THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (15) 116min 00000

FANTASY AMELIE (15) 122min 00.00

Two of the finest films from 2001 are being made available to home entertainment enthusiasts within a week of one another. Shame on you, though, if you’ve yet to see either the best

m 6?“, it.“ ~-

Two of last year’s finest films

film to date in the Coen brothers’ illustrious career, or meet one of the

most enchanting heroines of the silver screen ever.

That said, the protagonists of these films couldn’t be more different. Ed Crane, aka The Man Who Wasn’t There, is a barber from smalltown California circa the late 19405. He’s an unassuming man with a life as bland as the constant expression on his face. There doesn’t seem to be much going on behind it, neither. Except there is. Crane muses over the very nature of existence while absent-mindedly cutting hair. Where does the hair comes from, he wonders, and where does it go after he’s thrown it out

into the dirt?

Meanwhile, Crane’s wife is cheating on him, and her infidelity prompts Ed to take some uncharacteristic action. But Crane’s ill-conceived scheme to blackmail his wife’s lover spirals all involved towards that great unknown where Ed may yet find the answers he’s been looking for his whole life.

By contrast, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s creation, Amelie Poulain, is a girl whose actions change the world, albeit in minor ways. Rebelling against a suffocating childhood growing up with her dull, anal retentive parents in Paris’ Montmartre district, Amélie loses herself in a daydream world which, as she grows up, becomes a love of life's small things. After experiencing a minor epiphany, Amélie dedicates herself to bringing joy to others. This she achieves by a series of bewilderingly elaborate practical jokes.

What The Man Who Wasn’t There and Amelie do share in common are strikingly good performances, Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand and James Gandolfini in the former film, Audrey Tautou in the latter. They’re also visual feasts, The Man Who all moody monochrome, Amelie in glorious, digitally enhanced colour. Script-perfect, hilarious in their own ways and with beautifully composed soundtracks, these films are as original as, respectively, sin and the sun. (Miles Fielder)

I The Man Who Wasn't There is available through Entertainment on VHS and DVD rental from Mon 22 Apr; Amelie through Momentum on VHS and DVD

rental from Mon 75 Apr.

bemused. Angela Basset is wasted as De Niro's love interest. while Frank Oz directs like a Muppet. (Pathe VHS and DVD rental)

(Paul Dale)



nor on: 1'0 IIISS‘

Third time lucky for Sean Penn as director. this beautifully realised suspense drama is a triumph after the flawed promise of The Crossmg Guard and The Indian Runner. Jerry Black

(Jack Nicholson) is a taciturn homicide detective who undertakes one last case on the day of his retirement. An eight- year-old girl has been brutally murdered and Black pledges to her fundamentalist Christian mother that he will find the killer. It is a pledge that is to tear his life apart as he tries to settle into retirement in a remote Nevada fishing town.

A million dollar cast. a lean script and inspired (if occasionally derivative) direction from Penn make this one of the key American films from last yeaerarner VHS and DVD rental) (Paul Dale)

ALSO RELEASED Apocalypse Now Redux Re-issue of Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war classic. re- edited from scratch and

now containing 49 extra minutes of footage. lBuena Vista VHS and DVD retail)

Eureka Meditative drama about three survivors of a hijacking coming to terms with their ordeal. lArtificial Eye VHS and DVD retail) The 51 st State Trashy. brutal, occasionally funny gangland thriller set in Liverpool and pairing Samuel L Jackson with Robert Carlyle. (Momentum VHS and DVD rental) Tetsuo: The Iron Man 8 Tetsuo II: The Bodyhammer Cult cyberpunk horror thrillers from Japan. (Metro Tartan VHS and DVD retail)

La Ville est Tranquille lmpresswe but harrowing drama abOut Marseilles' underclass from the French Ken Loach. Robert Guediguian. (Artifi'Cial Eye VHS and DVD retail)


Channel 4, Mon 15 Apr, 10.30pm 000

Most straight men love the thought of two girls getting off. But according to this documentary. so do most straight women. With tests showing that they respond very positively to lesbian porn. Quite where this leaves us blokes is uncertain. but The Truth About Lesbian Sex suggests that the girls. at least, are having no end of fun.

