FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

0 Brother, Where Art Thou? (12) **** (Joel Cocn, US, 2000) George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson. 107 mins. Preston Sturges' Sullivan 's Travels and Homer's The Odyssey are the starting points for this 3OS-set screwball comedy. Smooth- talking Everett Ulysees McGill (Clooney), simpleton Delmar (Nelson) and maladjusted Pete (Turturro) are members of a chain gang on the run looking for buried loot. Their journey up and down the state of Mississippi brings them into contact with assorted eccentrics based on Homer's mythological figures. A lighter work for the Coens, more Raising Arizona than Fargo, but it's still a rare treat. A truly captivating confederacy of dunces. General release.

Once Upon A Time In The West (15) *it* (Sergio Leone, US, 1968) Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards. 165 mins. Probably Leone's best film, this classic westem details in


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operatic fashion the drive of crooked railroad magnate Fonda to cheat widow Cardinale out of her land, until lone stranger Bronson comes to town. Brilliant Morricone score, achingly slow pacing, and an enthusiastic use of the wide screen mark this out as an idiosyncratic gem. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

The Perfect Storm (12) ** (Wolfgang Petersen, US, 2000) George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. 129 mins. As the director of one of the best maritime movies of all-time, Das Boot, Petersen was an obvious choice to helm this adaptation of Sebastian Junger's riveting factual book about a fishing boat caught up in the most ferocious North Atlantic storm ever recorded. Ilowever, in trying to be true to the actual events, Bill Wittliff‘s pedestrian script suffers from chronic structural flaws, leading to a complete lack of suspense, tension and emotional undertow. If ever a film deserved to sleep with the fishes, then this is it. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

Pokemon (U) *1: (Michael Haigney/Kunohiko Yuyama, Japan/US, 2000) 96 mins. Cloned Pokemon (pocket monster) Mewtwo embarks on world dominance and so hero kids, Ash, Brock and Misty, accompanied by their Pokemon, set out to make him see the error of his ways. Cue a great deal of gratuitous fighting and an interlude in which it's explained that fighting is bad (?!). The stupor induced by viewing the film strand of the phenomenal Pokemon franchise (computer game, collecting cards, etc.) as an adult, convincingly confirms that it's a kid thing, good or bad. Odeon, Edinburgh. Odeon, Ayr. Odeon, Kilmamock.

Pola X (18) ** (Leos Carax, France, 2000) Guillaume Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Delphine Chuillot. 134 mins. Pierre (Depardieu) is a successful young writer, who enjoys a blissful existence with his adoring mother (Deneuve) and beautiful fiancee (Chuillot). But his life is turned upside down by the appearance of Isabelle (Katerina Golubeva), who claims to be his long-lost, illegitimate sister from

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Yugoslavia. Eight years after the patchy Les Amanrs Du Pont Neuf, Carax returns with this bizarrely updated adaptation of Herman Melville's Gothic novel Pierre ()r The Ambiguities which sorely lacks narrative coherence. GFI", Glasgow.

Raulien's District (12) (Alice Agneskirchner, Germany, 1994) 85 mins. This critically acclaimed documentary follows an extremely likeablc police superintendent and his unconventional methods of dealing with problems in a multicultural working-class district in the Ruhr area. GFI‘, Glasgow.

Ring (18) **** (llideo Nakato, Japan, 1998) Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Hiroyuki Sanada. 95 mins. A horror film phenomenon in southeast Asia, the story turns on an escalating urban myth with a body count. It begins with a teenage girl telling her friend about a mysterious videotape that works like a very nasty chain letter. Unpleasantly, myth turns out to be fact. The original industrial-electronic score by Kenji Kawai delivers its share of the chills, while the sudden flashbacks and moments of spiritual connection between the murders in the modern day and the past come at you hard and out the blue. A terrifyingjoy to behold. GFI‘, Glasgow. Cameo, Edinburgh.

Road Trip (15) *ii* (Todd Phillips, US, 2000) Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Tom Green. 94 mins. Four college pals set out on a road trip from New York to Texas when Josh cheats on his childhood sweetheart Tiffany, and has four days to intercept the mailed videotape of his infidelity. En route the boys learn about the important things in life: the rules of cheating on your partner, the best way to donate sperm, stealing from the blind and ancient Greek Philosophy. The star of the film is undoubtedly MTV cult phenomenon Tom Green. His performance is guaranteed to have you in stitches as he gives a university tour, woos girls, eats mice and does battle with a python. Stupendous fun. General release.

Romeo And Juliet (12) ***** (Baz Luhrrnann, Australia/US, 1996) Leonardo DiCaprio, Clare Danes. 120 mins. The Strictly Ballroom director '5 treatment of the Shakespeare tragedy is a magnificent riot of colour, action and sexy teen romance, without any need to sacrifice the text. To call it “MTV filmmaking' misses the point that the camera tricks and in-jokes don't in any way distract from the fact that Luhrrnann has completely grasped the issues at the centre of the play. An intoxicating, breathtaking mix of Catholic iconography, high camp and street violence that‘s both deliciously feverish and studiedly cool. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

Romeo Must Die (15) ti (Andrezej Bartkowiak, US, 2000) Jet Li, Aaliyah, Isiah Washington. 115 mins. Tagged as an urban Romeo AndJuliet, here's Shakespeare as obscured by hip-hop and kung fu. When two warring crime families (one black, one Chinese) are hit by tragedy, the surviving offspring (Li and R&B star Aaliyah) team up to avenge their brothers' deaths. This is basically a martial arts display attached to a vaguely flirtatious friendship. It's a shame that Li‘s first starring role in an American film (following a supporting part in Lethal Weapon 4) is so disappointing. General release.

