TEAR JERKER THE NOTEBOOK (12A) 123min 00.
Nick Cassavetes continues his infatuation with unconditional love. The Notebook, just like his three previous efforts. Unhook the Stars. She So Love/y and John O. may give you a cavity with their overly sweet protagonists utterly devoted to that significant other. But unlike his earlier efforts that share an edgy independent tone with the oeuvre of father John Cassavetes. this film is made in the great traditions of the Hollywood weepy. Frank Capra would be proud of the way Nick Cassavetes pulls at the heart strings as James Garner's Noah tries to jolt Allie's (Gena Rowlands) failing memory by recounting a tale of love from her youth. The story he tells is set around World War II and is relayed in flashbacks with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams both excellent In their roles as young lovers
A triple ply tissue job
trying to break through class dIVIdes and McAdanI's disapproving mother (Joan Allen). Based on Nicholas Sparks" novel. the film jumps between the two eras. cleverly using memory as the trigger to show how love can conquer all. Have tissues at the ready. (Kaleem Aftab)
I Selected release from Fri 25 Jun. See Into/View. page 27.
THINK PIECE ORPHULS’ SORROW
Film critic Tom Dawson looks back to the daddy of all documentary feature
films, THE SORROW AND THE PITY.
‘It destroys myths that the people of France still need,’ was the verdict in 1969 on Marcel Ophiils’ documentary film The Sorrow and the Pity by Jean- Jacques de Bresson, the head of the television station which had helped fund it but which had then refused to screen the completed version.
But The Sorrow and the Pity did gain a limited cinematic release and helped force the French nation to re-examine its traumatic experiences during the Occupation of World World ll. Interviewing survivors from the town of CIermont-Ferrand and incorporating government propaganda material, Ophiils shattered the myth of le Resistancialisme, whereby the entire nation had supported the exiled De Gaulle and had opposed the German occupiers. While some did bravely resist and others actively collaborated, the majority, the attentistes, carried on with their everyday
lives and waited for the war to end.
Perceptions of the documentary genre were also overturned by The Sorrow and the Pity. This four and a half hour interrogation of myth and memory saw Ophiils posing awkward moral questions, with his interviewees allowed their own detailed testimonies. Unwittingly, he paved the way for Claude Lanzmann’s Holocaust magnum opus Shoah and also for ambivalent fictional treatments of the Resistance such as Louis Malle’s Lacombe Lucien. What’s humbling here is the realisation that as the former British prime minister Anthony Eden observes: ‘If you haven’t been through the horrors of an occupation by a foreign power, you have no right to pronounce upon what a country does which has been through all that.’
I A new print of The Sorrow and the Pity will be screened at the Gl-T. Glasgow on Sat 3 and Sun 4 Jul. See review, page 29.
HORROR JU-ON: THE GRUDGE (15) 91 min 000
Once there was a house. something happened there . . .
And it is happening here again with a variety of different characters (social workers and schoolgirls mostly) falling foul of the ghosts of a small boy and his mother.
Told in criss-crossing sections. each one following a different victim and jumping back and forward along its own timeline. Ju On has much to recommend it. The grainy opening leaves you instantly unsettled — a state from which the filmmakers never allow you to veer too far. Also. the use of sound is exemplary.
But there are some inherent problems. DeSpite its lack of numerals in the title. Ju-On is in fact the third film in director Takashi Shimizu's series (the fourth was released across Asia at the beginning of this year and number five is in post production). And this is the
28 THE LIST 2/1 Jun—8 Jul 2004
Ghostly goings on
major obstacle (certainly over here anyway) because if you haven't seen the first two films you will really struggle to understand what is happening as intrinsically this is just a series of set pieces based on an assumption of past knowledge. Heavily influenced by Nakata's Ring and Dark Water, this influence at times resembles blatant plagiarism. (Gordon Eldrett)
I Selected release from Fri 2 Jul. See page I I for two—for-one ticket voucher to see this film.
HIP HOP FLOP YOU GOT SERVED (PG) 94min 0.
This movie rehashes territory Visited In Breakdance and Beat Street. in which street gangs of urban youths square off on the dance floor to prove their masculinity. This Is like watching one long music video and perhaps that is not such a bad thing. because the leads Omarion and Marques Houston were obviously chosen for their dancing rather than acting skills. Boy. can they shake their funky things: the dance sequences are awesome but the weak InultI-cliche plot Is aimed squarely at an audience recently out of their diapers and who have not yet got bored Wlth MTV. (Kaleem Aftab)
I General release from Fri 25 Jun.
i Shake that booty, child
CLONING HORROR GO (15) 102min 0
Paul and Jessie Duncan (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca ROll‘nlJlt Stamos) are blue collar parents struggling to bring up their seven-yeaI'—old son Adam In a poor neighbourhood. When the unfortunate moppet dies in a car accident. their grief Is interrupted by saturnine genetics expert Dr Richard Wells (Robert de NIrO), who strokes his beard, rolls his eyes and generously offers to bring their son back. On the baSIs that this demonic doctor doesn't actually have Visible hooves or horns. they agree. hoping that his return from the land of the dead \Nl“ be a rOutIne surgical procedure. But when he turns eight. Adam 2.0 starts to exhibit strange characteristics. and soon he's experiencing Slipknot video-style flashbacks and chasing his mother around with an axe.
Perhaps it's appropriate that a horror flick about cloning should be a derivative affair. but Nick Hamm's thriller is so clearly copied from Pet Semetary and The Sixth Sense that it suffers badly in cornj'JarIson. From the ludicrous car crash. complete with Dukes of Haz/ard-style flying car. to a wildly Incoherent finale that appears to have been edited together from out-takes. this Hamm-fisted effort is a lunatic farrago beyond redemption. Return to sender. (Eddie Harrison)
I General release from Fri 25 Jun.
My name is Louis Cyphre not it’s not it’s Dr Richard Wells