Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
All About My Mother (15) *tttt (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins. Almodovar’s new ﬁlm is without a doubt his best to date. When Madrid hospital worker Manuela’s son is killed in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fulﬁl 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, Almodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. American Beauty (18) *titt (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, 'l‘hora Birch. 121 mins. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (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 self improvement: Lester quits his job, 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 review. General release.
American Pie (15) its: (Paul and Chris Weitz, US, 1999) Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, Chris Klein. 96 mins. The 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 '5 Something About Mary. Glasgow: Showcase.
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 30s 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. 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 I'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 gratingly worthy performance, while Eat proves he's better with the Hong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. Edinburgh: Dominion. Largs: Barrﬁelds Cinema.
Babe: Pig In The City (PG) (George Miller, US, 1998) James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski. 99 mins. Just as precocious as before, young Babe accidentally injures Farmer lloggett and puts the farm in jeopardy . 1n desperation Mrs H and Babe set off to make a fee-paying appearance at a State Fair. But fate is not smiling upon the famier’s wife and her innocent pig, as their adventures in the big city begin. A darker ﬁlm than the original, Babe.“ Pig In The City is nevertheless entertaining. Kilmamock: Odeon.
The Beach (15) with (Danny Boyle, UK/US, 2000) Leonardo DiCaprio, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen. 119 mins. Like Alex Garland‘s source novel, The Beach has a sort of breathless, late- adolescent ‘What 1 did on my holidays‘ quality; book and ﬁlm share the ability to capture the exhilaration and chaos of travel. Screenwriter John Hodge 's adaptation replaces creeping paranoia and discontent
with straight-ahead sexual jealousy as a catalyst for disaster. Although the ﬁlm looks handsome and holds the attention, it ﬁnally seems a little hollow and unconvinced of its own purpose. See review. General release. Bicentennial Man (PG) it (Chris Columbus, US, 1999) Robin Williams, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt. 130 mins. it's the ﬁrst decade of the 21st 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-changingjourney. 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. 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 70s 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.
The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (18) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, W, 1972) Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, lrm Hermann. 124 mins. In a sumptuous apartment lives a fashion designer, slavishly attended by her assistant, but the arrival of an attractive young woman whom the former wishes to use as a model changes the domestic power set-up. One of the great Fassbinder ﬁlms, incisively examining the way in which social positions inﬂuence romantic relationships. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild at the Filmhouse.
Black Cat White Cat (15) (Emir Kusturica, Germany/France/Yugoslavia/Austria,’Greece , 1998) 129 mins. Crazy ﬁlm from the Yugoslavian director ofArizona Dream and Underground, set within a community of gypsy people and telling a tale of dodgy deals, family ties, young love and magical occurrences. A sensory overload delight. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Blair Witch Project (15) *tttt (Daniel Myrick 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. Stirling: MacRobert.
Blue Streak (12) iii (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
Quack quack: Robert Carlyle plays Daffy in The Beach
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, w ith crisp direction from Mayﬁeld and a nice balance of comic shtick and stunts. General release.
The Bone Collector (15) but (Phillip Noyce, US, 1999) l)enzel \N'ashington, Angelina Jolie. 118 mins. An identikit serial killer movie (sec Copycat and Seven) in which Washington's paraplegic forensics expert is confined to his bed, lca\ ing 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.
Bonnie and Clyde (18) (Arthur Penn, US, 1967) Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway. Gerie llackrnan. Michael J. Pollard. 111 mins. This stylish and gritty account of the relationship and activities of two self- publicised batik robbers w as a late- 1900s milestone in making extreme screen violence curiously fashionable. Great performances from llackman and l)unaway, a genuine sense of the thrill involved in their nefarious activities, and telling period detail make this one of l’enn's best. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild at the liilmhouse. Breaking The Waves (18) (Lars von Trier, Denmark. France. 1996) Emily Watson. Stellan Skarsgard, Katrin Cartlidge. 158 mins. In a close-knit Calvinist community in the north of Scotland. a young woman faces banishment from the church when she makes a self-sacrificing pact with God in order to save her husband's life. Unlike von Trier's austere arthouse works (Europa), this intimate melodrama is raw and exposed. Emotional connection transcends everything else in one of the most moving ﬁlms ever made. Kelso: Roxy.
Bridge On The River Kwai (PG) (David Lean, UK, 1957) mins. Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, William Holden. Classic POW saga, in which Aiec acts as foreman in the building ofa large railway bridge. lean's extravagant study of British wartime grit is most memorable for Guinness‘ detailed portrayal of the obsessive Colonel Nicholson, and won a string ofAcademy Awards. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Bringing Out The Dead (18) iii (Martin Scorsese. US, 1999) Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette. John Goodman. 130 mins. When darkness falls on New York, paramedic l‘rank 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. Edinburgh: Cameo. St Andrews: New Picture House.
British Animation Awards Programmes 1 - 3 (18) (Various, UK, 1998—99) 75 mins each. Audiences will be asked to cast their vote for their favourite ﬁlms in a number of categories at each of these three seperate screenings of the best of new British animation. Among these creams of crop are Simon Pummell's Ray (iun Fun, which premiered at the Edinburgh International liilm Festival, and Peter Peakc's Hum Drum, a product of Aardman Animation. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
Buena Vista Social Club (U) ***~k (Wim Wenders, Cuba, 1999) Ry Cooder, lbrahirn l-‘errer. Ruben 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. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cameo. lialkirk: l’l‘ll Cinema. Stirling: Carlton.
A Bug's Life (U) (John lasseter, US, 1998) Voices of: Dave l-‘oley, Kevin Spacey, David Hyde Pierce, Denis leary. 95 mins. Made by Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story), A Bug's Life takes us to Ant Island, where the colony is being oppressed by a gang of menacing grasshoppers. When inventive but clumsy worker ant Flik incurs the wrath of gang leader Hopper, he heads off to ﬁnd help heavyweight help in the battle against his oppressors. Stirling: Carlton.
Cabaret (18) (Bob Posse, US, 1972) Liza .‘vlinelli, Joel Grey, Michael York. 124 mins. ln divinely decadent early 1930s Berlin, singer Sally Bowles wows them at the notorious Kit Kat Klub, encounters the beginnings of Nazism and shares her pretty English boyfriend with a gay baron. Stylish and invigorating Broadway musical turned Oscar-winning cinematic landmark. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Casper (PG) (Brad Silberling, US, 1995) Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty. 100 mins. Everyone'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 (ihostbusters effects, Addams Famin gothic humour and the sort of overblown feelgood Spielbergiana that revels in funny gadgetry and family values. Ayr: Odeon.
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3-17 Feb 2000 THE U8T21