See review. (il’l'. (ilasgow; Filmhouse. lidinburgh.

A Knight’s Tale (PG) 000 (Brian Helgeland. l'S. 200i ) Heath Ledger. Mark Addy. Paul Bettany. l32 mins. After his master dies halfway through a jousting tournament in medieval France. peasant William Thatcher (Ledger) dons his suit of armour and drags begrudging pals Roland (Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk) across [Europe towards victory. Writer-director Helgeland's (1..A. (‘on/itlentiul. Pay/melt) film displays a playful sense of humour with its anachronistic soundtrack featuring Queen. David Bowie and other 70s rockers. and amusing allusions to the World ('up. And unusually it also emphasises character interaction so that the working class heroes are aided by Laura l‘raser's widow-turned- blacksmith and Bettany's scene-stealing garnbler/poet ‘(ieoff‘ Chaucer. MacRobert Arts (‘entre. Stirling.

Legally Blonde ( 12) 000 (Robert I.uketic. [S 2001) Reese Witherspoon. Luke Wilson. Selma Blair. 97 mins. Legally Blomh’ is adapted from Amanda Brown's unpublished novel. an anthropological study of the ‘law student species' drawing on her experiences as a blonde attending law school. By contrast. Karen Mc(‘ullah l.utz and Kirtsen Smith‘s ( N) Things I Hate About You) screenplay focuses on the ‘clueless’ nature of protagonist lille Woods (Witherspoon ). a ('alifornia babe who finds herself to be a fish otit of water when she follows her boyfriend to Harvard. It also resorts to a deeply conventional narrative about honesty and integrity winning the day. Thus. Legally Blonde lacks the bite of other teen satires such as Iz'leerion. another film starring Witherspoon. but one which lived up to the actor's impressive talents. (ieneral release. Little Otlk (Otesanek) ( IS) .00

(Jan Svankmajer. (‘Iech Republic/l'K. 2000) Veronika Zilkova. Jan llartl. Jaroslava Kretschmerova. 13l mins. l'tilising an old (‘lech folk tale. Svankmajer focuses on a

barren couple who go to extreme lengths to become parents. When their ‘child‘ gets out of control. snacking on anything which stumbles into its path. hard decisions need to be made. (‘oming on like a cross between Iz'l'userheud and The Beast In The ('t'llur. Svankmajer's eye for a beautifully framed

image is flawless for the first twenty minutes.

but wears thin as soon as the overlong. repetitive story takes hold. As an animated short. it would have made a wonderful addition to his surrealist repertoire. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

OThe Lord or The Rings (PG) .0... (Peter Jackson. New Zealand/lTS.

200l ) Ian McKellen. lilijah Wood. Liv Tyler.

(‘ate Blanchett. Viggo Mortensen. 178 mins. At long last. a sword and sorcery adventure that really delivers the goods. J. R. R. Tolkien's great achievement was to create an linglish mythology. located in a fantastical yet believable world. Jackson‘s great achievement is to bring the author's 1000 page tome to life. not merely realising the fantastic elements with special effects spec- tacle (though they are very spectacular). but through storytelling flare anti marvellous performances from his cast. Visceral and breathtakingly dramatic. The fellowship ()f The Ring is an inspired labour of love and a monumental achievement. See feature and review. (ieneral release.

Maelstrom (tbc) “0 (Denis \‘illeneuve. Canada. 200! ) Marie-Josee (‘ro/e. Jean-Nicolas Verrault. Stephanie Morgenstern. 88 mins. A fishy tale from Quebec. From its slaughter slab an ugly fish tells the story of Bibiane Champagne (froze). the neurotic daughter of a famous fashion designer who. upon losing her grasp on the family business. accidentally hits a titan while driving drunk one fateful rainy night. This strange. multiple-award winning surrealist thriller is by turns stunningly pretentious. joyous to watch and ridiculous. Beautifully shot. though. with a wonderful soundtrack which shifts seamlessly from one

of (irieg's adagios to Tom Waits. See review. l’ilmhouse. lidinburgh.

