Echoes has as much in common with American Beauty as it does The Sixth Sense

Stir 0f Echoes

(15) 99 mins it at at

Kevrn Bacon sees dead peOple. Unlike Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, , however, he hasn't always had this 1 ability to brush against the icy shoulders of the deceased. For Bacon's . character, Tom Witzky, that special, 3 spooky insight only comes about when he's hypnotised by his sister-in-law Lisa (llleana Douglas) as a party trick. Soon he’s suffering nightmares and being visited by the spirit of a teenage girl. His home life begins to buckle under the pres3ure and only when he uncovers the mystery surrounding his ghostly Vision Will he be able to free . himself of what has become a ? dangerous obsession. Not that you’d guess from these plot

4!, '1

The Filth And The Fury (15) 107 mins 1r it 1%

In his sec0nd attempt at defining the

Sex Pistols story, Julien Temple has adopted a revrsionist stance With the intention of dispelling the notion that the group were the stooges of an art school movement masterminded by self-proclaimed svengali Malcolm McLaren In place of McLaren’s claim that the Pistols were 'my painting, my sculpture', we are treated to some heavy-handed, if not patronising, attempts to provrde a socro-political context.

Splicing TV ads, stock footage of garbage—filled streets and doctored clips from Richard //I into interViews With the band and prevrously unseen live footage, Temple wants us to see the group as a genuine explosion of

parameters, but Stir Of Echoes has as much in common with American Beauty as it does The Sixth Sense. The supernatural material merely allows writer-director Davrd Koepp (working from Richard Matheson's 1958 novel) a narrative means of getting beneath the surface sheen of modern American life. For although the setting is a working— class Chicago neighbourhood, not comfortable suburbia, the film’s sick secret begins With certain characters’ deSIre for suburban-style respectability. At the centre of the sudden scares and the low key special effects, Bacon gives the film a sense of reality. No one else at his level on the Hollywood ladder can convey the ordinary strengths of blue collar America quite as convmcingly. (Alan Morrison) I General release from Ffl 26 May.


Julien Temple's revisionism confirms punk as style over content

fury at the state of Britain towards the end of the I970s.

This may well be the case, and the interviews are occasionally gripping, as when Johnny Rotten breaks down while recounting Sid ViCious’ last days, but the film ultimately fails in Its attempt to redress the balance. This is mainly due to the fact that the live maternal is overdubbed With familiar studio recordings and therefore, one can only gape at the sheer beauty of the early punks, With Rotten and Vicious reduced to mannequins for ground-breaking fashion.

In the end, The Filth And The Fury is eye candy that manages to tacitly confirm the McLaren/Westwood aesthetic Vision, in spite of constant attempts to portray punk as a movement driven by content, rather than style. (Jack Mottram)

new releases FILM

ALSO OPENING Honest (18) 105 mins

Dave Stewart directs three quarters of All Saints In another London-set gangster film. It's a bit hard to get excited about such a prospect. Yet Honest has some things going for it . . honest. For those lads interested, the girls get their kits off. For those more discerning cinema goers, they perform (in the theatrical sense) surprisingly admirably, for pop stars.

Furthermore, this gangster movie has a period setting: the late 605. In fact, with its romance sub-plot, comic element and social drama (Mike Leigh anyone?), Honest isn’t strictly speaking another Lock, Stock rip-off. Appleton’s Nicole and Natalie and Melanie Blatt are three sisters living in the East End who attempt to better themselves by dressing up in drag and robbing the West End's rich. Local criminal hard nuts and a handsome American student pose very different problems for the girl’s career improvement efforts, but they pull together for that one last job . . .

Not the shameless extended music promo Spicewor/d was, Honest at least tries to live up to its name. But in the end, it’s still a mediocre film With mediocre performances, which is getting more attention because it features the pretty girls of pop. (Miles Fielder)

I Tm" A J. . i Not a shameless extended music promo

_ I General release from Fri 25 May

The Long Good Friday (18) 114 mins *****

A lot happens in the first five minutes of The Long Good Friday. There’s a pay off, a homosexual assignation, a terrorist ambush, an abduction, two murders, some political wheeling and dealing, and a funeral procession. Then Bob Hoskins makes his entrance

and things get really interesting. ;, g . a . . ' Harold Shand is an unforgettable Pi J. creation, at once the perfect {'1' it P . if"); embodiment of his time and place _ . ti, . ' i (London, 1980) and a throwback to _ ' '_ i ii"

the monochrome gangsters of the 305; Muni, Cagney, and Edward G. Iconic company in which to include the future Super Mario Brother perhaps, but Hoskins more than justifies his presence. The actor dominates every frame, shifting effortlessly from bonhomie to (hilariously delivered) sarcasm to rage, even when the transitions occur within the same scene.

With Hoskins as its driving force and to-die-for dialogue its fuel, the film motors along from one set piece to another: a car bomb takes out Harold’s Roller in the grounds of a church, gangland rivals are interrogated in an abattoir, a stock car race track stages a gun battle. The violence, though shocking (even now) and brilliantly staged, is never allowed to overwhelm the characters, leading this minor classic to its subtle but devastating climax. (Rob Fraser)

I Edinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Fri 26 May. See preview.


(15) 89 mins iii

Gabriel has just pulled and is looking good for a night of action. Except there is nowhere that he and Mark can go to fulfil their desire. Mark (Jean Paul Pitoc) cannot take Gabriel (Christian Campbell who bears a striking resemblance to his y0unger sister, Neve) home for fear of upsetting the lady he lives with, and Gabriel’s flatmate has already made a prior booking on the room they share. So instead the boys wonder around town searching for a friend who can help them out, and in doing so create a bond far stronger than there initial carnal desire.

Thankfully, Trick makes no issue out of the main characters being gay. This is a pleasant change from some British independent attempts at treating homosexual love (Get Real, Beautiful Thing). The strength of Trick relies on some excellent supporting performances, not least from Beverly Hills 90270 starlet Tori Spelling. She plays Gabriel’s best friend who has the annoying habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; her insecurities plague Gabriel's attempts to get his man.

Trick moves away from the stereotyping that clings to gay cinema, making it a great date movie no matter Where your sexual preferences lie. (Kaleem Aftab)

I Edinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Fri 2 Jun. See preview

Hoskins is the driving force

Makes no issue of the main characters being gay

25 May—8 Jun 2000 THE LIST 29 '