Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder.

After The Fall (Nach Dem Fall) (PG) (Frauke Sandig, Eric Black, Germany, 1998) 104 mins. Award-winning documentary investigating the social, political and cultural climate of Berlin after the fall of the Wall. Scars both architectural and emotional are revealed in the post-Unification city in a film illustrated by astonishing photography. Part of the German Film Festival. GET, Glasgow.

Am I Beautiful? (Bin lch Schon?) (18) (Doris Dorrie, Germany, 1998) 120 mins. Bittersweet examination of that old eternal quest for happiness, adapted by Dorrie from her own short stories which interweave stories of love and loss. Part of the German Film Festival. GF'I‘, Glasgow.

American Movie (15) hurt (Chris Smith, US, 2000) 104 mins. Smith and producer Sarah Price ’5 documentation of oddball Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt's efforts to get his Great American Movie made is amusing and fascinating. Borchardt is more Ed Wood than Orson Welles, but American Movie's makers admire his tenacity, and their non- judgmental approach has been rewarded with a strange and wonderful film. GET, Glasgow.

An Ideal Husband (PG) **** (Oliver Parker, UK, 1999) Rupert Everett, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore. 100 mins. When scheming Mrs Cheveley blackmails brilliant politician Sir Robert Chiltern behind his loving wife's back, loafing Lord Goring comes to his friend’s assistance in this fine adaptation Oscar Wilde '5 play. The cracking cast dojusticc to the archetypal Wildean witticisms. Odeon, Dunfermline.

Annie Hall (15) **** (Woody Allen, US, 1977) Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts. 93 mins. Warm, wistful, wonderfully witty Woody discourses on love, death and life in the Big Apple in this multi-Oscar-winning autobiographical comedy-romance. Bathgate Regal, Bathgate. Any Given Sunday (15) it): (Oliver Stone, US, 2000) Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid. 150 mins. Oliver Stone casts a wandering eye over the big bad world of American Football. Pacino grunts and yells as Tony D'Amato, twenty year veteran coach for the Miami Sharks, who is at odds with the club's new owner, feisty upstart Christina Pagniacci (Diaz). The po-faced power struggles become wearing and while Stone's epileptic editing style captures the power and athleticism of the game, it falls short of the grace and skill. By the final whistle, Any Given Sunday is frustratineg unrealised. Odeon, Dunfermline.

The Apple (PG) fifth (Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran, 1997) 85 mins. In a small Teheran community, a 65-year-old man and his blind wife were reported to the authorities by concerned neighbours for keeping their twin daughters locked up for the entire twelve years of their lives. Taking up this true story in 1997 after it hit the headlines in Iran, director Makhmalbaf’s docu-drama observes the changes undergone by this family after their lives were publicly exposed. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

The Art Of War (18) **(Christian Duguay, US, 2000) Wesley Snipes, Michael Biehn, Marie Matiko. 117 mins. For all its hi-tech trimmings, this is a routine thriller in which undercover agent Snipes tries to unravel a conspiracy designed to scupper a US/Chinese trade agreement. The key to the mystery may lie in the writings ofJapanese military strategist Sun Tsu, whose ancient book, The Art Of War, advocated destroying one‘s enemies from within. Duguay's hell- for-leather direction is exhausting and ineffective, the tone and pacing are erratic to the point of incoherence and the talented cast are wasted. See review. General release. Bedazzled (12) *** (Harold Ramis, US, 2000) Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth. 93 mins. An updated riff on the Faust legend, loosely based on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's

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1967 cult favourite, substitutes Fraser’s nerdy tech support guy for Dud's depressed Wimpy chef and Hurley's sexy Satan for Cook's droll Devil, but the set-up is the same: a cautionary tale about making deals with the Devil. Madly in love with the oblivious O’Connor, Fraser signs away his immortal soul in return for a fat legal contract that grants him seven wishes; but the catch, as always, is in the small print. More than enough laughs to sustain its modest running time. General release. Beetlejuice (15) ***~k (Tim Burton, US, 1988) Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Michael Keaton. 92 mins. Recently deceased and very charming New England couple have difficulty in adjusting to the afterlife. Not the least of their worries is the tasteless refurbishment of their old home by a nasty New York yuppie family, and they eventually call on freelance bio-exorcist Betelgeuse (pronounced 'Beetle-juice’) to deal with the problem in his own inimitable fashion. A movie of exuberantly eccentric cartoonish capers, which creates its own comic cosmos where the unexpected is the norm. Great fun it all is too. Cameo, Edinburgh.

