'ler'iE'L‘A'ov'ANo THE DUKE (PG) 128 mins 0..
A rare historical adaptation for Eric Rohmer, the eightysomething auteur whose name is synonymous with intimate contemporary character studies. The lady of the title is the royalist Grace Elliott (Lucy Russell), a Scottish-born noblewoman living in Paris during the French Revolution. Despite their political differences, she has remained good friends with her former lover the Duke of Orleans (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), the republican cousin to King Louis XVI. As mob rule sweeps the streets of the capital, Grace agrees to shelter a wanted aristocrat the Marquis de Champcenetz (Francois Marthouret) in her house. The execution of the monarch however, for which Orleans voted, makes her safety even more precarious.
ln adapting the memoirs of Grace Elliot, written at the beginning of the 19th century and providing an outsider‘s perspective on the events of the Terror, Rohmer has crafted a suspenseful and timely account of how idealism can be nightmarishly
Nic'HT SHIFT (15) 96 mins .00
supplanted by fanaticism. Appearing in practically every scene, English newcomer Russell displays a striking command of the script’s formal language, while conveying both her character’s poised assurance and human vulnerability.
Rather than attempt to recreate the past in the manner of a traditional costume drama, Rohmer heightens the artificiality of the film’s look. Shot on digital video, the cast
Timely account of fanaticism
are superimposed onto painted ‘exteriors’ and backdrops, themselves inspired by pictorial representations of Paris during the Revolution. This trompe l’oeil stylisation makes the viewer see the past anew. It's like watching a painting come alive, with the actors floating across the shifting screen. (Tom Dawson)
I GET. Glasgow; Fi/ni/iouse. Edinburgh from Fri 75 Feb. See prey/ow.
ATANARJUAT, THE FAST RUNNER (cert tbc) 172 mins .00..
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THRILLER BANGKOK DANGEROUS (18) 105 min .00
Stylised hired- hitman flick
This stylised Thai thriller from filmmaking brothers Danny and Oxide Pang begs comparisons With the bullet ballets of John Woo. Certainly the cool caiiierawork. empIOying slow—mo shots and distorted imagery. is reminiscent of Woo. The territory. too. is pure Woo: the underworld of gangsters and professional hitmen. Then there's the theme. one Woo has returned to often: detached professionalism versus personal loyalty.
In the Pangs' film. that theme is played Out through the story of Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisn). a hired killer who is also a deaf- mute. That last is a nice tOuch which compounds his status as an ice-cold killer. cut
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who works in a pharmacy. Thereafter. the killer becomes increasingly torn between avenging his dead friend and getting out of the life of crime altogether.
Bangkok Dangey'ous is further towards the arthouse end of the spectrum than Woo's films (certainly now the Hong Kong director has moved to Hollywood). so the pacing is slower With less emphasis on action. That said. there's a superb shoot-out in which Kong is accompanied into battle by the ghost of his dead friend. Cool beans. (Miles Fielderi I Se/ecfed I'D/(X180 from In 2).”? Feb.
Perfect narrative cinema
This remarkable. singular and beautiful film IS the first to be entirely in the limit language. That it scooped the Camera d'Or last year at Cannes was not a case of patronising affirmation. It is guite Simply as pure and perfect a piece of narrative Cinema as you are ever likely to see today. Absent of special effects and period baggage. it is like being caught in the storm of the steryteller's tale. cracked hands defrosting on the campfire.
After an unknown shaman puts an (9in spell on a grOup of nonvmhc Inuits living off the Canadian Arctic. it takes twenty years before two brothers emerge to challenge the evil order personified by Sauri (Eugene lpkarnaki and his nasty son Oki (Peter Henry Arnatsiagl. Atanarjuat. the fast runner (Natar Ungalagi wins the hand of the lovely Atuat (Sylvia lvalu) away from Oki, who vows revenge. So begins a cycle of violence that could tear the community apart.
Positively Shakespearian in its dramatic reach, this is a very short three hours. It is a great credit to director Zacharias Kunuk and his talented crew that he never lets the stunning scenery overpower the many minute dramas being acted out by a mostly non--i_)rofessional. though impressive cast. A stunning. unforgettable experience. (Paul Dale)
I Film/louse. Edinburgh from Fri 1’2 Feb.
Tense psychological tale
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