FILM index

O t v s & 16 §lafford She Edinbur r

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32 THE “ST 1—15 Feb 2001

John Malkovich is no longer being John Malkovich; he's being EW. Murnau, director


of the 20s silent horror classic Nosferatu, in Shadow Of The Vampire

FILM INDEX continued

Bedazzled ( l2) *tt (llarold Ramis. l'S. 2000) Brendan Fraser. lilizabeth Hurley. l‘rances O‘Connor. 93 mins. An updated riff on the l-‘aust legend. loosely based on Peter Cook and Dudley Moore‘s I967 cult favourite. it substitutes l-‘raser's nerdy tech support guy for Dads 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 Beelzebub. Madly in love with the oblivioUs ()‘Connor. l‘raser 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. Cameo. lidinburgh.

Being John Malkovich ( IS) *tttt (Spike Jonze. LS. 2000) John Ctisack. Cameron Diaz. Catherine Keener. John Malkovich. 1 12 mins. Frustrated puppeteer Craig Schwartz (Ctisack) takes a job as a filing clerk and discovers a portal into the actor John Malkovich's brain. What could have developed into a one-gag film. becomes a gender-bending extravaganza with a crazy network of love triangles. which climaxes with a lesbian relationship between two people of the opposite sex. A bewildering number of possibilities are added to the central premise and important questions about personal identity and self- fulfilment are raised. L'GC Cinemas. Edinburgh.

Billy Elliot ( IS) *vktt (Stephen Daldry. L'K. 2000) Jamie Bell. Julie Walters. Gary Lewis. I l 1 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's 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. Dominion. Edinburgh. Black And White i 18) iii (James

Toback. LS. 2000) Ben Stiller. Robert Downey Jnr. Brooke Shields. I00 mins. Maverick writer-director 'I'oback‘s ambitious exploration of white teenage America‘s fascination with black hip hop culture begins with a provocative inter-racial menage a trois in New York's Central Park. The film then darts between a series of interlocking storylines. which provide a mosaic of racial. sexual and cultural hybridity in present-day Manhattan. The cast is eclectic (it includes Mike Tyson. Power of the Wu-Tang Clan and Claudia Schiffer) and the plot contrivances melodramatic. but it's edgy. fast-talking and Toback‘s highly improvised approach pays dividends. Cameo. lidinburgh.

The Blair Witch Project ( l5) *tttt (Daniel Myrick and liduardo Sanchez. US. 1999) Heather Donahue. Josh Leonard. Michael Williams. 90 mins. 'l‘errifying docu- horror movie that purports to be an edited version of the film and video footage that Donahue. Leonard and Williams shot in the days before they disappeared in the woods around Burkittsville. Maryland. While you‘re watching. you're too sacred to think about the clever tricks being played with your mind. Vikingar Cinema. Largs.

Bless The Child ( IS) 1r (Chuck Russell. US. 2000) Kim Basinger. Rufus Sewell. Jimmy Smits. l 10mins. Basinger's respectable career nurse Maggie is visited after a long absence by her homeless junkie sister. who swiftly disappears leaving her to bring up the apparently autistic child. By the time baby Cody is six. there's a crowd of satanic cult followers abducting and killing children born on the day of her birth. lnevitably. their leader (Sewell) claims Cody for some fell purpose to do with the devil. The knee-jerk phobias about the jobless and homeless which lies beneath the text is obvious and boring. while the film borrows endlessly and unimaginatively from better. and less immediately political examples of its kind. ABC. Glasgow.

Blonde Venus (PG) tit (Josef Von Sternberg. L'S. I932) Marlene Dietrich. Herbert Marshall. Cary Grant. 97 mins. Forced into a career as a nightclub singer to pay for her dull husband's medical fees. Dietrich falls for playboy Grant. Odd mix of