FILM INDEX continued
Festen (15) (Thomas Vinterberg, Germany, 1998) 106 mins. Made under the banner of Dogme 95, a chief dictum of which filmic manifesto is that the inner lives of the characters must justify the workings of the plot, in this case the story of a country house party given to celebrate the 60th birthday of rich patriarch Helge Klingenfeldt. Tensions surface before long and a disturbing family secret is revealed. Edinburgh: Film Guild at The Filmhouse
Fight Club (18) (David Fincher, US, 1999) Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, Helena Bonham Carter. 135 mins. Masculinity is in a mess and consumerism is to blame. Men have become docile spectators of life according to F ighr Club, Fincher's controversial adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's novel. In reckless response to this late twentieth century malaise, Norton's docile spectator teams up with Pitt‘s mischievous Tyler Durden to form an arena for men to beat each other to a pulp and thus reconnect with the world. It's hit and miss, but enough of the punches connect to startle even the most docile of viewers. Edinburgh: Virgin Mcgaplex. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
The Five Senses (15) (Jeremy Podeswa, Canada, 1999) Mary-Louise Parker, Daniel Mclvor, Gabrielle Rose. 105 mins. Following fellow Canadian film-maker Atom Egoyan, writer/director Podeswa is forging his own tidy niche in contemplative human studies. The Five Senses follows the lives of five people living in an apartment block opposite the park from where a child has disappeared. Numerology-based, but far from being prescriptive filmmaking by numbers, Podeswa's poignant and witty script allows the audience a great deal of interaction with the characters, each of whom represent one of the senses. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Following (15) (Christopher Nolan, UK, 1999) Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell. 70 mins. Struggling young writer Bill (Theobald), who randomly follows strangers around bondon for inspiration, is caught and apprenticed by compulsive burglar Cobb (Haw). Peopled by noirish archetypes, Following is taut and engrossing, and touches on the theme of voyeurism as Cobb's showman exploits Bill's stalker impulses. Nolan's film could prove to be as signiﬁcant a debut as Blood Simple. Glasgow: GET. Gregory's Mo Girls (15) (Bill Forsyth, UK, 1999) John Gordon-Sinclair, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Carly McKinnon. 104 mins. Gregory Underwood is still the endearing, awkward, immature boy of 1979, although by 1999 he's a teacher at his old school in Cumbernauld. Forsyth cleverly develops the film’s two plot strands to play on Gregory's emotional immaturity and innocence. In one Gregory avoids the attentions of Kennedy’s fellow teacher while fantasising about McKinnon‘s school girl; in the other he is reacquainted with old school pal Fraser Rowan (Dougray Scott), an entrepreneur involved in highly unethical business dealings. Stirling: MacRobert.
High Art (18) (Lisa Cholodenko, US, 1999) Ally Shecdy, Radha Mitchell, Patricia Clarkson. 102 mins. A refreshingly intelligent tale of doomed lesbian love, writer/director Cholodenko's debut feature chronicles the complex romance between ambitious picture editor Syd (Mitchell) and once famous photographer Lucy Berliner (Sheedy). The over-written script has a studied, airless feel, but the scenes of sexual tension and trembling desire between Syd and Lucy achieve a palpable erotic charge. Edinburgh: Film Guild at The Filmhouse
The Ice Storm (15) (Ang Lee, US, 1997) Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigoumey Weaver. 112 mins. ln Nixon era Connecticut, Kline's dying affair with neighbour Weaver pushes wife Allen further into a numbed frigidity, just as both families' teenage children are making their first sexual forays. Lee's satiric eye may be acute but he has a compassionate vision of human weakness, and beneath the humour is a sense of profound unease. Scene after scene, deftly directed and beautifully acted by the cast, sends a chill into the heart. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
The Incredibly True Adventure Of Two Girls In Love (15) (Maria Maggenti, US, 1994) Laurel Holloman, Nicole Parker, Maggie Moore. 98 mins. The affair between a white girl from an all-lesbian working-class
28 THE LIST 20 Jan-3 Feb 2000
Frosty romance: Fele Martinez and Najwa Nimri in Lovers Of The Arctic Circle
family and a black girl living with middle- class single mother is, ultimately, a little too cute for the cynic, although the two lead performances re engaging. Despite the inappropriately hysterical camp comedy, Maggenti handles her debut feature well, making worthy points about race, class and sexuality. Glasgow: GFI‘.
