Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder
A.l. ( 12) .0. (Steven Spielberg. LS. 2001) Haley Joel ()smont. Jtide Law. 141 mins. Stanley Kubrick spent years planning Artificial Inlelligenr‘e. inspired by a Brian Aldiss short story. ‘Super-toys Last All Summer Long'. ()n his death. the project was beqtieathed to Spielberg. Together they have created a future world where the human body is completely commoditied. Forget cy'borgs ~ the robots in this film are pure artificial intelligence. The question is. can they be programmed to fall in love‘.’ However. the immense difference between the two tilinmakers' approach makes this a torturous two hours. as you are tugged between two extremes: Kubrickian cool and Spielbergian sentimentality. (ieneral release. Aimee And Jaguar ( 15).... (Max Farberbock. (iermany. 2001 ) Juliane Kohler. Maria Sehrader. 126 mins. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. It’s 1943. wartime Berlin. Lilly (Kohler). paragon of Nazi motherhood. brazenly conducts affairs while her soldier husband is at the front. Felice (Schrader). a Jewish lesbian posing as a (icntile. works for a Nazi newspaper while supplying the underground with information. Two tnore unlikely bedfellows could not be found. Btit the pair become lovers. An inspiring. thrilling. moving and completely true tale. Cameo. Edinburgh: MacRobert. Stirling.
Q Amelie (15) 0.... (Jean-Pierre Jeunet. France. 2001 ) .Audrey Tautou. Mathieti Kassm'itl. Serge Merlin. 120 mins. As with his two previous French fantasies.
Delicatessen and The ('in (If/xiv! (‘lti/dl'en.
qunet creates a fantastical world. here reimagining Paris' oldest quarter. Montmartre. Within it the eccentric adven- tures of his eponymous heroine (played by captivating elfin newcomer Tautou) tinfold in a manner as complex as a Swiss time- piece when Amelie decides to bring happi- ness to deserving people by playing elabo- rate practical jokes on them. (‘omposed of many moments of absolute wonder. this is a film which celebrates all the little. great things in life. Selected release. American Pie 2 ( IS) 00 (J. 8. Rogers. ['S. 2001 ) Jason Biggs. litigene Levy. Mena Suvari. 105 mins. Despite the fact that the opening 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. Having gone to college. our horny heroes are made to mature. ('ollege comedies. in the tradition of Animal House and Porky '.\‘. are supposed to be all-out bawdy. brainless fun. The problem with Amerierin 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. (ieneral release.
America’s Sweethearts ( l2) 0. (Joe Roth. LS. 2001 ) Julia Roberts. Billy ('rystal. ('atherine Zeta-Jones. John ('usack. 103 mins. This appears to be a case of life imitating art. Anierieri 's .S'w'eelherirls revolves around a big-budget movie that threatens to sink the studio that produced it. filrlt’ Over Time is the last film made by Hollywood's leading romantic couple. ('usack's liddie Thomas and Zeta-Jones's (iwen Harrison. But (iwen and liddic have broken tip. Veteran publicist Lee Phillips‘ (Crystal) only hope of averting disaster is to convince the media at the forthcoming press junket that liddic and (Ewen are back together again. To this end. he recruits (iwen's sister and long-suffering personal assistant Kiki (Roberts). On paper. America 's' .S'weelheuris reads like a dream. Sadly. Roth's film is a stinker. See review. (ieneral release.
Anna And The King ( 12) 00
(Andy Tennant. LS. 1999) Jodie Foster. (‘how Yun Fat. Bai Ling. 151 mins. Another
remake of The King And I‘s improbable romance between a Western governess and an liastern king. This time round Yul Brinner is replaced with lush period detail and historical sweep of the kind seen before in The 111s! Iz'nipemr. Foster gives a gratineg worthy performance. while Fat proves he‘s better with the Hong Kong bullet ballets that made him famous. Lumiere. lidinburgh.
0 Annie Hall ( 15) .000. (“body Allen. 1977) Woody Allen. Diane Keaton. Tony Roberts. 93 mins. Two decades before Set ."Illl 'l‘he ( 'i!_\' had its first orgasm. Annie [lull was laying bare the mores of modern. urban romance to devas- tating effect while also zoning in on the spe- cific psyche of Allen Konigsberg: anti- Semitic paranoia. metaphysical angst. the search for true love. There's a highly charged on-screen electricity between Allen and Keaton. glorious vistas of the old New York and hilarious set pieces Alvy light- ing with lobsters. the scene of his childhood home below the rollercoaster »- and a stream of one-liners to end them all: ‘don't knock masturbation; it‘s sex with someone I love.‘ They really don't make ‘em like Annie Hall anymore. See review. Filmhouse. lidinburgh.
