FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

The Inspector's many contraptions will delight younger viewers, and oldies will be amused by the plentiful self-referential moments. Dunfcrmlinc: Odeon.

Iron Giant (U) ***** (Brad Bird, US, 1999) Jennifer Aniston, Harry Conick Jr, Vin Diesel. 80 mins. In this animated film adaptation of Ted Hughes's classic children's story about a boy who befriends a 50ft. robot from outer space, the action is transported from rural England to small- town America in the late 1950s. The resulting film is a fast-moving thrillfest featuring bongo-beating beatniks, a great rockabilly soundtrack and explosive destruction on a grand scale. This being a kids film, through, it's violence with a conscience. Dunfcrmlinc: ()dcon. Motherwell: Moviehouse.

Jesus' Son (18) **** (Alison MacLean, US, 2000) Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Denis Icary. 109 mins. Just occasionally a film about drugs can contain something of the magic and warmth of an addict's high. Fuckhead (Billy Crudup) is a likeable young bum in 70‘s Iowa with a roaring drug problem, a crazy girlfriend (Morton) and a consuming need to help everyone he comes across, usually with dire consequences. This soulful diary of a ‘head‘ is everything the grossly contrived Trainspotting was not: intelligent, playful and full of big-hearted love. See review. Glasgow: Gl’l‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Kevin 8: Perry Go Large (15) ** (Ed Bye, UK, 2000) Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke, Laura Fraser. 82 mins. This big-screen spin- off for one of the sketches from TV's Harry Enjicld And Chums follows its two teenage characters on a quest to lose their virginity and become top DJs. The key influence here is the Carry 011 series, so prepare yourself for a stream of erection, urinating and vomiting gags. There are some enjoyable performances, but there‘s a nagging sense that, with this predictable satire, Enfield and chums are milking a cash-cow. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.

Kids Return (18) tutti (Takeshi Kitano, Japan, 1996) Masanobu Ando, Ken Kaneko, Leo Morimoto. 107 mins. Two high-school pals start out by extorting pocket-money from their classmates, but soon drift into the boxing ring and flirt with the malign outskirts of yakuza activity all way stations on the road to nowhere in particular. Shot in blue-grey tones with an unobtrusive camera, the film's slight lack of narrative momentum is balanced by performances that ring true all round. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Kikujiro (12) **** (Takeshi Kitano, Japan, 2000) ‘Beat' Takeshi, Yusuke Sekiguchi. 122 mins. Kitano plays the title role (interestingly, also his father's name), a small-time criminal who finds himself the surrogate father to nine-year-old Masao (Sekiguchi) when the boy sets off in search of the mother he has never met. In a departure from the gangster films his European reputation is built on, Kitano‘s sharply observed comic road movie shows the Japanese director/actor in more slapstick mode, giving his offbeat wit a freer rein. Glasgow: GI'T Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

La Nouvelle Eve (The New Eve) (18) *** (Catherine Corsini, France, 2000) Karin Viard, Sergi Lopez, Pierre-Loup Rajot. 94 mins. Camille (Viard), a swimming pool attendant with no money to burn, embarks on an affair with the wonderfully understanding Ben (Ixipez), while falling for married father Alexis (Rajot), whose contended domesticity she has few qualms about destroying. Acerbic case study of the thirtysomething woman who wants it all, or a wish fulfilment tale destined to provoke audiences? The latter seems to be the answer, there are truthful moments to observe and much to enjoy. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

The Last September (15) int (Deborah Warner, UK, 2000) Keeley Ilawes, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon. 104 mins. Adapted by John Banvillc from Elizabeth Bowen's novel, the film charts the end of British rule in Ireland through the eyes of the aristocratic Naylor family. There the conflict between the IRA and the Army creates a stifling atmosphere for budding debutante

36 THE lIST 6—20 Jul 2000

Thomas steams happily on his way onto the big screen in Thomas And The Magic Railroad, which, ahem, runs along the lines of the earlier television series from the 80s and childrens books from the 40s

Lois (IIawes). Bowen's vision is awkwardly realised in celluloid. As costume dramas go, it‘s respectable enough, but given Warner's reputation for innovative spin on canonical works, it‘s something of a disappointment. Glasgow: Grosvcnor.

