Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder
The Age 0fInnocence(tf)(\1artin Scorsese, US, 1993) Daniel [Jay-Lew is. Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder. 135 mins. L'p-and~ cominglawyer Newland Archer risks the wrath of 1870s New York StrClClLy' when he falls in love with the scandal-shrouded Countess ()lenska, despite being already engaged. Scorsese is iiiagnit'icentiy faithful to Edith Wharton's novel, while painting its troubled emotions with an eloquent camera. Opulent and richly detailed. with no release from the itilcrnaiised pair. of passion. Edinburgh: l‘ilnihotise.
All About My Mother ( 15) (Pt-iii.» Almodovar, Spam. 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins. Almodovar's new film is without a doubt his best to date. \\ hen Madrid liospital worker Manuela's son is kiiled in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fullil her son's last wish to know his father, and goes to Barcelona to find the transvestite she ran away from eighteen years earlier. Renowned for his portrayal of strong women. .-\lmodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act. to mother and to create stronghoan of solidarity in the face of extremities. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmliouse. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
American Beauty (18) (Sam i\1L‘llLJL'S, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Betting. 1110“! Birch. 121 mins. Preview screening. Suburban husband and father Lester liurnham (Spacey, giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encounter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time selfimprovement: [ester quits hisjob. digs out his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what’s been missing from his life for years: pleasure and happiness. Caustic, touching and hilarious in all the right places — a modern classic. See preview. Edinburgh: Cameo.
American Pie (15) (Paul and Chris Weitz. US. 1999) Jason Biggs. Eugene Levy, (.‘hris Klein. 96 mins. 'lhe latest in 1999's bumper crop of teenage comedies turns out to be a surprisingly sweet-natured account of adolescent sexual frustration. What disappoints is American Pie's ultimate conventionality. Entertaining. but hardly in the comic league of There's Something A bout Mary. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: Cameo. Paisley: Showcase. St Andrews: New Picture llouse.
Analyze This (15) (llatold Ramis, US, 1999) Robert De Niro. Billy Crystal. Lisa Kudrow. 104 mins. A tough Matioso 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: MaeRobert.
Angela's Ashes (15) (Alan Parker. UK. 1999) Robert Carlyle, limily Watson. Joe Breeri. 148 mins. Frank McCourt‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 30s is a publishing phenomenon. loved across the world by those with no connection to the book's three defining elements - lreland, 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. General release.
Anna And The King (12) Matty 'l‘ennant, US. 1999) Jodie Foster. Chow Yon l-at, liai Ling. 151 mins. Another remake of The A'ing.-1mll'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 oi the kind seen before in The Last Emperor. Foster gives a gratineg worthy performance. while Fat proves he's better with the llong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. Selected release.
Anna Karenina (PG) (Clarence Brow n, US, 1935) Greta Garbo. Basil Rathbone. Frederic March. 95 mins. Opulent variation on Tolstoy
in the best-upholstered 305' MGM style, with Garbo typically radiant in the title role and Rathbone pitching in one of his ﬁnest studies in suave villainy as Count Vronsky. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Asterix and Cleopatra (U) (France, 1968) 73 mins. The diminutive Gaul and his powerful potion meet the lady with the asp and the ‘rather attractive' nose. His rotund chum Obelix pulls the nose off the Sphynx, sulks a bit and then the two build a new palace in record time. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Beach (15) (Danny Boyle, UK, 1999) Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Carlyle, Tilda Swinton. 119 mins. Preview screening with the ﬁlmmakers (the Trainspotting team, as they’re known) in attendance and talking to you and The List‘s own editor, Alan Morrison. As if you didn‘t know, this is the boys's adaptation ofAlex Garland‘s best selling tale backpacking round south-east Asia in search of utopia. Sec feature. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
Better Living Through Circuitry (15) (Jon Reiss, US, 1999) 86 mins. Pounding bass, ﬂashing strobe and a crowd of ecstatic ravers dancing towards a hunched DJ — it could be any party in Britain a decade ago. Only it’s present day America. Better Living Through Circuitry promotes itself as ‘a ﬁlm about a new way of life’, a new bigger, louder, brighter culture with music bom from technology. But there '5 a feeling of ‘been there, done that years ago‘. See review. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Bicentennial Man (PG) (Chris Columbus, US, 1999) Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Oliver Plait. 130 mins. It‘s the ﬁrst decade of the let century, and the wealthy Martin family has taken delivery of their new robot-servant Andrew (Williams). After the death of his master (Sam Neill), Andrew embarks on a life- changing journey. Based on an Isaac Asimov story written at the time of the American bicentennial, this is billed as a science-ﬁction comedy, although laughs prove to be highly infrequent. See review. General release.
