FILM INDEX continued
Pinlt Floyd The Wall (15) (Alan Parker, UK, 1982) Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, Bob Hoskins. 95 mins. An ambitious attempt by Parker and the Floyd’s Roger Waters to turn the band ’5 album The Wall into a visual, almost dialogue-less story, in which a schoolboy named Pink grows up to be an isolated rock star. The result did not match the ambition. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
Planet of the Apes (PG) (Franklin J. Schaffner, US, 1967) Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter. 112 mins. An astronaut crashlands on a strange planet where the monkey/human roles are reversed, but breaks out of the lab thanks to his friendship with some liberal chimps. The shocking ﬁnal image is one of the delights of cinema. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Pleasantville (12) (Gary Ross, US, 1998) Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen. 124 mins. Thanks to a dodgy plot twist, 905 kids David and Jennifer are zapped into Pleasantville, an I Love Lucy-style 505 sitcom, a monochrome world where sex, art and passion are unknown. If this was just a gimmick movie, it would be a brilliant one, but Pleasantville is also a relentlessly inventive comedy. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Psycho (15) (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1960) Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire. 109 mins. Hitch’s misogynistic masterpiece has a young secreth take off to hicksville with a bagful of her boss’s money. Unfortunately for her she chooses to put up at the Bates’ Motel, run by that nice Norman boy. The ironic dialogue (’Mother’s not quite herself today’) make it a joy to catch anytime around. We liked it didn’t we mother . . . mother? Glasgow: GFI‘.
Pushing Tin (15) (Mike Newell, US, 1999) John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett. 124 mins. Cusack is Nick Falzone, the hot shot aircraft navigator at New York’s busiest airport. The arrival of Russell Bell (Thornton) brings out cracks in Falzone’s once unflappable exterior. Bell’s pouting wife (Jolie) provides further distraction for Falzone, despite the attentions of his own caring, but kooky spouse (Blanchett). The two men confront each other after Falzone’s paranoia peaks and thereafter the ﬁlm spirals sadly downward. See review. Glasgow: Odeon at the Quay. Edinburgh: ABC Film Centre.
Return Of The Living Dead (18) (Dan O’Bannon, US, 1984) Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews. 91 mins. Some meddling kids disturb some mysterious military gas canisters, causing the local dead to rise from their graves, demanding ’More brains!’. Whether this cry is directed at the scriptwriters, the director or the audience is unclear. Packed with bad-taste gags, the ﬁlm concludes, somewhat lamely, with the end of civilised life as we know it. Glasgow: Odeon. Ridicule (18) (Patrice become, France, 1996) Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant. 102 mins. A young engineer travels to the court of Louis XVI to secure funding for a drainage project and discovers a cruel society where savage wit can open doors or slam them in your face. Verbal duels give the film a literate spark, and the portrait of a decadent world manages to achieve several contemporary parallels. A costume drama with depth beneath the costumes. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Romance (18) (Catherine Breillat, France, 1999) Caroline Ducey, Rocco Siffredi, Francois Berleand. 98 mins. Our female protagonist is young and wears either nothing or a white frock throughout. She weeps constantly and nags her boyfriend for attention; denied this, she embarks upon a sexual odyssey. Long, static shots show a series of joyless physical encounters, while a morose and pretentious monologue describes her feelings. She concludes that the only true fulﬁlment comes from motherhood. The great Bill Hicks dismissed the controversy around Basic Instinct with the observation that said ﬁlm merited no such kerfufﬂe, being a ’piece of shit’. Indeed. See preview and review.