The film follows an internet entrepreneur on a Visit to San FranCisco to find some real dyke porn. pops into bazaars where sex toys (including a large triple penetration dildo that looks more like a He Man figure) line the shelves and interviews real lesbians who all happen to be pretty and trendy. proving that there are some preJudices TV Will never be able to overcome.

lt manages to be both salaCious and thoughtful. if not exactly in-depth.

. while disorovmg the

eXistence of 'gaydar' once and for all. Still. there's always old- fashioned chat. isn't there? iJames Smart)


BBC1, Tue 16 Apr, 9pm .0

Amanda Holden must be a sucker for punishment. Having been portrayed as a

Cutting It lacks edge

conniving. seducing. two-timing witch by the tabloids for her banner headline shenanigans with Les Dennis and Neil Morrissey. her role in Cutting /t can only be described as redoiring her to be a conniving witch. Seduction and two-timing is put on hold in the opening e)_)isode.

Her bravery is the only thing to be applauded abOut this largely dire. harebrained drama set in the Manchester barnet business. Holden is a posh entrepreneur sneaking her way onto Sarah Parish's patch by opening a swanky salon directly opposne.

This is about as dramatic as it gets. but if you manage to get past the stock caricatures (yes. there's a gay stylist and a mouthy receptionist). you still won't have enough energy to care.

(Brian Donaldson)


THE SECRET BBC1, Sat 13 & Sun 14 Apr, 9pm .00

Can yOu ever put yOur past to bed? Not even if yOu are given a new identity and offered a new life after being involved in a ghastly murder as a child: could this story hold clues for the uncertain futures of the Bulger killers?

The ‘killers' in questiOn here are Nadia and Emma played by Stella Gonet and Haydn vanne. Emma has had a pretty successful life

being married to lzer bus‘iness partner Alex iRobert Batt‘urs‘. . But Nadia's path hast"? hoe" quite so smooth and sin.» is back for a chance to lay the blame firm", at her old pals feet.

\Ai’hile part one neatly builds the tens: m. the coneluder takes; tl‘e feet off the gas and i'<:-‘-.i:;-;>t; to get too Silly \‘J'llltll‘i s; paitly admirable. hut tr, the time the i'e\.'it~;‘i‘..<;": nears. you're lt)l‘.(ll"§l for something to ;it". “Hit? (llama. Anything) luv". ;: bungled kidnapi) "g; tr: 2‘: famin pet he ii‘.i<:rr.>\.'ia‘.eo helped. lBrian Donaldson


BBC1, Fri 19 Apr, 7pm

That cain oioke fi::~‘ Armor? \J'tfi'fl'l‘l‘, Soak-:2. :2 back to" a SKI-(:(‘J‘Zl f3-1"l'-‘ of the she's; flat 5129:8013. to find the rate

sh:‘.tie:sl foes. Pi't)gi'artfrv‘<‘:s that '13Ll'...'-'

people patio ha»; t)(}(2()'ll(} faii~i::.i:; 1"'. _..;'~ fly-en-the-vial: (l()(itil’t(}llt{ll"{3t§ zairvtos' killing fltr?".‘8(§l‘.i‘:fi iii. l‘iaitghg of? '..".(3 iEnglt:

lackhoel he seem: genert‘il‘fi. t){}(?'7(jtft."(lgli'12 but this is ltiS’. dress.

ESSOlll'ttly ""e leagues: .131; " [3" .23 " is Cf» gear to ‘I that {fill ll‘: the exeni'x; l:t>t‘.'.’~"---" eating) your (lieu-:2" .l'Xl takii‘g) enough. )_)res;;:"ii>!iei‘ ensure 20.. site-0:: through the "est .:" t‘:\.(>i).i7i;'tz re.) f. 7‘. shows; and 'i ' round .i:::;.

()l‘. the pm; ::i.:-.-. Shake 2:; 41)."..i4l. ‘. liketllw amt .:: 511"" - ()it I’lt} :nle 4" 5»; c " l>artittii>ar13 an.) (Ltd. the ahix‘i‘ii'tg; sta'ltlLtrtti‘» they ' \.'.'o"kzi‘. l'1t'ii:;":;t episode he wt; 1:; absorili‘g) (hill‘ an :ll(lti‘i3tl':;ti 'olti-o: workei ‘.'.'l:) new; v‘ 120 degree neat .i hideotis‘y :tlfee". (:lut) lei). Bowoi‘. ’lV ll(,(?"i(‘.t? no.1. iPaiii Dale

ft: ' .‘ . THE LIST 121