Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certiﬁcate, star rating. credits. brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.
Agnes Browne (15) it (Anjelica Huston, US, 2000) Anjelica Huston, Marion O‘Dwyer, Ray Winstone. 91 mins. Anjelica Huston packs her sophomore directorial effort with more cliches and stereotypes than you can shake a shamrock at. As Agnes Browne, a big-hearted, salt-of-the-earth matriarch struggling to raise her children alone in Dublin, circa 1967, she gets to play dowdy, glamorous, sensitive and vulgar. But this deterrninedly feelgood ﬁlm is too obvious in its intentions to be emotionally affecting. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
American Movie ( 15) whit (Chris Smith, US, 2000) 104 mins. Smith and producer Sarah Price‘s documentation of oddball Wisconsin ﬁlmmaker Mark Borchardt’s efforts to get his Great American Movie made is amusing and fascinating. Borchardt is more Ed Wood than Orson Welles, but American Movie’s makers admire his tenacity, and their non-judgmental approach has been rewarded with a strange and wonderful ﬁlm. Edinburgh: Cameo.
American Psycho (18) hurt (Mary Harron, US, 2000) Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe. 101 mins. Harron 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 collude with her satiric standpoint. Edinburgh: Cameo.
The Beach (15) iii (Danny Boyle, UK/US, 2000) Leonardo DiCaprio, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen. 119 mins. Like Alex Garland’s source novel, The Beach has a sort of breathless, late-adolescent ‘What I did on my holidays‘ quality; book and ﬁlm share the ability to capture the exhilaration and chaos of travel. Screenwriter John Hodge’s adaptation replaces creeping paranoia and discontent with straight-ahead sexual jealousy as a catalyst for disaster. Although the ﬁlm looks handsome and holds the attention, it ﬁnally seems a little hollow and unconvinced of its own purpose. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Beau Travail (15) think (Claire Denis, France, 2000) Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Gregoire Colin. 90 mins. An imaginative reworking of Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd, Sailor, Beau Travail sees writer-director Denis relocating the source material from the 19th century British navy to the present-day French Foreign Legion. In Marseille, Sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant) recalls the events that lead to him being forced to leave the corps after being posted to a remote outpost in Djibouti, East Africa. A work ﬁlled with beauty, sadness and mystery. Mesmerising ﬁlmmaking. Glasgow: GFT.
Being John Malkovich (15) *tttt (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: Odeon. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. Big Momma's House (12) mu (Raja Gosnell, US, 2000) Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, Paul Giamatti. 106 mins. Lawdy, what folks will do to make other folks laugh. Here, Lawrence’s undercover cop dons a latex mask, false breasts and a dress, transforming himself into an overweight old woman. While the real Big Momma’s on vacation, Lawrence lures her granddaughter (Long) and ultimately her criminal boyfriend into a trap. All very lame; perhaps the best recommendation for Big Momma '5 House is the ripe blues/scul/gospel soundtrack. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay, Showcase. Paisley: Showcase.
Buena Vista Social Club (U) “nu (Wim Wenders, Cuba, 1999) Ry Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez. 104 mins. Cuba looks a little like the land that time forgot. A theme Wonders brings out both in the over-exposed images of Havana and also in the musical brilliance of these octogenarian and nonagenarian musicians who have for so long been neglected. And it's ironically thanks to an American, Wenders‘ regular musical collaborator Ry Cooder, that their careers have been resurrected. Edinburgh: Cameo.
A Bug's Life (U) *‘k‘ki (John Lasseter, US, 1998) Voices of: Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, David Hyde Pierce, Denis Leary. 95 mins. Made by Pixar Animation Studios (Toy Story), A Bug '3 Life takes us to Ant Island, where the colony is being oppressed by a gang of menacing grasshoppers. When inventive but clumsy worker ant Flik incurs the wrath of gang leader Hopper, he heads off to ﬁnd help heavyweight help in the battle against his oppressors. Glasgow: Odeon.
Butterflfs Tongue (La Lengua De Las Mariposas) (15) **** (Jose Luis Cuerda, Spain, 2000) Manuel Lozano, Fernando Feman Gomez. 95 mins. Set in Galicia, in the period preceding Franco’s fascist uprising in 1936, Cuerda's ﬁlm traces the relationship between seven-year-old Moncho (Lozano) and his benign anarchist-leaning teacher Don Gregorio (veteran Spanish actor Gomez). This is Republican Spain seen through rose-tinted glasses; a harsh and bitter world transformed into a make-believe utopia about to be cruelly crushed by fascism. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Chicken Run (U) *iti (Nick Park/Peter Lord, UK, 2000) Voices of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson. 85 mins. For their ﬁrst feature Aardman studios have re- written the WWII P.O.W. experience as an Orwellian satire, albeit with laughs. So, Stalag 17 becomes a battery farm and the camp commandant farmer TWeedy’s domineering wife, while in the hutches, Ginger rallies her fellow hens to fly their coop. Though the characters aren’t as established as Wallace and Gromit and the feature length running time slows the action, Aardman continue to work real wonders with their familiar Plasticine animation. General release.