The Magic Plate ([7) O... (Ingmar Bergman. Sweden. 197-1) Josef Kostlinger. lrrna lkrila. Hakan Hagegard. l35 mins. ()riginally made for Swedish TV. Bergman's version of Mozart is set in an actual theatre where a modern audience watch an 18th century performance. The result is sympathetically attuned to the talents of his performers but still a fairly frothy addition to the Swede's canon of faithlcss anguish. (iilmorehillG l 2. (ilasgow.

The Man Who Wasn’t There ( I5) 0.... (Joel (‘oen. [S 200]) Billy Bob Thornton. l‘rances McI)ormand. James (iandolfini. lib mins. Set in the ('alifornian backwater town of Santa Rosa circa the 19-10s. The Man Who ll'uxn 'I There takes its cue from the cynical world of pulp crime writers like James M. ('ain. The tale turns on a regular fella. Thornton's mild-mannered barber lid (‘rane. who is unwittingly the catalyst fora spiralling series of events beginning with infidelity and extortion and ending with. well. maybe you can guess. The (‘oen brothers' latest reinvention of a classic Hollywood film genre is their most audacious to date. mixing hard-boiled. small town film noir with existentialism and metaphysics. It's a wry-humoured. retro-styled. wickedly - plotted. moody gem. (’ameo. iidinburgh. Mean Machine (18) 0 (Barry Skolnick. 1K. 200] ) \v'innie Jones. Jason Statham. David Hemmings. imagine a iiliii about a prison football team. starring Jones. featuring stereotyped characters left over frotn the TV sitcom Porridge and blessed with the vintage grainy visuals. cod-(‘ockney dialogue and macho posturing of The .S'weenev. The producers of Lock. Sloek And Two Smoking Barre/x are behind this piss- poor. parochial awfulness. And it‘s an insulting remake of Robert Aldrich‘s bruising. fiercely anti-authoritarian American football movie. See review. (ieneral release.

Meet Me In St Louis (t') 000.

index Film

(Vincente Minnelli. l'S. Ill-14) .ltrdy (iarland. Margaret O'Brien. Mary Astor. 1 l3 mins. Released during wartime. this musical was an optimistic attempt to emphasise family values. btit Minnelli ncv er w allows in nostalgia. instead he combats it with sparky and sarky family dynamics. Set in NUS. the put-upon father wants to move his family from St l.ouis to .\'cw York btit faces resistance from his gaggle of girls w ho hay c romances to get on with. and the fast- approaching World liair to enjoy. l’crfcct casting and pcrformanccs. along with songs like ‘Haye Yourself A Merry l.ittlc (‘hristmas‘ add to the warm glow. Sec i'cy iew. l‘ilmhousc. lidinburgli.

Mon Oncle (Pt }) O... (Jacques 'I‘ati. France. 1053) Jacques Tati. Jean-l’ierrc '/.ola. Adrienne Scryatic. 1 lo mins. Working in colour for the first time. 'l‘ati presents Monsieur llulot befuddled by the modern factory where his brother-in-law has given him a job. and by the all-mod-cons apartment where he visits his young tiephcw. Superb catalogue of sight gags centring around the dchunianising effect of the new technology. ('ameo. lidinburgh.

Moulin Rouge ( ll) 00”. ( Ba/ l.uhrmann. l'S. 300i ) liw an Mc(iregor. Nicole Kidman. Jtiii Broadbcnt. I08 mins. l.uhrmann's follow -up to Romeo d"- .Iuliel is a wildly unrestrained. gloriously camp. lude as hell musical love story that re-iny cuts the form. from the (ioldcn Age Holly wood song and dance spectaculars tip. l.uhrmann has transformed the epony nious 10th century Parisian dancchall-cum-ln'othel into the rayc capital of litirope. w cay itig 20th century pop music hits into the very dialogue of the film so that it becomes almost opera. And spiralling around a fairy tale romance between Mc(iregor's idealistic poet and Kidinan‘s dance girl is a barrage of riotous imagery and design. 'l‘hei‘c's no middle— ground with l.uhrmann‘s film; if you abandon yourself to it it'll leave you intoxicated with pleasure. Selected release.



‘m‘, [an .4 .la" THE LIST 37