old-fashioned musical about a single mother struggling to raise her son on an isolated farm. Having never known his father, the young lad imagines him to be an astronaut and watches the sky longingly anticipating his return. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Magnificent Ambersons (PG) ●●●●● (Orson Welles, US, 1942) Joseph Cotton, Dolores Costello, Agnes Moorehead. 88min. The decline and fall of an American family, told when Welles was at the peak of his cinematic power. Even studio tinkering can’t lessen its impact, as the director takes an ambivolent view of how American life was changed by the industrial age. Unmissable, given the current re-assessment of Welles’ talent as a filmmaker. Part of O For Orson season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Man who Fell to Earth (18) ●●●●● (Nicolas Roeg, UK, 1976) David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry. 138min. An alien searching for the water needed to save his own planet has his powers destroyed by the sinister machinations of a multinational business enterprise. A well cast Bowie gives perhaps his best performance in this dazzling, occasionally obtuse, piece of Roegian sci-fi. CCA, Glasgow. The Men who Stare at Goats (15) ●●●●● (Grant Heslov, US/UK, 2009) George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey. 95min. See review, page 47. General release. Mesrine: Killer Instinct (15) ●●●●● (Jean-François Richet, France, 2008) Vincent Cassel, Cécile De France, Gérard Depardieu. 113min. The early career and criminal gestation of France’s most notorious bank robber and gangster Jacques Mesrine circumscribed in the first of two films telling his remarkable story. Tracing a line from Mesrine’s disillusioning military service during the Algerian war to the beginning of his notoriety in 1972, the first instalment of this epic crime tale is derivative, energetic and hugely enjoyable. Cameo, Edinburgh. Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One (15) ●●●●● (Jean-Francois Richet, France, 2008) Vincent Cassel, Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric. 133min. Part two of Jean François Richet’s epic account of the contrary life and times of France’s most famous bank robber and criminal mastermind Jacques Mesrine. Now in the realm of myth and self-deception, and in following Msrine’s attempts to align himself with more radical political groups and his burgeoning skills as a master of disguise, Richet’s second film unfolds as something more freewheeling and as enjoyable as a good caper movie. Cameo, Edinburgh. Michael Jackson’s This is It (PG) ●●●●● (Kenny Ortega, US, 2009) Michael Jackson. 111min. Compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Jackson as he prepared for his final tour. Unnecessary and largely tedious documentary cobbled together by Kenny Ortega the man who gave us the High School Musical films. General release. Morris: A Life with Bells On (12A) (Lucy Akhurst, UK, 2009) Naomie Harris, Derek Jacobi, Dominique Pinon. 101min. Mockumentary set in ye olde tradition of Morris Dancing about an avant garde troupe. Glasgow Film Theatre. My Best Girl (U) ●●●●● (Sam Taylor, US, 1927) Mary Pickford, Charles Rodgers. 80min. In this silent comedy classic a multi- millionaire’s son falls in love with a stockroom girl, played by the iconic Pickford. A soundtrack will be performed by pianist Jane Gardner. Glasgow Film Theatre. My Home, My Heartache (E) (Trude Haugseth, Norway, 2004) 42min. Norweigan filmmaker Haugseth tells the story of Anne Marge, the oldest of four sisters in a Sami reindeer herder family in Northern Sweden. Although reindeer herding is considered to be a man’s job, Anne dreams of working within the profession. Part of Uralic Peoples - Anthropological Film Festival. Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow.
✽✽ Neuilly sa mère! (12A) (Gabriel Laferrière, France, 2009) Samy Seghir,
Denis Podalydès, Rachida Brakni. 90min. Mocking President Sarkozy’s pompous home-town of Neuilly-sur-Seine, this coming-of-age comedy centres upon a rebellious 14-year-old who is sent to the
swanky Parisian suburb to live with his aunt and uncle. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Night at the Museum 2 (PG) ●●●●● (Shawn Levy, US, 2009) Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson. 104min. Silly but enjoyable sequel to 2006 comedy. Ben Stiller’s night watchman joins characters from the first film in a battle to save the Smithsonian museum. Selected release. 9 (12A) ●●●●● (Shane Acker, US, 2009) Voices of Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer. 79min. A tiny, numerically named cloth doll voiced by Wood is the central figure in this rather exhausting dystopian animation, which never fully succeeds in delivering the emotion or personality required to provoke our empathy. Striking images are here let down by a lack of deeper resonance. General release.
