Film index

The Last Documentary Film (Der Ietzte Documentarfilm) ( 15) (Daniel Sponsel. (iermany. 1998) Various. (iSmin. Light-hearted ironic prediction of what fortn filmmaking might take in the age of digitalisation. knitting together two components: a ha/y history of documentary filmntaking arid an alternative fabricated private history of the filmmakers. limploys split screen. image layers. w ebcam shots and the Internet to great sardonic effect. liilmhouse. iidinburgh.

Last Orders ( 15) 0.. (Fred Scliepisi. CK. 2001) Michael Caine. Bob lloskins. David llemmings. 'I'om Courtney. Ray Winstone. 108mm. Jack (Cainc). a butcher from Bermondsey‘. has died. Joined by Jack's son (Winstone). his three best friends (Courtney. llemmings. lloskins) set off on a road-trip to Margate to scatter the old man's remains. Converting (iraham Swift's remarkable novel of loss. friendship and life‘s cruel decline into a movie was always going to be something akin to catching salt iii the wind. Schepisi has lost the febrile sense that this sad story is built on odd tender moments snatched frotn eternity. This is. however. a soap opera acted out by a right royal cast. ()deon City Centre. (ilasgow.

The Last Resort( IS) 0000 (Pawel Paw'likowski. CK. 2001) Dina Kor/un. Paddy Considine. 7omin. In a rundown seaside resort on lingland's south coast that resembles a Siberian concentration camp. refugees seeking shelter in Britain are held at the (iovernment‘s pleasure. facing interminable imprisonment or eventual deportation. Into this shameful xenophobic mess blunders 'l‘anya. a young woman arriving from Moscow with her ten-year-old son. This is tottgh. politicised cinema. reminiscent of waking nightmares ()rw ell and Kafta. Polish writer-director

Paw likow ski effectively draw s on his documentary background. while the ntaitt players are superb. particularly Considinc making only his second appearance after his extraordinary debut in .-l Ronni/or Romeo Brass. i‘ilmhouse. iidinburgh.

Lebanon Dream ( l5) (Nurit Kedar. Israel. 2000). o0min. Another compelling documentary from the maker of the excellent Burt/('13. This tintc foetlsing on Samir l-‘arhat. a successful Lebanese merchant who profiteers between the borders of South Lebanon and Israel. (ii-"1'. (ilasgow.

Little Otik (Otesanek) ( (5) coo

(Jan Svankmajer. C/ech Republic/CK. 2000) Veronika '/.ilkova. Jan llartl. Jaroslava Kretschmcrova. 13 l min. l'tilising an old Czech folk tale. Svankmajer focuses on a barren couple who go to extreme leitgths to becotne parents. When their ‘child' gets out of control. snacking on anything which stumbles into its path. hard decisions need to be made. Coming on like a cross between Eraser/teat] and Tllt’ Hem! fl! the Cellar. 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. (ilrl‘. (ilasgow.

Live Flesh I (8).... (Pedro Almodoyar. Spain. 1097) Jay ier Bardent. l.iberto Rabal. l‘rancesca Neri. l00min. Based on a Ruth chdell story. .-\lmodovar's most rounded attempt to enter the mainstream follow s the fate of a wheelchair- bound policeman. the young man responsible for the bullet that ptit him there. and his wife. w itlt whom the recently released convict is in love. Any message waiting to be read is drowned in the brightest and deepest of cinematographic c\periences. arid the pleasures here are several. But there's a hint that the director has slipped ittto middle-ground mediocrity. l‘ilmhouse. lidinburgh.

Looking for Karma (1') (Jak Milt-0y. Scotland. 2002) 50mm. Two Scottish football coaches train a group of young 'l'ibetan refugees and make them rc-enact the WT] Scottish league Cup l-‘inal in the mountains of Nepal. Spellbinding documentary steeped in whimsy from a great Scottish filmmaker. To be reviewed next issue. (iii-ll. (ilasgmy.

The Lord of the Rings (mice... (Peter Jackson. New Zealand/l'S. 2001) Ian McKellcn. liliiah \Vood. l.i\ 'l‘y ler. Cate Blanchett. \iggo .\lot'tenscn. liSmin. At long last. a sword and sorcery adventure that really deliyet‘s the goods. J.R.R. 'l'olkien's great achievement was to create an iinglish mythology. located in a fantastical yet believable world. Jackson‘s great achievement is to bring the author‘s I000 page tome to life. not merely realising the fantastic elements with special effects spectacle (though they are wry spectacular).