0 Asoka (PG) 0000 (Santosh Sivan. India. 2001) Shah Rtikh Khan. Kareena Kapour. Danny l)enzongpa. 173 mins. Asoka (here played by Bollywood‘s Tom Cruise. Khan) was prince of the Magadha kingdom between 27-1 and 232 B('. After a period in the wilderness. Asoka returns to wage bloody war until he confronts the bleak wastage of his battle field and Buddhism reveals to him its message of peace. And that. so the story goes. is how Buddhism spread its way across the world. 'l‘ranslated into a movie. Sivan has captured both the myths heroic and spiritual dimen- sions. There‘s also song. dance and fighting (that looks like it’s sprung from the set of (‘miu'hing 'liger). ()ne of the first Hindi films aiming to breech the Fast/West. Bolly/llollywood divide. See review. l.'(’l. Edinburgh.
At The Height Of Summer (PG)
00 (Tran Anh Hung. Vietnam. 2001 ) Nguyen-Nhu ()uynh. Le Khanh. Tran Nti Yen-Khe. mins. This plaintive melodrama from Vietnamese-born writer-director Tran Anh Hung (The Seen! (Iffil‘l't’ll I’upuvu. (ye/n) revolves around the romantic experiences of three sisters who meet up on the anniversary of their mother's death in suburban Hanoi. Right from its immaculately framed opening scene to the strains of The Velvet L'ndergrouiid's ‘Pale Blue liyes‘. A! The Height ()fSiiihiiiei' announces itself as a work of languid beauty. Nevertheless. the filmmaker's heavy aesthetic approach feels suffocating. (il’l’. (ilasgow.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (t')
.0 (Kirk Wise. (iary Trousdale. LS. 2001 ) Voices of Michael J. Fox. James (Earner. John Mahoney. 96 mins. The basic premise of Disney’s latest. the discovery of the lost. mythical empire of Atlantis. is a scenario with soooooooo much scope for magic and enchantment it should be impossible to fail. Btit it is realised with all the visual and imaginative panache of a jaded street artist. Furthermore. it sorely lacks an eyebrow-arching. pupil-narrow ing. gloriously caricatured villain. Similarly. Milo. the geeky hero (voiced by Fox) is deficient of charm and arouses little sympathy. As Disney‘s raison d'étre is the good/bad dichotomy. it seems not only was the limpire lost. btit a grand opportunity too. See review. (ieneral release.
Battle Boyale ( 18) O... (Fukasaku Kinji. Japan. 2001) 118 mins. Lon! ()f'l’he Flies is re-imagined as a violent pre- millennial nightmare as a class of teenage Japanese schoolchildren is abandoned on an island. given a variety of weapons. and told that only the last survivor will be allowed to leave. l.'(i(‘ Renfrew Street. (ilasgow; ('ameo. Edinburgh.
Before Night Falls ( l5) 0...
(Julian Schnabel. LS. 2001) 130 mins. This biopic of the gay (‘uban author Reinaldo Arenas has been garlandcd with praise and awards. including a deserved Oscar
nomination for leading actor Javier Bardem. It's more recognition than its subject achieved in his lifetime. an irony the persecuted Arenas might have found wryly amusing. Schnabel‘s film is based on the memoirs Arenas dictated in exile in New York. terminally ill with Aids. before his suicide in 1990. The painter turned director finds a style in keeping with the man and his work. mixing truth. poetic hyperbole and magic realism to dizzying effect. (irosvenor. (ilasgow. The Big Blue ( 15) 0.0 France. 1988) Rosanna Arquette. Jean-Marc Barr. Jean Reno. 120 mins. Barr and Reno. friends since they were children. are divers competing to reach the greatest depths without the aid of breathing equipment. and also rivals for the romantic attentions of Ms Arquette. A commercial smash in its native France. Besson's film is a stunningly photographed visual experience in varying shades of blue. liven if the plot is a load of tosh. the dolphins are nice. (ll-“T. (ilasgow. The Big Lebowski ( 18) 0... (Joel (‘oen. LS. 1997) Jeff Bridges. John (ioodinan. Steve Buscemi. l 13 mins. Sec feature. ('ameo. lidinburgh. The Big Sleep (PG) .0... (Howard Hawks. LS. 1946) Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall. John Ridgcly. Martha Vickcrs. l 14 mins. Marlowe gets caught tip in the peccadilloes of the Sternwood family as he tries to stop a spot of blackmail. Needless to say. the broad knows tnore than she lets on. Witty. sultry. atmospheric. mainstreamVii/n) hair with Bogey and Bacall doing their excellent double act. (ii-'1'. (ilasgow. Big Trouble In Little China ( )5) C... (John ('arpenter. l'S. 198(3) Kurt Rtissell. Kim (‘attralL Dennis Dun. 100 mins. Raiders (Ill/1e Lost Ark meets [inter The Dragon in (‘arpenter's entertaining pulp adventure set in the tunnels below San Francisco's ('hinatown. Russell's brainless braw ny hunk teams tip with a lad from the local community who's pretty nifty with the kung ft) to do battle with a 900 year old evil magician and hoards of magic-wielding ninjas . . . because he can. ()h. and to save the chicks (including Set In The ('iiv's (‘attrall ). Don't worry about the plot. this is pure high-kicking hi-jinks. New Picture House. St Andrews. Blackboards (PG) 000. (Samira .