CLUNY BROWN (PG) 100min
Ernst Lubitsch's famous lightness of touch is all over the final film completed by the master of sophisticated Wit and classy style. Having skewered American society With a series of punchy Hollywood romantic comedies such as
Ni'notchka and The Shop Around the Corner. the gifted German ernigre tumed his attention to pre-war British society with this marvellous 1945 romp. Spunky Jennifer Jones plays the titular plumber's niece. whose unconventional relationship with smooth Charles Boyer's intellectual Czech refugee causes a scandal in polite English society.
Lubitsch's line in satirical commentary on Nazi Germany (most famously exemplified in 1942's To Be or Not To Be) remains in the background here. but snobbery upstairs and downstairs is given a thoroughly enjoyable
going over in this typically smartly script and well-acted classic. Available for the first time on DVD. extras include the original trailer and an illustrated booMet
BANDIT QUEEN (18) 1 15min (Metrodome) 00..
Made in 1994 Shekhar Kapur's (Elizabeth) brutal retelling of the true story of Phoolan Devi. India's only modern day female outlaw is still a compellineg tough watch.
Jailed in 1983 and released in the year Bandit Queen hit cinemas. Devi‘s story is
The latest PlayList invites you to investigate the past, present and future through the remarkable reality tunnels detailed in the work of French film artist Chris Marker. Marker is due to celebrate his 87th birthday this year. If you recognise the name. it might be because Terry Gilliam's popular 1995 thriller Twelve Monkeys borrowed a central conceit from Marker‘s short 1962 masterpiece La Jetée (tinyurlcom/65t9k3). La Jete'e (pictured) is composed almost entirely from still photographs. and tells a fractured love stOry of a beautiful woman and a troubled man sent back to the 20th century from the future to save the world from nuclear catastrophe.
It‘s only one example of a lifetime of cutting edge experimental filmmaking which saw Marker engage in collaborations with fellow provocateurs like the great Walerian Borowcyk; their remarkable and weird 1959 film Les Astronauts (tinyurlcom/Bet2to ) needs to be seen to be believed.
Even without subtitles. Statues Also Die. Marker's collaboration with Last Year in Mar/enbad‘s Alain Resnais. displays a similar feeling for haunting, timeless images (tinyurlcom/thq9u). And even when working with veteran French filmmaker Yannick Bellon in 2001. Marker offered up a typically dry account of photographer Denise Bellon with Remembrance of Things To Come (tinyurl.com/5g5ajh).
If you're beginning to get the hang of Marker’s unique use of cinema as a personal diary. working some 50 years before video-blogging became a popular means of self-expression. viewing his 1982 feature Sans Soleil is an obvious next step to understanding the potential of video-essays; check out a sequence depicting Marker's Visit to a temple in Tokyo consecrated to cats (tinyurl.com/69hq9u). No longer hard to find or expensive to buy. Marker’s films require only your time and patience to blow your mind.
62 THE LIST 2?. May »5) Jun (2008
an emotional and distressing one which Kapur captures With rare sensitivny. For one particular scene of horror which most directors would zero in on. Kapur's camera instead retreats and shows the tranquil domestic life surrounding such abuses - the banality of evil illustrated by formally thoughtful filmmaking. He directs here with elegance and aSSuredness: two ‘regal‘ qualities that w0uld seem to counter the rough and tumble of the material but that work surprisingly well. With a powerful central performance from Seernas Biswas and some truly epic lensmanship from popular Bollywood Cineniatographer Ashok Mehta. Band/t Queen is well worth hitting the trail With. Minimal extras.
ROMANCE: DRAMA A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH
Made immediately after his boisterous Scottish historical romp Sinful Davey. this long lost. now cult. 1969 film was a much more personal project for the great John Huston. Based on Dutch writer Hans Koningsberger's novel. it's a doom-laden love story set against the backdrop of the 1()() Years' War between
14th century England and France. The director's daughter Anjelica Huston makes her acting debut as a French noblewoman who is rescued from a peasant revolt by a wandering student (Assi Dayan). Together, these misfits walk across their war-ravaged country to the sea where death beckons.
The lengthy meditation on mortality is heavy going stuff (and the subject matter is not helped by leaden pacing). but it nevertheless makes for interesting VieWing when put into a late 60s context. when the love and peace dream was souring. and the film's bleak message does. unfortunately. still remain relevant today. Extras include a booklet and behiiid-the—scenes footage With Huston. (Miles Fielderl
(15) 79mins (Revolver) O.
Although a big name now. Vin Diesel couldn't get work before this film was nominated for a Grand Jury Pri/e in Sundance back in 199/". Written. directed and produced by the man of muscle himself. this is half coming—ofage film (Diesel's twenty something character develops more slowly than most it seems) and half vanity project. There is not a woman in the film who isn't immediater turned on by his pea headed. broad shouldered. low key New York drug dealer. and the film never quite finds justification for his charms beyond the fact that the star also penned and directed the project. This is especially a problem when the film is predicated on a
romance between Rick (Diesel) and the Waspish Heather (Suzanne Lan/a). who is sOphisticated and educated when the film wants her to be. and gormless the rest of the time. ln several homages to Taxi Driver. Diesel reveals his influences but also his limitations: there's not much texture to the psychology here. and almost no social context. Watchable. nevertheless. Extras include a ‘making of' documentary.
MYTH/ROMANCE JADE WARRIOR (12) 100min
This potentially fascinating attempt to combine two mythologies: ancient Chinese martial arts With Finnish legend. The Ka/eva/a is. as the blurb tell us. ‘the first ever Finnish martial arts film'. May it also be the last. AJ Annila's sufficiently crafted film details a modern day Finnish blacksmith given the task of opening an ancient cask. consequently releasing Visions that takes him back to ancient China. Can he simultaneously manage to hold together his relationship With his lovely Finnish girlfriend. and is all this delvrng into the past a way of reclaiming her?
With some suitably balletic fight scenes. stunning landscape shots and some master—pupil exposition. this might please those who love the martial arts genre and are looking for a bit of a IWist Within the tropes. but there doesn't seem much drive or purpose here.
Decent selection of extras include “behind the scenes" documentary.