Film index

The Cup (PG) eeee (Khyentse Norbu. Australia. 1999) ()rgyen Tobgyal. Neten Chokling. Jamyang Lodro. 93min. The Cup scores a hat trick of firsts: first film directed by a lama. in the Tibetan language with a cast solely comprised of monks. And it‘s about football. specifically the footy fever that grips the monks of (‘hokling Monastery during the 1998 World Cup. liliciting spirited performances from his cast. Norbu achieves his goal in creating a simple. humorous. humane film. GFT. Glasgow.

The Dune of the Jade Scorpion (l2A) O. (Woody Allen. LS. 2002) Woody Allen. Helen Hunt. David ()gden Stiers. 102min. Set in New York in 1940. Jade Scorpion pays homage to the era‘s carefree mystery comedies and boasts a similarly throwaway plot. Crack insurance investigator CW Briggs (Allen) tries to solve a series ofjewel robberies he has himself committed while under the influence of a nefarious stage hypnotist (David Ogden Stiers). Making his task even harder. however. is the hostility of his firm's new efficiency expert. Hunt's brisk career gal Betty Ann Fitzgerald. Sadly. Jot/e Scorpion marks a new low in Allen‘s increasingly erratic career. with the filmmaker going over familiar ground. from the jazz standards on the soundtrack to his usual stammering shtick. But the result is tired and largely unfunny. MacRobert. Stirling.

Cyberworld (PG) (Various. 2002) Min tbc. New 3D film for the giant screen featuring animated characters from Ant: to The Simpsons. lMAX. Glasgow.

The Dancer Upstairs (15) eeee (John Malkovich. US/Spain. 2002) Javier Bardem. Laura Morante. Juan Diego Botto. 133mm. Malkovich‘s first film as a director is set in an unnamed Latin American country where honest. underpaid police investigator Augustin Rejas (Bardem) is trying to track down the shadowy leader of a ruthless terrorist organisation. The state strikes back with ferocity of its own. but Rejas strives to remain uncorrupted. his only solace a developing romantic friendship with his daughter‘s ballet teacher (Morante). lts portrait of violent fanaticism all too timely. The Dancer Upstairs is chilling. morally complex. psychologically astute and sometimes mordantly funny. As you'd expect. its also superbly acted. above all by the magnificent Bardem. MacRobert. Stirling.

Deathwatch (15) D (Michael J Bassett. UK. 2(X)2) Jamie Bell. 93min. A World War l ghost story which lacks everything one has a right to expect from a supernatural movie terror. suspense. atmosphere. even a ghost. A squad of British soldiers is stranded behind enemy lines. Taking refuge in a fog-bound nearby trench. they immediately sense that something is wrong. Where are the German soldiers who were holding this position? Then. one by one. members of the squad start meeting with mysterious. violent deaths. images and ideas are equally vague and murky. forcing the actors to act in a mist of confusion. Billy Elliott star Bell's limited acting abilities are cruelly exposed by the sloppy dialogue. which is littered with historical anomalies. including modern military slang. A comprehensive disaster. L’GC Renfrew Street. Glasgow.

The Decline 01 the American Empire (18) eee (Denys Arcand. Canada. 1986) Dominique Michel. Dorothee Berryman. Louise Portal. i()lmin. If the only ‘safe' sex left is the purely verbal then this non-stop talking shop must be the safest film ever made. Eight beings. four per sex. eat. drink. work-out and talk endlessly about their sexual hang-ups. fears and frustrations. Sometimes witty. sometimes insightful. often truthfully close to home but ultimately this is an over-generous dollop of interminable discourse. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

Die Another Day (12A) eee (Lee Tamahori. UK/US. 2002) Pierce Brosnan. Halle Berry. Rick Yune. 135mm. ‘Bond 20‘ opens with 007 betrayed during a mission to assassinate rogue North Korean Colonel

26 THE LIST 16—30 Jan 2003

Moon. which although successful sees him subsequently left to rot in prison. Released fourteen months later. Bond makes the unearthing of the individual who betrayed him a personal vendetta. So far. so diyergeiit from the standard Bond plot. 'l'hereaftci'. however. Die Another [My relaxes back into the familiar formula: globe—hoping. girls and gadgets. The appearance of Berry ‘s American agent. bikini-clad from the Caribbean sea. is a direct reference to Ursula Andress‘ memorable entrance in Dr No. And the new liliii thus celebrates the Bond liliii franchise's 40th anniversary by paying homage to previous films. llow e\ er. Die Another Day is a top heavy film. with a great opening set-piece and disappointing finale. Still. Brosnan remains more than tip to the role. (ieneral release.

