FILM INDEX continued
Lost Highway (18) (Dav id Lynch, US. 1996) Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette. Robert Loggia. 135 mins. Further out than even the celluloid version of Twm Peaks: Fire Walks With Me, Lynch's latest radicalisation of the film noir traditions concerns jazz saxman Pullman, his wife (Arquette), a mystery man (Robert Blake). a garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) and a crime kingpin (lxrggta) - but in typically Lynchian non-linear plotlines that exist within the logic of dreams. llaunting, provocative. and a genuinely personal undertaking. lidinburgh: liilmhouse.
The Magic Sword (U) (Frederik Du Chau, US, 1998) With the voices of Gary Oldman, Jessalyn Gilsig, Cary Elwes. 88 mins. All is happy under King Arthur's rule until evil Lord Ruber tries to steal Excalibur. When the wondrous weapon becomes lost in the Forbidden Forest, plucky young Kayley reckons she's brave enough to save the day. This animated feature sticks to the Disney formula - action, bawled-out ballads, kooky Sidekicks — but the animation itself lacks Walt's grace. Stirling: Carlton.
Manon Des Sources (PG) (Claude Berri. France/Italy, 1986) Yves Montand. Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Beart. 114 mins. Ten years after the demise of Jean de Florette, the Soubeyrans run a prosperoUs carnation farm. Steering this epic rural saga towards the realms of Greek tragedy. this is a full and satisfying second half that explores the suffering of the guilty as they pay a crippling penance for man's greed and envy. The production values are as high as ever and Auteuil assumes Depardieu's mantle in his development from glaikit idiot to broken-hearted suitor. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
The Matrix (15) (The Wachowski Brothers, US, 1999) Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lawrence Fishburne. 139 mins. In the future, reality is actually an illusion — the human race is enslaved by a computer virus which has taken over the world. Computer genius Neo (Reeves) is one of the few people who doesn't believe his eyes, so it's up to him and a couple more cyber commandos to save the world. lidinburgh: Cameo.
Miracle On 34th Street (PG) (Les Mayfield, US, 1994) Richard Attenborough. Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott. 110 mins. Kriss Kringle (Attenborough) is a department store Santa who goes one better and claims he's the genuine article. Only by winning a court case — and convincing one cynical little girl (Mara Wilson) can he put the joy and magic back into the festive period. A fairly unnecessary remake, but this secular fable still sparkles with charm. Falkirk: F'TH Cinema.
Mr Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr (15) (Errol Morris, US, 1999) 90 mins. Execution technology expert Lcuchter's work began with the redesign of the electric chair, which he saw as inefficient and therefore inhumane. Then, in 1988, Leuchter visited Germany for Canadian neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel to determine whether Auschwitz had housed gas chambers. He said they hadn't. And then his life went down the tubes; everyone hated him. Morris's ability to pick astounding
subjects is exceeded only by that of eliciting extraordinarily candid interviews. Absolutely jaw dropping. See review. Glasgow: GET.
Muppets From Space (U) (Tim Hill, US, 1999) Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire. Frank 02.88 mins. For their sixth big screen adventure. the focus of our Muppet attentions is Gonzo, that blue, hooked nosed . . . thing. No-one is really sure what Gonzo is, so when he gets a message which he believes is from space, the race is on to make contact with his extra terrestrial brethren. Muppets From Space captures the spirit of the ﬁrst movie and the original TV series where the subsequent ﬁlms never did. See review. General release.
The Muse (PG) (Albert Brooks, US, 1999) Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell. 96 mins. Brooks’s Hollywood screenwriter has lost his edge. in desperation, he hires Sharon Stone’s real life Muse from Greek mythology to rekindle his inspiration, which the spoilt woman provides anything but. Ultimately, The Muse is likely to amuse only those — and there are numerous Player-style cameos: Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Rob Reiner — who appear in it. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: Virgin Megaplex. Paisley: Showcase.
My Best Fiend (15) (Werner Herzog, Germany, 1999) 98 mins. Schizophrenic, cowardly, intolerant and frenetically violent, Klaus Kinski was all these things. But he was also one of the finest actors of his generation and the burning heart of ﬁlmmaker Werner Herzog‘s best films: Aguirre — Wrath Of God, Woyseck, Firzcarruldo and Nosferatu. My Best Fiend is Herzog's affectionate goodbye letter to his old friend and frequent enemy who died in 1991. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. My Own Private Idaho (18) (Gus Van Sant, US, 1991) River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, William Richert. 105 mins. Shakespeare '5 Henry IV Parts I and 2 are given a sleazy, contemporary twist in Van Sant's follow-up to the admirable Drugstore Cowboy. Screen heart-throbs Phoenix and Reeves make brave career moves by playing a rent boy and the preppie layabout object of his affections, but to good effect. A compelling, idiosyncratic, left-field gem. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Mystery Men (PG) (Kinka Usher, US, 1999) Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo. 122 mins. Although it’s a spoof, Mystery Men is more knowing about the conventions of American comic book superheroes than other comic adaptations — that's largely down to Mystery Men's origins in Bob Burden's Dark Horse Comic, Flaming Carrot. Caped crimeﬁghter Captain Amazing has been kidnapped by super villain Casanova Frankenstein and it's up to underachiever heroes: the Mystery Men to save the day. See review. General release.