The Big Lebowski (18) (Joel Coen, US, 1997) Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi. 113 mins. The Coen brothers give their unique twist to a Chandler-esque LA noir, as 705 hippy throwback Jeff "The Dude' Lebowski (Bridges) is drawn into the sordid affairs of his millionaire namesake. Suddenly he has to sleuth his way through disorganised crime. Trademark oddball characters, surreal imagery and excellent performances grace this virtuoso comedy. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Black And White In Colour (15) (Mira lirdevicki-Charap, UK/Czcchoslovakia. 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. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Blair Witch Project (15) (Daniel Myriek and Eduardo Sanchez, US, 1999) Heather Donahue. Josh Leonard, Michael Williams. 90 mins. Terrifying docu-horror movie that purports to be an edited version of the ﬁlm and video footage that Donahue, Leonard and Williams shot in the days before they disappeared in the woods around Burkittsville, Maryland. While you're watching you're too sacred to think about the clever tricks with your mind. Falkirk: FTH Cinema. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
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) Dcnzel 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 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. General release.
The Brave Little Toaster (U) (Jerry Rees, US, 1990) 94 mins. Fun animated adventure as a group of plucky electrical appliances go off in search of their master who's moved to the big city. Yet for Toaster, Lampy the lamp, Kirby the vacuum cleaner and Blankey the electric blanket there are many dangers to be face along the way. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
Brief Encounter (PG) (David Lean, UK, 1945) Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway. 86 mins. Stiff upper lips and emotionally charged brushes of the hands are all that Johnson and Howard will allow themselves as their extra-marital ‘affair' doesn't develop much beyond unspoken longings at a railway station. For some, the tears will still flow; for others, the ungiving morality is exasperating. Given the rigidity of this English romance, the Rachmaninov soundtrack is unﬁttingly sweet. Edinburgh: Lumiere. 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. General release.
Buena Vista Social Club (U) (Wim Wenders, Cuba, 1999) Ry Cooder, lbrahim Ferrer, Rube’n Gonzalez. 104 mins. Cuba looks a little like the land that time forgot. A theme Wenders brings out both in the over-exposed images of Havana and also in the musical brilliance of these octogenarian and nonagenarian musicians who have for so long been neglected. And it’s ironically thanks to an American, Wenders‘ regular musical collaborator Ry Cooder, that their careers have been resurrected. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Cat People (PG) (Jacques Toumeur, 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. 1n the follow-up, Simon's spectre returns to take control of a young girl. You could read a misogynist subtext into the ﬁlms, but for all the ,ber-melodrama and shaky dialogue, there is a dark intelligence and restraint which marks them out as superior B- movie nonsense. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Cinema Paradiso (PG) (Giuseppe Tornatore, ltaly/France, 1988) Phillipe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Salvatore Cascio. 123 mins. Told largely in ﬂashback, the winner of the 1990 Oscar for Best Foreign Film traces young Salvatore 's infatuation with his village cinema, and his growing friendship with its projectionist (played to perfection by Noiret). Essentially, it's Tornatore’s lament for the joyous movie-going experience of his youth and a recognition of the price we pay for our maturity. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Complicity (18) (Gavin Millar, UK, 1999) Jonny Lee Miller, Keeley Hawes, Brian Cox. 100 mins. Journalist Cameron (Jonny Lee Miller) is, at ﬁrst glance, a regular young Edinburgh-based professional. The police, however, have ﬁngered him as a serial killer, guilty of some of the most gruesome murders Scotland has ever witnessed. Those familiar with lain Banks’s novels will recognise the trademark darkness. Millar, who is directed The Crow Road, has turned the book into an ambitious movie, and an adult one. See review. Selected release.
