Sophie Marceau plays a (for once) faithful lover in La Fidelite, directed by the French starlet’s husband Andrzej Zulawski
the hard man who’s lost his bottle and the officious little psychopath is nothing short of Pinter-esquc, alternately menacing, hilarious and terrifying. Cast against type, the leads are superb. Glazer rigorously maintains content over style. and the result is a razor sharp drama that’s no mere gangster film. Selected release. Singin' In The Rain (U) ***** (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, US, 1950) Gene Kelly, Donald O‘Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse. 102 mins. Hollywood undergoes the transition from the silent era to the talkies and reputations rise and fall. Absolutely wonderful musical entertainment, with the slickest of snappy dialogue, enduringly catchy numbers, a cast of genuine charisma, and an engaging picture of the industry in transition into the bargain. Quite splendid. GET, Glasgow.
The 6th Day (15) ** (Roger Spottiswoode, US, 2000) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn, Robert Duvall. 123 mins. Synthetic blend of futuristic thriller and Bond-style action movie sees Schwarzenegger’s average family man Adam Gibson returning home for a ‘secret' birthday party to find that he has been replaced by an identical clone. Kidnapped by the perpetrators of this scientiﬁc ‘mistake’, he escapes and goes on the run, trying to unravel the mystery and recover the life, wife and children that have been stolen from him. Ham. fistedly directed by Spottiswoode, this is little more than a random series of shoot-outs, chase scenes and helicopter stunts. Most depressing of all, however, is the realisation that Arnold simply cannot hack it anymore as an Action Man. Selected release.
Small Time Crooks (PG) *** (Woody Allen, US, 2000) Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant. 92 mins. Allen’s strike rate dips again with this slight tale of Ray (Allen), a bumbling, insecure thief who convinces his wife Frenchy (the splendidly shrill Ullman) that his next job is fool~proof. Ray’s plan takes a while to get off the ground. Meantime, Frenchy’s covering role as cookie-maker earns her celebrity status. So far, so fairly funny. Then, in drops Hugh Grant as a posh suitor given the task of making sophisticates out of the common pair. Pygmalion without so many laughs. Dominion, Edinburgh.
Some Like It Hot (PG) ***** (Billy Wilder, US, 1959) Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe. 120 mins. Two impecunious male musicians inadvertently witness the St Valentine’s Day Massacre and take refuge in Florida with Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators, an all-female band. Brilliant, brittle, crackerjack farce with all concerned at a peak in their careers. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Stuart Little (U) skit (Rob Minkoff, US, 2000) Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie. 92 mins. Live action with a computer generated talking mouse voiced by Michael J. Fox, Minkoff‘s adaptation of EB. White’s classic childrens’ book sees the sweet wee rodent orphan being adopted by afﬂuent Manhattanites the Little family. Stuart’s problems begin with a new nemesis, the mean- spirited. inappropriately-named family cat Snowbell. The message of the film is clear — little guy discovers the meaning of family, loyalty and friendship - but of more interest to viewers both small and large will be the Tom AndJerry-slylc antics. Selected release. Suzhou River (12) **** (Lou Ye, China,
2000) Zhou Xun, Jia Hongsheng, Yao Anlian. 83 mins. Suzhou River is the Asian Vertigo, but don’t expect Hitchcock-style camerawork in Ye’s film. In the vanguard of China’s new ‘6th Generation’ filmmakers, Ye’s style is shaky hand-held camerawork representing the video diaries of a lonely videographer (a cipher for China’s disillusioned youth?), who lives on the eponymous Shanghai waterway. The plot, however, riffs on Hitchcock’s classic about obsession and mistaken identity. For cineftles and social observers alike, this is a clever, contemporary film which bodes well for the 6th Generation. See review. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
Time Code (18) *‘k* (Mike Figgis, US, 2000) Saffron Burrows, Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeanne Tripplehom. 97 mins. Another audacious, experimental feature from Figgis, interweaving four improvised stories shot in real time and projected on to a split- screen simultaneously. The characters’ lives criss-cross in time and space, as they enter and leave different locations, interact face-to-face or on the phone, and slowly converge upon the office of Indie film production company Red Mullet lnc., where a tyrannical director is in the final stages of casting his new movie. lntellectually invigorating, technologically bold and - perhaps most surprisingly given the technical nature of the project — always emotionally involving. Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy.
