(15) 125min «o

On the road to revolution

Just look at this film’s tagline: ‘Let the world change you . . . and you can change the world.’ God, it’s enough to make you go on a killing spree in an EEC subsidised Peruvian gift shop. The gaining of ideals - whether Marxist or Thatcherite is a hazardous subject for any film or book and Walter Central Station Salles’ big screen translation of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado's early journals certainly falls pray to the potholes in the road.

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal) is 23 and a trainee doctor when he and his 30-year-old friend Alberto (Rodrigo De la Serna, absolutely superb) go on a road trip across Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru to do a medical residency at a leper colony. What starts as a gap year jaunt turns into a series of epiphanies for the young Che who quickly realises that one - he can’t dance, and two - the world is a terribly corrupt and unequal place.

Guevara’s adolescent account of his early voyage of discovery was always

going to be a tough call for any filmmaker and Salles makes as good a stab as

anyone could have. His and screenwriter Jose Rivera’s main problem is how to represent the creation of an ideology in as short a space of time as possible from two books (the other being Granado’s Con el Che por America Latina) where moments of clarity are only ever really hinted at. Still it’s all very beautiful (thanks in large part to Eric Son Frére Gautier’s superb cinematography) and watchable, if a little obvious. (Paul Dale)

I Selected release from Fri 27 Aug.


Alain Corneau often seems a filmmaker for hire. no matter that he frequently works from his own (sometimes co- written) scripts and from books he admires. In his latest. Fear and Trembling. adapted from Amelie Nothomb's best—selling autobiographical novel. Amelie (Sylvie La Captive Testud) is a Belgian woman returning to her place of birth. Japan. Initially there because she feels an affinity with Japan more than with Europe. as Japanese custom subtly reveals itself she’s caught in a crushing culture clash. Working on the 44th floor of a Japanese corporation. Amelie can do no right. as all the skills she possesses (including fluent Japanese) prove irrelevant when she commits faux pas in this office environment.

Corneau captures the learning Curve as Amelie realises just how European she is. but does so in a way that seems antithetical to the subtle culture he wants to show. For example when Amelie's punished. the boss forces her to photocopy endlessly one particular document. This is obvious enough to

The way of the office samurai

the viewer. but there is also Testud's frequent v0ice over telling us exactly that. An approach closer to the distanced perspective of Corneau's best known film, Tous les mat/n du monde. might have worked better. but it's as though Corneau didn't so much want to adapt Nothomb's novel as visually illustrate it as if the vision in the book is bigger than his own. A shame: great filmmakers should never have such respect for the source material. (Tony McKibbin)

I Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Sun 29 Aug.

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iii? ARCHITECT (PG) 116mm 00000

Just what. s .t aco..t architecture t"a‘. makes it sc ICLIICu‘S Arc"? tects are often set-important t‘a'es, and the' debate IS usually arcane Vet in"; hasn't had a gobsmack r‘g e3";‘a..r‘ter t" a" are itspi'i'ig building That spir'taat quality of great architectures c. titu'ea in ths gorgeous fi'm. in '.-.'h .7“ Nathan e Kahr‘ takes a tear of the protects designed b3. his famous tathe'. Louis This is much more than a side site‘s. for architectural tourists: it IS a stunning and uplifting account of one man's search for the truth about his father Kahn senior was HMSIDIIDUSI), fetind dead in the toilets of a New York station when his son Nathaniel was i 1. At the funeral, the boy disco\.'ered he was one of three children. each the secret product of a different mother, Through



(15) 119 min .0

Vin Diesel returns to the comforting arms of director DaVid Twohy and his

one and only critical success cult sci-fi

horror Pitch Black. With the character that made his name escaped convict Riddick.

The original was a simple. tightly executed concept. whereas


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Riddickulous but it looks great

Chronic/es has illusions of grandeur. It Jumps from planet to planet trying to cram three films' worth of ideas into one. so none is ever fully developed. It's a tale of conquering space armies, maXimum-secwity prison planets and Judi Dench (yes. Dame Judy Dench) putting in perhaps the worst performance of her life, In be fair. on the main it looks magnificent and Diesel broods suitably, but this is a

convoluted mess. (Henry Northmore) I General release from 27 Aug.

HORROR PHONE (15) 102min 00

Phones in films are often the medium for the bearing of bad tidings. In writer director Ahn Byung-ki's Korean chiller. the mobile phone itself becomes the instrument of terror. PrinCIple among the telecommunicatioiis (IUVICO'E‘ victims is Ji-won. a young journalist who receives a number of threatening calls followmg the publication of a controversial magazine article. Despite changing her number the calls continue. and when Ji-won's daughter innocently answers one of them

she is possessed by a malevolent force.

If that synopsis sounds familiar that's because Phone lifts its central conceit, as well as a good deal of its plotting. from the Japanese horror hit Pingu. In that film a mysterious Videotape did the rounds. connecting anyone who watched it ‘f/llll an evil spirit that scared its victims to death. Here one piece of modern

technology substituted for another.

Given the similarities between Phone and Pingu. you'd think the former would be easy to follow. It's not. The plotting is so muddled it's hard to make sense of the creepy goings on. Ultimately. it‘s all too unoriginal and therefore predictable to

be effective as a chiller. (Miles Fielder) I Selected release from Fri 27 Aug.

A terror cellphone

26 Aug—9 Sep 290/1 THE LIST 15