Exam (15) ●●●●● (Stuart Hazeldine, UK, 2009) Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox. 97min. Eight strangers prepare to sit a test together, competing for a top-secret, high-level position. As this tense, claustrophobic mystery unfolds, it becomes clear that the stakes are high both inside and outside of the exam room – but just what is the real test, and the nature of the all-important appointment?. Cameo, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Exit Through the Gift Shop (15) ●●●●● (Banksy, UK, 2010) 85min. See review, page 44. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cameo, Edinburgh. Extraordinary Measures (PG) ●●●●● (Tom Vaughan, US, 2010) Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell. 105min. Ford and Fraser add some high-powered star wattage to Vaughan’s otherwise formulaic medical drama about a father’s desperate attempt to save his children from a potentially fatal disease. Inspired by an article written by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Geeta Anand, as well as her subsequent book, Extraordinary Measures*. General release. Fargo (18) ●●●●● (Joel Coen, US, 1996) Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H Macy. 97min. Hoping to make some bucks, a car salesman attempts to have his wife kidnapped by hitmen, but blood is quickly spilt. As the pregnant police detective on the case, McDormand provides a warm-hearted centre for the movie, while the absurdist plot and weird local colour gain momentum. A classic. Scotsman Screening Room, Edinburgh. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (18) ●●●●● (Russ Meyer, US, 1966) Turana Satana. 83min. Three go-go dancers release their tensions by driving sportscars through the desert and behaving aggressively towards men. Classic Meyer cult-trash. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow.
●●●●● (Mia Hansen-Love, ✽✽ The Father of my Children (15) France/Germany, 2009) Chiara Caselli, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Alice de Lencquesaing. See review, page 46. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow; Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Film Discussion Group Swap opinions and perceptions of both art house and big blockbuster recent releases. Held on the second Wednesday of every month. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. Fish Tank (15) ●●●●● (Andrea Arnold, UK, 2009) Katie Jarvis, Kierston Wareing, Michael Fassbender. 122min. Living in a small flat on a sprawling Essex council estate with her single mum (Wareing) and younger sister, angry and aggressive 15- year-old Mia (Jarvis) finds herself inexplicably drawn, with disastrous results, to her mother’s new boyfriend, the confident and seemingly kind Connor (Fassbender). A brilliantly displaced portrait of our underclass, one that asks us not to moralise but to find beauty in the consumptive. Miss at your peril. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cineworld Fountainpark, Edinburgh. 44 Inch Chest (18) ●●●●● (Malcolm Venville, UK, 2009) Ray Winstone, Tom Wilkinson, Ian McShane. 94min. When car dealing old lag Colin Diamond is told that his beloved has met someone else, the ensuing fallout leads to lover boy (Melvil Poupaud) being locked in a cupboard while the East End’s finest cogitate on revenge and murder. The pleasures are incidental or theatrical and the plot is thin and largely meditative. As such, the film ultimately disappoints. Odeon at the Quay, Glasgow. Fourteen (15) (Hiromasa Hirosue, Japan, 2006) Hiromasa Hirosue, Akie Namiki, Teruyui Kagawa. 114min. Atmospheric Japanese drama about a schoolteacher who resists the authoritarian approach taken by her colleagues, to devastating effect. Part of Girls on Film season.Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Freestyle (12A) ●●●●● (Kolton Lee, UK, 2010) Lucy Stanhope, Arinze Kene, Wolfgang Mwanje. 85min. Director Lee’s second feature (first was 2005 romantic comedy Cherps) was made under the auspices of Film London’s Microwave scheme, which also produced Shifty, stars
48 THE LIST 4–18 Mar 2010
Lucy Stanhope as Ondene, a young woman who falls for freestyle basketball player Leon Chambers (Kene) against her mother’s wishes. Cameo, Edinburgh. From Paris with Love (15) ●●●●● (Pierre Morel, France, 2010) Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Travolta, Kasia Smutniak. 92min. Following on from his surprise action hit for Liam Neeson in Taken, Morel comes a cropper in his latest venture by teaming Rhys Meyers and a shockingly bald Travolta for the usual run-of-the-mill Parisian race-and-chase espionage pot boiler. General release. Gallivant (15) ●●●●● (Andrew Kotting, UK, 1996) Gladys Morris, Eden Kotting. 104min. Director Kotting takes his grandmother and daughter around the entire coast of mainline Britain, catching various eccentrics en route and charting a growing relationship across the generation gap. Villages and seascapes whiz by at high speed as Kotting concentrates on the mundane and the incidental, but allows a delicious sense of silliness to perk up interest. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. ✽✽ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (U) ●●●●● (Howard Hawks, US, 1953) Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn. 91min. See Also released, page 46. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow; Filmhouse, Edinburgh. German Plus Rain (15) (Satoko Yokohama, Japan, 2007) Yoshimi Nozaki, Peter Hyman, Suzune Fujioka. 71min. Part of Girls on Film season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (18) ●●●●● (Niels Arden Oplev, Sweden, 2009) Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Peter Haber. 152min. See review, page 46. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. ✽✽ Green Zone (15) ●●●●● (Paul Greengrass, US, 2010) Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson. 114min. See review, page 45. General release. Hachiko: A Dog’s Story (PG) ●●●●● 93min. See review, page 45. Cameo, Edinburgh. General release from Friday 12 Feb. Head On (18) ●●●●● (Fatih Akin, Germany, 2005) Birol Ünel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck. 120min. Akin’s ferocious, sexually-charged tale of the ill-fated ‘marriage of inconvenience’ between Cahit ( Ünel), a suicidal 40-year-old alcoholic, and Sibel (Sibel Kekilli), a suicidal 23-year-old hedonist, restores one’s faith in grown-up cinema. The deserving winner of this year’s European Film of the Year award. Cinema doesn’t get any more passionate or provocative than this. Part of An Introduction to European Cinema course.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Hotel for Dogs (U) ●●●●● (Thor Freudenthal, US/Germany, 2009) Emma Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, Jake T Austin. 99min. Orphaned siblings turn their new foster home into a dog retreat. Cute family comedy based on the novel by Lois Duncan, undone by lame dialogue and buffoonish adult performances. Empire, Clydebank. House of the Devil (18) ●●●●● (Ti West, US, 2009) Jocelin Donahue, Andre Dussollier, Jean-Pierre Marielle. 95min. Set in the 1980s, college student Samantha Hughes (Donahue) takes a babysitting job only to find that her clients plan to use her in a satanic ritual. Part of Don't Go In The House Night! Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. How to Become Myself (15) (Jun Ichikawa, Japan, 2007) Riko Narumi, Atsuko Marda, Mariko Ishihara. 97min. Coming-of-age drama from the late Ichikawa (Tony Takitani) about two Japanese schoolgirls who struggle with argumentative parents and peer pressures. Part of Girls on Film season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Hurt Locker (15) ●●●●● (Kathryn Bigelow, US, 2008) Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty. 130min. Based on the accounts of a freelance writer who was embedded in Iraq, The Hurt Locker presents an excoriating vision of the war as seen through the eyes of one particularly wired member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD). Bigelow creates an unromantic vision of modern warfare, which is both, muscular and visceral while making us question just how close such heroisms are to lunacy. Selected release. I Love You Phillip Morris (15) ●●●●● (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, US, 2009) Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann. 97min. See Also released, page 46. General release from Wed 17 Mar. Inglourious Basterds (18) ●●●●● (Quentin Tarantino, US/Germany/France, 2009) Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth. 152min. Pitt’s Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his band of Nazi-bushwhacking Jewish- American GIs provide the film’s Dirty Dozen element, but their bloody antics are only one of the plot strands of this multiple narrative romp through occupied France. Plenty of action, a good deal of black humour and a number of superbly staged set pieces. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cineworld Fountainpark, Edinburgh. Invictus (12A) ●●●●● (Clint Eastwood, US, 2009) Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge. 133min. Based on a book by John Carlin, Invictus recounts how Nelson Mandela pulled off the political masterstroke of uniting a racially and economically divided South Africa in support of national rugby team the Springboks, once a symbol of Boer-ish oppression. This has a predictable trajectory but one leavened by minute details about the tedium of governance, ingrained prejudices and a belief that hope will always spring eternal. General release. Jigs on Reel (12) (Ireland) 59min. Irish traditional music on film from the Irish Film Archive of the Irish Film Institute. Featuring Ireland’s first musical film, O’Donaghue’s Opera, and Louis Marcus’ 1967 *Flea Ceoil. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. Julie & Julia (12A) ●●●●● (Nora Ephron, US, 2009) Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci. 123min. Ephron’s film balances eccentric US chef Julia Child’s awkward start in the cookery business in France with a parallel, modern narrative in which Adams plays a ditzy, self-important blogger. Ephron is an accomplished purveyor of light-as-a-souffle filmmaking, and powered by Steep’s winning portrayal as the earthy but sophisticated Child, this succeeds as a classy chick flick. Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh. Kamone Diner (15) (Naoko Ogigami, Japan, 2006) Kobayashi. 102min. Ogigami’s heartwarming drama tells the story of Sachie (Kobayashi), who moves to Helsinki on a whim and opens up a cafe. With the help of two Japanese women travelling through Finland, Sachie slowly builds strong and intriguing relationships with the locals. Part of Girls on Film season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Karthik Calling Karthik (12A) (Vijay Lalwani, India, 2010) Deepika Padukone, Farhan Akhtar, Shefali Shetty. 134min. Hindi drama about an introvert who is painfully in love with his boss. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow. The Last House on the Left (18) ●●●●● (Dennis Iliadis, UK, 2009) Garret Dillahunt, Michael Bowen, Sara Paxton. 109min. This glossy remake of Wes Craven’s scuzzy 1972 rape and revenge shocker thankfully strays from the original’s sleazy path. When teenage girl Mari (Paxton) heads off to score some drugs whilst holidaying remotely with her parents, she falls foul of a family of homicidal maniacs. As before, there’s a painfully drawn out build-up to an extremely nasty rape sequence, and in the aftermath, Mari’s parents turn vengeful. Part of Don't Go In The House Night! Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow.
Greek Film Festival Our bankrupted European friends may be facing a decade of austerity measures but we can still celebrate their cinema – old and new. The year’s festival opens
with Costa-Gavras’ masterful 1969 political thriller Z and ends with Giorgos Lanthimos’ bizarre and brilliant familial drama Dogtooth which picked up the Un Certain Regard award in Cannes last year. In between there’s old and new documentaries including classic Rembetiko (pictured) from 1983, and features to suit all tastes. Ticket deals available. ■ Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Mon 15 Mar-Mon 22 Mar.