Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate. credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
American Movie (15) (Chris Smith, US, 1999) 104 mins. Smith’s subject is Mark Borchardt, a Midwestern, low-budget, trashy ﬁlmmaker who thinks he's Orson Welles, but comes out looking like a ﬁfteenth-rate Ed Wood. Borchardt, alongside his unrehabilitated druggy sidekick Mike Schank, is among the most unsavoury leading men in cinema history. Smith has worked with media pranksters such as Michael Moore and Louis Theroux, but if this is a joke then it ranks with the cheekiest of them all. See review. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Analyze This (15) (Harold Ramis, US, 1999) Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow. 104 mins. A tough Maﬁoso is struggling to hold it all together and in desperation, and to his utter embarrassment, decides to seek out a therapist. 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. Stirling: MacRobert.
Anastasia (PG) (Anatole Litvak, US, 1956) Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes. 105 mins. Bergman returned to Ilollywood after her notorious Italian dalliance with Rosselini and won herselfan Oscar in this story of a woman picked out of the crowd to impersonate the lost daughter of the last Russian Czar. Well mounted Hollywood super-production. Stirling: Carlton. Angela’s Ashes (15) (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 305 is a publishing phenomenon, loved across the world by those with no connection to the book's three deﬁning elements — Ireland, Catholicism and poverty. Parker can't establish the same level of engagement as McCourt does, but he can train his lens on the faces of his remarkable cast to show a texture of emotions. Sentiment here is a natural ingredient, not a saccharine additive. See feature and review. General release.
Anna And The King (12) (Andy Tennant, US, 1999) Jodie Foster, Chow Yun Fat, Bai Ling. 151 mins. Another remake of The King And l‘s improbable romance between a Western governess and an Eastern king. This time round Yul Brinner is replaced with lush period detail and historical sweep of the kind seen before in The Last Emperor. Foster gives a gratineg worthy performance, while Fat proves he’s better with the Hong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. General release.
Bad Lieutenant (18) (Abel Ferrara, US, 1992) Harvey Keitel, Frankie Thorne, Zoe Lund. 96 mins. A return to urban sleaze by master of the genre Abel Ferrara. A NYPD cop (Keitel), in debt due to drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction, is intrigued by a big money reward in the case of a raped nun. Harsh, powerful, but filled with a religious orthodoxy, this is a reminder of the director at his best (Angel Of Vengeance, Driller Killer) and should be picked up by Reservoir Dogs fans. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Big Tease (15) (Kevin Allen, UK, 1999) Craig Ferguson, Francis Fisher, Chris Langham. 88 mins. The American Dream comes to Scotland in this tale of Crawford Mckcnzie (Ferguson), a Glaswegian hair- stylist cutting and crimping his way to the top of the hair hierarchy. Shot in semi-mock documentary style, the ﬁlm follows his endeavours to take on all comers at the World Freestyle Hairdressing Championships in LA. The Big Tease is a premier league feelgood movie that taps well into Ferguson's national identity and, no doubt, the abundance of tananry will go down a treat Stateside. Stirling: MacRobert. Black And White In Colour (15) (Mira Erdevicki-Charap, UK/Czechoslovakia, 1999) 59 mins. This vivid and painfully honest documentary follows Vera Bila, the
Mama Cass of the Romany Gypsy community, and her troubled band of Slovakian troubadours on their exploitative European tour. There is no romanticism here; Vera and her band, Kale are shown warts and all in this deeply moving character portrait where divine destiny and poverty meet. See review. Glasgow: GI’I‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Blue Streak (12) (Les Mayﬁeld, US, 1999) Martin Lawrence, Peter Greene, Luke Wilson. 94 mins. In a comedy crime caper of the type that Eddie Murphy used to master, Lawrence impresses as a thief forced to masquerade as a Los Angeles cop in order to recover a bag of diamonds buried the LAPD's headquarters. It‘s all good fun, with crisp direction from Mayﬁeld and a nice balance of comic shtick and stunts. General release.
The Bone Collector (15) (Phillip Noyce, US, 1999) Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie. 118 mins. An identikit serial killer movie (see Copycat and Seven) in which Washington’s paraplegic forensics expert is conﬁned to his bed, leaving rookie cop Angelina Jolie to be his legs, eyes and ears, trailing of cryptic clues left by the killer. Sadly, despite Noyce’s efﬁcient direction and a bunch of ﬁne performances, Jeremy lacone's script insults the audience's intelligence. Dumb, derivative and disappointing. See Preview Of The Year and review. General release.
Brassed Off (15) (Mark Herman, UK, 1996) Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald, Pete Postlethwaite. 105 mins. When the local pit is due to be closed down, it’s the end of the day for the colliery brass band as well, even though they’ve got a chance at winning the national competition. Politics are the heart of the story, but writer-director Harmen has created a ﬁlm that balances nicely between pithy humour and heartbreaking poignancy. Performances are excellent, particularly Stephen Tompkinson. Edinburgh: Brunton Theatre.