Best In Show (18) **** (Christopher Guest, US, 2000) Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Parker Posey. 89 mins. Hilarious mock documentary about a group of oddball dog lovers attending a dog show. Directed by Guest who you might know better as Nigel Tufnel from This Is Spinal Tap. Part of the Regus London Film Festival on tour. GFT, Glasgow.

Bhaji On The Beach (12) **** (Gurinder Chadha, UK, 1993) Kim Vithana, Jimmi Harkishin, Sarita Khajuria. 100 mins. A group of Asian women from Birmingham leave their day-to-day cares behind them and head in a van for Blackpool. But the problems of culture clashes, a patriarchal community, domestic violence and generation gaps follow them onto the sand. A magnificently fresh, uplifting view of life in Britain through Asian eyes. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

Billy Elliot (15) **** (Stephen Daldry, UK, 2000) Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis. 111 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 '5 ticket out of hard times. Making his film debut, theatre director Daldry 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. General release.

Black Narcissus (PG) *ttrki (Michael Powell, UK, 1947) Deborah Kerr, Sabu, Jean Simmons. 100 mins. Kerr's colony of nuns in the Himalayas find their faith tested by the desires of the flesh. An unlikely subject matter, astonishingly evocative

studio settings and affectingly controlled performances are combined in a beautiful, unique film. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (15) ***** (Ridley Scott, US, 1982) Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer. 116 mins. Out go the pseudo-noir narration and the tacked-on happy ending; in comes a more defined sense that Deckard himself may be a replicant. The look and feel remain as powerful, and the acting is superb. A flawed masterpiece is now a restored masterpiece. Vikingar Cinema, Largs.

Blue Planet (U) An awesome trip around, above and beyond our planet on the IMAX giant screen which prompted the Washington Post to write: ‘If a picture is worth a thousand words, one image from Blue Planet is worth a zillion'. IMAX, Glasgow.

Bring It On (12) iii (Peyton Reed, US, 2000) Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford. 98 mins. The Toro cheerleading quad from Rancho Came High School, San Diego have won them the national championship trophy five years running. Nevertheless newly-elected team captain Torrance (Dunst) is pulling out all the stops for a sixth. But when Torrence discovers she's inherited a routine stolen by her predecessor from East Compton's hip-hop cheerleading squad the Clovers, things begin to look bad for Toro. A spunky performance by Dunst lifts the film above the fairly conventional storyline about triumphing against the odds, and an even less imaginative message about the importance of participating rather than winning. Odeon, Ayr.

Butterfly's Tongue (La Lengua De Las Mariposas) (15) isn't (Jose Luis Cuerda, Spain, 2000) Manuel Lozano, Fernando Fernan Gomez. 95 mins. Set in Galicia, in the period preceding Franco's fascist uprising in 1936, Cuerda's film traces the relationship between seven-year-old Moncho (Lozano) and his benign anarchist- leaning teacher Don Gregorio (veteran Spanish actor Gomez). This is Republican Spain seen through rose-tinted glasses; a harsh and bitter world transformed into a make-believe utopia about to be cruelly crushed by fascism. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Cecil B. Demented (18) *~k* (John Waters, US, 2000) Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt. 88 mins. The veteran of trash filmmaking shoots down the film industry - both Hollywood and independent - in a re-enactment of the Patty Hearst story. Hearst (who has a cameo role in the film) is supplanted with film star Honey Whitlock (the game Griffith), who is kidnapped by the eponymous renegade auteur (Dorff) and forced to appear in one of his trashy films. But before Demented can yell ‘cut and wrap' she sides with her director, fighting for the independent cause. Waters employs the scattergun approach, peppering the film with in jokes, some of which raise laughs, some of which fall lame. See feature and review. GF'T, Glasgow; Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

