Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Miles Fielder
OAbout a Boy ( I2) 0000 (Chris and Paul \Veitz. l'K/l'S. 2002) Hugh (irant. Nicholas lloult. Toni (‘ollette. l()lmin. (irant breaks free of his posh fop screen persona to play layabout Will Freeman in this wining adaptation of Nick Hornby‘s novel. Supporting a loafers' life of telly. booze and birds with wealth from his late father. Freeman‘s womanising brings him into contact with Marcus (Hoult). the young son of suicidally depressed Fiona ((‘ollettcl. who proceeds to change the wastrel’s life. The Weill brothers keep things bright and breezy. but top honours go to (irant and lloult who spend the film swapping places as the titttlar characters. (ieneral release. American Beauty ( IS) .0000 (Sam Mendes. l'S. l999) Kevin Spacey. Annette Bening. Thora Birch. lllmin. Suburban husband and father Lester Burnham (Spacey. giy ing a career best performance) hates his life. but a close encounter with his daughter's gorgeous school friend is the catalyst for big time self improvement: Lester quits his job. digs ottt his old rock albums and scores marijuana from the kid next door. And these teenage kicks return to Lester what's been missing from his life for years: pleasure atid happiness. ('austic. touching and hilarious in all the right places a modern classic. l'(‘l. lidinburgh: l‘(‘l. liast Kilbride. Anastasia (1') O... tI)on Bluth/(iary (ioldttiatl. l'S. I997) Voices of Meg Ryan. (‘hristopher Lloyd. John (’tisack. 94min. With this w idescreen romantic musical adventure. animator Don Bluth offers a film that rivals Disney. Rewriting history somewhat. evil magician Rasputin ptits a curse on the Tsar's family and causes the 1917 Revolution. The child princess Anastasia survives. but grows tip as an orphan. unable to remember her past. With extraordinary action sequences. exquisite characterisatioiis and beautiful songs. (irosvcnor. (ilasgow. Angel Exit( IS) (\‘ladimir Yylielialek. ('zeeh Republic. 2000) l00min. Mikes liyes near Angel Station in Prague. After falling in love with his neighbour. Jana. his hedonistic friends turn tip on his doorstep to drag him of on a nightmarish trip across South Africa. A wild and chaotic story about the darker side of the (‘lech psyche. (il’I‘. (ilasgow. A Beautiful Mind ( I2) 0.. (Ron Howard. IS. 2002) Rtissell ('rowe. Jennifer ('oniielly. Paul Bettany. 135mm. A Beautiful .lli'm/ once more presents ('rowe with the opportunity to alternate his tougli guy ioles (Glut/furor) with ‘serious acting' (see The Insider). llere (‘rowe plays John Nash. the mathematics genius during his college days in America in the l9-l0s. but also a paranoid- schi/ophrenic. who was nevertheless awarded the Nobel Prize late in his life. On the negative side of the equation. Howard's direction stinks. His efforts to make math interesting fail dismally. A for ()scars effort. but C - for contribution to the field of biopic cinema. FTH Cinema. Falkirk: Adam Smith. Kirkcaldy. Bend it Like Beckham (I2) 00.. (Gurinder Chadha. CK. 2002) Parminder K Nagra. Keira Knightley. Jonathan Rhys- Meyers. l l2min. The parents of Hounslow teenager Jess tNagra) want her to concentrate on her studies. to learn how to cook traditional Indian food. and to marry a respectable young man. Jess. however. is far tnore passionate about playing football. and is asked by fellow schoolgirl Jules (Knightley ) to join the local womens' team. As with [than on the Bt'llt‘ll and What's (’(mkingj’. w ritcr-dii'cctor ('hadha conlidently tises comedy to explore social. racial and familial issues. with football a dey ice to investigate what it means to be young. female and self—coiilidcnt in contemporary Britain. (ieneral release.