Titus (18) *ivk (Julie Taymor, US, 2000) Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming. 162 mins. In this appropriately gruesome adaptation of Shakespeare’s bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus, Roman general Titus (Hopkins) returns home after conquering the Goths. But when playboy Emperor Satuminus (Cumming) takes the surviving Goth queen, Tamora (Lange), as his wife a series of tragic events are set in motion which wrecks havoc on the Andronicus lineage. Visually, the film looks great, though it tips crude cinematic snooks at everything from Romeo And Juliet to The Matrix. Hopkins is brilliant and there’s strong support from all of the cast to make this an absorbing, if derivative three hour ride. The Lumiere, Edinburgh. Touch Of Evil (18) **~k** (Orson Welles, US, 1958) Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Marlene Dietrich, Janet Leigh. 108 mins. Welles made a return to Hollywood studio employment after a decade in the wilderness with this classic baroque thriller. In a sleazy border town, the murder of a Mexican bigwig causes friction between corrupt local detective Hank Quinlan (Welles himself) and upright Mexican narcotics agent Vargas (Heston). Amidst a gallery of Wellesian grotesques and expressionist camerawork the dialogue between truth and justice becomes progressively more garbled. Don't be late or you'll miss one of cinema’s most famous opening shots. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
A Touch Of Zen (18) ***** (King Hu, Hong Kong, 1969) Hsu Feng, Shih Chun, Pai Ying. 180 mins. Epic tale of a young couple on the run and their various mses to keep the enemy at bay, which include the simulated haunting of a mysterious fortress, before a group of Zen Buddhist monks turn the situation into a final, highly stylised conflict. Variously mystical, exciting, and decorative costume
saga, whose breathtakingly choreographed mid-air fight sequences are the mark of a highly skilled director at work and won a prize at the Cannes film festival for ‘superior technical achievement'. Cameo, Edinburgh. Trafﬁc (18) **** (Steven Soderbergh, US, 2000) Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones. 147 mins. This ambitious, multi-layered epic drama exposes the confusion, hypocrisy and sheer futility of America’s war on drugs. Three interwoven storylines - involving decent cop Del Toro, conservative Ohio judge Douglas, the country’s newly appointed new drug czar, and well- lieeled society wife Zeta-Jones — show how the drug trade touches and corrupts every level of society on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Using different film stocks and techniques, Soderbergh provides each of these storylines with a distinct look while linking them with persistent use of hand-held cameras, which gives the film an air of documentary authenticity and gripping immediacy. Intelligent and provocative, Trafﬁc avoids sermonising, but in scene after scene, the message gets through. See review. General release.
Transition (15) iii (Andy Mackinnon, UK, 2000) 75 mins. Mackinnon’s labour of love is an ambitious and technically brilliant project. Using specially developed time lapse photography as well as super 8 film, Transition aims to explore the changing Scottish landscape: contrasting the natural beauty of the country’s wildest places with the industrial cityscape. Unfortunately, Transition will only reinforce the image of Scotland awash in its own sentiment. GFI‘, Glasgow.
Unbreakable (12) *itt (M. Night Shyamalan, US, 2000) Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn. 106 mins. David Dunn (Willis) crawls from the wreckage of a train crash, the sole survivor of the 118 passengers. Dunn's miraculous escape is the catalyst for three events: him and his estranged wife Audrey (Penn) re-think their impending split; eccentric art collector and sufferer of a debilitating brittle bone condition Elijah Price (Jackson) pesters Dunn about his medical history; and Dunn’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) takes hero worship a little too far. Once again Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) takes a preposterous story full of crazy revelations and grounds it with low key plotting and a Spare style, making a Hollywood blockbuster in the style of an art house film. General release. Under Suspicion (15) mu (Stephen Hopkins, US, 2000) Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Monica Bellucci. 111 mins. Is it enough that two veteran actors submit a pair of sturdy performances? Does it matter not that, confined within a few interiors over a four hour period, the drama is highly theatrical? Is it a matter for concern that this film deviates from both John Wainwright’s original source novel about the interrogation by two policemen of a man suspected of the rape and murder of three girls and the first, French film adaptation Garde 1‘ Vue? What we have here is a watchable if melodramatic murder mystery, which undermines itself by ironing out some of the original's ambiguous elements. Court adjourned. General release.
