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(12A) 108mm 0000

Hardcore Bourne

A deliberately drab alternative to the Union Jack glam heroics of James Bond, Robert Ludlum’s 1986 The Bourne Supremacy was the type of kitchen sink spy novel that comforted weary travellers with painstaking details of the mundane lives of secret agents. Yet spy stories have become considerably more anxious experiences of late, and Doug Liman’s 2002 take on Ludlum’s 1980 book The Bourne Identity met that challenge head on with a fairly taut, stripped- down interpretation that restored a serrated edge to the espionage genre.

Jason Bourne now finds himself travelling the semi-realistic route Bond never dared to take. Last spotted chatting up the beautiful Marie (Famke Potente) in a Greek motorcycle hire shop, ex-CIA assassin Bourne (Matt Damon) has spirited his unlikely companion off to the leafy seclusion of Goa. But their seclusion is interrupted when a multiple murder brings Bourne under the suspicion of CIA chief Pamela Landy (Joan Allen).

A surprising choice to direct this dense but enjoyable caper is Paul Greengrass, who uses the same cinema verite camerawork he used for Bloody Sunday. Simultaneously exciting and nausea-inducing, the shaky-cam is a useful reflection of Bourne’s confused persona, with the result looking like a Bond film shot in a Dogme style. It’s as ugly as an East German urinal block, but somehow that’s exactly right for this material.

Almost anonymous in his own film; Matt Damon’s stoic blankness aptly suggests the mystery of Bourne’s real identity, about which few clues are given. All we really need to know is how good a secret agent he is; when he needs to burn down a house, we don’t see so much as a spark. Bourne covers his tracks in seconds by breaking a gas pipe, followed by a quick shot of him ramming a rolled-up magazine into a toaster. In a knowing, practical way, such small details are more exciting that any CGI explosion could be.

Allen makes a worthwhile adversary for Bourne, and Brian Cox and Julia Stiles both make welcome returns, although a few shock plot twists mean not all of the above will be returning for The Bourne Ultimatum. With the added attraction of a breathless demolition derby on a Moscow motorway that leave you feeling like you’ve just been spat out, there is no denying that this is a fine example of hardcore Bourne. (Eddie Harrison)

I General release from Fri l3 Aug.

lAlvllLY DRAMA AFTER LIFE (15) 104min 00.

There is no denying the emotional honesty and (l()‘.'.’lll'lglll decency of actress. writer. producer and all round luwie Alison Peehles' directorial film debut. It is Just such a shame that this bunch of cliches does not make a better film

May lLllttlS£l\ Diincanl looks after Roberta iPaula Sagei. her 21 -year- old daughter Will) Downs Syndrome. Her other child Kenny (Kevin McKiddi is an ambitious retirnalist with a penchant fOr shagging his art gallery owner dolly bird Ruby (Shirley Henderson) over worktops. He drifts in and out of their lives. always putting the stress of his workload over spending time with his fan“.in But when May discoxers she has cancer. Kenny has to re-exaluate his life. as his mother's only wish seems to be

After life there can be only love

that he alone looks alter Roberta. It's a sweet. tragic tale of

redemption borrowed from a million Radio 4 plays and Barry Levinson's Rain Man. Andrea Gibbs drab. functional. occaSionally emotionally engaging SCreenplay wOrks the familiar material wrth the ease of an

old iakey's shaking hands rolling a Cigarette from a thousand old found butts. The result is at once acrid and unconvrnCing. but Peebles works hard on her cast to compensate. Duncan and newcomer Sage lwho has Downs in real life) are remarkable. McKidd and Henderson are effiCient but the real beauty of the film comes from Peebles' ability to play around the scnpt's obviousness and get her cast to nod towards the unsayable that sometimes people With learning difficulties can be a pain in the arse but life. love and humanity will always lead the way amongst good people. It's a wise. unfulfilled movie. but Gibb has already moved on to better things with the forthcoming Dear Frankie and, Judging from this. there is no dOubt that Peebles has a better movie in her than this. (Paul Dalel

I Selected release from Fri 73 Aug.


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MEMORIES or MURDER (15) 127mm 000

This Korea" anima :‘asea the true stem t"e c \i'itn ’s ‘iist exer Swidl kll 0' ‘8 "t‘ 't‘tlt‘dtl OT ("0 Hei’i.wee.‘.' sac-delve "Wade rx‘r‘ula' t‘\ if'R‘ S :"X‘r‘ ." .mt‘ Mimi‘fi. 30 't’” et a: Est‘lievana suspense, chills. gore and other Ct‘ll‘.t‘lttlt‘lt8 of the serial killer flick. wr'te' airet‘ter Berra Joon-ho instead focuses upon the einotienal impact the investigation (\l a multiple rape homicide case had on the police aetet‘tnes.

Between tzltfo and WW. ten women ranging fron‘ the ages 1;) to 71 were sexualh assaulted and iriurdered in a small town outside of Seoul Detectines were frustrated in their inxestigations. liarth because of the well planned nature of the crimes ithe killer left barely a shred of t"\’l(lt‘lt<‘t? at the crime scenesi and parth because in the late 80s the Korean police were uneduipped to deal with this new kind of crime there was; no profiling system in place nor any notion of preserying a crime scene for l()l(?llSlt‘

Humane retelling of a horribly inhumane series of crimes

analySis. Thus. after a six year manhunt. involVing 3000 suspect interrogations and 300.000 police officers. the killer was not caught and the crime remains unsolved.

Working from these events. Joori-ho heads up his ‘factional' investigation With a pair of mismatched detectives. brawny COuntry COD Park (Song Kang- hol and brainy City cop Seo lKim Sang-kyungi. As the bodies keep turning up b0und With their own clothing in fields. stuffed into water pipes the investigation becomes ever more desperate. and the detectives take the investigation to absurd lengths (in one weirdly funny scene a c0p in drag performs a re— enactment of a crime). What it all adds up to is a primarily humane retelling of a horribly inhumane series of crimes. llvliles Fielder)

I Selected release from Fri 73 Aug.

12—19 Aug 2004 THE LIST 1 1