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) *i* (Gary Halvorson, US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa L. 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. Elmo 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 Huxley (Patinkin). Despite sturdy support from all the Street regulars: Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, this is strictly for the littlest family members. Stirling: MacRobert.
All About Eve (PG) *‘ktt (Joseph L Mankiewicz, US, 1950) Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Marilyn Monroe. 138 mins. Davis and Baxter are on top form in this tale of back-stage back-biting and conniving and a young Marilyn makes a big entrance in a small part. A witty and intelligent ﬁlm. Glasgow: GFT.
The Barber Of Siberia (12) iii (Nikita Mikhaikov, UK/Russia, 2000) Julia Onnond, Richard Harris, Oleg Menshikov. 179 mins. Tsarist Russia 1885: American Jane Callahan (Orrnond) 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. Stirling: MacRobert.
Being John Malkovich (15) ***** (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. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Big Momma's House (12) hint (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/soul/gospel soundtrack. Paisley: Showcase.
Boys Don't Cry (18) *tttt (Kimberly Peirce, US, 2000) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard. 114 mins. Writer/director Kimberly Peirce‘s ﬁrst feature is based upon the life of Brandon Teena, the transgendered Nebraska girl who lived her life as a male, and whose love affair with a smalltown girl named Lana Tisdel met a bloody end in 1993. Swank is simply astonishing. The credibility of the ﬁlm rests entirely upon her performance, but it‘s a burden she shoulders with consummate skill and grace. A humbling example of brave, beautiful, brutal ﬁlmmaking. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Breakfast Of Champions ( 15) *** (Alan Rudolph, US, 2000) Bruce Willis, Albert Finney, Nick Nolte. 109 mins. Unfairly overlooked adaptation of one of Kurt Vonnegut‘s best known novels. It’s a somewhat dated satire on consumerism, but the source material and the talent attached make it worth checking out. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
Breathless (A Bout de Soufﬂe) (15)
13 THE “ST 24 Aug—7 Sep 2000
***** (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1959) Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg. 90 mins. A chic Parisian petty criminal (Belmondo) and his American ex-patriate girlfriend (Seberg) drift through a world of stolen cars and aimless romance towards an inexorable downbeat ﬁnale. Godard‘s debut feature provoked quite a stir in its day for its carefree arrogance with the conventions of ﬁlmie grammar, but today it stands as a casual love letter to the American B-movie crime picture. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas.
A Bug's Life (U) ﬁfth (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 At The Quay. Butterfly's Tongue (La Lengua De Las Mariposas) (15) with (Jose Luis Cuerda, Spain, 2000) Manuel bozano, 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. Glasgow: GFT.
Central Station (15) **** (Walter Salles, Brazil, 1998) Vinicius de Oliveira, Fernanda Montenegro. 110 mins. Sugar-coated neo- realism or a ﬁlm that stares poverty in the eye? Salles‘s international hit is the story of a young Rio de Janeiro street urchin and a former schoolteacher who go on the run together in a ﬁlm explores that Latin American mainstay: the search for a missing loved one. Stirling: MacRobert.
Cherry Falls (15) it (Geoffrey Wright, US, 2000) Michael Biehn, Brittany. 92 mins. A serial killer is on the loose in the sleepy town of Cherry Falls. The common link between all of the victims is that they are all virgins. lt transpires that the only way for the kids in the community to feel safe is by attending the ‘Pop Your Cherry‘ ball. So we have such amusing sights as Sheriff Brent Marken (Biehn) disappointed to hear that his teen daughter Jody (Murphy) is a virgin. The ropey plot quickly dooms the ﬁlm to the so-bad-it's- almost-good-but-not-quite school of ﬁlmmaking. See review. General release. Chicken Run (U) *rkii (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.
Citizen Kane (PG) ***** (Orson Welles, US, 1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead. 119 mins. Stunnineg successful biographical mosaic centring on a Hearst-like media tycoon. Welles‘ ﬁrst ﬁlm remains scintillating viewing for its sheer technical verve, narrative conﬁdence and spellbinding performances. The best ﬁlm ever made? Who’s arguing? Edinburgh: Lumiere. Complicity (18) **ir (Gavin Millar, UK, 1999) Jonny Lee Miller, Keeley llawes, Brian Cox. 100 mins. Journalist Cameron (Jonny bee Miller) is, at ﬁrst glance, a regular young Edinburgh-based professional. The police, however, have ﬁngered him as a serial killer, guilty of some of the most gruesome murders Scotland has ever witnessed. Those familiar with lain Banks‘s novels will recognise the trademark darkness. Millar, who is directed The Crow Road, has turned the book into an ambitious movie, and an adult one. East Kilbride: Arts Centre.
