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) *ir‘k (Gary llalvorson. US. 2000) Mandy l’atinkin. 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 ()scar the (irouch'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 lluxley (l’atinkin). Despite sturdy support from all the Street regulars: Big Bird. ()scar. Cookie Monster. Bert and Ernie. this is strictly for the littlest family members. 17('l.(ilasgow. East Kilbride; ()deon. Edinburgh.
Alien (lb‘) ***** (Ridley Scott, US, 1979) Sigourney Weaver. lari llolm. John Hurt. 116 mins. Agatha Christie in outer space as a freighter lands on a mysterious planet and is ingeniously invaded by a ravenous intruder which proceeds to chomp its way through the cast list. Edge-of-the- seat suspense thriller with a strong cast and ghastly special effects. Carlton. Stirling. American Beauty (18) **** (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. UGC Cinemas. Edinburgh.
American Pie (15) tit (Paul and Chris Weitz. US, 1999) Jason Biggs. Eugene Levy. Chris Klein. 96 mins. The latest in 1999's bumper crop of teenage comedies turns out to be a surprisingly sweet-natured account of adolescent sexual frustration. What disappoints is American l’ie's ultimate conventionality. Entertaining. but hardly in the comic league of There's Something About Mary. (irosvenor. (ilasgow.
Barton Fink (15) ***** (Joel (‘octL US, 1991) John 'l‘urttirro. John (ioodman, Judy l)avis. Michael Lerner. 117 mins. When socially-comniitted playwright Barton 1‘iink('liurttlrro) is consigned by the Hollywood machine to write wrestling films. he slumps into a writer's block as large as his mysterious next-door neighbour (John (ioodnian). Unprecedented winner of best film. actor and direction awards at 1991's Cannes l’ilm l-‘estival shows the Coens at their most menacing and absurd best. l-‘ilnihouse. Edinburgh.
The Beach (15) *t* (Danny Boyle. L'K. US. 2000) Leonardo DiCaprio, (iuillaume Canct. Virginie Ledoyen. l 1‘) mins. Like Alex (iarland's source novel. The [tear/i has a sort of breathless. late-adolescent ‘What 1 did on my holidays' quality; book and film share the ability to capture the exhilaration and chaos of travel. Screenwriter John llodge's adaptation replaces crceping paranoia and discontent with straight-ahead sexttal 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. The Bathgate Regal. Bathgate.
Beckett Time (15) (\’arious)'l‘he (ll-'1‘ pays its respects to Ireland's niost enigmatic writer with a series of short filtns varying from l).A. l’ennebaker‘s Tllt' .lIu/ring ()fRot’krt/ry. l’atrick Magee in the BBC's KI'up/i's Lax! Iii/2e w liilc John Calder. Britain's publisher of Beckett, holds a study day. See feature. (i171.
Big Momma's House (12) iii (Raja (iosnell. US. 2000) Martin Lawrence, Nia Long, l’aul (iiamatti. 106 mins. Lawdy, what folks will do to make other folks laugh. llere. 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 .‘llomma 's [louse is the ripe blues/souljgospel soundtrack. Winter (iarden. Rothesay.
Billy Elliot (15) **** (Stephen Daldr)‘. UK, 2000) Jamie Bell. Julie Walters, Gary Lewis. 1 11 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 80s (and that's the point). it becomes young Billy's ticket out of hard times. Making his film debut. theatre director l)aldry handles the political backdrop and dramatic foreground with equal assurance. ; The dance routines provide much of the film's humour and quite overwhelming feelgood factor. (ieneral release.
Boys Don't Cry (18) ***** (Kimberly Peirce. US, 2000) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard. 114 mins. Writerdirector Kimberly l’eirce'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. Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. Breathless (A Bout de Souffle) (15) ***** (Jean-Lire (iodard, l-‘rance, 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. (iodard‘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. l’l‘ll Cinema. l-‘alkirk. Bringing Out The Dead (18) tit (Martin Scorsese. CS, 1999) Nicolas Cage. Patricia Arquette. John (ioodman. 130 mins. When darkness falls on New York. paramedic l-‘rank l’ierce (Cage) descends into a bleak world w here. night after night. 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. l-‘ilm (iuild, l-‘ilmhouse. Edinburgh.
Butterfly's Tongue (La Lengua De Las Mariposas) (15) *irtt (Jose Luis Cuerda. Spain. 2000) Manuel Lozano, licrnando 15ernan (iomez. 95 mins. Set in (ialicia. in the period preceding l’ranco's fascist uprising in 1936, Cuerda's film traces the relationship between seven-year- old Moncho (Lozano) and his benign anarchist-leaning teacher l)on (itcgorio (veteran Spanish actor (iornez). This is Republican Spain seen through rose-tinted glasses; a harsh and bitter world transformed itlto a make-believe utopia about to be cruelly crushed by fascism. MacRobet‘t. Stirling.
The Caine Mutiny (PG) tit (Edward l)niytryk. LS. 1954) Humphrey Bogart, Jose l‘errer. \‘an Johnson. 125 mitts. Courtroom drama adapted from llerman Wouk‘s l’tilit/er Prize-winning novel about the court martial of two L'S navy officers for their mutiny against Bogart's Captain ()ueeg. w ho looses his nerve during a storm. An ageing Bogie looks tired out and. while his lack of vitality is somew hat sad. it works in his character s favour. St Bride's. lidinbtirgh.
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Hear it Feel it
Ettoreooraotiu ou Hrtlstic Director, Robert North Music or Prollotlev
Guest Hrtlst HﬂHtt EUUPEH will perform in
selected performances Weds 4 to Sat 7 Oct
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5—19 Oct 2000 THE “ST 33