FILM listings

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28 THE llST 2~16 Mar 2000


Hard Eight (18) **** (Paul Thomas Anderson, US, 1996) Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson. 102 mins. Anderson’s debut didn't catch the same buzz as its follow-up, Boogie .N'ig/irs, but it shouldn't be ignored. Brilliant performances are at the core of this story of an aging gambler who tries to pass on his skills to a hapless newcomer. More a character study than a straight-on modern noir. it's worth checking out. Edinburgh: liilmhousc.

Head On (18) **** (Ana Kokkinos, Australia, 1999) Alex Dimitriades, Paul Capsis, Julian Garner. 104 mins. Head On grips from the start, spending 24 hours with Ari (Dimitriades remarkable), a messed up nineteen-year-old whose quest for drugs and casual sex is overshadowed only by his own self-hatred. It's an uncompromising look at what it means to be second generation Greek in what is supposed to be one of the most liberal cities in the world - Melbourne. It does not flinch front difficult issues such as the insidious racism and homophobia that seem to breed in any community. Stirling: MacRobert.

Heat (15) ***** (Michael Mann, US, 1995):“ Pacino. Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer. 170 mins. Mann‘s star package cops-and-robbers tale is head and shoulders above the rest of the genre, thanks to an action-packed screenplay that fully explores its themes and gives depth to its characters. Pacino is the dedicated detective whose home life is in ruins; De Niro is the reclusive criminal mastermind. The two men's finely balanced sense of honour and mutual respect is well dissected, and the shoot-out set pieces are heart-stopping. Brilliant. l-‘dinburgh: Cameo.

House By The River (PG) *inht (Fritz Lang, US, I949) Louis Hayward, Jane Wyatt. 9») mins. The rarest of Lang's American films. its a superb atmospheric noir about a writer who commits murder which becomes the basis for his new novel. Highly praised by no less a luminary than Bertrand 'l‘avernier. Glasgow: (ii-'1'. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmlrouse.

The House On Haunted Hill (18) *** (\Villiam Malone. US, 2000) Geoffrey Rush, liamke Janssen. ('lttis Kattan. 92 mins. Rush mugs and leers outrageously as Stephen Price. a twisted amusement park tycoon who invites a small group of guests to his wife's birthday celebration at a derelict lunatic asylum. the scene of mass slaughter two generations before. This building has plans of its own and. instead of the expected group, five complete strangers show up, each of whom has been offered 5] million to stay the night. No cash prizes. though, for guessing what happens after they find themselves locked in. General release. Human Desire (PG) **** (Fritz. Lang, [58. 1950) Glenn Ford. Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford. 100 mins. Lang's remake of La [trite lfllIanllt’ sees a man enmeshed in those noir tangled webs of fate. And being film noir. those webs are comprised of camera angles and geometric patterns such as train tracks. Glasgow: GI’I‘. lidinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.

The Insider (15) ***** (Michael Mann, US, 2000) Russell Crowe, Al Pacino. Christopher Plummer. 157 mins. Mann's heist movie. Heal. boasted some electrifying set pieces. yet while The Insider contains virtttally no ‘action' there's a terrific sense of dramatic urgency that drives the filtn. It all starts in the mid-90s with Jeffrey \Vigand. the corporate man w ho blew the whistle on the American tobacco industry, triggering a $240 million lawsuit. The pcrl‘orrttanccs are excellent and not since All The President's .Ilt'rt has fact and drama merged so powerfully on screen. See feature and review. Selected release.

Inspector Gadget (U) *** (David Kellogg, L75. 1999) Matthew Broderick, Rupert liverett. Joely l-‘isher. 79mins. Disney's take on the l-‘rench kids' cartoon follows the part human, part gizmo Gadgct‘s (Broderick) quest to become a proper, respected cop. Unfortunately. the dastardly (’law (l-fyet'ett) has a sclrentc for world domination, which includes creating art 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 1950s. The resulting film is a fast-moving thrillfest featuring bongo-beating beatniks, a great rockabilly soundtrack and explosive destruction on a grand scale. 'Ihis being a kids film, through, it’s violence with a conscience. Glasgow: Odeon, Odeon At The Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: Virgin Mcgaplex. Galashiels: Pavilion. Kilmarnock: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.

It All Starts Today (12) *** (Bertrand Tavernier, France, 1999) Philippe Torreton. 118 mins. 'Ihe story of a nursery school teacher trying to cope in a northern French town of high unemployment and despairing poverty is told here by Bertrand Tavernier with his usual eye for detail. 'lhere's a feeling, however. that Tavernier believes he’s telling us something new. In fact. filmmakers have recently been tripping over themselves to tell us how prostrate the region has become. Stirling: MacRobert. Joan of Arc (15) *** (Luc Besson, France, 2000) Milla Jovovieh, John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway. 148 mins. 'lhe heroine of this would-be international blockbuster is reinvented as the standard bearer of in a valiant endeavour to repel the forces ofAnglo-American cultural imperialism. But made with English dialogue, the film has much in common with the gory spectacle of Brat'chearr. The uneven opening and closing parts Joan's childhood, and imprisonment and trial cannot cfface the impact of the film's central battle scenes nor the image of the armour- clad Joan in the midst of the carnage. See Frontlines and review. Selected release.

Ju Dou (15) ***** (Zhang Yimou, China/Japan, 1990) Gong Li, Li Wei, Li Bao-'I‘ian. 94 mins. ln 1920s China, a young man (Li Wei) falls innocently for his tyrannical uncle's third wife Ju Dou (Gong Li), and they embark on a forbidden romance. But the truth will out, with tragic consequences. In the confines of the uncle‘s dyeing factory, the story's cruel logic is offset by an intense beauty and eroticism. Exceptional film-making from the director of Red Sorghuan. Edinburgh: Lumiere. The Keep (15) *** (Michael Mann, US, 1983) Scott Glenn, Jiirgen Prochnow, Gabriel Byrne. 96 mins. During WWll German soldiers turn a mystic shrine high up in the Carpathian mountains of Romania into an observation post. But something ancient and evil lurks within the walls, and only a solitary Christ-like figure can stop it. Chilling but not wholly successful supernatural thriller. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Kes (PG) **** (Ken Loach, UK, 1969) David Bradley, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover. 109 mins. In 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 Ieavens what is in effect a tale of some desolation. Falkirk: I’l‘H Cinema.

Knowledge 0f Healing (U) rut (Franz Reichle, Switzerland, 1996) 90 mins. Documentary examining the Tibetan approach to medicine. An Austrian

I pharmaceutical entrepreneur and research

scientists in Vienna and Jerusalem seek to augment Western techniques with Tibetan wisdom learnt from the Dalai lama and his personal physician, Dr Tenzin Choedrak. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

LA. Confidential (18) ***** (Curtis Hanson, US, 1997) Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kim Basingcr. 135 mins. Adapted from James Ellroy‘s neo-noir novel, the best American film of 1997 evokes a glitzy post-World War II Los Angeles underpinned by an all-pervasive, festering corruption. An intricate, drop-dead brilliant plot links bent cops. good cops, Hollywood star lookalike prostitutes and the mob. The dialogue crackles and the actors