The Rugrats Movie (U) (Norton Virgien/Igor Kovalyov, US, 1998) Voices of: EC. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie. 80 mins. The weekly animated adventures of the un-cutesy, irritatineg voiced Pickles family is big among kiddies and adults in the States, but the movie is deﬁnitely more of a junior entertainment. The ﬁlm’s message is well intentioned, and it might keep the little ones quiet for a while. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Run Lola Run (15) (Tom Mker, Germany, 1999) Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu. 80 mins. Young Berlin punk bola (Potente) has twenty minutes to raise 100,000 marks to save her stupid, but beloved boyfriend from murderous drug dealers. Not an easy task, but writer/director Tom 'I\vyker gives Lola three chances and helps her pound the streets with a thumping, self-composed techno soundtrack. Using every style trick in the book, 'I\vyker astounds with an adrenaline rush of a movie, and, no sooner has Mker whizzed through to one possible outcome, than he rewinds and plays out another scenario - twice more. See preview and review. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Runaway Bride (PG) (Gary Marshall, US, 1999) Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Joan Cusack. 116 mins. Gere plays Ike, a hardened New York newspaper columnist who gets sacked from his job for writing an inaccurate piece on Magic Carpenter (Roberts) who has jilted at the alter three times before and is set to marry again. He goes to her home town to write a revenge piece on her, only they meet and as plans for the wedding proceed, ’things’ start to
' blossom. The schmaltz-fest at the end is
nowhere near as toe-curling as it could have been. General release.
Rushmore (15) (Wes Anderson, US, 1999) Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams. 93 mins. Bright, bespectacled and geeky, Max Fischer, scholarship boy at the exclusive Rushmore Academy in Houston, is irritating and endearing in equal measures, while his self-belief is awesome. In Bill Murray’s self-loathing millionaire steel tycoon, Max ﬁnds a soul mate, but when they both fall in love with the new teacher Miss Cross (Williams), their friendship turns sour. Wes Anderson’s quirky, original comedy puts most of Hollywood’s recent output to shame. Edinburgh: Cameo. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Short Sharp Shock (Kun Und Scherzlos) (18) (Fatih Akin, Germany, 1997) 100 mins. After serving time in prison, Gabriel, a Turk, is reunited with his old gang pals, Costa, a Greek and Bobby, a Serb. However, times have changed and while Gabriel has done some growing up inside, his pals are still hell-bent of a life of petty crime. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Simply Irresistable (PG) (Mark Tarlov, US, 1999) Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sean Patrick Flanery, Patricia Clarkson. 95 mins. Amanda Shelton (Gellar) has inherited her mother’s quaint New York eaterie. After an encounter at the local market place with a mysterious crab-seller, Amanda begins creating the most wonderful dishes and when handsome young department store executive Tom Bartlett (Flanery) tastes her Crab Napoleon, he becomes smitten with the chef . . . Yet another variation on the Cinderella fairy tale, but rarely has a Hollywood romantic-comedy have been so witless . Glasgow: Showcase. Paisley: Showcase.
The Sixth Sense (15) (M. Night
Shyamalan, US, 1999) Bruce Willis, Olivia .
Williams, Haley Joel Osmet. 107 mins. Preview screening of what’s been tagged as the scariest horror movie since The Blair Witch Project. Bruce is the child psychologist attempting to uncover the truth (it’s out there) behind a young boy’s supernatural abilities. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Snake Eyes (15) (Brian De Palma, US, 1998) Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, Carla Gugino. 108 mins. When the American Secretary of Defence is assassinated, Cage’s flamboyant, corrupt cop and old pal, Navy commander Sinese, attempt to figure out whodunnit. With a narrative is driven
forward by the edgy suspense, telling revelations and razor-sharp editing, Snake Eyes is one of the director’s best ﬁlm’s to date and, unusually for De Palma, the sheer technical wizardry does not distract us from the more serious political and emotional dimensions. Bathgate: Regal.
South Park: Bigger, Longer a Uncut (15) (Trey Parker, 1999, US) Voices of: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes. 80 mins. The premise reeks of the kind of smug self- referentiality you’d expect from hypemeisters Parker and Stone: the inﬂuence of a movie starring ﬂatulent Canadians Terrance and Philip ups the little fellas’ foulmouthery; their clean-minded parents spearhead a bloody attack upon Canada; a few audacious leaps of credulity later, humanity is at the brink of destruction. Along the way there ’5 enough profanity, perversion and scatology to make Bernard Manning blush. Edinburgh: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (U) (George Lucas, US, 1999) Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman. 132 mins. On the surface, the plot structure isn’t a million light years away from the original Star Wars. In visual terms, The Phantom Menace stands alone in the cinematic universe. At times you’d think there was more animation than live action on screen - and maybe it’s this toning down of the human element that has left the ﬁlm lacking soul. General release.