Bringing Out The Dead (18) (Martin Scorsese, US, 1999) Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman. 130 mins. When darkness falls on New York, paramedic Frank Pierce (Cage) descends into a bleak world where, night after night, he tries hopelessly to help the homeless, the hookers, the mentally ill. Bringing Out The Dead grafts a desperate edge onto traditional gallows humour, but while showing bursts of brilliance, suffers from too many lulls and, surprisingly given that it’s screenplay is by Paul Schrader, doesn't quite pull off its
redemption plot. See feature and review. Glasgow: Odeon. Odeon At The Quay. Edinburgh: ABC, Cameo, Virgin Megaplex. Kilmarnock: Odeon.
Buffalo 66 (15) (Vincent Gallo, US, 1998) Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Angelica Huston. 110 mins. Life for Billy Brown is so awful that he reconstructs himself from lies upon his release from a five year prison spell. Kidnapping a young girl named Layla, Brown concocts a story for his parents, whom, it turns out, bear very little love for their son. Gallo has a black sense of humour, ﬁnding absurdity in lower-class American life, but it becomes clear that Buffalo 66 is a deeply life-afﬁrming film. Edinburgh: Film Guild at the Filmhouse. Casper (PG) (Brad Silberling, US, 1995) Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty. 100 mins. Everyonc‘s favourite friendly ghost has been living with his three bad-tempered uncles in an abandoned mansion. When it's bequeathed to a money- grabbing heiress who thinks it’s filled with hidden treasure guarded by unquiet spirits, Casper comes into contact with ghost psychologist Pullman's tomboy daughter (Ricci). A very messy amalgam of Ghostbuslers effects. Addams Family gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. Ayr: Odeon.
Cat People (PG) (Jacques 'l‘ourneur, US, 1943) Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway. 71 mins. Writer/producer Val Lewton showed that horror was a matter of the mind. The 1943 original sees Simon haunted by legends of her homeland, leading her to believe that she is about to metamorphose into a panther. You could read a misogynist subtext into the ﬁlm, but for all the fiber-melodrama and shaky dialogue, there is a dark intelligence and restraint which marks this out as superior B- movie nonsense. Glasgow: GFI‘.
Clockers (18) (Spike Lee, US, 1995) Harvey Keitel, Mekhi Pﬁfer, John Turturro. 128 mins. Lee shifts the focus of Richard Price‘s weighty novel away from Keitel‘s mid-life crisis cop onto young drug dealer Pﬁfer, but the result is not just another cycle-of-violencc ghetto movie. The murder whodunnit provides a suspenseful core narrative, the issues are raised without resorting to the soapbox, and Lee manages to deliver his most gripping, coherent and accessible ﬁlm to date. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Cop Land (15) (James Mangold, US, 1997) Sylvester Stallone. Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta. 105 mins. Stallone plays
sheriff Freddy Heflin, bossed around by the NYPD men who make their home in Garrison, New Jersey. When he uncovers deep-rooted police corruption on his turf, he has a one-shot chance to win back his self- respect. Like LA. Conﬁdential, Cop Land has a storrner of a plot, but is essentially a character-driven movie. The acting is, unsurprisingly, in a league of its own, with Stallone 's lumbering hero providing his best role since Rocky. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Croupier (15) (Mike Hodges, UK. 1998) Clive Owen, Kate Hardie, Alex Kingston. 94 mins. Wannabe writer Jack (Owens) is seduced by London's casinos and after hours drinking clubs. It's not just the gambling and booze that's attractive, it's the inspiration he ﬁnds for his writing in the dens of inequity. The Croupier ﬁnds veteran director Hodges (Ge! Carter) on a winning streak. Glasgow: GFI‘.
The Cup (PG) (Khyentse Norbu, Australia, 1999) Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro. 93 mins. The Cup scores a hat trick of ﬁrsts: ﬁrst ﬁlm directed by a lama, in the Tibetan language with a cast solely comprised of monks. And it’s about football, speciﬁcally the footy fever that grips the monks of Chokling Monastery during the 1998 World Cup. Eliciting spirited performances from his cast, Norbu achieves his goal in creating a simple, humorous, humane ﬁlm. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Curse Of The Cat People (PG) (Robert Wise/Gunter V. Fritsch, US, 1944) Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph. 70 mins. Writer/producer Val Lewton showed that horror was a matter of the mind. In the follow-up to the original, Simon’s spectre returns to take control of a young girl. You could read a misogynist subtext into the ﬁlm, but for all the iiber-melodrama and shaky dialogue, there is a dark intelligence and restraint which marks this out as superior B-movie nonsense. Glasgow: GFT. Deathwatch (15) (Bertrand Tavernier, France/Germany, 1980) Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton. 128 mins. In a near-future society — Glasgow in this case - all diseases have been eradicated. Thus the impending demise of an apparently terminally ill woman becomes the obsession of a television producer. Ignoring his subject’s right of privacy, the broadcaster records her last days through a device hidden in his cameraman’s brain. Edinburgh: Film Guild at the Filmhouse.
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7-20 Jan 2000 THE U8T27