Inspector Gadget (U) (David Kellogg, US, 1999) Matthew Broderick, Rupert Everett, Joely Fisher. 79 mins. Disney’s take on the French kids’ cartoon follows the part human, part gizmo Gadget‘s (Broderick) quest to become a proper, respected cop. Unfortunately, the dastardly Claw (Everett) has a scheme for world domination, which includes creating an evil doppelganger of the trenchcoated wonder. The inspector’s many contraptions will delight younger viewers, and oldies will be amused by the plentiful self-referential moments. General release.
The Iron Giant (U) (Brad Bird, US, 1999) Jennifer Aniston, Harry Conick Jr, Vin Diesel. 86 mins. In this animated film adaptation of Ted Hughes's classic children‘s story about a boy who befriends 50ft. robot from outer space, the action is transported from rural England to small-town America in the late 19505. The resulting film is a fast-moving thrillfest featuring bongo-beating beatniks, a great rockabilly soundtrack and explosive destruction on a grand scale. This being a kids film, through, it's violence with a conscience. General release.
Jakob The Liar (12) (Peter Kassovitz, US, 1999) Robin Williams, Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban. 119 mins. Following Life Is Beautiful, which approached the subject of the Holocaust with a similar mix of gravity and grim humour, Williams plays Jakob Heym, a Jew living in the Polish ghetto in 1944. Summoned to Nazi headquarters after breaking curfew, he overhears a radio report on the progress of the war. Recounting this to a friend, Jakob witnesses the positive effect such news has on those around him and invents more and more stories to keep up this renewed optimism. But it‘s strangely uninvolving given the drama and scale of its setting. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Jenny Gilbertson Documentaries (U) (Jenny Gilbertson, UK, 1932—33) 70 mins approx. A young Shetland couple weigh up the opportunities of a new life in Australia against their obligation to care for their ageing parents. Screening also includes 00 Maldcin 0 'A Keshie and Werner Kissling‘s Eris/ray -A Poem 0fRemore Lives, an account of the lives of the Gaelic speaking inhabitants of the remote Hebridean isle. Edinburgh: Edinburgh: Film Guild at The Filmhouse
Kes (PG) (Ken Loach, UK, 1969) David Bradley, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover. 109 mins. 1n the run-down industrial north, a young boy learns some harsh lessons about life from the fate of his pet bird. Classic piece of British realism which showed that Loach’s television work could transfer to the
big screen. A very humane sense of humour leavens what is in effect a tale of some desolation. Stirling: MacRobert.
The Last Days (PG) (James Moll, US, 1999) 87 mins. Any Holocaust documentary is inevitably a footnote to Shoah, Claude Lanzmann‘s exhaustive 1986 study of guilt and the process of remembering. The Last Days takes a similar approach with its in-depth interviews, but its claim to have captured the truth, to have created a definitive record. is to be regarded with caution. Still, this ()scar- winning first release from Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation adds a further chapter to the dossier of testimonies; that of the Hungarian Jews, who were amongst the last to be rounded up by the Nazis and taken to the camps. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Last Emperor (15) (Bernardo Bertolucci, ltaly/China, 1987) John Lone. Peter O'Toole, Joan Chen. 162 mins. Peking, 1908, and a three-year-old boy ascends to the lmperial Throne to become the Lord of Ten Thousand Years‘. A mere 59 years later, however, he dies a humble gardener in a China that is now the Maoist People's Republic. Intelligent epic following the self-delusion and re-education of a man shaped by a superseded power structure. A little cold perhaps, but the production and cinematography are of such exquisiteness that one only wishes the film were longer. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Limbo (15) (John Sayles, US. 1999) David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Vanessa Martinez. 128 mins. Sayles isn‘t a filmmaker to toe the line. so when he goes to Alaska to shoot a film in which three individuals become marooned in the wilderness, it's unsurprising than what he comes up with is a well-crafted, solidly told tale that‘s less action adventure and more psychological;sociological study of people and place. And Sayles takes his time, easing us into the environment and the lives of the principal characters, before the forces of nature give the plot its dramatic twist. See preview and review. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Limey (18) (Steven Soderbergh. US. 1999) Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Luis Guzman. 89 mins. Stamp's criminal cockney reject, Wilson is off his manor and in Los Angeles to avenge his daughter's death in Soderbergh's take on 60s cinema and the British crime movie. But this is no simple revenge caper, although the action thrills and the one-liners are smart. 'lhe casting 60$ icons Stamp and Fonda as Wilson‘s nemesis. record producer Terry Valentine, is inspired. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