Strangers On A Train (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1951) Farley Granger, Robert Walker. 101 mins. Hitch’s appropriation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, the conceit for which is two strangers who get chatting aboard a long train journey and both admit to people they would like to kill - one is joking, the other is deadly serious. With it’s climax aboard an out-of-control fairground ride and two superb central performances, this is one of Hitchcock’s best. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Straw Dogs (18) (Sam Peckinpah, UK, 1971) Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, David Warner. 118 mins. An mild- mannered American brings his English wife back to her home village, only to have violence ﬂare in this inbred Cornish community. Long tarred with the ’gratuitous’ brush, Peckinpah’s contemporary horror/thriller still retains its power. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Sweet Hereafter (15) (Atom Egoyan, Canada, 1997) Ian Holm, Bruce Greenwood, Sarah Polley. 110 mins. When a small community is torn apart by a school bus accident that claims the lives of most of their children, an ambiguous lawyer with family troubles of his own comes to represent them in a compensation case. The ﬁlm unfolds in a patchwork of ﬂashbacks and set-pieces, but it’s Holm’s beautifully judged performance that’s the bedrock of the film. As a study of helpless grief, it’s rarely been bettered. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Tango (12) (Carlos Saura, Argentina, 1999) 117 mins. Apart from virtuoso cinematography, you won’t find a great deal more here. Veteran director Carlos Saura has become something of a Hispanic cultural authority after ﬁlms like Carmen and Flamenco, and he explores a similar
theme in a similar way here, clearing the decks of virtually everything else (plot, characterisation, location) for a passionate celebration of the tango tradition. Glasgow: Grosvenor. East Kilbride: East Kilbride Arts Centre.
Tarzan (U) (Kevin Lima and Chris Buck, US, 1999) Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Nigel Hawthorne. 88 mins. Disney has ﬁnally turned its attention to the second most ﬁlmed character in Western cinema (Dracula is the ﬁrst) and has created some astonishing images. Storytelling-wise, Tarzan remains reasonably faithfully to Edgar Ritx Burrough’s original. Shipwrecked on a tropical island, baby Tarzan looses his human parents to a terrifying tiger and is adopted by an ape clan. All grown up, the Ape Man is reunited with man and womankind when a trophy hunting anthropological expedition arrives and Tarzan meets Jane. General release. Taxi (Gerard Pires, France, 1999) Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Marion Cotilard. 90 mins. Luc Besson wrote this spoof action movie, which takes the piss out of Tarantino, Scorsese and his own ﬁlms. In it, a pizza delivery boy graduates to taxi driver status and is promptly involved in a battle between the local Marseilles cops and a team of German bank robbers. Taxi is not a very good — it’s not clever nor fun. So it’s probably a good thing Besson distanced himself from the director’s chair. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Tenebrae (18) (Dario Argento, Italy, 1982) Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi. 110 mins. Well, well. An Argento slasher/thriller that has great set-pieces and a coherent plot. Sort of. Yes, there are holes, but the convolutions will keep you guessing as a successful American crime writer, in Rome on a publicity tour, ﬁnds himself surrounded by murders carried out as described in his ﬁction. Glasgow: Odeon.
The Thin Red Line (15) (Terrence Malick, US, 1998) Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, Sean Penn. 170 mins. This is very much a director’s ﬁlm, with the mythic and revered Malick as the star. Movie A-list types make cameo appearances, while the bulk of the action centres on the boys from Company C, the luckless outﬁt charged with taking a vital hilltop stronghold in the battle for Guadalcanal. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Third Man (PG) (Carol Reed, US/UK, 1949) Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles. 100 mins. Set in an unstable post-World War II Vienna, Holly Martins has been invited to the city by his old chum Lime, who is now in the grand-scale drug—dealing business, only to discover that he is dead. Except, he isn’t of course, and a multi-layered cat and mouse scenario is triggered. Stirling: MacRobert.
The 39 Steps (PG) (Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1935) Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Godfrey Teale. Undoubtedly the best ﬁlm version of John Buchan’s novel, as Donat evades a spy ring across the length and breadth of the country, with marvellous set pieces in the London Palladium and the Forth Bridge. Hitchcock at his action- packing peak. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
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