FILM new releases

Aimed squarely at under-tens with no saving graces for adults

Thomas And The Magic Railroad

(U) 79 mins (adults)


Unlrke recent anrmated frlrns such as Toy Story 2 and Chrcken Run thrs adaptatron rs armed squarely at an under-ten audrence, wrth no savrng graces for accompanyrng guardrans Whrle chrldren erI be Iapprng up the tale of Thomas The Tank Engrne ardrng The Conductor (Alec Baldwrn) agarnst the evrl Dresel tram, accompanyrng guardrans wrll be wondermg what happened to the classrc serres narrated by ango Starr. Surely rt was never thrs Juvenrle'

Harder to fathom rs the lack of effort made to anrmate the trams and grve them character Mouths do not move when characters are talkrng and expressrons only change when the

camera pans away and back. It seems that for the anrmated trarns, frlrnrnaker Brrtt Allcroft has worked to the same budget as she drd prevrously wrth her TV serres. Even more brzarre rs the appearance of Peter Fonda as the grandfather lamentrng over hrs past farlrngs.

That’s enough about the golden oldres. For those under-tens, Thomas And The Mag/c Bar/road erl be a great way to spend a school holrclay afternoon. It rs set up on the same premrse as Chrtty Chrtty Bang Bang, except that rnstead of a car rt rs a rnagrcal tram that must be used to defeat the dastardly foe The krds help solve the rrcldle Wrth the help of The Conductor's nephew, Junror (Scottrsh actor Ivlrchael E. Rodgers), who takes the step from delrnguency rnto manhood. (Kaleem Aftab)

General release from Frr 74 Jul.

, r-r ‘0

Contains the magic and warmth of an addict's high

Jesus' Son (18) 109 mins

Junkre sagas tend to make appallrng frlrns (Rush, The Basketball Drarres), but occasronally a frlrn about drugs (Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy) can contarn somethrng of the rnagrc and warmth of an addrct's hrgh. Jesus" Son rs such a movre.

Fuckhead IBrlly Crudup) rs a lrkeable young bum rn 70' Iowa Wrth a roarrng drug problem, a crazy grrIfrrend (Samantha Morton) and a consumrng need to help everyone he comes across, usually Wrth drre consequences Hrs redernptron frnally comes rn the form of sobrrety

Elrzabeth Cuthrell and Oren Ivloverman, the wrrters of thrs wonderful scrrpt, understand the number one rule of frrst person Junkre tales. the Jellyhead’s mrnd rs not the

32 THE LIST 6- 20 Jul 2000

most ratronal of places so not everythrng has to make sense Structured Irke a confessronal Journal, the narratrve shunts back and forth rn trrne and plays fast and loose wrth perspectrve and realrty rt's grcldy and funny Drrector Alrson MacLean's (Crush) control of mood, pace and a great wacky cast (Denrs Leary, Holly Hunter, Dennrs Hopper, Jack Black) rs startIrng She belongs to the dreamy realrst school of Jane Campron, Alrson Anders and Van Sant, but her work rs shot through Wrth the passronate hobo sprrrt of underrated 70s rndre outcast Jer/y Shat/berg (Pan/c ln Need/e Park)

Thrs soulful clrary of a 'head’ rs everythrng the grossly contrrved Trarnspottrng was not' rntellrgent, playful and full of brg-hearted love (Paul Dale)

GlasgoW‘Gf-T Eclrnbur‘gh Fr/mhouse from Frr 7 Ju/_

Beau Travail (15) 90 mins An rrnagrnatrve reworkrng of Herman Melvrlle's novella Br/ly Buclcl, Sar/or, Beau Travail sees wrrter-drr'ector Clarre Denrs relocatrng the source rnaterral from the 19th century Brrtrsh navy to the present-day French Forergn Legron

In Marserlle Sergeant Galoup (Denrs Lavant) recalls the events that lead to hrrn berng forced to leave the corps Posted to a remote outpost rn Drrboutr, East Afr‘rca, hrs affectron for hrs hardened cornrnanclrng offrcer rIVIrc'hel Suborr becomes threatened by the presence of the handsome, well- lrked legronnarre Sentarn (Car‘egorre Colrn). Fuelled by Jealousy and repressed desrres, (Jaloup hatches a scheme to remove the newcomer

