against the odds Hallstrom delivers a water- tight piece of drama. directed and acted with beautiful restraint. particularly by Spacey who plays the depressed protagonist Quoyle. General release.

8K8 Film Showing (PG) (2002). An abstract look at break dance and skate cultures produced by Howden Park's Katy McKeown. Howden Park Centre. Livingston.

Small Soldiers (PG) 00 (Joe Dante. US. I998) Kirsten Dunst. Gregory Smith. Denis Leary. 1 l0 mins. Dante plunders his anarchic live action cartoon tale. Gremlins. substituting toys for little devils and adding state-of-the-art computerised effects. Unfortunately. Small Soldiers displays none of the sadistic mischief. nor the knowing Capra-esque whimsy of its antecedent. Sanitised. bland and banal. Cineworld. Falkirk.

GThe Son’s Room (La stanza di figllo) (I5) eeee (Nanni Moretti. Italy. 2002) Nanni Moretti. Laura Morante. Giuseppe Sanfelice. 99 mins. A significant creative departure for Italian actor-writer- director Nanni Moretti. the Palme D‘()r- winning The Son 's Room makes for a fasci- nating portrayal of how an unexpected death fragments a previously united middle-class family. Moretti depicts the chilling practical details of the funeral arrangements. and then shows how grief is both extemalised and intemalised by the bereaved. Aided by understated performances and an unobtru- sive visual style. this is a film of deceptive simplicity. which engages directly with the spectator's emotions whilst avoiding tearful reconciliations. Selected release.

The Spirit Of The Beehive ( I5) “.0. (Victor Erice. Spain. I973) Femando Fenian Gomez. Teresa Gimpera. Ana Torrent. Isabel Telleria. 98 mins. In rural Spain after the Civil War. the people's resigned apathy is thrown into contrast with the frenzied activity of bees. Meanwhile. a young girl is alone in dreaming of liberation. through the gentle giant figure of Frankenstein. whom she identifies with a young but doomed soldier. Moody and haunting. Erice's debut is a calmly moving masterpiece. (EFT. Glasgow; The Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

La Strada ( l5) 0... (Frederico Fellini. Italy. I954) Guilietta Masina. Anthony Quinn. Richard Baschart. l 15 mins. Fellini‘s wife Masina is unforgettable as a simple-minded girl in love with larger- than-life circus strongman Zampano (Quinn). who dies of a broken heart when he kills the gentle tightrope-walker (Basebart) who had befriended her. Painful story of loneliness and isolation whose vividly seedy small-town backgrounds never allow sentimentality to set in. FTH Cinema. Falkirk.

Thesis (Tesls) ( 18) (Alejandro Amenabar. Spain. 1995) Ana Torrent. Rafael Martinez. Eduardo Noriega. I25 mins. First film from Arnenabar (director of Open Your Eyes and The Others). a taut little thriller in which a student researching violence in audiovisual media becomes embroiled in a snuff movie crime ring. Part of the Spanish Film Festival. GFT. Glasgow; The Filmhousc. Edinburgh.

Thir13en Ghosts (18) 00 (Steve Beck. US. 2002) F. Murray Abraham. Embeth Davidtz. Matthew Lillard. 9] mins. The sole heir to eccentric Cyrus Kriticos‘ (Abraham) estate is Arthur (Tony Shalhoub). a widowed father of two with money troubles. Thinking his luck has changed. Arthur takes the family on a tour of the property he has inherited only to find his evil uncle has not left his nephew a house. but a macabre machine: built by the devil and powered by the dead. From here this remake of old school schlock-master William castle's film follows a well-worn path through suspense and gore to an explosive destination. See review. General release.

