want a baby to fulﬁl their blissful lives. Written and directed by 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. General release. Microcosmos (U) ***** (Claude Nuridsany/Marie Perennou, France, 1995) 75 mins. A bug-eyed look at the world of insects, this I-‘rench one-off falls somewhere between a narrativeless documentary and an ensemble piece for its array of tiny characters. What unfolds is a kind of life-in- a-day between the blades of grass in an overgrown meadow. The award-winning macro-photography and imaginative sound evoke and surpass the artiﬁcial worlds created in all those science ﬁction movies. Glasgow: Gl’l‘.
The Miracle Maker (U) ** (Stanislav Sokolov, Derek Hayes, UK, 2000) Ralph Eiennes, Julie Christie, Richard E Grant. 91 mins. Miracles may never cease, undoubtedly the reasoning behind previous attempts to render the Easter Story palatable. The latest gimmick is to add puppets, which, although oddly dated, impresses on its own low tech level. Despite deftly tugging at the heartstrings, the puppetry can't disguise the fact that this is a Sunday school reading in a millennial medium. Irvine: Magnum Theatre. Stirling: Carlton.
Mission To Mars (PG) Hr (Brian De Palma, US, 2000) Gary Sinese, Tim Robbins, Connie Neilsen. 116 mins. The year is 2020 and NASA has landed on Mars, but a mysterious phenomenon wipes out the astronauts and a rescue mission is dispatched. Melodrama is prioritised over science ﬁction thrills and much of the blame lies in the appalling dialogue and gun-ho patriotism. Worse still, De Palma opts for stunningly obvious exposition; at his ﬁlm's quasi-religious climax you‘ll think: ‘80 what'." Campbeltown: Picture House. Modesty Blaise (PG) **** (Joseph Losey, UK, 1966) Monica Vitti, Dirk Bogarde, Terence Stamp. I 19 mins. Amidst a welter of silly Sixties comic strip capers, this typically outre Losey effort still seems weird. Starring glacial Antonioni regular Vitti as the eponymous heroine trying to stop Dirk Bogarde's camper than camp criminal mastermind from taking over the world, it's the wonderful op-art sets and delightfully dated costumerie (dig that silver wig, Dirk baby) that still hold the attention because the parodic gags and deliberately stoopid plotting never were as funny as the ﬁlm-makers seemed to pretend. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Muppets From Space (U) *tt (Tim Hill, 1999, US) Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Frank Oz. 88 mins. For their sixth big screen adventure, the focus of our Muppet attentions is Gonzo, that blue, hooked nosed . . . thing. No one is really sure what GonZo is, so when he gets a message which he believes is from space, the race is on to make contact with his extra terrestrial brethren. Muppets From Space captures the spirit of the first movie and the original TV series where the subsequent ﬁlms never did. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Glenrothes: Rothes Halls.
My Life So Far (12) ** (Hugh Hudson, UK, 2000) Robert Norman, Rosemary Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Colin Firth. 98 mins. Everything in llugh Hudson's ﬁlm is about to change. l-‘raser Pettigrew (Norman) is about to go from childhood innocence to sexualised adolescence. The Scottish estate of the elderly matriarch Gamma (Harris) is about to be passed onto a new generation, either her go-ahead capitalist son (McDowell) or her dithering romantic nephew Edward (Firth). Genteel afﬂuence is about to give way to wartime hardship. loosely based on the memoirs of Sir Denis I’orman, My Life So Far would love to be a play by Chekhov. Instead it's a mushy piece of nostalgic whimsy. Dunoon: Studio Cinema.
The Ninth Gate (15) ** (Roman Polanski, US, France, 2000) Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin. 133 mins. Depp‘s ‘book detective' Dean Corso is hired by collector Boris Balkan (Langella) to locate copies of a text that may well have been illustrated by Satan himself. 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. Though Polanski’s ﬁlm nods to the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, the dominant literary inﬁuence would appear to be Dennis Wheatley. There’s only a minimal amount of tangible suspense or scares, and the dialogue clunks so loudly it brings an elephantine subtleness to mumbo jumbo. Glasgow: Odeon Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: UGC. Paisley: Showcase. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.
One Day In September (15) *mbkt (Kevin MacDonald, UK, 2000) Narrator: Michael Douglas. 94 mins. Macdonald’s Oscar-winning documentary about the Palestinian organisation Black September‘s terrorist action at the 1972 Olympic Games plays like a tense political thriller. The tragic story is told through grieving Israeli relatives, a vengeful Mossad agent, feckless Bavarian security ofﬁcers and the sole living terrorist. lfgaining the full context of the Arab/Israeli struggle is your goal, libraries are full of the stuff. If an absorbing retelling of a jet black day where the sport/politics interface fatally clashed, then this should be your starting block. See review. Glasgow: GET. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Orphans (18) **** (Peter Mullan, Uk, 1999) Douglas llenshall, Gary Lewis, Stephen McCoIe, Rosemarie Stephenson. 105 mins. Four orphans of varying ages attempt to come to terms with the death of their beloved mother during one dark, stormy night in Glasgow. Mullan's feature directing debut mixes emotional frankness with humour verging on the surreal to great effect. While individual set pieces and performances impress, the whole thing comes together remarkably. Glasgow: GilmorehillGlZ.
The Palm Beach Story (U) ***** (Preston Sturges, US, 1942) Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert, Mary Astor. 85 mins. The wife of a failed New York inventor heads south to ﬁnd a new and millionaire husband in order to fund her inventor's next hair- brained scheme: an airﬁeld suspended above NYC no less. Sturges’ is known for his brand of screwball humour, and here he notches it all the way up to number eleven. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Pippi Longstocking (U) ** (Clive Smith/Michael Schaack/Bill Giggie, Canada‘Sweden/Germany, 2000) 78 mins. There’s something vaguely disturbing about a nine-year-old girl who parades down the street singing ‘Oh what a fabulous day, I'm happy as can be' having just watched her father being washed out to sea. But maybe that's being churlish. After all, Pippi Longstocking's anarchic behaviour has won her a place in the hearts and on the bookshelves of many a child since Astrid Lindgren ﬁrst unleashed the world's ﬁrst riot girl. But in an age of sophisticated children's films, Pippi Longstocking with all her exuberance, fails to deliver. Edinburgh: Eilmhouse.
Pokemon (U) *ir (Michael llaigney/Kunohiko Yuyama, Japan/US, 2000) 96 mins. Cloned Pokemon (pocket monster) Mewtwo embarks on world dominance and so hero kids, Ash, Brock and Misty, accompanied by their Pokemon, set out to make him see the error of his ways. Cue a great deal of gratuitous ﬁghting and an interlude in which it's explained that ﬁghting is bad ('PI). The stupor induced by viewing the ﬁlm strand of the phenomenal Pokemon franchise (computer game, collecting cards, etc.) as an adult, convincingly conﬁrms that it's a kid thing, good or bad. General release.
Pola X (18) *‘k (Leos Carax, France, 2000) Guillaume Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Delphine Chuillot. 134 mins. Pierre (Depardieu) is a successful young writer, who enjoys a blissful existence with his adoring mother (Deneuve) and beautiful ﬁancee (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 Yugoslavia. Eight years after the patchy Les Ame/its Du Pom Neuf, Carax returns with this bizarrely updated adaptation of Herman Melville's Gothic novel Pierre ()r The Ambiguities which sorely lacks narrative coherence. Edinburgh: I-‘ilmhousc.
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THURSDAY IS JUNE - SATURDAY I JULY
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8—22 Jun 2000 THE LIST 41