FILM new releases
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28 TIIE U81 7—20 Jan 2000
Summer Of Sam (18) 142 mins * hint
Spike Lee tackles intolerance and prejudice once more, and it may be his best shot at these subjects Since 00 The Right Thing.
It’s summer 1977 in New York and disco music is the hottest new sound in the clubs. Meanwhile, the punk rock revolution has crossed the Atlantic. The City is also melting down under a record-breaking heatwave, causing blackouts, looting and riots. Out in the Bronx, however, New Yorkers are concerned about something else: a murder spree by the ’Son Of Sam’, who would later be revealed as DaVid Berkowrtx, Americas first serial killer celebrity.
The main players in this lengthy, sprawling drama are old pals Vinny ilohrt Legurzamo) and Ritchie (Adrien Brody) — a smooth disco king and spikey~liaiied punk, respectively — and their girlfriends Dianna (Mira Sorvinoi and Ruby (Jennifer EspOSIto). As the temperature and body count rises, so too do domestic and neighbourhood tensions.
Lee’s now trademark audaCious Visual style and music mix really pays off The disco scene and punk movement collide on an unsuiprisingly superb soundtrack, but also in the juxtaposition of Vinny's night fever-style posing and Ritchie’s punk posturing. Summer Of Sam’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a sobering reminder that Violence, racial and othervvise, can spark off in any ’hood (Miles Fielder)
I G/asgow.‘ GFT,‘ Edinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Fri 74 Jan. See prey/ow.
Saturday night fever: Summer Of Sam
(18) 162 mins tartan»
Marcel (Marcello Mazzarella) lies in bed thinking about his life, and reflects back less on his own actions than of those in the wealthy late l9th/early 20th century salon culture in which he moved. Titanic and Sawng Private Ryan indulged in a bit of hazy memoir, and Cameron and Spielberg had the good economic sense to use their ageing characters as a framing deVice. But they failed to get inside their heads.
In Raoul Ruiz's adaptation of Proust's final volume of Remembrance Of Things Past, action is replaced by constant reflection. it's a film With an overriding Proustian conscnousness, yo-yoing backwards and forwards in time as fresh images come into Marcel’s mind. He recalls the beautiful Odette (Catherine Deneuve), remembering her in attractive middle-age while ageing others in her social circle. Not just because she remains comely, but also (and here the film partly deViates from the book) because of Marcel's specral fondness for her.
Unlike Cameron and Spielberg, RUIZ captures brilliantly the tenuousness and subjectivity of memory — aided and abetted by his trademark lateral tracking shots, technical correlatives to Proust’s thinking. Observational rather than partiCipatory, the film leads us into a man’s life through the thoughts he has about his own and others’s existence. (Tony McKibbin)
I E dinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Fri 7 Jan. See preview
(15) 108 mins * * ***
You hate your job, you don't see your family often enough and you can't seem to meet the right people. No one else has these problems; you’re all alone. That's life in the 20th century City; many of us will be familiar with it.
It’s also life as experienced by the working class family living in south London in Michael Winterbottom’s new film. At once both extraordinarily beautiful and desperately sad, Wonder/and spends three days over a bonfire weekend with sisters Nadia (Gina McKee), Debbie (Shirley Henderson) and Molly (Molly Parker). Nadia trawls the lonely hearts columns, single mother Debbie binges on alcohol and men, and pregnant Molly is left by her partner. Their parents (Jack Shepherd and Kika Markham) wallow in a loveless marriage, while their young brother has run away from home.
Winterbottom says the film’s title isn't ironic, but at times Wonder/and plays like Mike Leigh without the humour. It’s unrelentingly grim for the most part, yet the performances are so good that you can’t help but be moved to tears — and no melodrama. Although Wonder/and was filmed on the streets guerrilla-style, Winterbottom utilises every trick in the Great Filmmaker's Manuel to create a visual treat worthy of its title. All that and a majestic scare by Michael Nyman. (Miles Fielder)
I Edinburgh: Cameo from Fri 74 Ian; Glasgow: GFT from Fri 28 Jan See preview.
Bright lights, big city: Gina McKee adrift in Wonderland