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) *** (Gary Halvorson, US, 2000) Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa L. Williams, Kevin Clash. 72 mins. The prc-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. Edinburgh: Odeon.

After Life (PG) **** (Koreeda Hirokazu, Japan, 1999) Arata, Erika Oda, Susumu Terajima. 118 mins. In a sort of civil service bureau for the dead, 22 people have one week to select a single memory and see it recreated on film, which they will take with them when they leave the way station of the afterlife. Hirokazu's beautiful film reaches way beyond ethereal whimsy. Structured along docudrama lines, it slowly gravitates to being a meditation on life, death, loss, memory and cinema. And that’s just scratching the surface. Edinburgh: Cameo.

All About My Mother (15) ***** (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 1999) Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, Antonia San Juan. 101 mins. Almodovar‘s new film is without a doubt his best to date. When Madrid hospital worker Manuela’s son is killed in a car accident the grief-stricken woman sets out to fulfil her son's last wish to know his father, and goes to Barcelona to find the transvestite she ran away from eighteen years earlier. Renowned for his portrayal of strong women, Almodovar pays tribute here to their capacity to act, to mother and to create strong bonds of solidarity in the face of extremities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild at the Filmhouse.

American Beauty (18) *‘kiti' (Sam Mendes, US, 1999) Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch. 121 mins. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (Spacey, giving a career best performance) hates his life, but a close encounter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: Lester quits his job, digs out his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what‘s been missing from his life for years: pleasure and happiness. Caustic, touching and hilarious in all the right places a modern classic. Glasgow: Grosvenor. St Andrews: New Picture House.

Antonia's Line (15) *** (Marleen Gorris, Netherlands/Belgium/UK, 1995) Willeke van Ammelrooy, Els Dottcnnans, Dora van der Overloop. 104 mins. The Best Foreign

Fallurli Town Hall

Sat 23rd Sep Singelonga Sound of Music (U) 7:00pm 800 the Nazis! Hiss the Baroness! Join in all your favourite numbers and sing-a-long-a Julie! Fancy dress is positively welcomed!

Wed 27th Sep

The Patriot (15) 7:30pm Sun 1st Oct

Jesus’ Son (18) 3:30pm Perfect Storm (12) 6:00pm

Tickets and further information from The Steeple Box office (Tel: 01324 506850)

or on the day from the hall

28 THE “ST 21 Sep—S Oct 2000

Film Oscar winner for 1996, Antonia '5 Line is the family saga of five generations of women from a rural Dutch community. The story, told with magic realist elements, is fragmented and incident-driven, but it's uplifting in its engagement with the sexual politics Gorris has explored in previous films. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

Apocalypse Now (18) tits: (Francis Coppola, US, 1980) Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper. 153 mins. Vietnam as The Ultimate Trip. We follow US Army assassin Sheen down river and deeper into the Heart ofDarkness ruled over by Brando's mad Colonel Kurtz. Altemately pretentious and visually overpowering (the Valkyries helicopter attack, for example), its grandiloquent folly somehow pierces right to the bone of the conflict. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

The Atrocity Exhibition (18) tit (Jonathon Weiss, US, 1999) 105 mins. Faithful adaptation ofJ.G. Ballard’s 1970 novel about a doctor in a psychiatric research facility who goes insane after witnessing the full horror of the end of the 20th century. Weiss, who makes a personal appearance on Sun 1 Oct, interweaves archival footage with his own, interweaving fact and fiction. Glasgow: GI'T

Babe (U) ***** (Chris Noonan, Australia, 1995) James Cromwell, with the voices of Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes, Hugo Weaving. 92 mins. An orphaned pig falls under the eye of a kindly collie and begins to think he's destined for glory at the regional trials. Talking animals suggest that this is a kids' movie: to an extent it is and a great one but there's enough skewered humour (hail the psycho mice!) for adults to discover an unexpected cult hit. A triumph for the underpig. Glasgow: GFT.

Beau Travail (15) **** (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. ln 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. Stirling: MacRobert.

Billy Elliot (15) *‘kit (Stephen Dalry, UK, 2000) Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis. 111 mins. Billy (superb newcomer Bell) finds release from life’s daily drudgery and, ultimately, self-fulfilment through ballet dancing. As unlikely a leisure pursuit as that might be for a teenage boy growing up in the recession-hit Yorkshire of the 805 (and that's the point), it becomes young Billy‘s ticket out of hard times. Making his film debut, theatre director Daldry handles the political backdrop dramatic foreground with equal assurance. The dance routines provide much of the film‘s humour and quite overwhelming feelgood factor. See review. General release.

Born Free (U) skirt (James llill, UK, 1965) Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Geoffrey Keen. 95 mins. Based on the true story of Joy and George Adamson, this family favourite is a little bit ‘jolly nice' in the Englishness of the game warden couple, but the three lion cubs who act as their co- stars can't fail to win the audience over. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Breathless (A Bout de Souffle) (15) ***** (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 filmic grammar, but today it stands as a casual love letter to the American B-movie crime picture. Glasgow: GFT.