Vertical limit (12) *t* (Martin Campbell, US, 2000) Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney,
Bill Paxton. 124 mins. It's vapid, vertiginous thrills all the way up this join-the-dots mountain-climbing movie. Still haunted by the death of his father in a climbing accident, O’Donnell is forced back into crampons when his sister (Tunney) gets buried by an avalanche during an assent of K2. Accompanying O'Donnell on his foolhardy rescue mission are wild-haired mountain man Scott Glenn and a few disposable extras. The clock is ticking because they must reach the stranded climbers before hypothermia sets in. Preposterous tosh of the highest order, this nevertheless has its breathless, seat-grabbing moments. See review. General release.
Videodrome (18) *tii (David Cronenberg. Canada, 1983) James Woods, Debbie Harry. 88 mins. Woods is a programmer for a pirate cable station who becomes intrigued and then obsessed with an untraceable porn channel that triggers hallucinogenic fantasies. A nasty but intriguing and ultimately confusing masterpiece with eye-popping special effects. Cameo, Edinburgh.
The Virgin Suicides (15) within (Soﬁa Coppola, US, 2000) Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods. 96 mins. American suburbia in the 19705. When the five beautiful Lisbon sisters begin killing themselves one-by- one, there's nothing the local and adoring boys can do but watch, and afterwards carry into their adult lives regret, confusion and loss. Coppola’s adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel is shot through with a beautiful, melancholic nostalgia for lost youth. The central mystery is never resolved, and the film remains all the more powerful for it. Edinburgh Film Guild at Filmhouse, Edinburgh. , What Lies Beneath (15) time (Robert Zemeckis, US, 2000) Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Miranda Otto, James Remar. 129 mins. A suspense thriller that plays teasingly between genres, though soon everything becomes clear: the film is haunted by the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock. Pfeiffer's Claire Spencer lives with her genetics professor husband Norman (Ford) in an idyllic lakeside house in Vermont. But all is not well in their ideal home; where she’s troubled by things that go bump in the night. Zemeckis turns the screw of suspense with an expert hand, building tension with a canny mix of Alan Silvestri’s eerie score and even more ominous silences, while Pfeiffer involves us in every stage of Claire’s mental unravelling. Selected release.
Where The Money Is (15) tint (Marek Kanievska, US, 2000) Paul Newman, Linda Fiorentino, Dermot Mulroney. 87 mins. Entertaining thriller in which aged criminal Newman escapes from confinement by feigning a stroke, and ends up robbing an armoured car with Fiorentino’s nurse and her dumb boyfriend. The Lumiere, Edinburgh. Woman On Top (15) it (Fina Torres, US, 2000) PeneIOpe Cruz, Murilo Benicio, Harold Perrineau Jr. 91 mins. Isabella (Cruz) and husband Toninho (Benicio) own a small restaurant on a Brazilian beach. All is well, except that Isabella suffers from motion sickness so badly that she must always be in the driving seat even in bed. Which drives Toninho into the arms of another woman. Discovering them together, Isabella ups and flies to San Francisco to join her sassy bisexual friend Monica (Perrineau, Jr) and find fame as a TV cook. For all its chillies, Woman On Top is conspicuously lacking in spice. Cooked up especially for a woman’s palette, it is definitely not the way to a man’s heart, and more likely the way to send him to sleep. See review. GFI‘, Glasgow.
Wonder Boys (15) *ttt (Curtis Hanson, US, 2000) Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr. 111 mins. Grady Tripp (Douglas), one time celebrated novelist, now cynical creative writing professor is having a rough weekend. His third wife hasjust left him, his mistress, who also happens to be the College Chancellor’s wife, is pregnant, manic depressive pupil James Leer (Maguire) has latched onto him and Tripp’s perverse agent, Terry Crabtree (Downey Jr), is coming with the sole aim of proofing Tripp’s (unfinished) new novel. Douglas is a revelation in this sophisticated comedy examining the chaos that ensues when intellectually stifled lives begin to move on again. Yet again Hanson (LA C onﬁdentt'af) proves himself to be a dynamic filmmaker with powerful feeling for pace, style, rhythm and form. F'I'H Cinema, Falkirk.
18 Jan—1 Feb 2001 THE LIST35