Ruth Rendell’s The Best Man to Die (the) (Herbert \Vise. l'K. 1090i (ieorge Baker. (‘hristopher Ravenscroft. Barbara Leigh Hunt. l5()min. Bizarre screening of an episode from TV‘s liispector \Vexf‘ord series as part of the mini Rtith Rendell festival. l‘iltttltottse. lidinburgh.
Sacrifice (tbci (lillen Bruno. l'S. HMS) 50min. Alternating dreams with nightmares. director Bruno looks at child slavery arid prostitution among Burmese girls in Thailand. l:ilttllt()tl.se. lidinbtirgh.
A Self-Made Hero (Un heros tres discret) ( 15) C... (Jacques Audiard. France. 19%) Matthieu Ktts‘sovitl. Anouk (irinberg. Sandrine Kiberlain. l()Smin. A rare blend of frivolity‘ and seriousness. Audiard's second feature probes the legacy of l-‘rance's Vichy period through tlte life of a perpetual daydreamer who gets a taste for fibbiiig and becomes a fraudulent hero of the wartime resistance. Matthieu Kitssov'il/ (who made the brilliatit street-saga I.“ llunic) fills Albert with an engaging melange of timidity. low cunning and underlying determination. (if’l'. (ilasgow. Sex and Lucia ( IS) 000 (Jttlio .‘vledcm. Spain. 2002) Tristan l'lloa. l’a/ Vega. IZS‘min. After the death of Loren/o (l'lloa t. his long-term girlfriend. Lucia (Vegai retreats to her ex-partner's favourite island to come to terms with her loss and unlock the secrets of a problematic past. The filiti then flits effortlessly. if somewhat confusingly. through time to reveal their first meeting six years prev iously and their subsequent steamy sexual encounters. The eroticism of Mcdem's fifth feature will undoubtedly itiake it his itiost controversial release. btit the story telling. although never completely unengaging. is much weaker than in his outstanding cinematic debut. liicus. ('aineo. lidinbtirgh. The Shipping News ( fit .00. (Lasse Hallstrom. [S 2002) Kevin Spacey. Julianne Moore. Judi Dench. l l7min. Annie l’roulx's l’ulit/er l’ri/e-vv inning novel about a depressed middle-aged father w ho takes his daughter off to his family's ancestral home in barren Newfoundland after the unfaithful wife (though love of his lifei is killed in a car wreck. is an eccentric black comedy. btit also a raw. melancholy yarn. \Vhat hope. then. for arch sentimentalist Hallstrom not leaving Proulx's masterpiece floundering‘.’ None it would seem. yet against the odds Hallstrom delivers a watertight piece of drama. directed and acted with beautiful restraint. particularly by Spacey who plays the depressed protagonist ()uoyle. ('ineworld. lialkirk. Singin’ in the Rain (U 0000. (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen. IS. 1950) (lene Kelly. Donald ()'('onnor. Debbie Reynolds. ('yd ('harisse. l()Zinin. Hollywood undergoes the transition from the silent era to the talkies and reputations rise arid fall. Absolutely wonderful musical entertainment. with the slickest of snappy dialogue. enduringly catchy numbers. a cast of genuine charisma. attd an engaging picture of the industry in transition into the bargain. Quite splendid. (irosvenor. (ilasgow.
Slogans (l’(ii ((ijergi Xhuvani. Albania/l-‘rance. 2001 i Artur (iorislili. l.ui/a Xhuvani. Agiiti Qirjaqi. 90min. Set in the late l()7lls when the lloxhas regime held Albania in an iron grip. S/ngmiv tells the story of a young biology teacher who leaves the capital city for a school in the mountains. Absurdist comedy with a political bent. (‘ameo. lidinburgh.
The Smallest Show on Earth (ti 0... (Basil Deardon. l'K. l‘)5()) Peter Sellers. Margaret Rutherford. Virginia McKenna. S I min. One of the greatest homages to cinema. This wonderful eccentric comedy sees a young couple inheriting a fleapit cinema. The Bijou. and struggling to save it from closure when a picture palace. The (irand. opens around the corner. taking their business away. if you made that film now. of course. you would have to recast The Brand as The Bijoti and bring in a multiplex. Sad times. (irosv'enor. (ilasgow,
Snow Dogs (ti .0 (Brian Levant. l'S. 2002i ('uba (iooding Jr.. Jaities ('obtirn. Nichcllc Nichols. ‘Nmin. This unremarkable Disney comedy follow s a Miami-based dentist as he discovers his prev iotisly unknown liskimo roots. Thouin competently made and featuring a reliable lead and cast. it still