✽✽ Numéro zéro (15) ●●●●● (Jean Eustache, France, 1971) 110min.
Eustache conducts a personal interview with his grandmother Odette Robert, who brought him up in the wake of his parents’ divorce. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Off Ways (15) (Uli M Schuppel, Germany, 2009) Blixa Bargeld, Alexander Hacke, FM Einheit. 95min. Documenting a legendary concert as well as the lives of the musicians, Schuppel’s film chronicles cult band Einsturzende Neubauten’s long and convoluted journey from Kreuzberg to the state-owned factory ‘VEB Elektrokohle’, when the Berlin Wall was still in place. Glasgow Film Theatre. 1 Day (15) ●●●●● (Penny Woolcock, UK, 2009) Dylan Duffus, Chris Wilson. 101min. See profile, page 46 and review, page 47. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. Paper Heart (PG) ●●●●● (Nicholas Jasenovec, US, 2009) Michael Cera, Charlyne Yi, Seth Rogan. 87min. See Also Released, page 47. Selected release from Fri 6 Nov.
✽✽ The Pig (Le Cochon) (18) ●●●●● (Jean Eustache & Jean-
Michel Barjol, France, 1970) 50min. Proffering an appreciation of the farmer’s work, Eustache and Barjol document the process by which a pig is slaughtered and converted into sausage. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Pleasing Ourselves: Artisan Films in Scotland (15) (Various) 94min. Responding to the current Dean Gallery exhibition Running Time, this Magic Lantern curated programme features works by filmmakers and artists whose practices traverse the boundaries of both commercial film and visual art. Selected filmmakers include Margaret Tait, Enrico Cocozzo and Sarah Tripp. Part of Diversions film festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
✽✽ A Prophet (18) ●●●●● (Jacques Audiard, France/Italy, 2009) Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif. 150min. Audiard tells the complex story of a young Arab man’s progression into a position of power during six years inside a corrupt prison. The director proffers an unflinching account of life inside a modern high security jail. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Puccini: Turandot Maria Guleghina stars as Puccini’s beautiful and cruel princess, whose suitors must solve three riddles or be put to death. Franco Zeffirelli’s production also stars Marcello Giordani as smitten Calàf, the first to succeed. Broadcast live as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Cameo, Edinburgh. Ratatouille (U) ●●●●● (Brad Bird, US, 2007) Voices of Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Brad Garrett. 110min. The latest Pixar masterpiece follows Remy the rat (voiced by Oswalt) as he chases his dream of becoming a gourmet chef. This is Pixar at its best, offering audiences both three dimensional images and storytelling with its thoughtful consideration of the relationship between the creative process and friendship. Yet Bird’s colourful production never stints on fast, furious fun, with plenty of sight gags and chases through the streets, waterways, sewers and dinner tables of Paris. Grosvenor, Glasgow.
Rise Fly Fishing Film Festival (E) (Various, 2009) 120min. The only Scottish screening for the world’s largest fishing film festival. Featuring films from Tasmania, Canada and Iceland, the festival aims to expose lesser-known fly fishing destinations from around the world. Dominion, Edinburgh, Wed 18 Nov. Ryan Trecartin – Film Screenings (E) (Ryan Trecartin, US) 105min. Trecartin’s films collapse distinctions between video, internet, television, performance, digital technology and sound. His film I-Be Area, which will be screened alongside Tommy- Chat Just E-mailed Me, relates the intertwined stories of characters who address themes such as cloning, adoption, self- mediation and virtual identities. Tramway, Glasgow.