Thunderpants (cert the) 0. (Peter Hewitt. UK. 2002) Bruce Cook III. Rupert Grint. Ned Beatty. 95 mins. Like Johnny Fart Pants in Vi: comic. this this crap kids‘ film‘s protagonist. eleven-year-old Patrick Smash (Cook III). chuffs like he is Gone

index Film

With The Wind. From the moment Patrick breezes into the world. he starts chugging and nothing his suffering parents do alleviates the boy‘s alimentary action. It‘s tougher for Patrick at school. where his quaking quakes alienate him from everybody except Alan (Grint). a boy genius with no sense of smell. Alan supplies his pumping pal with a series of inventions (the true origin of the film‘s title) which initially make Patrick's life easier. then land him in deep shit and finally save NASA‘s ass when he pilots a rocket into space by. yep. squeezing one out. See review. General release.

Topsy-Tom ( l2) .0” (Mike Leigh. UK. 2000) Jim Broadbent. Allan Corduner. Martin Savage. l59 mins. At the film‘s core is the turbulent creative partnership between Victorian opera writer Gilbert (Broadbent) and playboy genius composer Sullivan (Corduner). But preparations for their greatest show. The Mikado. involve a whole cast who give flawless performances. This might be Leigh's first period drama. but it's another excellent ensemble piece engaging with his usual preoccupation: people at work. rest and play. Cineworld. Falkirk. Umberto D (PG) 00” (Vittoria De Sica. Italy. I952) Carlo Battista. Maria Pia Casilio. Lena Gennari. 89 mins. An elderly civil servant can hardly afford to pay his rent. but refuses to part with his pet dog. Writer and director team Cesare Zavattini and De Sica from Bicycle Thieves here produce another moving film from an everyday human drama. the plight of the old in a society that fails to adequately care for them. Edinburgh Film Guild. Edinburgh. Uneasy Riders (Rationale 7) (15) O... (Jean-Pierre Sinapi. France. 2001) Olivier Gourmet. Nadia Kaci. Said Taghmaoui. 95 mins. Based on a true story. this wry comedy set in a home near Toulon for the physically and mentally handicapped cheerfully dismantles taboos around the sexuality of disabled people. The cantankerous Rene (Gourmet) is a former union activist. now confined to a wheelchair with a wasting disease. who's detemiined to get laid before his condition deteriorates even further. Julie (Nadia Kaci) is the inexperienced new nurse. who decides to find a prostitute prepared to satisfy Rene‘s sexual needs. A real crowd-pleaser. Part of the Able To Be film festival. GFT. Glasgow: The Filmhousc. Edinburgh. Va Savoir (PG) "0. France. 200l ) Jeanne Balibar. Sergio Castellitto. Jacques Bonnaffe. l54 mins. A graceful and charming comedy of manners from veteran French New Wave director Rivettc. Va Saroir's backstage theatre setting and the parallels between art and life might seem predictable. yet the filmmaker magically guides the viewer through the French capital. always alert to the romantic possibilities that connect his characters. And the casual mastery of Rivette‘s direction. which effortlessly weaves together the various plot strands. is matched by some sparkling ensemble performances. Cameo. Edinburgh.

Vanilla Sky ( 15) 0” (Cameron Crowe. US. 2001) Tom Cruise. Penelope Cruz. Cameron Diaz. I36 mins. Cruise‘s gleaming smile and rippling abs are put to formidable narcissistic use in his portrayal of David Arnes. a handsome and fabulously wealthy Manhattan playboy. ()ver the course of one evening. he falls in love with Spanish dancer Sofia (Cruz). thereby incurring the morbid jealousy of girlfriend Julie (Diaz). and his dreamlife becomes a nightmare.

C rowe‘s remake of the Spanish psychological thriller Open Your Eves (Abre Los ()jos) might be retitled ‘Being Tom Cruise'. for it brazenly blurs the boundaries between fictional character and real-life actor to become an inquiry into contemporary movie stardom. Selected release.

