FILM new releases

Viewers both small and large will enjoy the, ahem, cat and mouse chase

Stuart Little (PG) 92 mins A a r

If \(‘tl eriioyerl the animated antics Of the Kiotl Bradley Tom And Jerry you ll find moments Of laiviiliar (lt‘lltilil in Stuart l/tt/e. Live at tum With a (omputer generated tilllJlit)lllt)ll‘»f’\1()|((‘(’t)y Michael J. FOX, (fl iliierloi Roh '7/rt.’ L/Olt King’ Miriloll s adaptation of EB. White's (liiltfiens' hook sees the sweet w rodent orphan being adopted by the little family tbeena DaVIs, Hugh lame and (liilrf star Jonathan Lipnicki). \leltometl into the home Of the lxldllllfllldllllt‘s, Stuart's ("l‘l‘lt‘llls hegin With a new nemesrs, tlii- iiimiii-spiiited, inappropriately- 'iaiiir'rl family (at Siiowbell (v0iced by Nathan lanel iiw message of the film is clear as the




little guy With a big heart attempts to find a place called home in the giant- sized World, and during his adventures discovers the meaning of family, loyalty and friendship. Fair enough as far as that goes, but of more interest to Viewers both small and large will be the, ahem, cat and mouse chase routines between Stuart and Snowbell. It‘s all very nice when Stuart finds a new brother in Lipnicki’s somewhat sporled George, but it's much more fun to see the mouse locked in the washing machine by the deVious cat. Story brushed aside, speCial effects are a prime concern With this kind of film. In that department Stuart Little holds its own against the likes of kiddies' blockbusters such as Toy Story 2. (Miles Fielder) I General release from Fri 30 Jun.

Cinema with inverted commas, but Godard's irony is hard to pinpoint

A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) (15) 90 mins e if 'v *' llaie you pass up the chance to see the rlehiit feature of one of the world’s most ‘,I(]illfl(.8lll filmmakers7 Even at tlw, early stage of his career, Jean-Luc (illllilHl was playing With form (the jump (iit‘, With the audience's some of identification, and observmg lll', at tois’ behavrour as readily as rlit latiiiri it

lhe film". story is Simple and Wilfully

plariiaiist Mir hel “(‘ill'l—Pt‘iUl Belmondo) alimtl, a man dead on the road from tttaiueillei. to Paris, hiims around the (aortal With the lovely Patrima (Armenian, Jean Seherg) and never

il|l()\.\.‘» the fart that he's on the. lam to nitriitle on his (()()I demeanour.

Hll'. l‘, ileaily (iiiema Willi inverted mmmas, but where 'larantino, Guy ititrliie and, yes, even the often

28TH! “ST 27 lth b Jul 7000

innovative Coens have mollycoddled their audiences With knowmg references and ironic gags, Godard’s irony is harder to pinpomt, leavrng the Viewer never knowmg what to take seriously, and What to find a source of amusement. Godard himself turns up as an informer Willing to shop his film’s hero.

By the same token, how are we to take Michel’s sniggering contempt for ugly hitchhikers, or Patricia's betrayal of Michel? Godard’s film never plays it safe, and yet this is as safe as the provocative, perplexing Godard would ever get; as close to a crowd pleaser as his stern aesthetic would allow. If Godard remains a filmmaker you’ve never got to grips With, then here is a good place to start. For those familiar, a great place to return.

(Tony McKibbin) I Edinburgh: Fllmhouse from Thu 6 Ju/.

l The Last September 1 (15) 104 mlns * * i Not content with a vast clutch of { theatre awards, The Last September l sees acclaimed director Deborah Warner (winner of an Oliver Award for her 1987 production of Titus l Andronicus) make the transition from stage to film. Adapted by John Banville from Elizabeth Bowen’s novel, the film , charts the end of British rule in Ireland 5 through the eyes of the aristocratic Naylor family. The conflict between the IRA and the Army creates a stifling atmosphere for budding debutante Lois (Keeley Hawes). Still,

Bowen's novel is awkwardly realised

her coming of age credentials (simpering girliness and overbearing guardians) are pretty much perfect, and her passage to womanhood is made easier by the

attentions of a couple of rival suitors.

Unfortunately, Bowen’s vision is awkwardly realised in celluloid. Once the book's

1 pages of description have been distilled from action, there’s little left apart from a

tangle of unspoken tensions. To compensate, there's the tactical addition of sex

~ and violence, but this jars with the overall muted tone. While SlaWomir Idzrak’s

I lavish cinematography is beautiful and imaginative, the visual foraging into the

autumnal landscape seems laboured, padding out rather than enhancing the film.

f As costume dramas go, it‘s respectable enough, but given Warner’s reputation for ' innovative spin on canonical works, it’s something of a disappointment.

(Judith Ho) I Selected release from Fri 23 Jun.

. Once Upon A Time In

The West (18) 168 mlns s s s i

The spaghetti western has been parodied so often since its emergence in the 19605 that it’s often easy to - forget that it was a serious and

worthwhile approach to filmmaking in its time. Here We have a new 7 Cinemascope print being shown of one of Sergio Leone’s best films, Once Upon A Time In The West, to remind

us of What it was all about in the first place.

Parodied but never battered

Although the pace of the film occasionally dips into the soporific, there’s no denying the skill With which Leone builds suspense through knowrng looks,

background nOise and crafty camera work. This is most evident in the wonderful 1 opening scene in Which three bad guys are waiting for a train and the inevitable

shoot out that Will ensue.

Elsewhere, the stunning backdrop of the wild west and Ennio Morricone’s eerie

soundtrack mean that Once Upon A Time in The West is a film that both looks

and sounds gorgeous. Add to that the inspired casting of Charles Bronson and

especially Henry Fonda as the main protagonists, and all the usual western

themes (good versus evil, the taming of the wilderness, revenge etc), and you've i got yourself a damn good film on your hands. (Doug lohnstone)

I Edinburgh: Fi/mhouse from Thu 22 Jun.

3 Be and the Mat . (15 103 mlns * ir 1r ’Lets get ready to rumble.’ The popular image of American Wrestling is that of over-the-top performances from pumped-up bad actors. Beyond The Mat does nothing to dispel this. A documentary on wrestling is almost a contradiction in terms, since the Whole ’sport' is based on entertainment and the fabrication of reality. ln the words of Vince McMahon, the charismatic head of

This 'sport' Is a fabrication of reality

the billion-dollar World Wrestling Federation, wrestling is ‘all about making


Yet director and narrator Barry W. Blaustein, better known for writing Coming

To America and The Nutty Professor, talks about wrestling With the eager anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve. He focuses on Wrestling heroes at the

end of their careers, cult figures such as Mike Foley, Terry Funk and Jake 'The

n pantomime. (Kaleem Aftab) 5 I Selected release from Fri 30 Jun.

Snake’ Roberts. And through his obsession, Blaustein discovers the conundrums that beset the wrestlers away from the glare of the bright lights and cameras. There’s no need to be a fan of American wrestling to enjoy Beyond The Mat. Blaustein concentrates on the idea of peOple living out dreams rather than the life of a wrestler, and in so doing succeeds in showrng the brutal reality behind the