✽✽ Santa Has Blue Eyes (15) ●●●●● (Jean Eustache, France, 1966)
Jean-Pierre Leaud, Gerard Zimmermann, Henri Martinez. 47min. Determined to buy himself a duffle coat, an unemployed youth takes up a job with a photographer as a street Santa. Part of French Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Saragossa Manuscript (15) ●●●●● (Wojciech Has, Poland, 1964) Zbigniew Cybulski, Iga Cembrzynska, Elzbieta Czyzewska. 182min. Restored print of this outlandish film set in 18th century Spain where aristocrats, officers, rogues and scheming women slip between reality and the supernatural to create a dreamlike puzzle. A favourite film of Jerry Garcia, Scorsese and Coppola, all of who have been involved with the film’s restoration onto this lovely 35mm print. Part of Wojciech Has season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Saw VI (18) ●●●●● (Kevin Greutert, US, 2009) Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Shawnee Smith. 90min. Surprisingly part VI is the best Saw for a good while (certainly trumping the last two chapters). Previous instalments had become mired in their own mythology, but this finally gives the Saw faithful something to sink their teeth into, and Bell once again owns the roll of Jigsaw, a modern horror icon. General release. Shaman & The Sons of Torum (E) (Lennary Meri, Estonia, Various) 83min. Estonian documentary filmmaker Meri’s short film Shaman looks at the shamanistic practices of the Nganasan people, whilst The Sons of Torum documents a 3000-year-old Khanty ritual – the bear ceremony. Part of Uralic Peoples - Anthropological Film Festival. Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow. Shorts (PG) ●●●●● (Robert Rodriguez, US, 2009) William H Macy, Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short. 88min. 11-year-old Toe Thompson (Bennett) gets hit on the head by a mysterious rainbow-coloured rock, and soon his neighbourhood is swarming with tiny spaceships, crocodile armies and much more. Slyly anti-corporate kiddie caper with an able cast and fun digital effects. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. The Soloist (12) ●●●●● (Joe Wright, UK/US/France, 2009) Robert Downey Jr, Nathaniel Ayers, Catherine Keener. 117min. Wright makes a splashy stateside debut with this true-life drama about an unexpected friendship between world-weary LA journalist Steve Lopez (Downey Jr) and homeless musician Nathaniel Ayers (Foxx). This isn’t a bad effort, but it falls well short of the greatness it clearly aspires to. Dominion, Edinburgh. Son of a Lion (15) (Benjamin Gilmour, Pakistan/Australia, 2007) Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad, Niaz Khan Shinwari. 92min. In the Pakistani tribal weapon-manufacturing village of Darra Adam Khel, a young boy defies his father’s wishes of carrying on the family gun-making business by demanding an education. Glasgow Film Theatre. St Nicholas Church (15) (Frank Beyer, Germany, 1995) Barbara Auer, Ulrich Matthes, Daniel Minetti. 138min. Unrest in Leipzig at the end of the 80s culminated in the Monday Demonstration and led to the final days of the GDR. In this film, these dramatic events are seen through the eyes of a single family. Part of Fall of the Wall season. Glasgow Film Theatre; Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Starsuckers (15) ●●●●● (Chris Atkins, UK, 2009) 103min. See Also Released, page
Index Film 47. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh. Stormbreaker (PG) ●●●●● (Geoffrey Sax, Germany/UK/US, 2006) Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, Bill Nighy, Alicia Silverstone. 93min. Young super spy Alex Rider (newcomer Pettyfer) battles villainous billionaire Darrius (Rourke). The dark Bond-esque series of books which inspired the film have a healthy, anti-Harry Potter vibe, which gets lost in translation. There’s some redemption in the form of callous MI5 boss Nighy and a Q-style cameo from Stephen Fry and there are a few passable action sequences, too. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Stranger (PG) ●●●●● (Orson Welles, US, 1946) Edward G Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles. 95min. Welle’s third film chronicles Wilson (Robinson), from the Allies War Crimes Commission, as he patiently stalks a former Nazi, now a teacher in a small Connecticut town. Part of O For Orson season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Sublime is Now: An Evening with Jeanne Liotta (15) (Various) 83min. Working with both film and video, American artist and filmmaker Jeanne Liotta explores the cosmic landscape at a curious intersection of art, science and natural philosophy. A comprehensive screening of Liotta’s works will be followed by a Q&A with the artist. Part of Diversions film festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (18) (Bradley Beesley, US, 2009) 90min. Documentary filmmaker Beesley ducks behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. CCA, Glasgow. Tabu (PG) ●●●●● (FW Murnau, US, 1931) Anna Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu. 90min. Murnau’s last film – made partly in collaboration with documentarist Robert Flaherty – tells of a young Tahitan girl, earmarked for a sacrifice ritual, who falls in love with a pearl fisherman. Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
Luke Fowler, The Way Out – A Portrait of Xentos Jones (in collaboration with Kosten Koper) (detail) DVD, colour and b/w, sound, 33 mins. Courtesy of The Modern Institute © the artist. National Galleries of Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland (No. SC003728) 5–19 Nov 2009 THE LIST 51