Scary Movie (18) *tirir (Keenen Ivory Wayans, US, 2000) Marlon and Shawn Wayans, Carmen Electra, Shannon Elizabeth. 88 mins. Poking fun at the whole teen slasher movie phenomenon, the plot follows the first Scream movie (originally to be titled, yup, Scary Movie): A masked murderer stalks and murders high school kids in a self-consciously ironic manner. It parodies The Usual Suspects, The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist and anything else that gets in the way, and the surprising thing is it actually works with the gags coming thick and fast. Big Stoopid Fun. General release.

Schindler's List (15) ***** (Steven Spielberg, US, 1993) Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley. 195 mins. During WW2, German industrialist and Nazi Party member Oskar Schindler saved the lives of over a thousand Jewish employees by demanding they work in his factory rather than be sent to Auschwitz. Spielberg‘s

magnificent movie and Neeson's performance capture this enigmatic brand of heroism, while depicting traumatic events in documentary-like black-and-white images. Psychologically complex, emotionally devastating and artistically impeachable, this is one of the best films ever made. F'I‘II, Falkirk.

Secrets Of The Heart (Secretos Del Corazon) (12) (Montxo Annendariz, Spain, 1998) Andoni Erburu, Alvaro Nagore, Carmelo Gomez. 105 mins. Nine-year-old Javi (Erburu) has a morbid fascination with the dead. During the Easter holidays Javi and his brother return to the small provincial Spanish village in which they discovered their dead father's body, and Javi hears the voices of the dead. Ever more intrigued by his contact with the afterlife, he begins to unravel the secrets of the deceased. Though it bears some superficial resemblance to The Sixth Sense, Secrets Of The Heart is no supernatural thriller. Instead, it's supernatural elements are used to examine a world of childhood fantasies and inquiries into the adult world. See review. MacRobert, Stirling.

Shaft (18) **** (Gordon Parks, US, 1971) Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi. 100 mins. Male model Roundtree is the eponymous hero, whose job it is to find and rescue the daughter of black Mafia boss Bumpy Jonas (Gunn). On his travels Shaft encounters the local black power movement, a handful of uptight, doughnut-eating cops, and a number of shady hitmen up for what Shaft calls ‘kicking my black ass'. A huge commercial success in the US, Shaft opened the eyes of American studio bosses to the potential black cinema market, which had relegated black actors to Uncle Tom rules. It may look dated, but it captured a moment in time and did so with style. Showcase, Glasgow. Shaft (18) *** (John Singleton, US, 2000) Samuel LJackson, Jeffrey Wright, Richard Roundtree. 100 mins. Despite what the title may suggest this is neither a remake nor a sequel; its more of a 29 years on here's what happenin'. Jackson runs the show as ‘young' John Shaft, nephew of the eponymous 705 private dick played once again by Roundtree. It's a pretty good action movie with some snappy dialogue and a few nifty set pieces, but this Shaft wavers towards a rather unsatisfying end. Singleton (Boyz ‘N' The Hood) was quite clearly a victim of studio bigwig interference (Jesus, it's Shaft and there's no shagging!) and because of that it's a disappointment. Selected release.

Shanghai Noon (12) *1“: (Tom Dey, US, 2000) Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Owen Wilson.

.110 mins. The flimsy plot of this “East

meets Western' is merely an excuse for gags and set-pieces, with Chan cast as Chon Wang, a 19th century Imperial Guard who travels to the States to rescue abducted princess Pei Pei (Liu) from the villainous Lo Fong. Things don't go smoothly, however, and Chong finds himself teaming up with an incompetent yet affable criminal, Roy O'Bannon (Wilson). Filmed in widescreen, Shanghai Noon affectionately sends up the characters and conventions of numerous Westerns, while the ever-smiling Chan's martial arts stunts are still a joy to behold. Magnum Theatre, Irvine.

The Sixth Sense (15) meet (M. Night Shyamalan, US, 1999) Bruce Willis. Ilaley Joel Osment, Olivia Williams, Toni Collette. 107 mins. Nine-year-old Cole Sear (Osment) has a terrible secret. He can see the dead walking the earth; they're around him all the time and it‘s scary as hell. Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Willis) takes his case and spends all of his time, at the expense of his marriage to Anna (Olivia Williams), attempting to help the boy. Shyamalan's clever script suggests much and explains little, keeping the audience guessing. Cameo, Edinburgh.

Sleepy Hollow (15) *t-kvk (Tim Burton, US, 1999) Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken. 105 mins. During the final days of 1799 ambitious young policeman Ichabod Crane (Depp) is sent to the fog-shrouded village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations, but his scientific beliefs are shaken when he comes face to space with the Headless Ilorseman. Burton gives Washington