Buenos Aires, my History (Buenos Aires, Meine Geschichte) ( I5) ((ierman Kral/Matthias Muller. (iermany. 1999/ l 998) 89/15min. lntiinate autobiographieal study of the universal problem of relationship and family breakdowns. Film student Kral returns to Argentina in search of his father who abandoned him 25 years ago to find out the reason his parent‘s marriage failed. llonest and emotive to powerful effect. liilmhousc. lidinburgh. O Biggie and Tupac (15) 0000 (Nick Broomlield. ['S. 2002) l()7min. ()ne of documentary investigator Nick Brooinlield's best creations to date. Biggie and 'l'uput‘ delves into the world of the rap music industry. By' probing the back-to-back murders of high profile rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Broomlield asserts the two were not killed out of a ridiculous Fast/West coastal gang war. but in a music executive's warped bid to create publicity. This is the delicious and disturb- ing tale of two good friends atid gifted artists divided and killed by a nasty Svengali. See review. Selected release. Black Beauty ( t ') COO ((‘aroline 'l‘homson. ['S. I994) Sean Bean. Day id Thewlis. l’eter ('ook. 82min. The most famous horse in children's literature returns iii a faithful screen version by debut director 'l‘homson. whose work as a screenwriter The Secret (inn/en. lit/ii (ml Sr‘isirirliunt/s. The Nightmare lie/"ore ('liri'smius taps into a darker current of childhood vision. The pace sets off at a gallop. and shotild intrigue adults as well as younger viewers. l'(i('. lidinburgh. The Black Pirate (PG) 0000 tAlbert Parker. l'S. I920) Douglas Fairbanks. Neil Brand. 88min. (‘lassic silent swashbuckling extravagan/a shot in three-strip colours. here with live musical accompaniment by Neil Brand. A brave hero lights his way through obstacles with the aim of w inning the love of a beautiful princess. Plenty of action. cringeworthy plot. (il’l‘. (ilasgow; Filinhouse. lidinburgh. The Blue Room ttbc) (Various. t'ts’. 2001 ) mins tbc. An evening of short films by- new and established local filmmakers. followed by discussions of what you've seen. lf you want your film to be considered for future gatherings. then send a VHS copy to Film And Video Access (‘entre. 25a South West Thistle Street Lane. lidinburgli. lilll lliW. Or call 013l 220 0220. Stcr (‘cntui'y. lidinburgh. Bridget Jones’s Diary ( IS) 000. (Sharon Maguire. l'S/l'ls'. 200l ) Renee Zellweger. llugh (irant. (‘olin l-‘ii‘th. 9(iinin. Bridget Jones 's Diurv is that rare thing. an adaptation that vastly improves on an over- rated original. in this case llelen l‘ielding‘s bestselling new spaper column-cum-book. Jones has a rather nice job. atid looks rather nice. but worries a lot about her appearance and career. In between weighing herself atid ranting about the moderti male. she entangles herself with nasty boss Daniel ('leaver ((irant). before taking up with nice Mark Darcy tl‘irth). On paper. Jones was a snivelling. neurotic wreck. on lilm she's a snivelling. neurotic wreck who also happens to be consistently liilariotis. And Zellweger adds a touch of warmth to what is essentially a wholly unsympathetic. brittle character. New Picture House. St Andrews. Charlotte Gray ( 15) .00 (Gillian Armstrong. L'K. 2002) Cate Blanchett. Billy Crudup. Michael Gambon. l2lmin. There‘s a fundamental flaw in this adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel about a young Scots woman who is trained as a spy by the British Army during World War ll and dropped into occupied France to work with the Resistance movement: it's about as tense as an episode of ‘xll/n. "Al/n. The film focuses too much on the characters and not enough on the action. In contenting himself with character arc and rites of passage narrative. screenwriter Jei'cmy Brock and Armstrong hay e abandoned the heightened drama of the story. line pei'ft)rniances. though. ('ineworld. l'itlkit‘k. Chop Suey ( IS) tBt‘ttce Weber. t'S. 2()()()) 98 min. World renowned photographer Bruce Weber home tiioy ie homti-croticises
SCIENCE FICTION THE TIME MACHINE (PG) 95min .0.
Fluffs its all-important plot revelation
‘Why can't the past be changed?‘ This is the central question posed by director Simon Wells (great grandson of novelist Herbert George. incidentally) and writer John Logan in their remake of The Time Machine. The answer is the sort of mind-bending conundrum which usually makes time travel films more interesting than most in the science fiction genre. But Wells completely fluffs this all- imponant plot revelation. Blink and yeti'll miss the answer Jeremy lrons' super sentient man monster of the far distant future provides Guy Pearce's Victorian scientist. Alexander Hartdegen. who wants to return to the past to change history and thus save the life of his beloved dead fiancee. Emma (Sienna
In fact. Wells' new version of his great grandfather's late 10th century novel almost completely av0ids the timewarping.) twists which have elsewhere enlivened achronological tales from Doctor Who to Back to the Future. The film glosses over or ignores completely questions abOuI the endlessly complicated relationship between the past. present and future.