34 THE LIST 20 (JUN 4 Jul 200?
struggles to raise a decent laugh. Not unwatchable. but nothing special. (ieneral release. Spider-Man ( l2) 0... (Sam Raimi. l'S. 2002i Tobey Maguire. Kirsten Dtinst. lllmin. A big budget blockbuster based on a best-selling superhero comic book you'd be right to expect spectacular effects and blatid storytelling in a fiashy btit ultimately dtill film. (io see Attack oft/iv ('lmics for that particular exercise in bringing in the box office bucks. Spider-Alan. by contrast. is it delightfully unexpected mix of spectacle atid engrossing human drama. It's surprising that Raimi. who made his name with the highly stylised genre pastiche (The Evil I)c(t(/) sliotild focus so much on character. The cast acquit themselves well. although Dafoe hams tip the villainy. Btit Raimi's lead. Tobey Maguire. brings jtist the right amount of knowing humour to l’arker/Spidey. which is emblematic of Raimi's whole. winning approach to the film. (ieneral release. St Elmo’s Fire ( t5) 0. (Joel Schumacher. l'S. IUSSi limilio listev'ex. Rob Lowe. Andrew .‘vlc(‘arthy. l()ts’min. More half- baked acting antics from the Brat Pack. here playing old college pals getting tised to live and love and trauma in the modern world. (iood to see. of the then famous cast only the baddest boy. l.owe. still manages to do anything decent (’l'lic tl’t'vt fling) with his career. (irosvenor. (ilasgow. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Poi 00 ((icorge l.iicas. t'S. 2002i Natalie Portman. Hayden Christensen. livvan Mc(iregor. l-Bmin. A very slight improvement to lipismlc l. Attack oft/re ('loncv suffers from a bad script and sappy acting. Ten years on. the Republic faces a mounting separatist movement. necessitating the introduction of a cloiie army to assist the overwhelmed Jedi. ('otipling this plot-line. romance blossoms between l’adme Amidala (l’ot'tnian) and Anakin Sky-walker (Christensen J. Hash) special effects don't salvage this tension-less series of bloated action scenes. Attack (if the ('lmtcv will only please the truly besotted fans. (ieneral release. Stella ( l5i C... (Michael (‘acoyannis. (ircece. 1955i Melina Mercouri. (ieorges l-‘oundas. Alckos Alexandrakis. l()()min. \Vonderful reissue of this classic (ireek tcarjerker. The story of a young. wild woman who doesn‘t want to compromise and settle down. Stella is a restless. rebellious (ireek woman w ho plays with men and enjoy s her life as much as she caii. Btit when she meets a young football play er. things get mixed tip. She loves him btit she loves her freedom too. So it's about time she made an important choice. St l.iike's (ireek ()rthodox ('athedral. (ilasgow. Stuart Little (l'i .0. (Rob Minkoff. (S. 2000) Michael J. Fox. (ieena Dav-is, lltigh Laurie. 92min. l.ive action with a computer generated talking mouse voiced by Michael J. Fox. Minkoff's adaptation of li.B. \Vhite's classic children's‘ book sees the sweet wee rodent orphan being adopted by affluent Manhattanites the little family. Stuart‘s problems begin with a new nemesis. the mean-spirited. inappropriately -named family cal Snow bell. The message of the film is clear little gtiy discovers the meaning of family. loyalty and friendship btit of more interest to viewers both small and large will be the 'Iimi (tm/ .Icrrv-slyle antics. Arts (‘etitre. littsl Kilbiide. The Ten Commandments (t'i ((‘ecil B DeMille. t‘S. 195m (‘harlton Heston. Yul Brynner. Anne Baxter. fidward G Robinson 320mm. Truly appalling big screen version of the Old Testament. needs to be seen by everyone once as a form of divine punishment. This plays as a comedy in the new ly restored cinemas of Kabul apparently. (irosv‘enor. (ilasgow. Thunderpants (t’( i) 00 (Peter llcwitt. l'K. 3002i Brttce ('ook lll. Rupert (irint. Ned Beatty. 95min. A crap kids' flick that finds farting funny. not once or twice. htit the whole film through. The ability to pass gas of epic proportions results iii humiliation and eventual salvation for the film's eleven-year— old protagonist. Skip this hour aitd half of crap fart jokes. (ienei'al release. The Time Machine (I’( it 000 (Simon \Vells. l'S. 3002) (Buy l’earcc.
