Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
The Adventures Of Pinocchio (U) *** (Steve Barron, US. 1996) Martin Landau, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Udo Kicr. 96 mins. More faithful to the original novel than the Disney cartoon, this mix of animatronics, computer animation and live action still falls short of the mark. Landau is a sympathetic Geppetto and the period detail gives a nice fairytale mood, but the sentimentality and moralising (and the shoddy cricket animation) undermine its good elements. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Alien (18) ***** (Ridley Scott, US, 1979) Sigourney Weaver, Ian llolm, John Ilurt. 116 mins. Agatha Christie in outer space as a freighter lands on a mysterious planet and is ingeniously invaded by a ravenous intruder which proceeds to chomp its way through the cast list. Edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller with a strong cast and ghastly special effects. Edinburgh: Virgin Megaplex.
Alphaville (15) **** (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1965) Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard Vemon. 98 mins. Enjoyable mid-60$ Godard caper which turns contemporary Paris into Alpha 60, a chilly city of the future from which such concepts as love and tenderness have been banned. Enter Constantine's grizzled gumshoe Lemmy Caution and we‘re set for an extended and highly idiosyncratic homage to comic strip heroism. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
American Beauty (18) ***** (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora 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 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. General release. American llistory X (18) tutti: (Tony Kaye, US, 1998) Edward Norton, Edward Furlong. 117 mins. A ﬁerce, uncompromising study of racism amongst white working-class youths, American IlisloryX is as provocative as it is visually arresting. David McKcnna‘s script pulls no ' punches in its depiction of racist violence, but explores more fully the origins of bigoted attitudes that inform it. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild at the l-‘ilmhouse. Anastasia (U) titre (Don Blurb/Gary Goldman, US, 1997) Voices of Meg Ryan, Christopher Lloyd, John Cusack. 94 mins. With this widescreen romantic musical adventure, animator Don Bluth offers a ﬁlm that rivals Disney. Rewriting history somewhat, evil magician Rasputin puts a curse on the Tsar‘s family and causes the 1917 Revolution. The child princess Anastasia survives, but grows up as an orphan, unable to remember her past. With extraordinary action sequences, exquisite characterisations and beautiful songs. Glasgow: UCI. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. East Kilbride: UCI.
Andre (U) tint (George Miller, US, 1994) Tina Majorino. Keith Carradine, Chelsea Field. 9-1 mins. This time it's the turn of a seal to keep the kids oohing and aahing, as the true story of Andre unfolds. Set during the early ()()s in a small ﬁshing town in hiaine,the ﬁlntlraszﬂlthe necessary elements - cute kid bonding with cute animal — and with a few adventure sequences in the plot that puts this ﬂippeer hero in the Skippy. Champion Rin Tin Tin class. Galashicls: Pavilion.
Angela's Ashes (15) ***~k (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Joe Breen. HS 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. Glasgow: Showcase, Virgin. Edinburgh: UCl. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Paisley: Showcase. Stirling: MacRobert.
Anna And The King (12) ** (Andy Tcnnant, US, 1999) Jodie Foster, Chow Yun Fat, Bai Ling. 151 mins. Another remake of The King And ['5 improbable romance between a Western governess and an Eastern king. This time round Yul Brynner 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 Fat proves he's better with the Hong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. Stirling: MacRobert. Any Given Sunday (15) iii (Oliver Stone, US, 2000) Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid. 150 mins. Oliver Stone casts a wandering eye over the big bad world of American Football. Pacino grunts and yells as Tony D'Amato, twenty year veteran coach for the Miami Sharks, who is at odds with the club‘s new owner, feisty upstart Christina Pagniacci (Diaz). The po-faced power struggles become wearing and while Stone's epileptic editing style captures the power and athleticism of the game, it falls short of the grace and skill. By the ﬁnal whistle, Any Given Sunday is frustratingly unrealised. See review. General release. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (12) **** (Jay Roach, US, 1999) Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley. 96 mins. The Spy Who Shagged Me doesn‘t really make any advances in what is surely, by now, a new ﬁlm franchise — Austin Powers 3: Live And Let Shag, Austin Powers 4: The Man With The Golden Mojo, perhaps? — rather, it consolidates its three types ofjokery - 60s kitsch, ﬁlm references and sexual innuendo. Edinburgh: Cameo. Le Ballon d'Or (12) tint (Cheik Doukourc, France/Guinea, 1993) 90 mins. A Guinean village boy, obsessed with football, is exploited by a city businessman, but falls under the wing of a caring football club manager. Like many Black (as opposed to North) African ﬁlms, the thematic focus is on the difﬁculty of keeping alive traditional cultural values in the face of the modern world. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Bats (18) *** (Louis Morneau, US, 1999) Bob Gunton. 90 mins. In best monster movie tradition, a shifty scientist injects some test animals — bats of course — with an experimental serum that increases the ﬂying rodent's aggression. When they escape the virus quickly spreads and the locals ﬁnd themselves under attack from the winged hoard. It‘s been done with everything from worms to bunny rabbits, so why not bats? Supported by the shorts Clover: Hoofed and Killer ()fl.ittle Fishes. Part of Dead By Dawn. See feature. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. The Beach (15) *rkt (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 I 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. General release.
Being John Malkovich (15) ***** (Spike Jonze, US, 2000) John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich. 112 mins. Frustrated puppeteer Craig Schwartz (Cusack) takes a job as a ﬁling clerk and discovers a portal into the actor John Malkovich's brain. What could have developed into a one-gag ﬁlm, becomes a gender-bending extravaganza with a crazy network of love triangles, which climaxes with a lesbian relationship between two people of the opposite sex. A bewildering number of possibilities are added to the central premise and important questions about personal identity and self- fulﬁlment are raised. Glasgow: GF'I‘, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cameo.
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30 Mar—13 Apr 2000 THE LIST 27