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. The 1943 original sees Simon haunted by legends of her homeland, leading her to believe that she is about to metamorphose into a panther. 1n the follow-up. Simon‘s spectre returns to take control of a young girl. You could read a misogynist subtext into the ﬁlms, but for all the ,ber-melodrama and shaky dialogue, there is a dark intelligence and restraint which marks them out as superior B-movie nonsense. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Dogma (15) (Kevin Smith, US, 1999) Matt Damon, Ben Afﬂeck, Alan Rickrnan. 130
mins. Smith, creator of Clerks and himself a devout believer, confronts the conflict between personal faith and the institutionalised religion of the Catholic Church. Meanwhile slacker prophets Jay and Silent Bob provide the usual casual Obscenities. Dogma is vulgar and irreverent, and features a ‘poop monster' and Alanis Morrisette as God. It’s also undisciplined. shambolic and boring. As a satire, it doesn't have a prayer. General release.
Double Jeopardy (15) (Bruce Beresford, US. 1999) Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd, Annabeth Gish. 105 mins. Double Jeopardy is The Fugitive with a female lead. Not only does it rip off the earlier ﬁlm's basic premise — innocent hero(oine) gets wrongly convicted for murdering a spouse and goes on the run, pursued by a dogged ofﬁcer of the law - it even boasts the same co-star (Jones). But while The Fugitive was gripping and well- crafted, Double Jeopardy is formulaic pap. See review. General release.
East Is East (15) (Damien O‘Donnell, UK. 1999) Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Jordan Routledge. 96 mins. Based on Ayub Khan- Din's play, East Is East draws its perfectly balanced mix of belly laughs and tears from the conflict within a multi-racial family living in Salford in the 705. Head of the Khan household, George attempts to force his sons into arranged marriages in a belated effort to preserve tradition, but, born in England, the sons are having none of it. General release. Election (15) (Alexander Payne, US, 1999) Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein. 103 mins. Payne‘s adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel, a comic satire on the 1992 American presidential election campaign set in a high school, focuses on the conﬂict between Jim McAllister (Broderick), a dedicated teacher who’s also suffering from a mid-life crisis, and Tracy Flick (Witherspoon), a model but precocious pupil over a student government election. Winning performances and a super sharp script make this the smartest comedy to come out of the States in years. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Elizabeth (15) (Shekhar Kapur, UK, 1998) Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush. Christopher Eeclestone. 120 mins. Not your typical frock ﬂick, Kapur's ﬁlm may be ravishing to look at, but it’s altogether darker and more disturbing than you'd expect. A political thriller from Tudor history, in which Blanchett's performance turns cherished notions about England's Virgin Queen on their head. A gripping and intelligent work. Edinburgh: Cameo.
End Of Days (18) (Peter Hyams, US, 1999) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney. 122 mins. At the end of this apocalyptic action movie, Arnie raises his eyes to heaven and prays, ‘Please God, help me.’ Indeed, for this is a wildly inconsistent mish- mash of 703 devil movies, 805 action pics and 905 computer-generated sfx. Byrne is the handsome human host for the dark angel whose procreative lust must be thwarted by Schwarzenegger‘s vodka-sodden. rocket- launcher-toting non-believer. Glasgow: Showcase. UCl. Edinburgh: UCl. East Kilbride: UCl.
Eyes Wide Shut (18) (Stanley Kubrick, US, 1999) Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sidney Pollack. 159 mins. Had Kubrick chosen to stage his adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Novel in its original [in de siecle Viennese setting, audiences might have found the whole primitive Freudian mess easy to stomach. Transposing the would-be decadent psychosexual shenanigans to contemporary Manhattan, however, proves disastrous. What makes Eyes Wide Shut just about watchable is the screen presence of its two stars. Glasgow: Odeon.
Felicia's Journey ( 12) (Atom Egoyan, UK/ Canada, 1999) Bob Hoskins, Elaine Cassidy, Peter McDonald. 116 mins. After the sublime heights of the seductive Exotica and mesmerising The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan has fallen from grace with this clunking adaptation of William Trevor ‘5 novel. Felicia is a young lrish girl who journeys across the sea to England to ﬁnd the father of her unborn child. Arriving in Birmingham, the naive girl accepts the help of Ambrose Hilditch, a seemingly benign middle-aged bachelor who has more than one skeleton in his closet. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
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20 Jan—3 Feb 2000 THE U372?