Beatrice Dalle’s a great actress of the night - Clubbed to Death, Night on Earth, Blackout, Seventeen Times Cecile Cassard. So it makes sense that a director so astute to an actor’s persona, Claire Denis (Beau Travail), would cast her as a kind of sexual cannibal of the dark.

But in many ways Dalle’s Core isn’t Denis’ point of focus. Denis is more interested in Vincent Gallo’s apparently more dilemma-driven newly-wed, Shane, who’s honeymooning in Paris and whose own cannibalistic urges are equal to Dalle’s. Shane, though, seems more resistant to acting out his desires, hoping to use his professional status as a doctor to work out a way of dissipating this fundamental urge, a desire generated out of some dubious research when Shane and Core were working in Africa.

Denis’ film isn’t so much a genre work as a think piece incorporating numerous genre elements (vampire, beast of science, lycanthropy). It’s as if she wants to blend together various horror genres to find the


How Denzel Washington chose Antwone Fisher's autobiographical memOIr for his directorial debut is an extraordinary story. Fisher was working in the Sony studio's gift shop when the Oscar-winning actor committed himself to telling Fisher's harrovnng but ultimately life-affirming story of surVivaI. Abandoned by his mother to the care of a foster home. where he suffered years of physical. mental and sexual abuse. Fisher ended up in the US Navy. Here he found a surrogate family. but his unresolved past meant that he was always in trouble. mostly for fighting.

Such a story. in which a sympathetic shrink helps a young black man come to terms with the shame and anger engendered by a cruel childhood. could easily have been reduced to T\/—mowe platitudes. Vi/ashington's restrained direction. however. is candid but never exploitative. inspirational but never sentimental. Egually self-effacing is Washington's Supporting role as the Navy shrink. which defers to newcomer Derek Luke's mowng pOrtrayal of Fisher. Bravest of all is the film's unflinching portrait of taboo areas of black experience. in particular the way in which the foster mother's own self-hating slave mentality is visited in turn upon Fisher. through phySical abuse. iibes about his wodhlessness and demeaning raCist language. (Nigel Floyd)

I Cameo. Edinburgh from Fri' 27 Dec fspecra/ two week prevrewi.

Washington’s directing debut

first principle from which they arise: the oscillation between the id and the superego, between a basic drive and rational, societal expectation.

This works pretty well on the drive aspect. Dalle’s perfect as a woman who’s given herself over to the dark side of her pleasures. But Gallo’s less convincing as a man who’s trying to keep his id in check. Isn’t he, like Dalle, a fine actor of the

Incorporating numerous genre elements, from vampires to chanthropy

infernal pleasure principle The Funeral, Buffalo 66 - and even rabidly passionate in interviews? Subsequently there isn’t much tension nor rational here, merely many a gore moment where horror’s own id is given a free rein. (Tony McKibbin)

I Fi/nihouse. Edinburgh from Fri 27 Dec EF; GFT Glasgow from Fri 37 Jan. See revrew. page T)

Darkly heart-warming tale

DRAMA LII-E. (18) 94min 0000

Finding a distributor in the current climate of tabIOid outrage and media scapegoating for a film concerning paedophilia must have been a real problem. That it is finally seeing the light of day and over the festive season is a real testament to the duality of the storytelling inherent in this mowe.

Paul Franklin Dano plays troubled youth Howie. whose mother has recently died and father is being investigated by the FBI. He's skipping school and hanging out With the ‘wrong crowd'. and his affection for his best friend Gary iBilly Kay) has lead to a heightened sense of sexual confusion. After robbing a local house he comes to the attention of local pillar of the community. and paedophile. ‘Big John' Harrigan (Brian Cox). And from there on. a strange kind of mutual relationship develops. all in the shadow of the ever-oppressive Long lsland EX;.)FGSS\.‘lEty. the LIE of the title.

First time director Michael Cuesta has co-written. with ex-cop Stephen M Ryder. a darkly heart-wammng tale of a confused teen's time in small town America. Dano excels in this poignant coming of age movie. almost carrying it on his y0ung shoulders. The emotion he brings. to an incredibly difficult part. is astounding. Cox puts in a career best performance. investing Virtually unimaginable pathos to a character yOur initial instinct is to hate. The relationship between Dano and Cox is handled With subtle style; you even find yourself warming to Cox while never condoning or accepting his actions essentially a search for belonging as his world crumbles around him. Close to the edge but reined in by un(‘l(v>rstated performances. this is the kind of story only independent Cinema dares tackle With any kind of empathy. (Heniy Northiiiorei I Fi/nihouse. Edinburgh from Fri 20 Dec; GFT. Glasgow fro/n Fri 3 Jan.


THRILLER BUNDY (18) 99min 0.

One of America's more prolific serial killers he was charged with 28 murders but suspected of over 150 Ted Bundy made his mark in the state of Utah between the years 1973 and 1978. This film. from director Matthew Bright (Freeway. Confessions of a Trick Baby). takes up Ted's perspective on these years and follows his development from masturbating Peeping Tom to necrOphiIiac sex freak.

Trashy as a TV movie

All charm and boy-next- door good looks. Ted is played by Christopher Reeve lookalike Michael Reilly Burke. and Bright focuses on the dichotomy between the apparent Joe Normal. making like the family man with his girlfriend and her child. and the inhuman monster who bludgeons comely college girls before needling them in their death throes. This. and Bright usmg occasional snippets of original footage. is the extent of the documentary drive at play here. however, as no attempt is made to examine Ted's psychology in all this. Instead. it's a series of gratuitously violent acts perpetrated on stupid. submissive women.

Which is fine if you like that son of thing. but those with a genuine interest in serial killers would do better to seek out one of the many chillineg monotoned documentaries out there. or books like ConfeSSions of Henry Lee Lucas. They are undoubtedly much more satisfying than this. a piece of stylised sensationalism that's as trashy as a TV movie. (Catherine Bromley)

I Selected release from Fri 20 Dec.

12 Dec 2002?»? Jan 13003 THE LIST 33