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Dora Van Der Groan in the sublime Pauline and Paulette

but through storytelling flare and marvellous performances from his cast. Visceral and breathtakingly dramatic. 'l‘lte I'l'llmvs/tip of I/tt’ Rim: is an inspired labour of love and a monumental achievement. (ieneral release. The Majestic (PG) 000 (lirank Darabont. CS. 2002) Jitn Carrey. Martin Landau. Laurie llolden. l52min. .-\ shallow and self-seeking 1950s Hollywood

screenw riter drives his car into a river and develops amnesia. lle awakes in a small town to find himself embraced as a long-lost war hero. But what happens when he regains his ntemory 1’ .-\ sentimental fable that celebrates the patriotism of .-\merica's so- called (irealest (ieneration. 'I’lit' .llujvslit‘ is uplifting. btit handicapped by a sluggish pace. l'(iC Renfrew Street. (ilasgovv: Ster Century. iidinburgh.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil ( 15) 00. (Clint Eastwood. CS. WW) Kevin Spacey. John (‘tisack. Jude Law. 155mm. iiastwood bites off more than he cart chew with this discursive tale of life and crime in the beautifully preserved ()ld Southern town of Savannah. (ieorgia. The tnain narrative concerns the murder of the gay lover of bon viveur Spacey. but liastwood gets side-tracked by sub-plots. .-\ likeablc movie that is subtly ingratiating rather than brazenly insistent. l'Cl. liast Kilbride.

Monsoon Wedding ( 15)....O (Mira Nair. lndia/l'ls'. 200l ) Nasecruddin Shah. l.illete Dubey. Vijay Raal. 1 13min. ()n the eve of the longed-for. cooling monsoon season. the far-flung members of an upper-middle class Indian family gather in Delhi for a typical Punjabi wedding. But as the big day dawns. the wedding

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contractor‘s promises become more evasive. while the bride's hard-pressed father worries how he is going to pay for everything. Nair's sprawling. carnivalesque drama combines the colour and vibrancy of Bollywood with an earthy realism. And while she cart be sharply satiric. Nair treats her characters. high and low. without condescension. Carnegie Hall. Dunfermlinc.

Monster’s Ball ( 15) .00 (Marc Forster. CS. 2002) llalle Berry. Billy Bob Thornton. Sean Combs. l l lmin. Wallow in the deep South mire with this painful tale of death. bigotry and awkward redemption. This is so bleak it makes Stritidberg's.l1iss .lll/f(’ look like a lake full of laughing monkeys. (ireat performances though. (ieneral release.

Monsters, Inc. M") .000 (Pete Docter. CS. 2001 ) John Goodman. Billy Crystal. Steve Buscemi. 92min. The latest C(il animation from Toy Story makers Pixar is set largely in Monstropolis. a city inhabited by the foulest of beasts. The monsters power their city by sending ‘scarers' through doors which teleport them into children‘s rooms. Once there. they pull faces at the kids. producing shrieks of terror. which are bottled back in Monstropolis and ttsed as a source of energy. It’s a neat idea. but what really lifts the film is the sense of fun that pervades the whole movie. .llmzsters. Inc runs as smoothly as a fairground slide. that no one is too big to enjoy. Selected release. Music and Film 2 (tbc) (Various. Various. 2002) Various. tbcmin. Live performances from NIMB Y and Andy Philip‘s of Toxic Texan Records be accompanied by specially created videos from visuals crew Blue Sunshine. makers of ‘that' Add N To (X) promo Plug Me In. CC.-\. (ilasgow.

No Man’s Land ( 15) 00.0 'l'anovic. Bosnia- llerxegovina/Slovenia/ltaly/France/L'K/Bel gium. 2002) Branko [)juric. Rene Bitanajac. Katrin Cartlidge. 98min. And they say satire is dead. Set in the middle of the Bosnian conflict. .\'u .llun 'x Land sees two Bosnian soldiers watider iitto said territory. formerly a rather idyllic piece of farm land. but now a grim venue for trench warfare. 'l'hey' bicker like heavily armed children. before a good deal of political skulduggery brings in the media in the form of a ruthless British television correspondent (Cartlidge) and a venal and ambitious British l'N general (Simon Callow ). Can the situation be resolved'.‘ Well. not by any of this lot. Tanovic spares no one. and the comedy is of the kind to make you wince as you giggle. Cameo. lidinburgli.