Samantha Mumba. Jeremy Irons. 95min. Director Simon \Vells' remake of his great granddaddy‘s classic. Btit \Vclls Jnr completely fluffs tip the all-important plot revelation: why l’earce's time traveller can‘t change the past. l’earce puts in a watchable if somewhat affected performance as the eccentric scientist-explorer. btit it's not enough to elevate the filtii. which by the very nature of its source material should have been far more thought-provokiiig. (ieneral release.
Titanic ( 12) 0... (James ('ameron. l'S. 1997) Leonardo l)i('aprio. Kate \Vinslct. Billy Zane. I‘Mmin. ('antcron tackles the story of the doomed ocean liner through a touching love story that isn't overwhelmed by the awesome special effects. Rich girl Rose (\Vinsleti is unhappily engaged to arrogant (’al (Zane) btit falls for third-class passenger Jack (l)i('aprioi: love blossoiits as the ship hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic. in all its on-screen glory. 'Iitum'c does indeed look like the itiost expensive film ever made. conveying botli the scale of the disaster and the feeling of clatistrophobia as the water rises. (irosvenor. (ilttsgow.
Top Hat (l'i (Mark Satidrich. l'S. W35) Fred Astaire. (iinger Rogers. lidward liverett Horton. l()()min. A botit of mistaken identity makes lied and (iinger's path to true love via London and Venice a little more circuitous than they might have liked. but there are plenty of classic Irving Berlin numbers along the way to help them keep their spirits tip. Splendid stuff. (irosvetiot'. (ilasgow‘.
Toy Story 2 (H .000. (Joint Lasseter. l'S. 2000) Tom Hanks. Tim Allen. Joan (’usack. 95min. The new filiit expands on the original settings and themes: \Vhen \Voody is not taken to ('ow boy ('amp by his ow ncr Andy. he begins to question the meaning of his ‘life. When he's subsequently stolen by a collector who plans to sell him to a Japanese toy museum Btil/ and the gaiig travel across town to rescue their pal. The emotive range of the animated characters is extraordinary; they say that computer generated images will never replace the real thing. btil 'Iiiy' .S'tnrv 3 makes you wonder. (irosvenor. (ilasgovv.
Tree without Roots ( I5) (Tanvir Mokamnicl. Bangladesh. 3001 ) Raisul Islam Asad. lein. Part of the Bl'Ts touring Imagine Asia festival. Set in rural Bangladesh this delicately balances the comedy and tragedy of faith and deception. (il’l‘. (ilasgow. True Romance ( 1M 0000 (Tony Scott. l'S. l‘)‘)3i ('hristian Slater. Patricia Arquettc. Dennis Hopper. l I‘hnin. (‘omic bookstore assistant (‘larence meets. sleeps with and marries novice hooker Alabama within a matter of hours. then the lovebirds find themselves on the run with an accidentally stolen case of cocaine. l.imelight-stealing cameos atid writer Quentin 'l'arantino‘s verbal set-pieces fire this excellent movie. the epitome of disposable pop culture for the fast- food generation. (irosvenor. (ilasgovv.
24 Hour Party People ( (xv 000.. (Michael \Vinterbottom. l'lx'. 3003) Steve (‘oogtttL l’uddy' (‘onsidine. Shirley Henderson. | l()min. The whole era/y tale of Factory records. the Hacienda and all things Madchester is retold by writer l-‘t‘ank (‘ottrell Boyce who has done something quite extraordinary turned Tony \Vilson's
dy sftmctional adventure from I070 to now into a post-modern romp that never takes itself too seriously. Boy ce's regular collaborator. \Vinterbottom. directs like a man possessed by the conjoined spirits of Jean-l.uc (iodard and Lindsay .-\ndcrson. and is more than tip to the task tisiiig a variety of scratchy. quirky. punky devices to tell tales from a cantankerous city. Double top. l-‘ilmhotise. lidinburgh. Ulysses’ Gaze (t’( it .0000 (Then Angelotipoulos. (ireecc/l"rance. J‘NSJ Harvey Keitel. Maia .\lorgenstern. lirland Josephson. lelmin. Keitel play s an .-\merican filmmaker \\ lto goes to (irecce itt search of an early piece of undeveloped film. llis journey echoes the llolttet‘ic odyssey of l'lv sses but also moves (is deeper into the troubled ltcart of the Balkans. Angelottpoulos is a genuine master. and this ambitious film show s remarkable formal accomplishment and emotional power. Kcital is great as the ('andide-ian wanderer. St l.iike's (ireck ()rthodox (‘athedraL (ilasgovv.
