Catherine Hardwicke in her debut film explores the territory so brilliantly essayed by Larry Clark in his seminal kids: the life of a dysfunctional teenager in modern day America.

Like Clark, Hardwicke employed a young co-writer and star for the film, one Nikki Reid. Interestingly Reed throws in self-mutilation on top of the already coarse themes of sexual abuse, child neglect, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and theft. Thirteen tries too hard to shock and ultimately fails to live up to the raw narrative genius of Clark’s film, but it is nonetheless a sensational look at the flip side of the American dream, a place of diseased celebrity iconography where J-Lo can be a role model, while the humble and kind are left wanting.

Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) is a nubile Lolita, an apparently innocent child who wants nothing more than to lose the tag of innocent child. She craves the riches and glamour of a ghetto fabulous lifestyle that she is force-fed by the media. Intriguingly, Hardwicke celebrates these influences with a sleepless camera that is constantly searching for

of its subjects.


Part deux of Lucas Belvaux' hot shots. For those who have not been listening, this is the half way point of French filmmaker and actor Belvaux' brave. clever. hugely ambitious trilogy of films which link together the lives and perspectives of several different characters living in the town of Grenoble.

The first Trilogy film was a political thriller detailing the hard bitten story of escaped left wing terrorist Bruno (Belvaux); in this film (originally titled Un Couple epatant/An Amazing Couple) Bruno gets to take a back seat as, in the foreground is the crazy. hysterical relationship of Gecile and Alain Costes (Ornella Muti and Francois Morel).

They are the couple from the first film who own the log cabin, and as we enter their private world we realise how bad these two middle age petits bourgeoisies are for each other. She is a hot blooded Italian. who loses her temper at the drop of a hat. and he is a mixed up hypochondriac. who simply cannot tell his wife the truth about the fact that he thinks he may be dying. What unravels is a wholly unnecessary but hilarious farce in which the incompatibility of the way both these characters communicate enters them both (but Alain mostly) in to a web of madness. slapstick and deceit. The main characters from Trilogy: One are now reduced to playing subsidiary roles to these two crazy bampots. Delicious stuff with ripe. well pitched performances all round. A necessary treat. (Paul Dale)

I Selected release from Fri 28 Nov

Un comédie matrimonial hysterical

material items to define the lifestyles

Tracy’s eventual seducer, however, is no Humbert Humbert but Evie (Reid), the most popular girl in seventh grade who seems to have it all: nice clothes, tattoos, a rebellious nature and the adoration of all her classmates. Tracy buys herself into Evie’s affection by stealing a purse and sharing the windfall and pretty soon they are inseparable. Evie’s payback is to help her new friend Tracy turn from innocent child to

The youth in revolt in Thirteen

rebellious teenager.

Hardwicke adds weight to proceedings by showing how Tracy’s dedicated mum Melanie (Holly Hunter) is helpless to prevent her daughter’s rebellious turn. This mesmerising, visceral trawl through pointless youthful rebellion probably takes its lead from Dennis Hopper’s queasy, disturbing Out of the Blue (1980). Like that film Thirteen is both unforgettable and oddly reactionary. (Kaleem Aftab)

I Selected release from Fri 5 Dec.



(15) 123min O...

After Life or Trilogy: Three. as it has been renamed for UK distribution. is easily the most austere and difficult to drop into of Lucas Belvaux' trilogy of films.

This is the conclusion of the fun ride and this time we are focusing on the intimate drama that is being played out between policeman Pascal (Gilbert Melki) and his morphine addicted wife Agnes (Dominique Blanc). We have. of course. spent a little bit of time with these two before. Pascal is and was the vindictive copper on the trail of Bruno (Belvaux) in the first Trilogy film. and Agnes was and is the woman who offers Bruno protection in the chalet of her neurotic friend Cécile (Ornella Muti). This time we focus on the heartbreaking reality (or is it?) of a wife who has forced her legally bound husband to forage around the back door of drug dealers for most of their married life.

This sad tale of a love perverted. lost. gained and almost lost again serves as a corrective to the comic hysteria of the previous film and the mean-eyed noir of the first. Belvaux paces this intimate study with deliberate longeurs to reflect the passing of time for a junkie, and the excitement of the previous films is suddenly put into perspective (of perspectives) as just an aside in the flawed. tragic love st0ry of two fundamentally decent human beings. As with all three of the films this is serener performed and energetically shot. Breathtaking, rich and intrinsically humane; Our time is done here. (Paul Dale)

I Selected release from Fri 5 Dec

Trilogy: Three, and now the party is over



Rachael (Laura Fraser). a headstrong medic. returns to the island she despises to care for her supposedly dying father (Tom Bell). It emerges that she has been hoodwinked by Rafe (Callum Blue). an old flame who wants her back. but the chance to discover the truth about her missing mother keeps Rachael from leaving.

Fraser on the set of Devil’s Gate

First penned by Australian author Trevor Todd ten years ago. and set in a remote outback community. Devil's Gate was relocated to an imaginary Scottish island by veteran British stunt co-ordinator Stuart St Paul. Much fuss was made of St Paul's decision to film on Shetland; he was the first director to do so since Michael Powell in 1938. Unfortunately. in leaping continents. all credibility has been left behind.

In a deSperate bid for authenticity. St Paul throws Shetland's fire festival into the mix, but pOrtrays an island peopled by Londoners and extras from Eric the Viking. ASpiring to be a Highland Twin Peaks, Devil’s Gate is actually Closer to The Monarch of the Glen on angel dust.

The erratic Bell is at his most self-indulgent. Fraser spends the duration praying for her agent to call while Blue adds some himbo prettiness.

Dreary and repetitive. this is no match for Powell's sublime The Edge of the World. (Matt Lloyd)

I Out now on selected release.

27 Nov—1 1 Dec 2003 THE LIST 37