Leon (18) **** (Luc Besson, France, 1994) Jean Reno, Nathalie Portman, Gary ()ldman. 110 mins. When his neighbour's family is wiped out by crooked cops on a bungled drugs bust. ice cool hitman Leon finds himself looking after the sole survivor twelve-year-old Mathilde. Luc Besson‘s first film in English is, nevertheless, a French film in terms of style, editing and its boldness in story and theme. It‘s good to see that the director has finally got over the all- style-no-eontent obstacle. Edinburgh: UGC. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (PG) *** (Robert Bresson, France, 1946) Maria Casares, Elina Labourdette, Lucienne Bogaert. 90 mins. A young Parisienne revenng herself on her bored lover by arranging for him to marry a prostitute. A collaboration between Jean Cocteau and Bresson has to be an intriguing one, and this occasionally irritating effort is interesting for the manner in which Bresson's characteristically austere manner copes with his scenarist's emotional flourishes. Glasgow: GET.

The Limey (18) iriwk (Steven Soderbergh, US, 1999) Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Luis Guzman. 89 mins. Stamp's criminal cockney reject, Wilson is off his manor and in Los Angeles to avenge his daughter's death in Soderbergh's take on 60s cinema and the British crime movie. But this is no simple revenge caper, although the action thrills and the one-liners are smart. 'lhe casting (>0s icons Stamp and Fonda as Wilson's nemesis, record producer Terry Valentine, is inspired. Edinburgh: Cameo. The Long Good Friday (18) *tttt (John McKenzie, UK, 1980) Bob lloskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan. 114 mins. Harold Shand (Hoskins) is an unforgettable creation, at once the perfect embodiment of his time and place (London, 1980) and a throwback to the monochrome gangsters of the thirties Muni, Cagney, and Edward G. With IIoskins as its driving force and to-die- for dialogue its fuel, the film motors along from one set piece to another. 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. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Love And Basketball (PG) *‘k‘k‘k (Gina Prince-Blythewood, US, 2000) Sanaa Lathan, ()mar Epps. 122 mins. Produced by Spike Lee and directed by first timer Prince- Blythewood, this is a gem about how to keep true to your ambition and to your love at the same time. Marked by real warmth and intelligence, this film really makes you care for its characters, from the moment eleven-year-old Monica steps up to challenge new neighbour ()uincy on a basketball court, through their pre- adolescent first kiss, to the sex, love and conflict of their adult lives. See review. Glasgow: Showcase.

Love's Labour’s Lost (U) *1“: (Kenneth Branagh, US, 2000) Kenneth Branagh, Alicia Silverstone, Adrian Lester. 93 mins. Branagh's attempt to make Shakespeare multiplex-friendly will shock textual purists for he has taken the early, wordy, romantic

comedy, cut 70 per cent of its dialogue and filled the holes with show tunes from the 30s and 40s. Branagh’s most audacious, and frankly maddest, Shakespeare adaptation to date proves to be a funny, engaging, and consistently entertaining trifle. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Falkirk: l-‘I‘H Cinema. Stirling: MacRobert.

Mil-2 (15) *** (John Woo, US, 2000) Tom Cruise, Thandic Newton, Dougray Scott. 124 mins. Evil ex-super spy Sean Ambrose (Scott) has stolen a lethal chemical weapon, and he wants big bucks not to unleash it. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is charged with retrieving it and enlists beautiful cat thief— and Ambrose‘s ex-lover Nyah Hall (Newton). Ht] 2 works best and is most faithful to the spirit of the original Mission: Impossible while the operation remains covert, but Woo blows it with a clumsy all- out action finale. See review. General release.

Mal (Evil) (18) ** (Alberto Seixas Santos, Portugal, 2000) Pauline Cadell, Rui Morrison, Alexandre Pinto, Maria Santos. 87 mins. Santos' mosaic narrative intenveaves various stories across Lisbon culminating in an apocalyptic climax. The key figures are a pair of former 70s activists, Cathy (Cadell) and Pedro (Morrison), whose marriage is torn apart by the discovery of the husband‘s serial infidelities. A relentlessly grim study of blighted urban lives, Mal is shot without visual distinction, and is hampered by a screenplay in which the characters are weighted down with overbearing metaphorical/religious significance. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

A Man Is A Woman (L'homme est une femme comme les autres) (15) it (Jean-Jacques Zilbermann, France, 2000) Antoine de Caunes, Elsa Zylberstein, Michel Aumont. 99 mins. Dc Caunes' Parisian clarinettist Simon Eskenazy is the last in the line of Eskenazy Jews. His uncle (Aumont) hopes for a continuation of the family name; he's even willing to offer ten million francs for Simon to switch sexual proclivities. Plenty of room for farce, especially when it looks like Simon‘s going to take up with the eccentric Yiddish soprano Rosalie (Zylberstein). But Zilbermann‘s muted movie keeps retreating from expectation without finding sure footing of its own. Glasgow: GET.