Bringing Out The Dead (18) irti (Martin Scorsese, US, 1999) Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman. 130 mins. When darkness falls on New York, paramedic Frank Pierce (Cage) descends into a bleak world where, night after night,

French film star Emmanuelle Beart makes a surprising appearance in Amy 'This Life' Jenkins' big screen writing debut Elephant Juice, which turns out to be strictly for the small screen

he tries hopelessly to help the homeless, the hookers, the mentally ill. Bringing Out The Dead grafts a desperate edge onto traditional gallows humour, but while showing bursts of brilliance, suffers from too many lulls and, surprisingly given that it's screenplay is by Paul Schrader, doesn‘t quite pull off its redemption plot. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Carry On Up The Khyber (U) tit (Gerald Thomas, UK, 1968) Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, et al. 87 mins. The usual team showing their part (ooh-er!) in the end (titter!) of the British Empire. An embarrassing British entry (nudge, nudge) in the width and breadth of world cinema. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. The Cell (18) ** (Tarsem Singh, US, 2000) Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio. 108 mins. A serial killer (D'Onofrio) has lapsed into a coma without revealing the whereabouts of his latest female captive who remains imprisoned in a booby-trapped cell. As a last resort the FBI request a psychologist (Lopez), who has been experimenting with a radical new therapy (‘neurological syntactic transfer system'), to delve into Carl’s disordered mind. A sadistic and derivative film, cobbled together from countless earlier serial killer outings and virtual reality extravaganzas, offering no real suspense and the slcnderest of characterisations. General release. Cherry Falls (15) it (Geoffrey Wright, US, 2000) Michael Biehn, Brittany Murphy, Jay Mohr. 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. It 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 Sherifi 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-gimd-but-not-quite school of filmmaking. Glasgow: Showcase, UCl. Ayr: Odeon. Kilmamock: Odeon. Paisley: Showcase.

Chicken Run (U) tutti (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 Needy's domineering wife, while in the hutches, Ginger rallies her fellow hens to fly their c00p. 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 Closer You Get (12) ink (Aileen Ritchie, UK, 2000) Ian Hart, Sean McGinley, Niamh Cusack. 92 mins. The Closer You Get is set in the sort of small Irish village where lovcable wasters and long-suffering women are as obligatory as a pint of Guinness. Disappointed that the local ladies aren't up for romance, the men decide to place an advert in an American newspaper, hoping that sexy Stateside talent will flock to the Emerald Isle. Their female neighbours aren't impressed. In her short

films, Scottish director Aileen Ritchie showed sympathy and affection for her characters, but here she's badly served by a script that resembles a Bally/(issangel reject. Glasgow: Odeon, Odeon At The Quay, Showcase, UCI. Edinburgh: UCI. Dunferrnline: Odeon. Galashiels: Pavilion. Dancer In The Dark (15) *tii (Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/Germany/France, 2000) Bjork, Catherine Denueve, David Morse. 137 mins. Having founded the Dogmc school of back-to-basics filmmaking, von Trier's now turned his back on it with this digitally-shot homage to the Hollywood musical. Set in 605 America, it’s the story of Czech immigrant Selma (played by Bjork, whose extraordinary performance takes naturalism to its extreme), a single mother whose only escape from her dreary factory work life are her daydreams which transport her into a Hollywood-style musical. As with Breaking The Waves, the drama revolves around a naive young woman who becomes the victim of circumstance, and the ensuing protracted tragedy gives the film astonishing emotional clout. Glasgow: GFT, Odeon. Edinburgh: Cameo.

Death In Venice (15) *1“: (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1971) Dirk Bogarde, Bjorn Andressen, Silvano Mangano. 128 mins. Ageing celebrated composer Von Auscenbach (the capable, slightly miscast Bogarde) comes to Venice in the midst of a creative crisis and becomes infatuated with a beautiful Polish boy who embodies the kind of physical and spiritual purity he’s been looking for in his work. Highly decorative attempt at the unfilmable, though the use of Mahler's Fifth Symphony is highly affecting. Edinburgh: Lumiere. Deathwatch (15) iii (Bertrand Tavernier, France/West Germany, 1980) Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton. 128 mins. Compelling if melancholy study if a future society where disease has been almost completely eradicated. But when Stanton's TV producer finds Schneider suffering from a terminal illness he decides to film her last days. Filmed in Glasgow, and some would say far more interesting than Big Brother. Edinburgh: Lumiere.

Elephant Juice (18) *** (Sam Miller, Uk, 2000) Emmanuelle Beart, Daniela Nardini, Sean Gallagher. 83 mins. The first film from This Life team Miller and writer Amy Jenkins boasts a similarly psychologically-focused script and an interest in the growing pains of late twentysomethings, and would also be more at home on a small screen. Very few individuals manage to keep to their own partners for the duration of the film. For some of them crisis is lixming, and for others much more satisfying rearrangements. Some may like the hip milieu of this film; others may think it pretentious. See review. Glasgow: Odeon At The Quay, Showcase. Edinburgh: UGC Cinemas. Paisley: Showcase.

The Emperor And The Assassin (12) *** (Chen Kaige, China, 2000) Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi, Li Xucjian. 161 mins. After their collaboration on the gangster melodrama Temptress Moon, Kaige and Li, both superstars of contemporary Chinese