Slrpprng between past and present, memory and r'ealrty, Beau Travar/ unfolds wrth lrttle recourse to dralogue Instead, Denrs concentrates on the seernzngly porntless rrtuals dr'rlls and chores of mrlrtary lrfe frllrr‘g the screen wrth sensual rrnages of the men performrng therr guasr-balletrc routrnes agarnst the yrs/rd backdrop of sun-blasted landscapes Vzlonderfully photographed by crnematographer Agnes Godard, and x'xrth Denrs skrlfully rncorpor'atrng a dryerse soundtrack everythrng from Benrarnrn Brrtten opera extracts to Corona", 'Rhythm Of The Nrght' by stay of Nerl Young th:s rs a x'york frllecl s'rrth beauty, sadness and mystery Islesrner'rsrng frlmmakrng Ilorn Dans/son» I Ec/rnburgh lr/rnl'rouse from In [/1 Jul, Glasgow (1H from Fr‘r prevrew

' 3,2" , é a Memory and reality in the Foreign Legion

‘8 Jul See

A Monkey's Tale (U) 76 mins Provrng that anrmatron wrth a message doesn't have to be sc 'nmaIt/y, thrs Brrtrsh-made feature uses tradrtronal hand-parnted Images and a stack of household names to create a truly charrnrng A monkey cornrnunrty torn apart by post- earthguake floods re-burld therr shattered lrves as best they can Some flee to the treetops \‘uhrle others salvage \what's left on the ground, and many years later they forget they ever knew each other Decades pass and susprcron, rgnor'ance and prerudrce breed hatred (ha'rge fnally comes rn the form of a loveable rogue who falls from hrs branch rnto the arms of the enemy, and rnnocently guestrons the regrnae

The obwous parallels between therr monkey ‘.'~.'orld and our human one extend beyond the realms of DNA rnto the narr'o\.*.I-rn:nde<l brgot'y \.'.'lrrch frncls rts way rnto any large cornrnunrty But don't let the prospect of a lesson rn polrtrcs put you off, preachrng rs the last thrng on thrs mos/res mrnd Wrt" a scrrpt penned by Norman Iludrs, the man behrnd many a Carry On frlm, the (rarogue rs at turns humorous and dark, helped along by the vocal talents of John Hurt, Mechael York, Rrk Mayall and f.rlr( hael ()(tItIlMHI among others «Kelly Apferr I General release from l-‘rr / Jul

Love And Basketball (PG) 122 mins

Produced by Sprke tee and (MN ted by frrst trmer‘ Grna Pr‘rnce-Blythet‘yood, thrs rs a gem about hoe. to keep true to your arnbrtron and to your love at the same warmth and rrrtellrgence, thrs frlrn really makes you characters, from the moment eleven- year-old Monrca steps up to challenge new nerghbour Ourch on a basketball court, through to then pre-adolescertt frrst krss, and the sex, love and conflrct of therr adult lrves

It's Monrca's battle to be taken serrousry as an athlete that grves the frlm rts femrnrst rarson d'etre, though all the xxhrle the loxe story rs gather‘rng force The guestron of whether a grrl rn love can be uncorrrpromrsrng about her career, and of whether she should, see'ns real, and the gender—based drfr'erence m the experrenc e of Monrc a and Ourncy doesn't smac k of exagger'atron

Qualrty actrng from Sanaa lathan and Omar l‘pps ensures that th:s frlrn rs about rnclrvrduals rather than rssues Humorous ar‘d soft—hea'ted t'rorn the outset, lore Alif/ Basketball pulls out all the rorr‘.antrc stops to hate as io‘.rng the love as we} as cheer'rng the feelgoocl sport factor rIIannah IrresI I General release from lrr / Jul


At turns humorous and dark

trrne Marked by real

care for Its

Marked by real warmth and intelligence