Man On The Moon (15) ***** (Milos Forman, Us, 2000) Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love. 119 mins. Carrey was unfairly snubbed at the Oscars: as comedian Andy Kaufman (Latka in 'Ilu't'), Carrey gives a career best performance. 'Ihat Kaufman was best known in the UK as Lalka —- and little known for his astonishing, often sadistic practical jokes works in the film‘s favour. Forman and his screenwriters from l.urry I’Iynt, Scott Alexander and Iarry Karaszewski, have crafted a film that plays as many tricks with its audience as Kaufman did with the American public. And that's the highest honour the film could have paid Kaufman. Edinburgh: Lumiere. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.

Mansfield Park (15) and (Patricia Rozema, US, 2000) Frances ()‘Connor, Alessandro Nivola, Jonny Ice Miller. 112 mins. Rozema has supplemented her adaptation with extracts from Jane Austen's own letters and journals, turning the novel's heroine a poor girl who is adopted by wealthy relatives and taken to live in the

grand house of the title into a quick- witted, sharp-tongucd free spirit budding writer. The film may not be strictly faithful to the novel, but there's no mistaking its intelligence, vigour and wit. Stirling: MacRobert.

The Mask Of Zorro (PG) **** (Martin Campbell, US, 1998) Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony Hopkins. 137 mins. As a piece of old-school matinee hokum, The Mask ()onrro flashes its blade with the best of them, but it's also clever enough to draw in a new audience by plundering every manifestation of the action-adventure formula. With the dark Latin looks of a romantic hero and a physical ability to pull off the film‘s acrobatic stunts and comedy, Banderas is perfectly east an Errol Flynn for the 90s. Swordfights haven‘t looked this good since Basil Rathbone last headed for the staircase. Glasgow: GFT.

A Matter Of Life And Death (PG) *tttt (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1946) David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesy, Raymond Massey. 104 mins. Wonderful film that rises above its beginnings as a piece of wartime propaganda about goodwill between Britain and the USA. Niven is an RAF pilot who finds himselfbefore a heavenly tribunal when he bales out of his burning plane. A witty and stylish fantasy with a fair share of on-target satire. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Maybe Baby (15) *** (Ben Elton, UK, 2000) Hugh Laurie, Joely Richardson, Joanna Lumley. 90mins. Sam (Laurie) and Lucy (Richardson) are happy in love and successful at work (he's a BBC commissioning editor and she's a theatrical agent). The only blot on this idyllic London landscape is that the couple desperately 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 ll’t’ddings. Glasgow: Showcase. Dunfcrmlinc: ()dcon. Paisley: Showcase. Wishaw: Arrow Multiplex.

The Million Dollar Hotel (15) it (Wim Wenders, US, 2(X)0) Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, Mel Gibson. 122 mins. Wenders focused shrewdly on character and landscape in his road movies, Alice In The Cities and Paris, Texas. Here, with the characters holed up in the hotel of the title, Wenders‘ appears as hemmed in and listless as the various ‘losers' he attempts to dignify. There is a plot of sorts: Gibson‘s physically and psychologically scarred FBI agent determines to identify the killer of one of the hotel‘s inhabitants. The final diagnosis, then, is that this is Wenders‘ worst movie. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

A Monkey's Tale (PG) *hht (Jean- Francois Laguionie, UKi’l-‘rancc, 2000) Voices of John Hurt, Michael York, Rik Mayall. 76 mins. A monkey Community torn apart by post-earthquake floods re-build their shattered lives. Some flee to the treetops while others salvage what's left on the ground. Decades pass and suspicion, ignorance and prejudice breed hatred, but change is finally wrought by a loveable rogue who innocently questions the regime. Animation with a message that isn't schmaltzy, but charming. See review. General release.

MouseHunt (U) *hkt (Gore Verbinski, US, 1997) Nathan Lane, Lee Evans,