A Night At The Opera (PG) (Sam Wood, US, 1935) The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Walter Woolf King. 90 mins. The Brothers (minus Zeppo) were at the height of their comic powers when they made this masterpiece. This time they‘re helping an opera company get back on its feet, but not before they've had a hand in wrecking it in the ﬁrst place.
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The Night of The Hunter (PG) (Charles Laughton, US, 1955) Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lilian Gish. 93 mins. Mitchum is unforgettable in this atmospheric tale (sadly Laughton's only ﬁlm as director) in which he plays a psychotic priest chasing two children for the money stolen by their father. James Agee's script and Laughton's stark monochrome visuals mark out an allegorical conﬂict between good and evil but there's plenty haunting imagery to make this a mesmerising cinematic experience. Edinburgh: Cameo.
October Slty (PG) (Joe Johnston, US, 1999) Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dem. 108 mins. Encouraged by their teacher, a miner's son and his friends build miniature rockets for a science fair competition, but face opposition from the local authorities. Set in the working-class 503, this isn’t your typical Hollywood coming-of-age flick. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: UCl, Virgin Megaplex. Paisley: Showcase.
101 Dalmatians (U) (Stephen Herek, US, 1996) Glenn Close, Joely Richardson, Jeff Daniels. 103 mins. Disney turns one of its favourite animated ﬁlms into a live action pantomime with spodges of Home Alone buffoonery, making sure there are plenty of dogs to make the kids go ‘aaahhh‘. The story remains pretty much untouched - vile villainess Cruella De Vil (Close) kidnaps enough Spotty pups to make a stunning coat. but the animal world gets the better of her - and so does the old-fashioned morality, which stresses the sanctity of marriage and that a woman's place is by her man's side. Edinburgh: Odeon. Kilmarnock: Odeon. Onegin (12) (Martha Fiennes. UK, 1999) Ralph Fiennes. Liv Tyler. 106 mins. Alexander Pushkin's epic poem, Evgeny Onegin, is the source of Fiennes's impressive debut ﬁlm, which hurls its characters through an intensity of passion, betrayal and unbearable loss within the thoroughly elegant and codiﬁed context of the Russian aristocracy of the 18205. Ralph Fiennes's Onegin is an initially arrogant, cynical man who learns his own heart when tragic circumstances force him to re- evaluate his feelings for a woman. Glasgow:
Slinky: Miss Piggy in Muppets from Space
GET. Edinburgh: Dominion. St Andrews: New Picture House.
The Philadelphia Story (PG) (George Cukor, US, 1940) Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart. 11?. mins. Splendidly sophisticated Hollywood comedy with Stewart as a scandalsheet reporter covering the society wedding of recently divorced Hepburn, ex-hubby Grant lurking in the wings. and romance recurdling despite itself. Sparkling dialogue and charismatic performances all round make this one of the best of its kind. Remade as the musical, High Society. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Random Hearts (15) (Sydney Pollack, US. 1999) Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas. 123 mins. Ford and Scott Thomas play a Washington DC cop and a New Hampshire congresswoman whose paths unexpectedly cross after their respective spouses are killed in an air crash. A second blow soon follows: the dead man and woman were lovers. In this glossy romantic drama, former carpenter Ford salutes his old trade with a performance of such woodenness that he cries out for a coat of varnish. it‘s a shame because opposite him 'lhomas delivers a nuanced and moving performance that deserves a better co-star. Edinburgh: Virgin Megaplex.
Ratcatcher (15) (Lynne Ramsay. UK. 1999) William Eadie. Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews. 93 mins. Seen through the eyes of twelve-year-old James Gillespie. a sensitive boy haunted by the drowning of a neighbour's son, Ratcatc/ter paints a bleakly realistic picture of Glasgow fantin life. Ramsay uses meticulous framing. unusual camera angles and atmospheric images to capture the subtle textures of everyday life. as well as complex inner feelings. Edinburgh: Cameo. St Andrews: New Picture House.
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