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 Elmo In Grouchland (U) *** (Gary Ilalvorson, US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa 1.. Williams, Kevin Clash. 72 mins. The pre-school, educational appeal of Sesame Street's cute furry red stalwart doesn't really transfer to cinema as well as his spiritual cousins, The Muppets. lilmo loses his security blanket down Oscar the Grouch's trashcan. Once inside, he is transported to the hellish Grouchland, where he must retrieve it from the hands of the land's most abhorrent resident lluxley (Patinkin). Despite sturdy support from all the Street regulars: Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, this is strictly for the littlest fatnin members. General release. After Life (PG) **** (llirokazu Koreeda, Japan, 1998) Takashi Mochizuki, Shiori Satonaka, Satoru Kawashima. 1 18 mins. The after life of the title is a civil service bureaucracy that people go to when they die. We've seen this before in A Matter ()fl.t'fe And Death and the ﬁlms of Frank Capra (which Koreeda acknowledges with the ﬁlm's title in Japan — ll’anderful Life), but here ﬁction is interwoven with documentary in the most imaginative way. Glasgow: GI’T‘. Alice Et Martin (15) watt (Andre Techine, France/Spain/USA, 1999) Juliette Binoche/Alexis Loret. 124 mins. Fascinating drama dealing with the complex subject of inherited dysfunctional family psychology, it tells the story of two emotionally unhealthy lovers: Martin (Alexis) and his homosexual half-brother Benjamin's (Amalric) friend Alice (Binoche). 'I'ypically character-driven, Techine's lengthy tale nevertheless boasts a tight structure with the story evolving at a suitably engaging pace. Glasgow: (ii-'1'. American History X (18) **** (Tony Kaye, US, 1998) lidward Norton, [Edward Furlong. 117 mins. A ﬁerce, uncompromising study of racism amongst white working-class youths, .»1ntert'can History X is as provocative as it is visually arresting. David McKenna‘s script pulls no punches in its depiction of racist violence, but explores more fully the origins of bigoted attitudes that inform it. Edinburgh: UGC.
American Movie (15) *** (Chris Smith, US, 1999) 104 mins. Smith‘s subject is Mark Borchardt, a Midwestern, low-budget, trashy ﬁlmmaker who thinks he's Orson Welles, but comes out looking like a ﬁfteenth-rate [Ed Wood. Borchardt, alongside his unrehabilitated druggy sidekick Mike Schank, is among the most unsavoury leading men in cinema history. Smith has worked with media pranksters such as Michael Moore and Louis 'Iheroux, but if this is ajoke then it ranks with the cheekiest of them all. Preview screening. Edinburgh: Cameo.
American Psycho (18) **** (Mary llarron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. Ilarron 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 eollude with her satiric standpoint. Iidinburgh: Cameo.
Angela's Ashes (15) **** (Alan Parker, UK, 1999) Robert Carlyle, [Emily Watson, Joe Breen. 148 mins. Frank MeCourt'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 or: the faces of his remarkable cast to show a texture of emotions. Sentiment here is a natural ingredient, not a saccharine additive. Dunfermline: Carnegie Hall. Asterix And Obelix Take On Caesar (PU) tint (Claude Zidi, France/Belgium, 2000)
Christian Clavier, Gerard Depardicu, Roberto Benigni. 110 mins. 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. Benigni also pops up as the Roman army crook who plans to overthrow Caesar. Astercr can take its place alongside Superman and Batman as one of the successful comic conversion jobs. Galashiels: Pavilion. Largs: Vikingar Cinema.
The Barber Of Siberia (12) *** (Nikita Mikhalkov, UK/Russia, 2000) Julia Ormond, Richard Harris, Oleg Menshikov. 179 mins. Tsarist Russia 1885: American Jane Callahan (Ormond) meets and falls in love with Andrey Tolstoy (Menshikov in a superb performance), an elegant and sensitive young cadet. Their relationship has personal ramiﬁcations on all those around them and eventually tears their worlds apart. Constructed like a historical whodunnit, this is controlled chaos par excellence. The man who directed the sublime Urga and the Chekovian Burnt By The Sun has thrown up a lumbering, awkward but awe-inspiring movie. See review. Glasgow: Showcase. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Battle Of Britain (12) *** (Guy Ilamilton, UK, 1969) Laurence Olivier, , Trevor Howard, Kenneth Moore. 131 mins. A star-studded spectacular made to mark the 30th anniversary of the battle not merely for the skies, but for WWII. Fly with the few with the ﬁlm's superb photography of the dog ﬁghts. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
Battlefield Earth (12) it (Roger Christian, US, 2000) John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker. 118 mins. It’s 3000 AD. Earth is a wasteland, humankind an endangered species enslaved by a conquering alien race. Science ﬁction author and scientology founder 1.. Ron Hubbard's post- apocalyptic vision of the future is brought to the screen by star, producer and scientologist 'I‘ravolta. Between ()0s television shows (Star Trek) and 90s blockbusters (Independence Day) we've seen it all before. General release.
Being John Malkovich (15) *‘k‘k‘kir (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: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Cameo, Dominion. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Stirling: Carlton, MacRobert.
Ben Hur (PG) **** (William Wyler, US, 1959) Charlton Ileston, Jack llawkins, llaya llaraeet, Stephen Boyd. 217 mins. Grand, lavish and massively long epic set in New Testament times. Sweating brows and rippling muscles a-plenty, plus of course the unforgettable chariot race. Fine, upstanding entertainment, if you‘ve got four hours to spare. Glasgow: GFT.
Bicycle Thieves (PG) *tttt (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 19-18) mins. Lamberto Maggiorani, F.n'1.o Staiola. An unemployed Italian workman has his bicycle stolen, and badly needs it fora new job, so he and his small son search the busy streets of Rome for it. The epitome of Italian neo-realism, with the Roman setting vividly sketched and the performances compellineg natural, so that this unromantic drama takes on an overwhelming power. Masterly stuff. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
The Big Gundown (15) *** (Sergio Sollima, Italy/Spain, 1966) Lee Van Cleef, Thomas Milian. 84 mins. Leone regular Van Cleef‘s Texas lawman accepts a bribe from an influential railroad speculator: in return for assistance with his bid to enter politics, Van Cleef must hunt down a Mexican bandit. Thus an extended game of cat and mouse ensues ending in a ﬁnal shoot-out across the border. With music by Ennio Morricone. Glasgow: OFT.
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Thurs 8 & Sat 10 June at 7.15pm _ I Tickets from £9.50 J
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THE TIMES Tues 13 to Sat 17 June ' .. -
Tickets from £6.00 Eilllllnlull iuntl‘s- an e‘slalnlnu
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Weds 21 June at 1pm All tickets £3.00
In assocuatlon wath James Thin
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'...lne nest utesenlannn of nutmeg nu Handel lnall nave extentncet in it me of music and teen.“ Ian 1 Sllllllli lHlBllIE
Tues 4 July at 7.15pm Tickets from £4.00
ﬂux [lffice 0131 539 5000 Groups [113L523 suns
8—22 Jun 2000 THE LIST 57