(18) 93 mins t it it it

Based on the life of Mark ’Chopper’ Brandon Read, Australia’s self- proclaimed gangster number one, Chopper is a savagely funny voyage through the rationale of a criminal mind. Writer/director Andrew Dominik questions the myth of a man who gained notoriety by chopping off his own ears in prison to escape a rival gang, and later removed the fingers and toes of others.

Read is also famed for his media savvy, which has left him open to accusations of fictionalismg his own crimes to gain notoriety (he's a bestselling author down under, the irony of which isn't lost on him). Just as with his autobiography, the film leaves the truth of these criminal expl0its open. The considerable explicit

Savager funny look at the criminal

violence slides uncomfortably along a razor edge between realism and fantasy, and has raised a second round of critical assauits - ‘it’s the most Violent film ever made in Australia, blah, blah’ - Just like Romper Stomper was years ago. And central to the film is a beguiling performance by top Australian comedian Eric Bana as Chopper (a mischievous piece of casting that piles on the irony).

The film starts with the sequence of events that led to Read having his ears sliced off and then Jumps eight years to his release from prison, and it's outside of jail that we see Read’s warped psyche through encounters With past acquaintances, cops and criminals. These meetings are often hilarious, though they also leave the film open to allegations of choosmg style over substance. (Kaleem Aftab)

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ALSO OPENlNG Little Nicky (12) 90 mins

Adam Sandler isn’t funny. His understudy, the not-as-funny-as-he- thinks-he-is Rob Schneider (Deuce Blga/ow), is funnier. Sandler's last film, The Waterboy, is the subject of big bucks litigation for allegedly plagiarising Charlie Chaplin, and his breakthrough film was about a soppy sod who sung crap 80s pop tunes . . . c'mon. Sandler sucks.

And yet. Sandler is one of America's highest paid, most widely popular comedians on film (no doubt PreSIdent Duffus W. Bush loves him). For his new self-penned film, in which Sandler's cast himself as the dorky son of the devil, he's managed to secure the serVices of a half decent cast which


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includes Harvey Keitel (playing his dad), Patricia Arquette and Rhys Ifans. Sandler's also managed to tempt the recluswe Quentin Tarantino out of his home cinema to play a blind preacher. So here’s Sandler's plot: It's the l0,000th year of Satan’s rule as the Prince Of Darkness, but when old Nick deodes against turning over his fiery throne to his two eldest sons they bugger off upstairs to New York City and have a go at recreating hell on Earth. And so Nicky must save the day

At press time there were no prints of the film available for the eyes of the press (suspicious that). Not that a bad review here or there (or a good one come to that) will affect Little Nicky's box office takings. Sandler sucks but he makes big bucks. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 77 Nov.

new releases FILM


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funding? Then we may be able to help. At the Scottish Arts Council we proxide funds,

information and advice to artists and arts

organisations throughout Scotland.

Through Government grants and National Lottery funding we support a wide range of drama, dance, literature, music, collaborative arts,

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For more information visit our website or contact the SAC Help Desk team and ask for a copy of Funds which contains a full list of SAC’s funding schemes.

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16—30 Nov 2000 THE LIST 31