LESBIAN ROMANCE AIMEE 8- JAGUAR (15) 126 mins 0...


(15) 86 mins 0

High Heels And Low Lites is so lacking in ambition it's depressmg. TeleviSion comedy scnptwrrter Kim Fuller's soreenplay starts With an unpromisrng idea two gorgeOLis girls blackmail a gang of crooks out of their hard-stolen dosn and takes it nowhere.

Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack glam it up and act 'kookie' as best

pals Shannon and Frances. Some half-arsed attempts at establishing character Shannon's a nice nurse. Frances IS a spunky American actress are quickly dispensed wrth as the

Cack-handed comedy caper

on Not The Nine ( )'(;lr N ‘k directs in a style that's treat tit‘fil‘llttt’ti as cack-handed. 'lhe decent ish

Truth is far, far stranger than fiction




Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Aimee 8. Jaguar is a love story that is so iaw- droppineg implausrble that it can only be true.

It is 19/13. In between Allied air raids. Berliners pick their way past bomb sites and charred corpses to attend concerts of Beethoven. Life in wartime Berlin is full of such contradictions. Lilly Wust (Juliane thler). paragon of Nazr motherhood. brazenly conducts affairs while her soldier husband is at the front. Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader). a Jewrsh lesbian posing as a Gentile. works for a Na/i newspaper while supplying the underground With information. Two more unlikely bedfellows could not be found. But the pair become lovers.

Felice clever. reckless. charismatic lives dangerously in a twrlight demimonde of Jews and lesbians. usrng her Wits to evade the attentions of the Gestapo. Lilly recipient of the Na/i Mutterkreu/ (mother cross) for bearing four impeccably Aryan sons is Sllly. self-centred and unthinkineg anti-Semitic. But when Felice meets Lilly through one of her lovers. Lilly's maid Ilse. she resolves to seduce her. Lilly is appalled; then curious: then she throws herself passionately into an affair. Calling each other Aimee (Lilly) and Jaguar (Felice). the couple live intensely for the moment. but eventually the war catches up With them.

Aimee and Jaguar's story first became known when Lilly. half a century later. related it to writer Erica Fischer. Her best-selling book was published in 1994. Five years later. debutante film director Max FarberbOCk translated it to the screen. The result is an inspiring. thrilling and moving tale. (Jason Best)

I Film/louse. Edinburgh from Fri 27 Jul; GET. Glasgow from Fri 3 Aug.

COMEDY DRAMA A L’ATTAQUE (15) 90 mins 0.

Question: What do you get if you cross Woody Allen with Ken Loach and set the film in France? Answer: A tale of class conflict told by highly neurotic petit bourgeors.

Perhaps not the best punch line in the world. and unfortunately A l'attaque.’ fails to set the world afire with this one. Two screenwriters struggling With writer's block hit on the idea of creating a film about the tort of a working class family. desperately trying to stay afloat in the face of dirty capitalist pigs.

Gritty realism is held at bay with an upbeat score and comic capers. although there is enough undiluted pOignancy to allow some moments of identification. What breaks connection to the tale further is the interspersion of the writers' scripting process. Clever. yes; amusing. sometimes; successful. no. The interruptions of these smug intellectuals. arguing over coffee. eggs and 'what is modern' severely detracts

36 THE LIST 19 Jul—2 Aug 2001


Clever, yes; successful, no

from any serious message that the film attempts to convey.

That said. Robert Guediguian. the self-appointed champion of Marseilles‘ underclass (see Marius et Jennette and A La Place du Coeur). is poking fun at himself. But though A l'attaque.’ has some beautiful touches. its voice is too obscured to create any significant resonance. (Ruth HedgeS)

I Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 27 Jul.

blackmail attempt doesn’t go according to plan. One moment Shannon is all maternal. tending to a hit-and-run victim. the next she's armed to the teeth With automatic weapons and acting like Rambo. But girl with gun is. erm. funny. right? No. actually.

Mel Smith. who worked with Fuller

supporting cast Kenn McNally, John Sessrons. Michael (‘iamhon .llltl lire Fast Shows Mark \’Vl”l{tllt§; is; tottil|\ wasted. Resolutelv grounded ltllltl ground down) by a small screen mentality. this is the kind of iutit iish that gives Brit cinema a bad name. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri .' ’(l Jul.

DRAMA . RIEN A FAIRE (cert tbc) 105 mins 00.

Who would have thought unemployment could prove the great equaliser in love? Marion Vernoux (Love Etc) suggests both the possibility and impossibility of breaking the class divide in this study of a relationship between middle class Pierre (Patrick Dell‘lsola) and working class Marie (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) in a nonhern French coastal town.

Where before. both working for the same company. they had no reason to meet. now pushing trolleys down a supermarket isle as they idle away their long days. Pierre and Marie develop feelings of love out of boredom and loss of confidence. But if unemployment allows a tentative affair to develop between the two people. do the social roles kick in elsewhere? It's Pierre who frequently comments on Marie's junk food acquisitions. and it‘s Marie who ris s social embarrassment when the couple make love in a house where Marie does some part-time cleaning.

Vernoux's film might lack devastating emotional effect. but it's a finely nuanced study of social divisions. It's a film ironically suggesting the ‘classless society' comes from loss of work rather than its plentiful presence, and that here. again. class makes itself felt. (Tony McKibbin)

I GFT Glasgow from Mon 76 Jul; Fi‘lmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 20 Jul.

Fine study of social divisions

HORROR ED GEIN (15) 90 mins 0.

The true story of Ed Gein has been the foundation for three of the finest horror movies in the canon. Coming at the tale of this simple man and serial killer extraordinaire in different ways. Psycho went for the domineering mum angle. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre adopted the isolated nutter approach. while The Silence Of The Lambs fleshed out Ed's skin trade.

In Ed Gei'n. there's a bit of all three. but they're all filmed in a ham-fisted. campy and ultimately utterly banal way. Similar in form to Blair Witch 2. the movie starts with a compelling documentary sequence before plunging headlong into trash TV movie terrain.

Steve Railsback plays Gein as a nerdy. repressed Wisconsrn farmer who w0uld have been caught much earlier had the community not been so tolerant of his more idiosyncratic ways. His actual murdering. graverobbing and cavorting around with other people's skin on his body are touched upon only too briefly. The films opts instead for loads of flashbacks of his mum yelling. before her image begins to appear to him during hallucinations.

Not a patch on the films Gein inspired. this is dire stuff. (Brian Donaldson)

I Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 20 Jul.

at“ t." a

Ham-fisted and banal