Vertical lelt ( I2) eee (Martin Campbell. US. 2000) Chris ()‘Donnell. Robin Tunney. Bill Paxton. l24 mins. It's vapid. vertiginous thrills all the way up this join-the-dots mountain-climbing movie. Still haunted by the death of his father in a climbing accident. ()‘Donnell is forced back

(Jacques Rivettc.

into crampons when his sister (Tunney) gets buried by an avalanche during an assent of K2. Accompanying ()‘Donnell on his foolhardy rescue mission are wild-haired mountain man Scott Glenn and a few disposable extras. The clock is ticking because they must reach the stranded climbers before hypothermia sets in. Preposterous tosh of the highest order. this nevertheless has its breathless. seat-grabbing moments. Ster Century Cinema. Edinburgh. Visionaries (Visionaries) (IS) (Manuel Gutierrez Aragon. Spain. 2001) Eduardo Noriega. Ingrid Rubio. Emma Suarez. I 12 mins. Based on a true story. Visionaries tells of a group of Basque villagers whose religious visions predicted the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Part of the Spanish Film Festival. GET. Glasgow; The Filmhousc. Edinburgh.

We Were Soldiers ( 15) O.

(Randall Wallace. US. 2002) Mel Gibson. Madeline Stowe. Sam Elliot. 140 mins. We Were Soldiers recreates the first major battle of America's Vietnam war when a battalion of the US Seventh Cavalry Division was dropped by helicopter in the la Drang valley. only to be surrounded by 2000 North Vietnamese soldiers. There's no criticism here of why America chose to light in another country‘s nationalist civil war. with writer-director Wallace (Braveheart. Pearl Harbor) concentrating on the heroism of the combatants. The horrors of war may be gorily emphasised in the over-extended battle sequences. but We Were Soldiers represents a troubling reactionary riposte to the likes of Platoon and Apocalypse Now. General release.

Westworid ( l5) 0... (Michael Crichton. US. I973) Yul Bryner. 89 mins. Excellent action thrills set in a futuristic theme park where every human whim is catered for by robots. be it sex. romance or violence. Unfortunately. the robots malfunction and rebel against their makers. and Yul Bryner‘s haywire gunslinger is


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What’s Cooking (18) eee

(Gurinder Chadha. US. 2001) Alfrc Woodard. Mercedes Ruehl. Joan Chen. 109 mins. Thanksgiving has long been dreary dramatic fodder for American filmmakers but Asian-English director Chadha (Bhaji On The Beach) gives the subject a much- needed kick up the backside with her outsider‘s perspective on the secular festival. The multicultural issues explored in Cbadha‘s debut feature are also in evidence in this warm comedy drama. which focuses on four ethnically disparate Los Angeles families. Chadha and co-writer (and spouse) Paul Mayeda Berges shift fluidly from one mouth-watering dinner table to another. mixing the political and personal in a way reminiscent of John Sayles. The Filmhousc. Edinburgh.

When The Whales Came (U)

“Q (Clive Rees UK. . 1989) Paul Schofield. Helen Mirren. Max Rennie. IOO mins. The Scilly Isles in l9l4. and history repeats itself when a school of narwhals attempts to beach itself on the shore one night. It's left to the eccentric old Birdman (Schofteld) and two children to persuade the villagers to aviod a repitition of events that sixty years ago resulted in slaughter. Reasonably intelligent children's fare. which easily pleased adults might also enjoy. provided they‘re able to forgive the needless narrative repetitions. There‘s a very convincing fake whale though. The Lumiere. Edinburgh.

Work In Progress (En Construccion) (IS) (Jose Luis Guerin. Spain. 2001) Juana Rodriguez. Ivan Guzman. Juan Lopez. 125 mins. Catalan director Guerin's documentary takes a look at Barcelona's Chinese quarter. and in particular the construction. over a three year period. of a block of flats. the labourers and its inhabitants. Part of the Spanish Film Festival. GF'T. Glasgow; The Filmhousc. Edinburgh.

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14—28 Mar 2002 THE LIST 41