Ratcatcher , A , (15) 93 mins ***** .. This more mature and sustained :>»,"':'5 " ' ' exploration of the child-centred working class milieu found in Lynne Ramsay's short films - Small Deaths, Kill The Day and Gasman - marks the Scottish director's striking, visionary feature debut. Seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old James Gillespie (William Eadie), a sensitive boy haunted by the drowning of a neighbour’s son, Ratcatcher paints a
bleakly realistic picture of Glasgow L a g? ' . family life. Yet despite its stifling Jig ‘ t familial relationships, rubbish-strewn " ""5" ' ’ " streets and casual cruelties, James’s life mm of dreams. Wimam Eaji‘e IS illuminated by vrvrd moments of “teacher
During the refuse workers strike of the mid-70$, James escapes from his urban playground into a sun-drenched cornfield and half-completed housing development on the outskirts of the city. Closer to home, there is his friendship with the weird, pet-loving Kenny, plus some moments of awkward tenderness with the confused, pubescent Margaret Anne. But James’s dream of a new home is a forlorn one and the murky depths of the canal exercise a dangerous hold over his fevered imagination.
Ramsay uses meticulous framing, unusual camera angles and atmospheric images to capture the subtle textures of everyday life, as well as complex inner feelings. This is the work of a gifted visual stylist and a deeply sensitive human being. (Nigel Floyd)
I Selected release from Fri 12 Nov. See feature.
Pro'ections 10 Ed. ike Figgis (Faber £12.99) * at *
The latest in the annual forum for filmmakers and occasionally critics, Projections 10 sometimes seems less a forum for debate than an opportunity for a few grievances to be aired. But though filmmaker Figgis's tone is intimate throughout - included are interviews with Figgis actors Elisabeth Shue, Robert Downey Jnr. and Nastassja Kinski - the book feels a bit like a confessional without the resultant confession. While there's an air of despondency that runs throughout the book - the sense that directors can't make the films they want to make, that actors are constantly offered mediocre scripts — and the finger is pointed only as far as it takes for the person pointing it to seem the innocent party. Who are these Hollywood monsters and where do they lurk?
As those interviewed include blockbuster powerhouses Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott - all perfectly good eggs, by the way -— the book offers the usual hard done by folklore. Like Reel Power and Naked Hollywood, it's an entertaining, but finally unilluminating tome with self-pitying multi-millionaires living in soulless opulence refusing to apportion blame for fear that the phone may never again ring. A bit of a disappointment, then, after the much more incisive, essayistic interviews with French filmmakers in Projections 9. (Tony McKibbin)
Lucia (15) 97 mins **
The intent was noble, but the execution lets Don Boyd's attempt at a contemporary, dramatised version of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor down. This opera is itself an adaptation of Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride Of Lammermoor, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to return the piece, complete with music, to its Borders location. Another point on the 'good idea' front, is to contemporise the setting and add a sense of realism to the drama rarely seen in musicals.
A worthy concept for the musical all round, then, with Boyd's setting allowing the music to be integrated into the naturalistic framework by representing his characters as 'real' opera singers, rehearsing the opera of the title. The storyline relates the dilemma of a young woman (Amanda Boyd, the director's daughter) forced by her brutal brother (Mark Holland) into a financially opportune marriage, thus rejecting her true love (Richard Coxon).
The problem here is that the elaborate digital technology employed to shoot the film seems less advanced than vacuously trendy, while the acting is either inert, or big enough for opera, but too big for film. Thus its tragic finale, supposedly emotionally spellbinding, actually combines ham and cheese in a manner seldom seen in the best of sandwiches. (Steve Cramer)
I Selected release from Fri 5 Nov.
en opera and
Sandwiched betwe novel: tucia.
new releases FILM
See it Hear it
'tiove ovei Shakespeare in Love and make .. . willlﬂiShﬂHesneareinSoace‘ , a.
HLHEHPUUL EVENING BHZHTE ' _ _‘ 1 Mon 1 to Sat 6 Nov 3:4??? Tickets From £7.00
Hit a Eenturg!
Sun 7 Nov at 3pm Children's tickets from £4.00
icnaiHovsHu - sumnnonu Nos Sun 7 Nov
Starring Sister Sledge. Imagination featuring Leee John lion 8 Nov Tickets from £13.50
Richard Hlstan ﬂanrelarnnanu
'...unneat. energetic. destined to send us home elated.’ HE TIMES
Tues 9 Nov Tickets from £6.50
ine Happiest ﬂag of Mg Lire 'See for uourself what great dance can he} EllElllllii Siﬂlllllllill
srnitnr avrnns llllLll .
Fri 12 & Sat 13 Nov Tickets From £7.50
ﬂax ﬂrﬂte Hill 539 8000 Groups 0131 539 5005
4-18 Nov 1999 “Elm”