinos' debut feature is an adrenaline rush of a movie with a great soundtrack and supreme photography. Head On is really is a film about being loaded that makes the likes of Human Traffic and G: MT look like a night
out in Stringfellows. Full on. (Paul Dale)
I Selected release from Fri 15 Oct. See preview.
22'I'IIE LIST 7—21 Oct 1999
Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
The Adjuster (18) (Atom Egoyan, Canada, 1991) Elias Koteas, Arsinee Khanjian, Maury Chaykin. 102 mins. A disparate array of plot elements — an insurance adjuster, ﬁlm censors, a kinky couple - combines with off-kilter Twin Peaks-ish humour and some bizarre visuals in Atom (Speaking Parts) Egoyan's most approachable movie to date. ‘A ﬁlm about believable people doing believable things in an unbelievable way' is how he describes it. Weird and, in its own way, wonderful. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Adventures Of Pinocchio (U) (Steve Barron, US, 1996) Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Udo Kier. 96 mins. More faithful to the original novel than the Disney cartoon, this mix of animatronics, computer animation and live action still falls short of the mark. Landau is a sympathetic Geppetto and the period detail gives a nice fairytale mood, but the sentimentality and moralising (and the shoddy cricket animation) undermine its good elements. Glasgow: GP'I‘.
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, Aimodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Edinburgh: Cameo. St Andrews: New Picture House.
American Pie (15) (Paul and Chris Wcitz, US, 1999) Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, Chris Klein. 96 mins. The latest in 1999's bumper crop of teenage comedies turns out to be a surprisingly sweet-natured account of adolescent sexual frustration. Jim (Biggs), a Michigan high school student, desperately wants to get laid by Prom night. But when he is caught by his dad in ﬂagrant with mom's apple pie, his prospects in the contest look bleak. What disappoints is American Pie's ultimate conventionality. Entertaining, but hardly in the comic league of There's SomerhingAbour Mary. See review. General release.
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. General release. 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, Mei (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. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Ant: (PG) (Eric Darnell, Tim Johnson, 1998) The voices of Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman. 83 mins. When worker ant 2-4195 (Allen) meets Princess Bala (Stone), he falls completely in love; but, while trying to prove himself as a soldier, he uncovers a dastardly plan to ﬂood the colony. Antz is brightly coloured and full of gags, so adults will chuckle while kids are pulled in by the slick computer animation. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
April's Children (Aprilkinder) (15)
(Yuksel Yavuz, Germany, 1998) 85 mins. Sensitive treatment of the problems facing a second generation immigrant family from Turkish Kurdistan living in Germany. An arranged marriage is complicated by the eldest son’s relationship with a prostitute, while another son becomes involved in drug dealing. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
L'Arche Du Desert (12) (Mohammed Chouikh, France/Algeria, 1997) 90 mins. In this fairytale story set in an oasis in a desert, an innocent love affair disrupts the age-old order of the community whose ‘elders’ become enraged at the cross-racial relationship. Glasgow: GET.
Arlington Road (15) (Mark Pcllington, US, 1998) Jeff 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. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Artemesia (18) (Agnés Merlet, France, 1997) Valentina Ccrvi, Michel Scrrault, Miki Manojlovic. 118 mins. Agnes Mcrlet‘s study of the ﬁrst woman painter in the history of art (who was persecuted in seventeenth century ltaly for practising it) is a visually lavish period drama. Well-crafted, solidly-acted cinema. Stirling: MacRobcrt. Atom Egoyan Event Filmmakers Jason Wood and Eileen Aniparc introduce their documentary, Formulas For Seduction: The Cinema OfAtom Egoyan (UK, 1999, 12, 52 mins), an interview with the ﬁlmmaker ﬁlmed at the London Coliseum when Egoyan was directing Gavin Bryars‘ opera, Docror Ox’s Experiment. The screening is followed by Egoyan‘s new ﬁlm, Felicia ’sJourney. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhousc. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (12) (Jay Roach, US, 1999) Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley. 96 mins. The Spy Who Shaggcd 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 ofjokery — 60$ kitsch, ﬁlm references and sexual innuendo. Glasgow: Showcase, UCl. Edinburgh: UCl. East Kilbridc: UCl. Paisley: Showcase. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.
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 Farmer Hoggett and puts the farm in jeopardy . 1n 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 C iry 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. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Bedrooms And Hallways (15) (Rose Troche, UK, 1999) Kevin McKidd, Tom Hollander, James Purefoy. 96 mins. Like other recent bright and breezy London romantic comedies, these Bedrooms And Hallways are populated by pretty, professional, loved-up or cast-down twenty and thirtysomethings. in this case they also happen to be gay. The ensemble cast works wonders, establishing credible characters within the framework of a classic British farce, which Troche mixes with a more liberated attitude towards sexuality (homo