FILM index

FILM INDEX continued

Memento (15) ***** (Christopher Nolan, US, 2000) Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano. 116 mins. Beginning where most other films would end with an act of vengeance, writer-director Nolan tells his story by gradually working backwards in time. Leonard Shelby (Pearce) is obsessed with avenging his wife's rape and murder. Trouble is Leonard suffers from a condition of short-term memory loss, and so he relies on an elaborate system of mementoes maps, polaroids, body tattoos - to piece together the clues in his investigation. A compelling, elliptical reconstruction of the revenge thriller, which skilfully examines the connections between memory. identity and perception. Selected release.

Miss Julie (15) their (Mike Figgis, UK, 2000) Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan, Maria Doyle Kennedy. 100 mins. Figgis’ adaptation of Strindberg's play is almost a period Dogme film. The hand-held cameras loop freely around the central characters, lending the film a live feel, as if recording a theatre performance. Miss Julie and her footman, Jean, skirmish throughout, alternately flirting and hating, both desperate to cross the boundaries of class imposed upon them, both hoping to use the other as a means of escape. A gripping, claustrophobic tale shot at a breakneck pace, in a unique style with career-best performances from the small cast. Selected release.

The Mother Of Kings (15) think (Janusz Zaorski, Poland, 1982) 82 mins. Winner of the 1987 Golden Lion at the Gdansk Film Festival, this stark monochrome family drama had previously been shelved because of questioning attitudes towards the Polish political system. GilmorehillG12, Glasgow. Muppet Treasure Island (PG) *itt (Brian Henson, US/UK, 1996) Tim Curry, Kevin Bishop, Billy Connolly. 102 mins. Young Jim Hawkins, along with his friends the Great Gonzo and Rizzo The Rat go hunting for treasure with Captain Flint's map, meeting up on the way with Long John Silver (Curry), and Fozzie, Kermit, Miss Piggy et al as various Stevenson characters. Faithful to the book, but hilarious in its extraneous details especially in the opening section this is one time everyone can enjoy Hollywood's plundering of British literature. Odeon, Ayr.

My Dog Skip (U) *** (Jay Russell, US, 2000) Kevin Bacon. Diane Lane, Frankie Muniz. 95 mins. My Dog Skip is an unashamedly sentimental coming-of-age story about a nine-year-old boy '5 relationship with his pet Jack Russell terrier, set during World War Two in the small Mississippi town of Yazoo. The film casts a nostalgic glow over the past, but it doesn't shy away from giving us glimpses of harsher realities, including nods to the era’s racism and the traumas of war. But the prevailing mood is appropriately one of gentle sweetness. Selected release.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PO) *ttt (Henry Selick, US, 1993) With the voices of Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara. 76 mins. Jack Skellington, the skinny trickster king of Halloweentown, is restless with success and needs a new challenge, so he hatches a plot to kidnap Santa and creates a mixed-up Yuletide which isn’t quite what the kids of the world expected. Produced and based on a story and characters by Tim Burton, this is a real imaginative treat deliciously dark stop-motion animation on the big screen. Odeon, Dunfermline.

Not One Less (PG) *wkii (Zhang Yimou, China, 2000) Wei Minzhi. 100 mins. A teacher of a small school in an isolated, impoverished village is forced to leave the education of his 28 pupils in the hands of 13-year-old substitute Wei Minzhi for a month. But with poverty forcing over one million students to leave school to look for work every year in China, Wei is set the task of retrieving a desperate student from the big city. Essentially, this is a personal interest perspective on a dramatic social problem. The cast comprises non- professionals, and the calibre of the heart- rending performance by Minzhi makes the film all the more impressive. GFT, Glasgow. Now Voyager (PG) *itt (Irving Rapper, US, 1942) Bette Davis, Claude

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According to Billy Wilder the way to make a classic film is to, 'Grab ‘em [the audience] by the throat and never let 'em 90', and that‘s exactly what he does with his superb cross-dressing screwball comedy starring Tony Curtis, Jack lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Some Like It Hot

Rains, Paul Henreid. 117 mins. Classically cast, this archetypal tragic love story of the period is unadventurous and even bland, but its stars are more than charismatic enough to overcome its problems. Grosvenor, Glasgow.

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (12) ** (Peter Segal, US, 2000) Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson, Larry Miller. 107 mins. Eddie Murphy has a habit of making sequels that fail to live up to expectations. Here, he plays the entire Klump family as well as baddie, Buddy Love. Professor Klump is getting married to Denise (Janet Jackson). As the big day looms, he struggles to cope with his personal crises and ongoing battles with arch-enemy Love. This proves to be one task too far for the talents of Eddie Murphy. General release.

0 Brother, Where Art Thou? (12) but (Joel Coen, 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 30s-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.

The Patriot (15) *it* (Roland Emmerich, US, 2000) Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason lsaacs. 160 mins. Swapping his saltire for the stars and stripes, Gibson's revolutionary fervour is back on the boil as he trounces King George's Redcoats during the American War of Independence. The Patriot is epic, action-packed stuff and there's something for everyone: com and cringeworthy American backslaps, adventure and battle scenes, issues of loyalty and honour, and a strong performance from Gibson forming the bedrock of it all. Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh.

A Perfect Murder ( 18) (Andrew Davis, US, 1998) Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen. 107 mins. There is, quite simply, no one to touch Douglas when it comes to playing alienated, middle- class, middle-aged, white American males. Which is precisely why he’s so perfectly cast as a manipulative, predatory ‘control freak' with a talent for exploiting human weakness in this entertaining and intelligent

re-working of Hitchcock's dramatically flat 3-D thriller, Dial M For Murder. Odeon, Ayr.