Cradle Will Rock (15) *tti (Tim Robbins, US, 2000) Angus Macfadyen, Susan Sarandon, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Emily Watson, Vanessa Redgrave. 134 mins. New York City, 1936. In the midst of the Depression a
Young women being terrorised by crazy phone callers, nope it's not Scream 4, but
another derivative stalk ‘n' slash thriller, Cherry Falls
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 liill 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. Edinburgh: Lumiere.
The Cup (PG) *ttt (Khyentse Norbu, Australia, 1999) Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro. 93 mins. The Cup scores a hat trick of ﬁrsts: ﬁrst ﬁlm directed by a lama, in the Tibetan language with a cast solely comprised of 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, Norbu achieves his goal in creating a simple, humorous, humane ﬁlm. Glasgow: GF'T.
Dancing At Lughnasa (PG) *** (Pat O‘Connor, lreland/UK/US, 1998) Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Catherine McCormack. 95 mins. The screen version of Brian Friel‘s successful and much loved play is strong in its sense of a community and a time — rural Donegal in 1936 - but doesn‘t quite develop any character outside of the ﬁve sisters at the centre of the story. It‘s a strong ensemble piece that doesn't let any one performance tip the acting scales; nor does director Pat O‘Connor underline any of its themes with the heavy-handed red ink of a school exam text. Kilmamock: Odeon.
Duck Soup (U) **** (Leo McCarey, US, 1933) Groucho, Chico, llarpo, Zeppo, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhcm. 70 mins. Classic Marx Bros fare, as the four of them go to war over an insult directed at their President (Groucho). Superb sight gags and a healthy irreverence for all the reasons people ﬁght wars. Bathgate: The Bathgate Regal.
Erin Brockovich (15) **** (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. Extreme Screen: Everest and The Living Sea (U) it 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 docudrama, 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) *i* (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 pot pourri, 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: Lumiere. Largs: Vikingar Cinema. 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 gruesomely pop their clogs one-by- one, it becomes apparent that death is playing catch-up. Disposable horror hokum, but the pace, irreverence and sick, black humour ensure the most entertaining teen slasher since the original Scream. Glasgow: UCI.
The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas (PG) it (Brian Levant, US, 2000) Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin. 91 mins. This prequel shows Fred (Addy) and Barney (Baldwin) in their bachelor days when they ﬁrst court Wilma (Johnston) and Betty (Jane Krakowski). They are abetted in this by a little green alien called Gazoo (Alan Cumming), but are hampered by the rival attentions of Wilma's slimy aristocratic chum Chip Rockefeller (Thomas Gibson). And they all live happily ever after, without a trace of originality, zip or zest. General release.
Gangster No 1 (18) *** (Paul McGuigan, UK, 2000) Malcolm McDowell, David 'Ihewlis, Paul Bettany. 103 mins. Mr McDowell is the eponymous Gangster, an abominable, irredeemably evil thug who is prompted to recount his 30-year rise to infamy when old rival Freddie Mays (David 'I'hewlis giving it ‘suave‘) is released from prison. From there we ﬂashback to 1968 when young Gangster (Paul Bettany) is hired as muscle for Freddie. Stylish, funny and shocking in (mostly) the right places, McGuigan's follow- up to The Acid House is reminiscent of late 605 ﬁlms such as Performance. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith.
The Girl On The Bridge (15) bur (Patrice Leconte, France, 2000) Daniel Auteuil, Vanessa Paradis. 90 mins. Gabor (Auteil), a middle-aged knife-thrower, rescues a suicidal young woman Adele (Paradis) from drowning and whisks her off to the South of France, where she proves a willing target in his stage act. At last, good fortune appears to be favouring the protagonists, but can their relationship remain on a purely business footing? An enjoyably playful modern fairytale, which coasts along on the strength of its two lead performances, some witty dialogue, and the verve of Leconte's direction. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Kirkcaldy: Adam Smith. Gladiator (15) bur (Ridley Scott, US, 2000) Russell Crowe, Richard Harris, Joaquin Phoenix. 150 mins. Just before dying Caesar Aurelius (Harris) charges General Maximus (Crowe) with cleaning up his beloved, but politically corrupt Rome. Aurelius‘ son, Commodus (Phoenix), doesn't take kindly to this and has his rival executed. But Maximus survives and, as a gladiator, works his way