l l l

(15) 128 mins ****

Less action adventure and more sociological study of people and place

Sayles isn’t a filmmaker to toe the line, so when he goes to Alaska to shoot a film in which three individuals become marooned in the wilderness, it's unsurprising than what he comes up with is a well-crafted, solidly told tale that's less action adventure and more psychological/sociological study of people and place. And Sayles takes his time, easing us into the environment and the lives of the principal characters, before the forces of nature give the

plot its dramatic twist.

In the opening scene, fat cat property developers swan about a garden party bragging about their plans to transform the small fishing community of Port Henry into a theme park. But the lives of the locals have already been transformed by economics; veteran fishermen no longer take their boats out to sea, instead they work in the salmon cannery. Joe Gastineau (Sayles regular David Strathairn) is one such local. Similarly down on her luck is singer Donna De Angelo (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), whose run of bad relationships with men has reduced her to working bars to support her unhappy teenage daughter, Noelle. Lonely and weighed down with baggage from their respective pasts, Joe and Donna are kindred spirits who

soon find themselves in love.

Typically, Sayles takes time to fill in the details of the local community, and it’s his concern with all the story's elements that makes for filmmaking with real depth. Once again, this maverick filmmaker's integrity has transformed potentially cliched material into honest, passionate, intelligent cinema. (Miles Fielder) I Available now for video rental through Columbia Tristar.


The Bone Collector

(15) 118 mins *ii

An identikit serial killer movie (see

Copycat and Seven) in which Denzel Washington’s paraplegic forensics

expert is confined to his bed, leaving rookie cop Angelina Jolie to be his legs,

eyes and ears, trailing cryptic clues left by the killer. Sadly, despite Philip Noyce's efficient direction and a bunch of fine performances, Jeremy lacone's script insults the audience's

, intelligence. Dumb, derivative and

disappointing. (Columbia Tristar)

The Bachelor

(12) 102 mins * air Gary Sinyor’s remake of the 1925 Buster

Keaton classic, Seven Chances in which

Chris O'Donnell's serial monogamist has 24 hours to change his wicked boy ways in order to inherit a cool $100 million. Renee Zellweger is the former Boy

Wonder's ideal woman (he just don’t

know it yet), while everyone else, from

lawyers to ex-girlfriends, blocks him from his financial goal. Not a patch on the original, unfunnily enough. (Entertainment)


(PG) 93 mins * t a: i

The Cup scores a hat trick of firsts: it’s the first film directed by a Tibetan lama, in the Tibetan language with a cast solely comprised of Tibetan monks. And it's about football, specifically the footy fever that grips the monks of Chokling Monastery during the 1998 World Cup. EliCiting spirited performances from his cast, first time director and confirmed

Cinefile Khyentse Norbu (his cites

Bertolucci and Scorsese among his inspirations) achieves his goal in creating a simple, humorous, humane film.

f (Alliance Atlantis £15.99)

brought to you by Nosferatu

1 (PG) 72 mins int i ‘k

Max Schreck is a truly terrifying figure as Bram Stoker’s famous vampire, looking more like a skinned bat than a human being. EW .Murnau’s 1922 film is a wonderfully visual movie, with twisted shadows and sexual undercurrents placing it well above the Kinski/Herzog remake. However, the new sepia tint and soundtrack by German musicians Art Zoyd detracts rather than adds to the already perfect original (so it loses a star). (Eureka £12.99, £15.99 on DVD)

Children Of The Marshland (Les Enfants Du Marais)

(PG) 115 mins ***

Set in France’s Rhune-Alpes region where Riton (Jacques Villeret) and Garris (Jacques Gamblin) scrape a living any way they can. But the pair’s easy- going ways are disrupted when Riton gets into a brawl with a local boxer (played by footballer Eric Cantona). The story eschews narrative focus for a series of privileged moments, narrated by Riton’s daughter and the film's immediacy is always secondary to its elegiac tone. Ultimately, it’s an only partly successful Wistful comedy. (Tartan £15.99)

Les Convoyeurs Attendent (The Carriers Are Waiting)

(15) 94 mins it t *

Playing the struggling patriarch determined to make something of himself and his family, Benoit Poelvoorde (the serial killer in Man Bites Dog) has deCided his reluctant son (Jean-Franccois Devrgne) Will beat the world record for opening and closmg a door Within 24 hours: the present record stands at around 40,000. It’s an offbeat device used to work up that old mainstay of father/son tension, but the film requires more than a figurative scenario and vivid locations to sustain its 90 minutes. (Artificial Eye £15.99)

Rogue Trader

(15) 92 mins * a: * Young Watford boy Nick Leeson

conquered the Singapore stock exchange, made millions for Barings Merchant Bank of London, then bankrupted them with a billion dollar debt. For his trouble, he got a prison sentence in Singapore, cancer, was divorced by his wife and, according to him, made not one penny. Based on Leeson’s book, James Dearden’s version of the events makes for a surprisingy riveting underdog-versus-the- establishment thriller. And Ewan McGregor is more convincing as a trader than a Jedi Knight. (Pathe £10.99)

Chance Or Coincidence (PG) 121 mins * it

More than 30 years on from the double-Oscar winning A Man And A Woman, veteran French director

reviews VIDEO/ DVD

{is HMV

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Claude Lelouch returns with this his 37th film, a melodramatically overblown yet disappointingly superfiCial romantic drama. Canadian futurologist Marc chances upon a lost camera and, infatuated by the images of its roll of film, resolves to track down the woman, Miriam, a beautiful, I bereaved Italian ballerina. However, convoluted plotting, some unremarkable performances and the archness of the dialogue hinder any real sense of poignancy. (Tartan £15.99)

l STAR RATINGS l i i. ‘k * ii Unmissable i l * t * 1? Very ood 1 ii * ii Wort a shot 1 t * Below average it You've been warned

3—10 Aug 2000 THE LIST 55