‘slakhinalbaf. lran. 2000) Saeed Mohainadi. Belina/ Jafari. Bahain (ihohadi. 84 mins. A boldly uncompromising portrait of life on the margins of Iranian society. l'nfolding in the mountainous region between Iran and Iraq. Blue/(lmurds follows a group of impoverished. itinerant teachers who are looking for pupils. Partly an allegory about national identity and statelessness. Blueklmunls also considers whether education is a luxury for those engaged in a primitive battle for survival. Makhinalbaf creates moments of acute tension alongside the dark humour. Furthermore. the non- professional cast acquit themselves admirably. whilst the striking cinematography demands to be experienced on the big-screen. Lumiere. lidinburgh. Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (15) .0... (Ridley Scott. l'S. 1982) Harrison Ford. Sean Young. Rutger llauer. 1 lo mins. ()ut go the pseudo-noir narration and the tacked-on happy ending: in comes a more defined sense that l)eckard 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. t'(i(' Cinemas. lidinburgh. Blow ( IS) .0. (Ted l)emme. LS. 2001 ) Johnny l)epp. Penelope (‘rti/. Franka Potente. 123 mins. The story of the rise and fall of drug smuggler (ieorge Jung (played by l)epp). who progresses from smuggling marijuana in the late-()0s to importing cocaine on an industrial scale in the 70s. 1t's a time of high jinks in more than one sense and l)emme finds a style to match. employing free/e framing and lurching moms. We could be in an episode of The .llunkees. If [flow is intended as a modern morality play. however. then its ethics remain unclear. We ncv cr see the social costs of his frecbooting cntrepreneurship; l)emme
.\ HI I LlSi *‘
I The Man Who Wasn’t There The Coen brothers mix film noir with existentialism in this terrific tale abOut a mild-mannered barber whose plan of revenge on his unfaithful wife backfires horribly. See feature and review. Gl-T, Glasgow; Cameo. Edinburgh.
Amélie Utterly charming French fantasy about a mischievous Parisian girl (played by elfin newcomer Audrey Tautou) from visionary eccentric Jean- Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen). General release.
Moulin Rouge Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sing and dance their way through Baz Luhrmann's wild. baroque musical extravaganza. You‘ll either love it or hate it. General release.
Annie Hall Re-issue of what many consider to be Woody Allen's best film. in which the neurotic New Yorker romances Diane Keaton‘s eponymous leading lady. See review. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
La Ville est Tranquille Robert Guediguian. the French Ken Loach. tells another tale of the dispossessed of Marseilles. More pessimistic than usual for Guediguian. but possibly his most affecting film to date. See preview and review. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
The Pledge Sean Penn's third film as director. a compelling psychological drama couched in the conventions of a crime thriller. Jack Nicholson gives an unusual. impressive low key performance. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
Asoka Hindi historical epic about the Indian prince who rejected war for Buddhism. Santosh Sivan's film is set to bring Bollywood to the Western masses. See review. Selected release.
fails to give its the wider picture. l'(i(' Renfrew Street. (ilasgow.
Blue Black Permanent 1 l’( i) .0 (Margaret Tait. Scotland. 1992) (ierda Stevenson. (‘clia lmric. Jack Shepherd. So mins. Poetic btit painfully obscure portrait of three generations of women. tied over the decades by love and death. As an art movie. 74-year-old Tait‘s feature debut has some beautiful images. based around water. sea and rain; btit its muddled narrative is so distracting that much of the impact is lost. Lumiere. lidinburgh.
18 Oct 1 No). 200‘ THE LIST 31