What's left is a fairly straightfonvard adventure iii which Hartdegen travels into the near and then the far flung future where. or rather when (800 centuries hence to be precise) he helps liberate the peaceful human race the Eloi from the subterranean-dwelling cannibal Morlocks. Irish R88 star Samantha Mumba pops up here to prowde Hartdegen ‘Nllll new love interest now that Emma is long and
Pearce puts in a watchable if somewhat affected performance as the eccentric scientist-explorer. but it's not enough to elevate the film which by the veiy nature Of its seiirce material should have been far more thoughtprovoking.
(Miles Fielder) I General release from Fri 31 May
the ligure of sixteen—year-old w restlcr Peter Johnson. At the same time he also e\plores the life of his Idol. the outrageous lesltltltt cabaret singer l‘rancis l‘ay. alongside reminiscing about growing up. Full of lush images. and a \oiceov er that becomes irritating. this self-absorbed doctiiiicntai'y never explores the dilemma of why a middle-aged photographer is obsessed with recreating images of male perfection. Cinema for the Deaf ( I2) (Various. 2002) the min. A programme of short films. from animation through documentary to experimental. made by deaf filmmakers. The Filinhouse. lidinburgh.
The Closet t 15) 0.. lI‘TilliL‘Uls Vebcr. France. 2002) Daniel Autieul. (ierard Depardieu. Michelle Laroque. 85min. Francois (Autieul) is a company man perceived as bland and one-dimensional. But he‘s seen differently when a touched up photograph suggests that the straight Francois frequents some risque gay nightclubs. Everybody at the condom factory where he works (Depardieu. Laroque. boss Jean Rochefort) sees a new man. as if finding something of their own possibilities within l-‘rancois‘ apparently libertine behaviour. The (7an does a surprisingly skilful job of suggesting that gay ness can be a healthy if virtual mode of being. while also. in l-‘rancois‘ employment anxieties. attaching itself to the workplace film that so preocctipies lircnch cinema at the moment. Selected release.
Coming to America ( IS) .0
(John l.andis. l’S. I988) liddic Murphy. Arsenio Hall. James liarl Jones. llomiii. Murphy is Prime Akeem. heir to the throne of a fabulously wealthy central African state.
Crossroads (PG) 00
but dissatisfied with the bride arranged for him by King James liarl Jones. Instead. he tray els to New York \\ illt sidekick Hall to seek his own choice of queen. ()verloiig and not terribly hilarious Murphy \ehicle. with the star in several rolcs doing his best to pump life into a seiitiiiienial script. New I’leltlt'e House. St Andrew s.
Cool and Crazy (Heftig og Begeistret) ( IS) .0. (ls'nui lirik Jensen. Norway. 300I) l(liiiiiii. Joining a male \oice choir may not be e\ eryoiic's idea of a good time. but gi\ en that Berleyag's other main leisure activities seem to be smoking i‘ollies and staring otit to sea. this local ensemble is a popular one. Berley ag sits on the edge of the Barent Sea. atid
Jensen does not shirk from showing the
monotony of this small Norwegian tow n. As a film. (‘rm/ and (‘mqv could do with a little more narrative drive. But as a social portrait it is impeccable. and it has its ow n potent
and rather stoic lyricism. ('aineo.
(Tamra Day is. l'S. 2002) Britney Spears. Kim ('attrall. Dan Aykroy d. 94min. It's very difficult to
review ('rnssrritu/s as it's not a normal Iiliii. btit simply another part of the Britney Spears World Domination Plan. And. disappointingly. this is not the turkey we secretly hoped for. Britney doesn't act so iiiticli as pretend to be someone she's not she's built her career on it. and has become \ery good. Yes. lltls Is cheesy and completely lacking in originality. but then this is a teen movie. lf you go to see this liliti. you're not coming lot the Iiliii. but for an e\tra large dose of Britney. And that's e\actly \\ lltll you'll get. Sclcctcd release.
t\ l.(.I. '
THE LIST 25