Dogma doesn't satirise God nor Catholicism; instead it targets religious attitudes

Blasphemy! Christian America was outraged by Kevin Smith’s controversial religious comedy about fallen angels Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) who are intent on exploiting a metaphysical loophole in order to return to heaven, unaware that such action will destroy the universe. Not to be confused with the Danish back-to-basics filmmaking manifesto, Dogma's storytelling reflects Smith's comic book writing background. Thus good is pitted against evil on a grand scale and the various characters that aid or oppose the angels come together like a superhero team. The battleground is modern day New Jersey and fighting to save creation are dick-less and therefore miserable herald angel Metatron (Alan Rickman), lapsed Catholic and abortion clinic nurse Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), heavenly muse and stripper Serendipity (Salma Hayek), forgotten thirteenth apostle Rufus (Chris Rock) and demon with an appreciation of air conditioning Azrael (Jason Lee). Not to mention the two ‘prophets’, the fantastically foul-mouthed Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith reprising their roles from Chasing Amy). Smith still can't direct to save his life, but his script is brazenly inventive and the dialogue often hilarious. Like the similarly ‘controversial' Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, Dogma doesn't satirise God nor Catholicism; instead, and as the title suggests, it targets religious attitudes. The gauge of those is whether you laugh or take offence at horny homophobe Jay's attempts to shag Alanis Morisette's elfin God. In spite of using such crude humour to revise religious beliefs (God a woman, Jesus H Christl), Dogma is ultimately a very conservative take on

Catholicism. (Miles Fielder)

I Dogma is re/eased on Mon 72 Jun on video rental.



(12) 102 mins a air air wk

Romantrc costume dramas aren't my thrng. But there’s somethrng rn Martha Frennes' adaptation of Pushkrn's Eugene Onegin that makes a srmple story utterly absorbrng. Not much happens. Ralph Frennes, rn the trtle role, rnherrts hrs uncle’s provrncral estate, turns down the attentrons of Lrv Tyler, drsappears for a few years and returns, rn turn, to be spurned by her. But thanks to a frne set of broodrng performances and an elegant, carefully paced Crnematography, thrs elegrac tale takes a mesmerrsrng hold. (Entertarnment) (Mark Frsher)


(18) 100 mins iv k tr *

Jonny Lee Mrller's Edrnburgh-based Journalist, Cameron, rs drawn rnto a consprraCy marked by a serres of brutal murders, whrch forces hrm to confront

hrs chrldhood relatronshrps to frnd the key to the rrddle. Thrs adaptatron of larn Banks’ novel got short shrft rn the crnema, and rt certarnly lacks the depth and atmospherrcs of the orrgrnal. However, the characterrsatrons are excellent and the Crnematography has a wonderful, washed-Out look whrch captures the Scottrsh settrng wrthout ever resortrng to tweeness. (Entertarnment) (Abr Bremner)

Anywhere But Here (15) 114 mins A t *

Wayne Wang made a brrllrant frlm about fathers and sons called Smoke, here he tackles mothers and daughters. Strfled by srnalltown lrfe, crazy mum Adele (Susan Sarandon) packs her Mercedes and heads for Los Angeles wrth angsty daughter Ann (Natalre Portman). Ann wants a ’normal' lrfe, Adele Just wants to have fun So they argue, a lot. It's unashamed melodrama, whrch rs frne

brought to you by

by Wang because he was raised on rt, loves (I, loves Joan Crawford and Bette Davrs. Watch wrth hankres and chocolates. (Fox Pathe) (Mrles Fielder)

October Sky

(PG) 108 mins) a air wt

A boy escapes the mrsery of workrng rn a coal mrne rn 1950s West Vrrgrnra by achrevrng hrs dream to become a rocket screntrst. As rf. But rt’s true, October Sky rs based on the memorr of Homer H. Hrckman, a hrllbrlly who tomed the NASA space programme team. It's sentimental stuff, but the solrd performances ~ partrcularly newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal rn the lead and John Sayles' favourrte Chrrs Cooper as hrs mrne superrntendent father —< brrng the frlm down to earth. (Unrversal) (Mrles Frelder)

The Clandestine Marriage

(15) 87 mins tr

Thrs rs a frlm all about marrrages a secret one, an arranged one and several farCrcal and mrxed-up attempts at one. There are some well known faces rn thrs 18th century perrod romp rncludrng Srr Nrgel Hawthorne, Paul Nrcholls and Joan Collrns, the latter grvrng what can only be descrrbed as a drre performance. Tire Clandestine Marriage certarnly has rts comedy moments, but not enough to keep you watchrng to the brtter end, (Unrversal) (Jane Hamrlton)

Julian P0

(12) 83 mins it

If you've never heard of thrs frlm that’s probably because rt’s rnstantly forgettable. Chrrstran Slater plays a man who gets stranded rn a small town, then announces hrs rntentron to krll hrmself. The proclamatron exorts all manner of reactrons; one gal falls rn love, some express therr admrratron whrle the others place bets as to when the deed shall be done, If thrs was a prece of Italran arthouse crnema, rt rnrght be brlled 'charmrng'. Sadly there’s lrttle to make up for the lack of plot and one—drmenSronal actrng. (Entertarnment) (L0ursa Pearson)


Time Regained (Le Temps retrouvé) (18) (162 mins) t it k a: a

A mrssron rmpossrble Surely to adapt Marcel PrOust's towerrng modernrst lrterary masterprece? Not only are there multrple narratrves, but the marn one —- a termrnally rll wrrter uses hrs art to revrsrt hrs past concerns the elusweness of memory, not a screen- frrendly theme. Chrlean drrector Raoul Rurz creates a grand narratrve (from the frnal volume of A la recherche du temps perdu), a tour de force of stylrstrc camerawork, trrcks and lavrsh settrngs, supported by a top notch cast: Catherrne Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart and John Malkovrch Extraordrnary. (Artrfrcral Eye £15.99; £19.99 on DVD, also avarlable to rent) (Mrles Frelder)

reviews VIDEO/ DVD

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'\n-"". f:'\,\2 u TheThlrteenth Floor \ .,, ' ' .I., X ' -, , , . . .



(15) 103 mins * air at

Glorra (Sharon Stone) rs a tOugh-talkrng broad, fresh out of prrson and Wrth a score to settle wrth her mobster ex- boyfrrend. An argument, a robbery and a Quick escape later, and she frnds herself on the run wrth a seven-year- old orphan, Thrs re-make of the acclarmed John Cassavetes frlm marntarns a farr pace. However, Stone's Glorra rs more hysterrcal than hard- bOrled and her small charge CIOyrng. More personal drama than gangster thrrller. (Entertarnment £1499; wrdescreen £15.99) (Abr Bremner)


t a: t it at Unmrssable

a a y. a: Very 00d

1: t a Wort a shot

i it Below average

t You’ve been warned I

8—22 Jun 2000 THE lIST 121