Unfaithful ( l5) 0.. (Adrian Lyne. t'S. 2002i Diane Lane. Richard (iere. ()livier Martinez. 123mm. As a re-make of (’laude ('habrol's l‘)(i‘) thriller [4! I'i'mmc ltt/itlc/c. 'I'lic ('Ii/(titli/itl is a pretty tiresome effort. Diane Lane dominates the film as Richard (iere's dutiful but bored wife. who has a chance fling with l‘rench hottie ()livier Martinez. The film plays otit like a tedious follow tip to l.yne's own Fatal Attraction. this titiie with the (iallic male lover as the psycho. (ieneral release.
6 Unfinished Symphony ( lSi oooo (Bestor (‘ram/Mike Majoros. l'S. 300i i Various. 59min. A lyrical journey back to the Vietnam war. this looks at the three day protest march staged by newly returned veter- ans that took place iii Massachusetts over Memorial Day weekend in NH. \Vith inter- jections from political historian Howard '/.inn. For those who still believe in ‘peoplc power" this is unmissable. (ii-T. (ilasgow. The Usual Suspects ( (8 i 0000 (Bryan Singer. (S. 1995) (iabriel Byrne. Kevin Spacey. Stephen Baldwin. l()()min. There's a good setise of noir fatalisin hanging over T/lt’ ('s'uu/ Suspects. which is gtiessiiig game cinema at its best. A perfectly matched teattt of crooks discover that their chance meeting wasn't so random after all: they're being Used in an intricate vendetta by legendary gangster boss Keyser Sose. So stylish. it sends a tingle down the spine; btit the ludicrous Use of Pete l’ostlctwaite's character almost undermines it all. l'(‘l. liast Kilbride.
Waking Life ( 15> .0000 (Richard l.inklater. l'S. 2002i \Viley \Vigins. lithan llawke. Julie Delpy. l()()min. This animated picture looks sttiiiiiiitg. l.inklater has used a ‘rotoscoping' technique which involves filming actors and then tracing over the images to make the movie look like a cinematic graphic novel. The animation is pivotal to the question posed by the central character. Mitch Kramer: what exactly is life‘.’ Kramer cannot wake from a recurring dream in which he meets characters ranging from philosophy professors to taxi drivers who tell him exactly what life is about. \Vonderfully innovative. (il’l'. (ilasgow.
0 War Photographer ( IS) 0000 ((‘hristian l‘rei. Swit/erland. 200i l James Nachtwey. 96min. This won an Oscar this year for best feature documentary. A sordid delve itito the fetid and bloody world of photo-journalism. Swiss filmmaker (‘hristian lirei followed photographer James Nachtwey through various war zones to make the film. This goes to the very heart of Western media voyeurism. (il’l‘. (ilasgow.
What Women Want( 12> 00.
(Nancy Meyers. l'S. 200] i Mel (iibson. Helen Hunt. 127mm. (iibson's divorced. playboy advertising executive is a testosterone-fuelled chativ inist whose brand of tits ‘n' ass ad campaigns have loiig exceeded their sell-by date. His company. however. wants to reach female consumers and has given the top job to a woman (Hunt). Btit. following an accident. the exec wakes tip to discover he's able to hear women's unspoken thoughts. a gift which scores him brownie points all rottnd. (iihson twinkles rogtiishly in the lead role arid handles the film‘s scenes of screwball farce well. Bttt he's let down by a lack of chemistry with his co- star. ()deon (‘ity ('entre. (ilasgow.
Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too) ( IX) 0000 (Alfonso (‘uaron. Mexico. 200] i (iael (iarcia Bernal. Diego l.iina. Maribel Verdti. l()Smin. fit this upbeat. raunchy road movie Jtilio (Bernali and childhood friend 'l‘enoch (l.iinai convince gorgeous older Spatiisli woman l.iiisa (\"erdtii tojoiii them on the road to an unspoilt beach known as ‘lleaven's Month'. The horny boys' plan is to get itito l.iiisa's pants. which. as it turns otfl. she is quite happy with. Of course. when Luisa sleeps first w ttli Diego and then Julio. the emotionally immature boys fall otit. and it‘s left to their more experienced partner to teach them something about love. The cast give ('uaron flaw less iwrforinances. while the director and his co-w riter brother (’arlos ensure the drama is at once tender and boisterous. feel good and ftill of pathos. and wholly free of cliche. l'ilmhouse. lidinburgh; Adam Smith. Kirkcaldy.