Lone Star (15) (John Sayles, US, 1996) Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson. 135 mins. When a modern~day Texan sheriff investigates a decades-old murder, past clashes with present and local mythologies have to be re-examined. Sayles's various sub-plots don't distract from each other: in fact, they re- inforce and counterpoint, building a complex social, historical and political backdrop to the
riveting thriller on the surface. Another masterpiece from America's greatest independent director. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Lost Son (18) (Chris Menges, UK, 1999) 3 Daniel Auteuil . Nastassja Kinski, Catrin
Cartidge. 102 mins. In his first English- spcaking role. Auteuil plays former French cop Lombard, now making his living as a low grade private eye in London. Recruited to find a missing person. the case evolves into something far more unexpected. plunging him into a dangerous underworld of vice and paedophilia. Glasgow: Gl-‘l‘.
Lovers Of The Artic Circle (15) (Julio Medem. Spain, 1999) Fele Martinez, Najwa Nimri. Nancho Novo. 104 mins. When eight- year-old Otto spots Ana outside the school gates, it's love at first sight, but life's tragedies intervene, however, and the pair are set apart - until years later when both are drawn, irrepressibly, to a Finnish cottage just inside the Arctic Circle. Medem, whose expressive style was honed in l’acas, The Red Squirrel and 'I’ierru, has crafted a beguiling love story - as strange and original as it is romantic - which surely places Medem in the top rank of European directors. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
.The Matrix (15) (The Wachowski Brothers, US, 1999) Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lawrence liisliburne. 139 mins. 1n 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. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
Men With Guns (18) (John Sayles, US, 1998) Federico Luppi, Damien Delgado, Dan Rivera. 128 mins. One of the few true mavericks of American cinema, writer-director John Sayles has never been afraid of dabbling in political themes; and Men With (inns, for all its magic realist trappings, is no different. Set in an unnamed Latin American country, it follows Dr Fuentes on a journey from political naivete to a despairing state of knowledge about his homeland. By not identifying the setting Sayles' universalises the horror '1 iii . tragedy is not about casting the blame on :dentifiable groups. Rather, as the title says, simply put it down to men with guns. Glasgow: (3171'.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (l’G) (Michael Hoffman. US. 1999) Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeilfcr, Calista Flockhart. 115 mins. Not since Max Reinhardt's 1934 version has any film sought to pay loyal tribute to this classic tale of misbegotten romance and fairy magic. Until now. Hoffman, cautious that the text's classical Greek setting might distance his audience, has relocated to Tuscany at the turn of the century and draws upon those changing times to highlight the conflict between the old and young generations in the story. Kline stands out in the role of Bottom, while the lush world of nymphs, satyrs, eentaurs and Medusas is a beauty to behold. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Falkirk: Fl'il Cinema. Stirling: MacRobert. Mifune (15) (Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, Denmark/Sweden, 1998) Anders W Berthelscn, Jesper Asholt, lben lljejle. 98 mins. On the eve of his wedding, Copenhagen yuppie Kresten (Berthelsen) learns that his father has died and reluctantly returns to the remote, neglected family farm. Unable to cope with his mentally handicapped brother, Rud (Asholt), he advertises for a housekeeper, and is delighted when the beautiful Liva (lijejle) arrives to take on the job. Kragh-Jacobsen's film, the third made under the Dogma banner, distinguishes itself by telling a simple. linear story with a minimum of formal fussiness. Falkirk: l'Til ('incma.
Mr Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter,1r(15) (Errol Morris. US. 1999) 90 mins. Execution technology expert Leuchter'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. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Muppets From Space (U) (Tim Hill. 1999, US) Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Frank 02. 88 mins. For their sixth big screen adventure. the focus ofour Muppet attentions is Gonzo,