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Ikateriria Dlrir'i‘,)v’£ti’ill "use "feat" seems to be ‘ailirtg The edible see": dexoted to one another. ,et Ficer is reluctant to te'l her about his politiCai beliefs or the tr-ps he makes abroad for .vork, CDUlCl he be Spying to" the BOISi’lQ/WS er might he be in the pay of the Nazis?

Setting up a contrast bet the urbane dialogue and the .‘./l’_iF:' upl’ieaials depicted in the clips of period newsreel footage. Rohmer cleverly blends comic irony and tragedy in this portrayal of a man fatally over-estimating his own influence and ability to shape events. It's an undeniably dialogue-heater film. but the performances are assured and it's shot and directed Willi elegant simplicity (Tom Dawson)

I Filmhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 3 Dec. GFT. Glasgow from Fri 70 Dec.


After the sleeper success of hit book The Curious /ncrdent of the Dog in the Night Time comes the inevitable Yankie issue mowe featuring a protagonist With Asperger's Syndrome. Albert Burroughs' (Troy Garityl speCial trick is that he can understand fish and this enables him to become a champ fishennan. He pulls in some prize earnings but his over-protective mother Edna (Debra Monk) still inSists that he works as a copy boy for local convenience store owner Mr McNally (Bruce Dern). and there is not much done to hide the fact that he has a speCial relationship with Albert . . . so far, so Rain Man.

That is until Albert's mum is killed and the film ventures into the murder mystery world of the Coen Brothers' Fargo. Prime suspects are the attractive Tuey (Alison Follandi. who literally tries to screw Albert out of house and home. a travelling salesman Jerry James (Randy Ouaidl who claims to be Albert's natural father and Mr McNally. wanting to liberate Albert from his shackles.

The trouble With established producer Allan Mindell's (Bodies. Rest and Motion. Bed of Roses) first film as director is that the plot is telegraphed so early on that the mystery starts dissolving. and all that is left is for the film to meander towards its ultimater unsatisfying Hollywood ending. (Kaleem Aftabl I Selected release from Fri 3 Dec.

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flOlT‘i US Cinemas before h‘. f:- No.ember And no .‘xcnde': Af‘leck shames himself b, mugging like Jerri, Lewis On steroids though a .tirliirtius set—up that implies him payg James Gandolfini and Catherine O'Hara 8250.000 so he can spend Chrstrhas: With their tarnile who nos, limo -ii the house that Affleck gre‘s. up in This Dreamworks production plays stupider than it s0unds_ with Affleck and Gandolfini singing carols together. and O'Hara ending up as internet pom On her son's computer. Tasteless.


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INSIDE I’M BELGIUM GUSTAVE DE KERVERN talks about his remarkable new film AALTRA, a film about two disabled men who hit the road.

miserable and utterly flaccid. l. Christmas truly lines up to reputation as the last turkey in the shop iEddie Harrison

I Genera’ release fro'ri P .i‘ Dec.

‘There were two main ideas behind Aaltra. Benoit (Deléphine - Aaltra's co- writer and co-director) had the notion of making a road movie with the characters in wheelchairs. And we both wanted to go and see the Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, because we love the way he lives and works.

‘Benoit and me took the lead roles in the film, because of our lack of money, in fact none of actors in Aaltra were paid. We’re not really actors ourselves, so we don’t mind what angle we’re shot from. We don’t have any ego or vanity, which can be a problem with famous actors. A lot of people do say though that their favourite scene in Aaltra is one we’re not in, where the guy sings ‘Sonny’ in a biker bar.

‘People think we’re Belgian, but we’re actually French. The film is funded by Belgian money and it’s Belgian in spirit we think Belgian people are funnier than French people, and there are lots of our Belgian friends in the movie. There’s Noel Godin, the guy who threw a custard pie in the face of Bill Gates, there’s Robert de Haux, the anarchist who brought the Belgian stock exchange to a halt, and there’s Benoit Poelvoorde, the director of Man Bites Dog. The English actor Jason Flemying had been working on a film with our producer Vincent Tavier. Jason said that he loved Belgian movies, so we gave him the role of a

motocross rider.

‘We only had a script of 30 pages, because we wanted to leave lots of room for improvisation. We always shoot the film in black and white because it makes things sad and beautiful and mysterious. It also meant that we didn’t have to worry about make-up or whether there

were any wine stains on our shirts.

‘At the beginning we weren’t even sure that the film would be distributed in cinemas, but we got to make the movie we wanted to make without constraints, and we’ve shown it in lots of different countries. Handicapped people have told us that they loved Aaltra, because it’s the first film they’ve seen that treats the subject of disability without sentimentality. For us it was a great satisfaction to meet Aki: for the last scene when we were with Aki and his actors, who are his friends, it felt like we were in one his movies.’

(Interview by Tom Dawson)

I UGC, Glasgow from Fri‘ 3 Dec and Filmhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 7 Jan


Film new. 5 and giveaways i‘o' beautiful cineaste types

I ‘Tis the season for film seasons, and best of the lot is Akibiyori, a showcase of contemporary Japanese cinema at the Filmhouse, the highlight of which has to be the mighty sci-fi epic Casshem (pictured). Other great festivals to look out for this yuletide include the Korean Film Festival (Filmhouse, 10-16 December), the Amnesty International Film Festival (Filmhouse 4-9 December) plus an all month Woody Allen season at the CCA, Glasgow and lots of great Christmas films at both the GFI’ and the Filmhouse. See index and listings for more information.

I Boo hoo it's the last two Blue Rooms of the year. but they're gong to be monsters. Edinburgh Mediabase's shon film showcase returns to the Cameo at 6.30pm on Monday 6 December with yet another progyamme of the freshest shorts around. The line- up includes Marc Craste's award- Winning animation Jo Jo in the Stars. As a bonus on Thursday 16 December at the Cameo The Big Blue Room brings together the audience vote Winner shorts of 2004. Both of these notOiisly enjoyable gigs are USUally packed out so book your tickets early 013i 228 4141. £3.50 ($2.50).

I Also, don’t miss Mediabase’s Diverse Screen Showcase. Eight short videos produced by 08 participants will be screening at the Filmhouse on Friday 3 December 3pm.

I Finally. congratulations to all the winners at the Scottish BAFTAs. especially Napier University graduate Simon Hynd. who scooped the Best Short Film award for his excellent film Tumshie MacFadgen's Bid for Ultimate Bliss. which will be screened on 8801 on 7 December.

.zv " be: THE LIST 61