DEREK CIANFRANCE Born 1974 Background Cianfrance first picked up a movie camera at the age of 13. He studied film production at the University of Colorado under avant-garde filmmakers Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. He wrote, directed and edited his first feature film, Brother Tied, which played Sundance in 1998. He has also made several documentaries on prominent musicians and bands for television. What’s he up to now? Cianfrance spent the past decade writing and rewriting over 60 drafts of Blue Valentine, his second fictional feature film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The movie is about a couple in the final throes of their relationship as they slowly drift apart. These sequences are juxtaposed against sequences of the couple getting together and falling in love. Gosling has just been recommended for a Golden Globe for his subtle performance as a man unable to stop his relationship sliding towards ruin. What he says about Tom Waits ‘I just love him. I love Tom Waits. The movie is named Blue Valentine as homage to him. I remember the first time I ever heard Tom Waits was on a hotel room in Dallas, Texas when I was 18. I saw that Hot Tracks show they used to have on TV and they had some clips from Frank’s Wild Years on there and he was just the best; he’s got so much soul.’ On long-term relationships ‘My inspiration for the film was what happens over time. We’ve seen love tragedies before; we’ve all seen Romeo and Juliet where two people at the peak of their love die. We see it in Titanic. We see it time and time again, but I’ve never met anyone in my life who has had that good romantic fortune to die at the peak of their love. I’ve met a lot of people who 5 years, 10 years, or 30 years later in the case of my parents couldn’t do it anymore, and what happened in that time.’ Interesting Fact He has AMIGO tattooed on his hand as a reminder that he must take responsibility for all his own actions. (Kaleem Aftab) Blue Valentine, selected release, Fri 14 Jan. 50 THE LIST 6–20 Jan 2011

Films screening this fortnight are listed below with certificate, star rating, credits, brief review and venue details. Film index compiled by Paul Dale ✽✽ Indicates Hitlist entry Abel (15) ●●●●● (Diego Luna, Mexico, 2010) Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Karina Gidi, Geraldine Alejandra. 85min. See preview, page 45, and review, page 46. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The American (15) ●●●●● (Anton Corbijn, US, 2010) George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten. 104min. Assassin Jack (Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside following an attempt on his life. He befriends a priest and a prostitute who try to convince him to change his ways. Meanwhile, however, his pursuers are closing in. Simplistic and effective cinema from Control director Corbijn. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. An Ordinary Execution (15) ●●●●● (Marc Dugain, France, 2010) André Dussollier, Marina Hands, Edouard Baer. 105min. Claustrophobic chamber drama imagining a version of Stalin’s last days in 1950s Moscow and his encounter with a young female doctor (Hands) reputed to have a particular gift. Adapted and directed by Dugain from his own novel. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. Animals United (U) ●●●●● (Reinhard Klooss, Holger Tappe, Germany, 2010) Voices of Ralf Schmitz, Thomas Fritsch, Christoph Maria Herbst. 92min. Well- meaning but cliché-ridden German animation for very young children with an environmental message that we humans should respect our planet and fellow creatures more. General release. Animals United 3D (U) ●●●●● (Reinhard Klooss, Holger Tappe, Germany, 2010) Voices of Ralf Schmitz, Thomas Fritsch, Christoph Maria Herbst. 92min. See above. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow. Arthur and the Great Adventure (PG) ●●●●● (Luc Besson, US, 2009) Selena Gomez, Freddie Highmore. 93min. Arthur answers Princess Selenia’s cry for help and is caught by the abominable Maltazard. General release.

The Battle of the Sexes (U) ●●●●● (Charles Crichton, UK, 1959) Peter Sellers, Robert Morley, Constance Cummings. 80min. Edinburgh-made film after the style of the Ealing comedies. An accountant’s (Sellers) quiet existence is disturbed by the arrival of an American ‘Efficiency Expert’ (Cummings). St Bride’s Centre, Edinburgh.

✽✽ The Big Sleep (PG) ●●●●● (Howard Hawks, US, 1946)

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers. 114min. See Also Released, page 48. Part of Howard Hawks season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Blue Valentine (15) ●●●●● (Derek Cianfrance, US, 2010) Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams. 114min. See review, page 47 and profile, left. Selected release. A Box of Delights (U) (Various, Various) 66min. A selection of award- winning animated shorts chosen by the British Animation Awards for children and families. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Burlesque (12A) ●●●●● (Steve Antin, US, 2010) Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming. 119min. Run-of-the-mill implausible sequinfest featuring Aguilera as a small-town girl who quits her waitressing job to make it as a singer and is taken under the grizzled wing of former dancer (and failing burlesque club owner) Cher. More than faintly ridiculous and an ill-advised directorial debut. Selected release.

✽✽ Catfish (12A) ●●●●● (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, US, 2010) Megan Faccio, Melody C Rosher, Ariel Schulman. 87min. A skilful contemporary fabulist work from young filmmakers Joost and Schulman, following Schulman’s artist older brother and his burgeoning online friendship with the family of a young fan. Blurring the line between true documentary and cinematic hoax, the true nature of the piece remains unclear but it’s an intriguing and a thoughtful critique. Cameo, Edinburgh. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore 2D (U) ●●●●● (Brad Peyton, USA/Australia, 2010) Voices of James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate. 82min. Hairless sphinx cat Kitty decides to enslave humans. Likeable but instantly forgettable sequel to 2001’s live action adventure Cats & Dogs. Cineworld Parkhead, Glasgow.

Chatroom (15) ●●●●● (Hideo Nataka, UK, 2010) Aaron Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard. 97min. Based on a play, this cyber-thriller stars Johnson as William, an author’s son who creates an alternative world online where a group of other teenagers come to share their thoughts and egg each other on, with predictable results. Foreboding and surreal, but lacking in insight. Selected release. Chico & Rita (15) ●●●●● (Javier Mariscal/Fernando Trueba, Spain/UK, 2010) Mario Guerra, Limara Meneses, Eman Xor Ona. 93min. Beautiful Spanish adult animation relating the bolero romance of a young aspiring pianist and fledgling singer who fall in love in 1940s Havana and later meet again as their careers take them across the world from Paris to Hollywood. Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 2D (PG) (Michael Apted, US, 2010) Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton. 112min. Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Keynes) Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace (Will Poulter), where they meet up with Prince Caspian (Barnes) for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, and warriors before reaching the edge of the world. CS Lewis’ saga adaptation continues. General release. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D (PG) (Michael Apted, US, 2010) Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Tilda Swinton. 112min. See above. General release. The Coal Road: The Journey of Coal in Bo’ness (E) (UK, 2010) 90min. Documentary made by a local community group about the coal industry in Bo’ness, from Roman times to the present day. Hippodrome, Bo’ness. Collapse (15) ●●●●● (Chris Smith, US, 2009) 82min. See Also Released, page 48. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Conviction (15) ●●●●● (Tony Goldwyn, US, 2011) Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver. 106min. See review, page 46. General release. Despicable Me 2D (U) (Pierre Coffin/Chris Renaud, US, 2010) Voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand.

The Princess and the Frog

Undoubtedly one of the best animated feature films to have come out of the Disney studios in the last few years, this stunning old school (ie hand drawn) fairy tale set in Jazz era New Orleans is a must on the big screen for children and parents alike. These two weekend morning screenings may be your last chance for a while to catch it where it belongs at the cinema. Grosvenor, Glasgow, Sat 8 & Sun 9 Jan.