The Color Of Paradise (PG) *ttt (Majid Majidi, Iran, 2000) Mohsen Ramezani, Hosein Mahjoob, Salameh Feyzi. 88 mins. The widowed father of blind young Mohammad picks him up from school for the summer break, and takes him back to their beautiful mountainous village. But no sooner are they home and the father wants to oﬁ-load the boy onto a blind carpenter. The father reckons having a blind son will .uin his own chances of marrying into an upmarket Islamic family. The story really is secondary - it’s as an essay on the sounds and sights of nature that Majidi’s ﬁlm hits home. See preview and review. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Con Air (15) iii (Simon West, US, 1997) Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich. Steve Buscemi. 115 mins. Big, loud boyz movie in which Cage’s parolee Cameron Poe is locked in a prison transport plane with two dozen of the most unsavoury characters. Of course, there’s a mid-air break out and the cons, lead by Malkovich‘s Sirus the Virus put relative ‘goody’ Poe through his paces. Nice cameo from Buscemi as a child murderer. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas.
Cradle Will Rock (15) H“ (T im Robbins, US, 2000) Angus Macfadyen, Susan Sarandon, John Oisack, Bill Murray, Emily Watson, Vanessa Redgrave. 134 mins. New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Depression a govemment-sponsored project strives to ﬁnd work for performers and bring theatre to the unemployed masses, while communist paranoia grips the state. Against this background Orson Welles attempts to stage a socialist musical, The Cradle Will Rock. Robbins builds a terriﬁc portrait of a tumultuous period of American history through a series of overlapping personal dramas. Hugely ambitious, clever, ironic, humorous and with a phenomenal ensemble cast. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Donald Carrimell's Wild Side (18) m (Donald Cammell, US, 1995/2000) Anne Heche, Christopher Walken, Joan Oren. 112 mins. In 1995 Wild Side’s producers re-cut the ﬁlm against Cammell's wishes. In April 1996 he shot himself. Now the Performance co-director's last movie sees the light of day in the form he intended. This psychosexual thriller, in which four players — banker, racketeer, estranged wife
and bodyguard fuck each other over both metaphorically and literally, is an uneven affair. Nevertheless, the cast are thoroughly entertaining, and Cammell says some interesting things about the sex/power/money nexus. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas.
The EmperorAnd The Assassin (12) *H (Chen Kaige, China, 2000) Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi, Li Xuejian. 161 mins. After their collaboration on the gangster melodrama Temptress Moon, Kaige and Li, both superstars of contemporary Chinese cinema, reunite for this ambitious, epic period drama about China’s ﬁrst emperor, reputedly the most expensive Asian ﬁlm ever made. The ﬁlm is packed with stunning images and interesting ideas, but aiming at both epic spectacle and psychological complexity, Chen hits the former more surely than the latter. See Frontlines and review. Glasgow: GFI‘. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. Erin Brodiovlch (15) *ttt (Steven Soderbergh, US, 2000) Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart. 133 mins. Unemployed single mother Erin (Roberts) shoehoms her way into a ﬁling clerk position with Finney’s California law ﬁrm. There she accidentally uncovers a conspiracy to conceal the poisoning of the local community, which leads to the largest direct action lawsuit in American history. This might sound like a cliched John Grisham thriller, but it’s based on a true story and Soderbergh‘s direction and Roberts’ performance are faultless — together they prove that mainstream American cinema can be something truly great. Edinburgh: Dominion. Essex Boys (18) ii (Terry Winsor, UK, 2000) Sean Bean, Charlie Creed-Miles, Alex Kingston. 102 mins. ‘Kin ‘ell, another gangster ﬁlm. Creed-Miles’ young gun tells the story of his involvement with Bean’s villain out of prison and setting himself up to lord over the manor. Taking as its starting point the ‘Essex Range Rover murders’, this is, aside from some decent performances, an uninspired addition to a bad run of British ﬁlms. Glasgow: UCl. Edinburgh: UCI. Paisley: Showcase.
Extreme Saeem Everest a The Living Sea (U) M 40 mins each. Although the lwerks experience impresses on a technical level,
neither of these ﬁlms transcend entertainment as lumbering fairground attraction. Everest is a dry- as-sand account of a recent expedition up the big yin. Filmed in the style of a Sunday afternoon docudrarna, it also has the dubious honour of rendering a remarkable adventure mundane. A much better bet is the visually wondrous The Living Sea, an ‘edutaining’ look at mankind’s relationship with the sea (with voice-over from Meryl Streep). Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. Fantasia 2000 (U) iii (Various, US, 2000) Voices of Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Quincy Jones. 75 mins. When Walt Disney ﬁrst came up with the idea of turning classical music pops into an animated potpourri, he originally envisioned that Fantasia would continue to be renewed by additional material. Sixty years on, his dream has at last came to fruition with this new collection of musical highlights. The star of the show is the one segment retained from the original, the Dukas ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ set-piece with Mickey Mouse in a pointy wizard’s hat and lots of buckets of water. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Final Destination (15) iii (James Wong, US, 2000) Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith. 98 mins. After a premonition Alex (Devon Sawa) manages to save a bunch of his classmates from a plane crash. As the survivors gruesomer pop their clogs one-by-one, it becomes apparent that death is playing catch- up. Disposable honor hokum, but the pace, irreverence and sick, black humour ensure the most entertaining teen slasher since the original Scream. General release.
Flamenco (U) iii (Carlos Saura, Spain, 2000) Joaquin Cortes, Marlo Maya, Matilde Coral. 100 mins. One of the most thrilling things about watching live Flamenco is the atmosphere. Translate that to the screen and much of the thrill is gone. Luckily for Saura, he had cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Last Tango In Paris, Apocalypse Now) on his side. Visually striking throughout, Flamenco was ﬁlmed in a disused railway station bathed in an orange glow, giving rise to sleek silhouettes and shadows. But this homage to the Flamenco art is strictly for hardcore fans. See review. Glasgow: GFI'.
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