USSR, 1988) Natalya Negoda. Andrei Sokolov, Ludmilla Zaitseva, Yuri Nazarov. 134 mins. The dour industrial landscape and colourless decor of Vera's llat set off emotional sparks between its occupants. Vera (Negoda) spends her vacation getting pregnant by her boyfriend, the unprepossessing, unemployed Sergei (Sokolov). When he moves into her parents' tiny flat, violent conflict ensues. Behind the glimpses of Soviet life, the well worn storyline lends the film a familiar air of kitchen-sink melodrama. GilmorehillGlZ, Glasgow.

Loser (12) *‘kt (Amy lleckerling, 2000, US) Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Greg. 95 mins. Biggs plays dorky small town scholarship student Paul Tannek who's overwhelmed by college life in New York, as is fellow student Dora Diamond (Suvari) who's having carnal relations with Kinnear‘s sleazy linglish Lit. prof. Then Paul and Dora meet and the rest is history. because no one will be surprised by the hard won but inevitable romance that blossoms between these two ‘losers'. lleckerling scored high with her previous teen flicks Fast Times A! Ridge/non! I I ig/t and Clueless, but despite likeable performances Loser brings her grade average down. Selected release.

Love 8: Sex (15) *iii (Valerie Breiman, US, 2000) l-‘amke Janssen, Jon Favreau. 82 mins. When Janssen's magazine journalist files an article about how oral sex can save relationships, she's promptly sacked by her editor. Begging for a second chance, she's forced to re-examine her previous relationships to see what went wrong in order to complete a palatable article. And as soon as we arrive at her ‘big ex', Adam (Favreau), Breiman‘s semi-autobiographical film comes alive, and it‘s frequently hilarious shooting straight to the heart of relationships, from flirtation through honeymoon period, loving companionship and break up. What also distinguishes this film from lesser rom-com efforts are the leads' sparkling performances. Gl’l‘, Glasgow.

Love You (T'aime) (18) (Patrick Sebastien, 2000) Marie Denarnaud, Samuel Dupuy. 96 mins. Tragic drama in which a ruthless businessman's treatment of his daughter, which verges on abuse, has a profound effect on a young retarded boy who is drawn to the girl's charm and innocence. Part of the French Film Festival. Gl’l‘, Glasgow; Filmhouse, lidinburgh.

The Luzhin Defence (12) it (Marleen Gorris, UK, 2000) John Turturro, [Emily Watson, Geraldine James. 110 mins. In this Nabokov adaptation Gorris tells the story of genius chess player but socially inept Luzhin (Turturro) who is at Italy's Lake Como for the World Chess Championship, and falls for the languorous Natalia (Watson) who's looking to escape a few of the advance moves of her societally skilled mother (James). For all its admiration for the moves only a genius could predict, Gorris tells a story that requires minimal second guessing; something Turturro's likeable performance can't do much to alleviate. Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline.

The Marcorelle Affair (L'affaire Marcorelle) (18) (Serge l.e Peron. 2000) Jean-Pierre Leaud, lrene Jacob, Mathieu Amalric. 04 mins. Ajudge is forced to rethink his notion ofjustice following a series of events sparked off by his meeting with a mysterious waitress and flight from the scene of a crime. Part of the French Film Festival. Gl’l‘, Glasgow; Filnthouse, lidinburgh.

Marry Me (Epouse-moi) ( l2) (Harriet Marin. 2000) Michele l.aroque, Vincent Perez. 90 mitts. [Zrnploying a similar spread of alternative realities to Sliding Doors, Marin's upbeat debut charts the possible futures of its lovesick heroine, whose marriage to a loopy architect is heading for the rocks. Part of the French Film Festival. Gl’ll Glasgow; Filmhouse. lidinburgh.

A Matter Of Life And Death (PG) ***** (Michael Powelllimeric Pressburger, UK, 1040) David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesy, Raymond Massey. 10-1 mins. Wonderful film that rises above its beginnings as a piece of wartime propaganda about goodwill between Britain and the USA. Niven is an RAF pilot who

finds himself before a heavenly tribunal when he bales out of his burning plane. A witty and stylish fantasy with a fair share of on-target satire. Brunton Theatre. Edinburgh.

Me, Myself, I (15) **** (Pip Karmel. Australia, 2000) Rachel Griffiths, David Roberts. 104 ntins. llit with the overwhelming feeling that she left love and happiness behind when she turned down Mr Right at a juncture thirteen years earlier, career woman Pamela Drury (Griffiths) hits crisis point. All’s not lost however when she magically collides with the Pamela who did marry all those years ago her alternative self. Despite the film's relatively serious undertone about the futility of regret, Me, Myself I is a great feelgood movie, an upbeat comedy about oneself. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

Memento (lS) ***** (Christopher Nolan, US, 2000) Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano. 110 mins. Beginning where most other firms 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.

Le Mepris (15) *it* (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1963) Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli. 103 mins. Godard's comment on international filmmaking is re- released in a new print. A scriptwriter is increasingly despised by his wife as he tries to set up a film in Rome to be directed by Fritz lang. The breakdown of a marriage contrasts with the chequebook wedding that marked so much collaborative filmmaking during the ()0s, while the Mediterranean photography makes this the most handsome film Godard ever made. 13th Note Cafe, Glasgow.

Miss Julie (15) *iii (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. MacRobert. Stirling.

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's relationship with his pet Jack Russell terrier, set during World War ll 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. Pavilion, Galashiels. Nurse Betty (18) **** (Neil LaBute, US, 2000) Renee Zellweger. Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear. 110 mins. When smalltown Kansas waitress Betty (Zellweger) witnesses the murder of her white trash car salesman, she suffers a reality shift that leaves her believing the cheesy melodramatic world of her favourite daytime soap. A Reason To Live, to be real. Much of the film's humour is derived from the disparity between melodrama and real life; the occasions when they intersect are simultaneously hilarious. painful and poignant. Not as misanthropic as LaBute's first two films. Nurse Berry is nevertheless far more vital than other llollywood comedies Selected release.

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