FOOTBALL DRAMA A SHOT AT GLORY (cert tbc) 115 mins .00
At the end of the day, it’s just a bit of fun
A Hollywood film about Scottish football? It sounds pretty far-fetched. and A Shot At Glory's transition to cinemas was not free of difficulty. It has gone through three name changes. and was first shown (as The Cup) at last year's Toronto Film Festival.
Robert Duvall plays Gordon McLeod. the manager of a fictitious Second Division football club called Kilnockie. known. in true Carry On style. as ‘the Knockies'. Owner Peter Cameron (Michael Keaton) wants success. and is prepared to bring in Celtic‘s one-time superstar striker Jackie lvlcOuilIan (ex- Ranger and current tabloid darling Ally MCCoist) and consider a move to Dublin to further his aims.
He has not. however. considered the town's fanatical support base or the fraught history between the manager and his new striker. McOuillan's marriage to McLeod's daughter Katie (Kirsty Mitchell) has long since collapsed under the weight of his drinking and promiscuity. But wouldn't you know it. Kilnockie start a heroic cup run. win promotion to the First Division. and are soon playing against Rangers' multinational squad in the final.
A Shot At Glory's take on football is far from flawless (the cup final. strangely enough. goes immediately to penalties after 90 minutes) but having real footballers (the likes of Owen Coyle and Andy Smith play for Kilnockie. while Hugh Dallas ‘referees’ the quarter final) helps keep things reasonably believable.
McCoist acquits himself well. partly because of the obvious similarities between himself and McOuillan. while Duvall — once you've got over the shock of seeing him on the sidelines in a tweed jacket — is as impressive as ever. Like the team it depicts. A Shot At Glory will never change the world. but in this age of big business football. it's a telling reminder that football can be fun. (James Smart)
I General release from Fri 72 Oct. See preview. page 25.
(18) 90 mins .0 Set in Brixton. SW9 is a drug-addled trip through the lives of five people who have their destinies rolled together in a paper thin plot that is a rehash of any film that rehashed Pulp Fiction. Conceived by documentary-maker Richard Parry and backed by the makers of Human Traffic. the film attempts to construct the paranoia and social consciousness of today's counter culture.
M0ving away from the happy clubber scene. the film delves into the lives of the conscientious crusty. the dodgy dealer and the social activist. whose lives all spin on the axis of the drug culture and their own personal vanities and hypocrisies. Parry intersperses the film with documentary footage of the anti-capitalist marches (Churchill gets a mohican) validating himself as a director but not as a stOryteller.
The film has many flaws not least the script. which is loaded with political soundbites that miss their target and instead ricochet around the void Created on screen by dodgy acting.
Pulp fiction rehash
The frequent references to 60$ counter Culture can only impress those embarking on their rite—of-passage into drugs folklore. There's no placebo affect here. so it's not worth the trip. (Isabella Weir)
I Selected release from Fri 72 Oct.
COMEDY AMERICAN PIE 2 i (15) 105 mins 0.
Despite the fact that openin scene (featuring another sexual mishap) will be reassuringly familiar to fans of the first movie. it is not entirely representative of what is to come. Indeed. there's something not quite right about American Pie 2.
Sure. there are set pieces involving suspected lesbians. phone sex. and. yes. another embarrassing masturbation moment. However. with all the Characters having gone to college. phrases like ‘taking the next step' and 'seeing the bigger picture' are bandied about. while worryingly preachy plotlines promote monogamy and learning to be friends with girls. rather than just having sex with them. Our horny heroes are made to mature. with them ultimately celebrating the wondrous nature of their friendship.
College comedies. in the tradition of Animal House and Porky 's. are
Fails to be brainless fun
supposed to be all-out bawdy. brainless fun. The problem with American Pie 2. is that despite the gross-out humour and preoccupation with sex. it is a film which ironically also tries to be responsible and mature — and the two just don't work together. For a true college movie gem. rent Road Trip instead.
I General release from Fri 72 Oct.
DRAMA , LA CIENAGA (TI-IE SWAMP)
(cert tbc) 102 mins .00
Sweat drips from every inch of celluloid in director Lucrecia Martel's film in which two families struggle to survive the Argentinean heat. One mother. broken and ineffectual. wallows in a drunken fog: the other precarioust juggles work and kids. Martel has withheld a somdtrack to allow oppressive silences to grow. while shots of moody inaction are beautifully lingered upon. The only challenge to this sapping stagnation is a kind of primitivism. reminiscent of Lord Of The Flies. Flopping and lolling limbs provide a strange. child-like sensuality. while the thrashing beast in the swamp suggests something more restless.
What is achieved in atmosphere and character observation is stunning. However. La Cie'naga's theme of social stagnation and family breakdown has been tackled before in similarly slow. tension-laden ways. And although the perspective is original. ultimately the viewer is left as frustratingly disempowered as the characters in the film. and probably this is the point. Just one true breath of clean air would have been welcome. though. But for those who can stand the heat. La Ci’enaga provides saunatic. cinematic pleasures. (Ruth Hedges)
I GFT. Glasgow from Fri 72 Oct; Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 26 Oct.
Saunatic, cinematic pleasure
ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE
(cert tbc) 96mins 000.
The recent 707 Reykjavik suggested Iceland was a place of lackadaisical ennui created out of a decent social security system and a bloody good night life. Cold Fever director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson's latest film is 707's flipside. with the central character Paul's sense of dismay harder to locate and more deeply embedded. Despair initially seems generated from a girlfriend who finishes with him. but Fridriksson looks less for causes than reSuIIant losses. This is a great film of inexorable collapse as the director's gliding camera style is at one with Paul's catatonic approach to his own existence. The crisp SOundtrack by Sigur Ros and Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson emphasises the mood (and the film is supported by two Sigur Ros videos).
Where 707 Reykjavik offered hope through those standard moral thr0ugl‘lines. love and responsibility. Fridriksson is less optimistic. Paul's long-term friend. a character who has all that Paul lacks — wife. career. kids — commits suicide. Paul's newfound buddies in the mental institute. adopting celebrity personas and false identities. attempt a more non-conformist route to happiness: in one sequence they confidently order a huge meal in an expensive restaurant even thOugh they haven‘t the money to pay for it. A take on life diametrically opposed to the late friend's but still no guarantee. the film shows. to resisting the Suicidal impulse. (Tony MCKlbbin)
I Fi/nihouse. Edinburgh Mon 75 Oct: GFI'. Glasgow Tue 76 Oct.
A great film of inexorable collapse
4— 18 Oct 200‘. THE LIST 27