Dirty Pretty Things ( Its) 00. (Stephen Frears. L'K. 2002) 2002. ()(illllll. In this gritty tale of London's illegal immigrants Nigerian ()kwe lijiofor) and Turkish Senay (Tautou) make a dark discovery about goings on at the hotel which they both work nights: the sale of human organs. The leads are good. particularly lijiofor. who elicits real sympathy as the wary Nigerian. Ante/Iv star Tautou also impresses in her speaking part. Veteran director l-‘rears knows how to get good performances out of his cast despite the language difficulties. But it's a shame none of the above talents were sCl'\ ed with a decent script. one not full of cliched dialogue and unimaginative thriller genre conventions. MacRobert. Stirling.

0 Divine Intervention t )5) O... (Elia Suleiman. France/.\lorocco/ Germany/Palestine. 2003) Min the. like many a recent liliii concerning late 20th century ethnic skirmishes the acclaimed director of ('hronit‘le ofu Disti/i/ieurunt e looks at the lsraeli/l’alestinian conith and plays up the absurd over the politically po- faced. A Palestinian (Suleiman) liy ing in JerUsalem is in love with a beautiful young woman (Khader) from Ramallah. But their relationships fraught with as mttch external tension as internal desire. With his understandably melancholy disposition. Suleiman‘s character is unaware that the best you can do is absorb the absurdity. feel a bit of humanity and try to keep the mind and soul intact. it's this that makes the liliii especially interesting. See reyiew. Filmhouse. Edinburgh.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood t l2) .0 i(‘allie Khonri. 2002) Sandra Bullock. lillen Burstyn. Maggie Smith. Ashley Judd. 1 16min. As directed by The/mu and Louise screenwriter (‘allie Khouri. this Deep South-set chick flick is a sprawling. self-indulgent mess. When mother (Burstyn) and daughter

(Bullock) fall out. the mother's lifelong l't'lc‘titls. lllL' in it) Sislct‘liotid. .tllt‘iiipl it) reconcile the pair. \\'ill the Ya \as. including Maggie Smith iwhose dry. deadpaii wit proy ides the film’s best moments) heal the breach.’ ‘l‘he \ iew er w ill most likely be too niimb with boredom to care. ()deoii. ladinbui'gh.

Doctor Zhivago il’t ;) COO tl);t\ ltl l.ean. l'S/l ‘ls'. I‘Hfi) ()mar Sharit. .liilic ('hristie. (icraldiiic (’haplm. l‘)3iiiiii. Big screen i'oiiiaiice iii the (ion: ll'ith [fit ll'iiii/

style. rather than a genuine adaptation of the

l’asteriiak no\ el. with Sharil and (‘hristie as ho ers caught up in \Vorld \Var ()iie and the Riissiai) Resolution. Notable mainly for its lush. picture postcard photography. .\lacRoberl. Stirling,

8 Mile t IF) 0. i(‘uitis llansoii. [8". 2002) liniiiieiii. Kim Basinger. Brittany .\llii'pli}. lliimin Directed by .-\cadeiiiy :\ward w iiiner llanson tl_l (‘on/it/t IIIItl/l. shot by hip .\le\icaii ciiicmatt)grapher Rodrigo l’rtcto Liniori's [’4 run) and featuring the big screen debut oi white boy rapper liiiunciii in a semi-autt)biographical tale about his rise to stardom. [NJ/1h is a promising proposition. llow ey er. the liliii‘s plot is sparse; it's supposed to read like a hip hop \ei'sion ol Rue/d. e\cept there‘s no meat iii the pie. Disappointingly. all this adds up to lamiiiein presenting a sanitised \ersion of himself as plucky underdog turned pedigree champ. See feature and

MW it“. (ictit'l'al release.

