l l l

FILM new releases

The dominant literary influence would appear to be Dennis Wheatley

The Ninth Gate (15) 133 mins ii

Thirty-two years have passed since Roman Polanski danced with the devrl in Rosemary’s Baby, but Europe’s most famous exiled director is back in touch with the supernatural in his latest film. Given the look, plot and mood of The Ninth Gate, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a product of those same dusty days in the late 605, when a pentagram on the floor and a man in a hooded cloak was enough to get the horror adrenaline running. It’s an old- fashioned, out-of-time piece of work that’s dull and dated by any standards.

Johnny Depp plays American ’book detective’ Dean Corso, hired by collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) to locate copies of a text that may well have been illustrated by Satan himself.

Pola X (18) 134 mins it * Pierre (Guillaume Depardreu) rs a successful young writer who enjoys a blissful existence in Normandy with his adoring mother (Catherine Deneuve) and beautiful fiancee (Delphine Chuillot). But his life is turned upside down by the appearance of Isabelle (Katerina Golubeva), who claims to be his long—lost, illegitimate sister from Yugoslavra. The two Siblings promptly head to Paris and wind up in an artists' commune, located in a disused power station. Stripped of material comforts, Pierre attempts to write his next great novel

Eight years after the patchy Les Amants Du Pont Neuf, French director

30 THE lIST 25 May—8 Jun 2000

Another overblown, self-indulgent and incoherent effort from Leos Carax

When the peOple Corso meets die in odd set-piece scenes that bring those pictures to life, he knows he’s dealing with forces much more powerful than any of human origin.

Depp gives his character a cynical, in- rt-for-the-money slant, which pr‘ovrdes the only modern element in this plodding, over-stretched, and ultimately confusing thriller. Even though the film is set in a world of handsome leather-bound volumes and imposing libraries, wrth nods to the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, the dominant literary influence would appear to be Dennis Wheatley. There’s only a minimal amount of tangible suspense or scares, and the dialogue clrrnks so loudly it brings an elephantine subtleness to mumbo Jumbo. (Alan Morrison)

I General release from Fri 2 lun.

Leos Carax returns wrth this bizarrely updated adaptation of Herman Melville’s Gothic novel Pierre Or The Ainbiguities. As a filmmaker, Carax has always been stronger on visual atmosphere than on narrative coherence and Po/a X is no exception. The opening half hour establishes a mood of intriguing mysterrousness‘. Thereafter however, Carax's treatment of the rnaterral becomes increasingly overblown and self-indulgent, as the viewer wrtnesses the familiar trials and tribulations of the Suffering, bourgeois artist (a self-portrait of Carax?) InCIdentally, pop recluse Scott Walker contributes the film’s partorchestral, part-industrrt—il score (Torn Dawson) I Edinburgh: Film/rouse from Fri 2 Jun.

Maybe Baby

(15) 104 mins *i’i’

Sam (Hugh Laurie) and Lucy (Joely Richardson) are happy in love and successful at work; he's a BBC commissioning editor and she's a theatrical agent. Living in a BritFilm version of London that resembles a Blakean paradise, the only blot on this idyllic landscape lS that the couple desperately want a baby to fulfil their blissful lives.

Humorous bouts of love-making are soon overtaken by more clinical approaches and with the onset of sperm tests and hormonal injections, the cracks begin to show in their relationship. With Sam feeling that hrs vrrilrty is being questioned at home and work, he finds the solution by trrrnrng hrs private drama into a tragi-comic film.

Written and directed by Ben Elton, it's no Surprise that there are some very funny lines in a film that’s destined to be heralded as the new Four Weddings. Hugh Laurie manages to out-twit Hugh Grant in the awkward English fops stakes and the British comedy establishment ~- Lurnley, Atkinson, French and Thompson -— are all present and correct. (Catherine Bromley)

I Selected release from Fri 2 Jun.

Elton's debut is the new Four Weddings

Love The One You're With

(15) 92 mins xx- iz a

Filmed in Glasgow wrth largely local actors, Love The One You’re With highlights the realities of homelessness in Glasgow. London property dealer Charlie Grant (Paul Cunningham) finds himself stranded in Glasgow without cash, credit card or car after an impounding and a mugging. Befriended by the local homeless he spends the long weekend on the streets and in the sOup kitchens.

To tip the level of authenticity many of the small parts are filled by The Big Issue vendors, acting With no experience.alongside local professionals. Most of the vendor actors give exceptional performances, showrng no sign of their limited acting experience, better in some cases than the professional cast. Ian Stirling's gangster, Bingo Brown, stands out as does hrs sidekick Jerry (Chris Phillips). Stirling was cast through hrs involvement with The Big lssue after eight years of unemployment and many years of homelessness.

Although the plot itself has a few rncongrurtres, Love The One You’re With is worth a look for both its glimpse into Glasgow's underworld and homelessness problem, and for the exceptional talent of the local, inexperienced actors. Here, the medium really is the message. (Evelyn Narelle)

I Premiere screening at Odeon City Centre, Thu ,1 jun. Proceeds go to the Big Issue Foundation Scot/and Selected release from Fri 2 Jun.

To Walk With Lions

(12) 105 mins we we

Born Free brought George and Joy Adamson's work returning captive Irons into the wrlcl to a world-Wide audience. Because of this reputation, To Walk With Lions finds itself in the unusual position of featuring characters whose history we already know, notwrthstandrng incorporated references to the earlier film.

Focusing on an elderly Adamson, played with understated integrity by Richard Harris, this film picks up some time after Born Free left off, as pressure from herdsmen, the government and warring bandits threaten the survival of hrs project. Central to the story is the character of Tony Frtzjohn, a nrghtlrfe-lovrng Englishman who takes on some work for Adamson just to earn a buck ,but soon finds himself with a growrng dedication to preservrng the lions’ envrr'onment.

The relationship between the two men forms the core of the film, but there are excellent peripheral performances from the late lan Bannen as Adamson's brother Terence, and a fleeting visit from Honor Blackrnan as Joy Adamson. Drrectecl by Carl Schultz, the frlrn features stunning images of Kenya’s landscape and wrldlrfe, while the harsh reality of nature extends to Adamson’s fall from his position as head of the lion’s pride. On paper, the story of an old man who lives wrth lions seems out of place next to the big-budget dramas which fill our cinemas, but this movrng narrative has a powerful impact, not least because it rs based on fact. (Louisa Pearson)

I Selected release from Fri 26 May,

Highlighting the realities of homelessness in Glasgow

.’ ‘-',': o- ~m::§3‘_ Picks up after Born Free