Pilton Video (na) (various, UK, 1991-2000) mins. Various video works made by residents from Edinburgh '5 Pilton Housing Estate. Filmhousc, Edinburgh.

Pitch Black (15) *tit (David Twohy, US, 1999) Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole llauser. 110 mins. Their spaceship damaged by a meteor shower, the members of an inter-stellar mission crash-land onto a parched planet, lit by three suns and inhabited by thousands of voracious flying creatures. The sun-baked planet and hammer-headed predators are strikingly visualised, but it is the internal group dynamics that engage one’s attention. Twohy cleverly exploits the relative anonymity of his cast members, subverting our expectations about which of them will survive. Those you think you can trust turn out to be the last ones you can rely on, and vice versa. Smart, mid-budget sci-fi. See review. Selected release.

Pola X (18) it (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 (Dcneuve) and beautiful fiancee (Chuillot). But his life is turned upside down by the appearance of lsabelle (Katerina Golubeva), who claims to be his long-lost, illegitimate sister from Yugoslavia. Eight years after the patchy Les Amants Du Pont Neuf, Carax returns with this bizarrely updated adaptation of Herman Melville's Gothic novel Pierre Or The Ambiguities which sorely lacks narrative coherence. GFT, Glasgow.

Prisoner Of The Mountains (18) mini (Sergei Bodrov, Russia/Kazakhstan, 1996) mins. Oleg Menshikov, Sergei Bodrov Jr. Through this simple, moving fable based on a story by 'l‘olstoy, Bodrov sheds a clear light on the bitter war between the former Soviet Union and the independence-seeking Chechens. A pair of captured Russian soldiers are used by a local chieftan to get his own son back, but complications ensue. A collision of deep human need and the stark realities of war that garnered a deserved Oscar nomination. Filmhousc, Edinburgh.

Psycho (15) *tttt (Alfred Hitchcock, US, 1960) Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John Mclntire. 109 mins. Hitch‘s misogynistic masterpiece has a young secretary take off to hicksvillc with a bagful

of her boss's money. Unfortunately for her she chooses to put up at the Bates' Motel, run by that nice Norman boy. The ironic dialogue (‘Mother’s not quite herself today’) make it a joy to catch anytime around. We liked it didn‘t we mother . . . mother? Cameo, Edinburgh.

Purely Belter (15) time (Mark Herman, UK, 2000) Chris Beattie, Greg McLane, Kevin Whatley. 98 mins. Based on Jonathan Tulloch’s novel The Season Ticket, about two broke Geordie teenagers, Gerry (Beattie) and Sewell (McLane), who attempt to scrape together enough cash for two season tickets to their beloved Newcastle United’s St James Park. Their increasingly hair-brained schemes create a number of hilarious set pieces, but 11erman‘s(8rassed 017) film also has more than its fair share of bittersweet realism. The thing that really makes this film, however, is the excellent performances from the two unknown kids, plus a delightful supporting cast. See preview and review. General release. Queen Christina (U) in“ (Rouben Mamoulian, US, 1933) Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone. 100 mins. A great performance from the girl Greta lifts this above the usual level of historical romance, as she portrays the 17th century Swedish queen falling for Gilbert's Spanish Ambassador. Grosvenor, Glasgow.

Radio On (18) **** (Christopher Petit, UK/West Germany, 1979) David Beames, Liza Kruezer, Sting. 102 mins. This eerie and quite effective road movie about a man travelling from London to Bristol to find out how his brother died also works as a metaphor for the state of the nation in the late 70$. The film ends with the traveller stranded by the roadside, still in the dark about his brother. Next came the 805 - geddit? Filmhousc, Edinburgh.

Ride With The Devil (15) intrka (Ang Lee, US, 1999) Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, Jewel. 138 mins. Ride With The Devil is a dusty epic of Gone With The Wind proportions, set amid the bloody chaos of the same war. Jacob Roedel (Maguire) rejects his father‘s Unionist beliefs to follow best friend Jack (Ulrich) in fighting the Confederate cause. Amongst their companions is black slave llolt (Wright), whose devotion to his master confuses his loyalty to his own people, whose bondage he is fighting to preserve. An Oscar-worthy and unashamedly traditional Hollywood war movie that benefits from Lee‘s deft way with the intimate, the ambiguous and the morally complex. Roxy, Kelso.

The Ride (PG) *** (Jan Sverak, Czech Republic, 1994) 95 mins. Central European road movie about two young men touring around the hot south of the Czech Republic. But their holiday is disrupted when they pick up a charming hitchhiker named Ana who is being followed by a jealous boyfriend. Dominion, Edinburgh.

Road Trip (15) innit (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.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (18) ittt (Jim Sharman, UK, 1975) Tim Curry. Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf. 100 mins. The cult film to end all others, this rock spoof on old horror movies has created a breed of Rocky Horror crazies. and packs them in at late shows everywhere. The film has its moments, and Curry is splendidly camp as the bisexual Frank N. Furter. Grosvenor, Glasgow. Romeo Must Die (15) it (Andrezej Bartkowiak, US, 2000) Jet Li, Aaliyah, lsiah Washington. 115 mins. Tagged as an urban Romeo And Juliet, here's Shakespeare as obscured by hip-hop and kung fu. When two warring crime families (one black, one