8 Women i I5) 0... tl‘raiicois ()/on. l‘rance. 200]) lll.:illili.1\ classy cast of l'i'ench diyas including (‘atheriiie l)eiicu\c and Isabelle lluppert find tlieiiiselycs embroiled in a murder mystery in the l-‘rench country side. \\'hich of these glamorous women is guilty .’ l’art musical. part whoduiinit with plenty of bitchiiiess. wit and |a\is|i liiiery. l‘llllllitilht‘. lidiiibnrgh. 11’ 09’ 01 - September 11 il2,-\) 0... (Various. l-i'aiice. 2002) l35iiiiii. lilcyen films by renowned international liliii directors that each last I 1 minutes. ‘l seconds and I Name and which reflect their feelings about the its in 'l'owers tragedy l'i'tHli ligy ptiaii director Yoiissel (‘hahiiie's whimsical take on how we sanctity certain dead aboy L‘ others llit’ottgli Kt'li latticli‘s docuiiiciitai'y detailing the e\ciits of l I September l‘)70 when .\iiiei'ica helped l'L‘liio\t' the democratically t‘lt‘cltd socialisl (‘hilean goyei'iimeiit by baiiki'olliiig the l’iiiochet led coup atid funny condemnation ol the media. what this group of directors haye to say is both powerful and in most cases disiiiissi\e oi the party line. (Xiiiico. lzdiiibnrgh Enough t 15) C. (Michael .\pted. 1S. 2003) .leiimler l.opcI. llilly (‘aiiipbelL Juliette Icwis. I l5mm. l.ope/ plays Slim. a

It) .\liios (iilal's c'lt‘H‘l‘

Jack Nicholson’s About Schmidt co-stars wonder whether Jack’ll get an Oscr

leisty waitress who is swept olf her leet by .\litch it'aiiipbell ). who is as handsome as he is charming as he is w ealthy. ‘l‘hey moyc into a big house. get hitched and lia\e a kid. Bliss. l'iitil Slim discoyei's the hard way that hubby is a wife beater Slim eyeiitually decides that. yep. enough is enough. 'l’liis is where the liliii. thus tar largely belieyable and reasonably compelling. becomes li'ankly ridiculous. Realising that she needs to confront her abtisei. Slim become a ninia illltl .tllt‘llipls [0 kill her liltiii. .'\ L'ttsc‘ ill ltiti much and not enough Sli(‘. ll.tllllllt)ii. Everest tl') i\‘ai‘ious. l'S. 2003) Min tbc. l.\l.'\.\ big screen presentation. [\l.'\.\. (ilasgow.

eXistenZ t l5) 0.. il)a\ id ("roiiebeig l'S. Itititii Jennifer Jason l.cigh. .ludc law. laii llolm. 03mm. When an assassination attempt is made on Leigh's celeb \irtiial reality games designer. ‘s security man goes on the Ian) with her. \Vhilst hiding out in the outback of who knows where the pair play |.eigl‘.'s latest game and before they know it can‘t tell the difference between what's real and w hat's

\ irtiial any more. (‘roneiiberg's tackled this theme before. and unlike lit/t iii/runny t.\'i\ti ii/ feels half-baked. l’robably would hay e worked better as a lit I/ie/il /u/it' style short. l'iliiihousc. lzdiiiburgh.

The Fallen Idol it’(;) 000. i(‘ai'ol Reed. (is. 1043) Ralph Richardson. .\lichellc .\lorgaii. Hobby lleiirey. miii. Restored and re~issued print oi (‘arol Reed‘s classic (irahaiii (ireenc adaptation about a case ol adultery entangled with a iiiiii'der. lidinburgh l‘ilm (illlltl. lidinburgh.

Gangs of New York I Is) 0..

i.\l.ll'llll Scorsese. LS. :lllill l.eonardo l)i('aprio, ('anieron l)ia/. Hamel l)ay- is. lob'min. Thirty years in the making and plagued with production problems. Scorsese‘s long cherished liliii about the brutal street gangs who fought tor control oi a corner of late nineteenth New York ('ity finally ai’i'i\cs. and lb\ a big tll\.ipptillillllt‘lll. The most noticeable flaw is that Sctil\t‘\t"\ L'lltli'ls it) lt‘ll an epic \ltit'). which encompasses piototypc mobsters. the immigrant esperience. racism. corrupt politicians and the ('i\ ll War. are seriously undei'iiiiiied by a lhiiisy i'oiiiaiitic subplot in\ol\ iiig l)i(‘aprio's street urchin and l)ia/'s purse siiatchei Jim has the unwanted iesiilt oi coiiipi'omisiiig a iascinatmg history lesson with teen pleasing romantic nonsense. ‘l'hink (imn/le/lm meets IIIiHIIt. lint ey en .i poor liliii by Scorsese' standards is an interesting one by anyone else-s. .\litl ll litil’ lit) tillit‘l' reason. (nutty ls worth seeing loi l)ay l.ewis' tow ermg performance as the tciiity ing. chaiismatic anti iiiiiiiigi'atioii gang leader Bill the liiitchei (ieiieial ieleasc