index FILM

Charlie's Angels (15) iii (McG, US. 2000) Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu. 90 mins. This update of the TV series has three chief attractions which are so pleasing on the eye it almost gets away with everything else: the gorgeous trio of Diaz, Barrymore and Liu, the outfits and action sequences. There's nothing believable about these three crime fighters - and that's why girls needn't get excited about this being a rare action film lead by women - but the lack of realism is also one of the film‘s strengths; its thrills and spills have a cartoonish, laws of nature-defying brilliance. On the other side of the coin, the plot is pants, the characters are wafer-thin and the jokes aren't half as funny as they ought to be. General release.

Chicken Run (U) **** (Nick Parkfl’cter Lord, UK, 2000) Voices of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Miranda Richardson. 85 mins. For their first feature Aardman studios have re-written the WWII P.O.W. experience as an Orwellian satire, albeit with laughs. So, Stalag 17 becomes a battery farm and the camp commandant farmer Tweedy 's domineering wife, while in the hutches, Ginger rallies her fellow hens to fly their coop. Though the characters aren't as established as Wallace and Gromit and the feature length running time slows the action, Aardman continue to work real wonders with their familiar Plasticine animation. Selected release.

Chopper (18) **** (Andrew Dominik, Australia, 2000) Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, David Field. 93 mins. Based on the life of Mark ‘Chopper' Brandon Read, Australia’s self-proclaimed gangster number 1, Chopper is a savagely funny voyage through the rationale of a criminal mind. Dominik questions the myth of a man who gained notoriety by chopping off his own cars in prison to escape a rival gang, and later removed fingers and toes of others. The considerable explicit violence slides uncomfortany along a razor edge between realism and fantasy and raised a round of critical assaults. And central to the film is a beguiling performance by top Australian comedian Bana as Chopper, a mischievous piece of casting that really piles on the irony. Selected release.

Chuck And Buck (15) *ttt (Miguel Aneta, US, 2000) Chris Weitz, Mike White. 95 mins. Chuck (Weitz) and Buck (White, also scriptwriter) used to suck and fuck each other, when they were kids. As the years pass they drift apart, Chuck moves to Los Angeles and becomes a successful music industry executive while Buck stays at home with his mother, living in a state of perpetual childhood at 27 years of age. But the death of Buck's mom brings the boys back together, much to Buck's delight and Chuck’s chagrin. You'll find Chuck And Buck either irritating or endearing, but it’s an American indie movie that makes a truth of those much overused adjectives: quirky, offbeat and oddball. Cameo, Edinburgh. Coyote Ugly (12) ** (David McNally, US, 2000) Maria Bello, Piper Perabo, John Goodman. 101 mins. Presumably the high concept pitch for this latest slice of wish fulfilment was ‘Flashdance meets Cocktail'. The title refers to a New York drinking spot, where the drop-dead gorgeous (female) bartenders dance suggestively on the bar and pour shots down the customers’ throats. The latest recruit to this ‘lively’ environment is young Violet (Perabo), a girl from New Jersey who dreams of making it in the Big Apple as a singer-songwriter. Ignore the claims that this is a tale of female empowerment: the film is a tease, titillating its male viewers with its images of midriff-baring babes in halter tops and tight leather trousers, before retreating behind its 12 certificate. General release.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (12) ***** (Ang Lee, US/China, 2000) Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang ZiYi. 120 mins. Preview screening of Lee‘s (Sense And Sensibility, The Ice Storm) reinvention of the kung fu movie which mixes Jane Austen with Bruce Lee to beautiful and breathtaking effect. Likely to be the best film of 2001. Lumiere, Edinburgh.

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