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 Huck Finn (PG) its: (Stephen Sommers, US, 1993) Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Robards. 108 mins. Woods, America ’s best male child actor, carries his role at the centre of this appealing Disney version of Mark TWain‘s classic. Teaming up with a runaway slave, lluck heads down the Mississippi, meeting two riverfront rouges: The Duke (Coltrane) and The King (Robards). Fine entertainment for all the family. Stirling: Carlton.
After Stonewall (15) (John Scagliotti, US, 1999) 88 mins. Thirty years ago the patrons of the lesbian and Stonewall Bar spontaneously united against police harassment, a moment many regard as the beginning of gay civil rights. The documentary, Before Stonewall, looked at life before that event; this ﬁlm looks at gay life to date. Part of The Lesbian And Gay Film Festival On Tour. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Alice In Wonderland (U) *** (Dallas Bower/Lou Bunin, US/France/UK, 1951) Carol Marsh, Stephen Murray, Pamela Brown. 83 mins. Interesting if crude version of Lewis Carroll's Victorian fantasy using Bunin's puppets, which was eclipsed by the simultaneous release of the Disney version. Stirling: MacRobert.
Alien (18) ***** (Ridley Scott, US, 1979) Sigourney Weaver, Ian llolm, John Hurt. 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: Cameo. All About My Mother (15) ***** (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. Allonsanfan (15) (Vittorio and Paolo Taviani, 1974) Marcello Mastroianni, Lea Massari. Mimsy Farmer. 110 mins. The title of this Taviani brothers ﬁlm comes from the ﬁrst words of the Marseillaise, but spoken with an Italian accent. Set in 1816, the ﬁlm is an Italian reflection on the themes of the French revolution. Part of the Italian Film Festival. Glasgow: GI’I'.
American Beauty (18) stinks: (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 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. General release. American Psycho (18) tabs (Mary llarron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. Harron does away with the outward excesses — murder, torture, misogyny - of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel about the previous money- obsessed decade and serves up the essence of the novel in a more palatable form. That doesn‘t mean her ﬁlm is soft; it certainly isn't. But where Ellis pushed his readers away, the director draws the audience in by encouraging us to collude with her satiric standpoint. General release.
Angela's Ashes (15) *ttt (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning childhood memoir of Limerick in the 303 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. Edinburgh: Brunton Theatre.
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. Pacinogrunts 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. Glasgow: Odeon, Odeon At The Quay. Irvine: Magnum Theatre.
Astérix And Obelix Take On Caesar (PG) iii (Claude Zidi, France/Belgium) Christian Clavier, Gerard Depardieu, Roberto Benigni. 110mins. Clavier and Depardieu lead the way as the ﬁlm's dynamic Gaulish duo, juiced up on their secret super strength giving potion, dispensing with the Roman army in a slapstick and downright chirpy way. Roberto Benigni also pops up as Roman army crook Detritus, who’s plan it is to overthrow Caesar. Asre’rir can take his place alongside Batman and Superman as one of the few successful cartoon conversion jobs. General release.
Le Bassin De John Wayne (PG) (Joa Cesar Monteiro, 1997) 128 mins. Maverick ﬁlmmaker Monteiro's dazzling and audacious ﬁlm links a Strindberg performance with a childhood dream of the cowboy actor swivelling his hips at the North Pole. Part of Sea Changes, the new Portuguese cinema season. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Beach (15) “(a (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. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Being John Malkovich (15) *tttt (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: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cameo, Lumiere.
Bleeder (18) *iii (Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark, 2000) Kim Bodnia, Mads Mikkelsen, Rikke Louise Anderson. 97 mins. Refn’s new journey to the heart of Shitsville, Copenhagen is every bit as sordid, crushing and mesmerising as his debut, Pusher. Bleeder shows the collapse of Louise and Leo‘s relationship in the face of unwanted pregnancy, suffocating sibling racism and Leo's burgeoning Travis Bickle- style obsession with guns. The brilliant opening sequence here is a life-afﬁrming mother of all cinema homage, and with superb naturalistic acting from Refn's regulars and a mean visceral script, this is the cinema of alienation par excellence. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
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