3A6 GUY (18) 103M|N «o

More sexual terrorism, ultra violence and hesitant misery from those nasty new boys on the block of South Korean cinema. Even by this gang's gut slashing standards, director Kim Ki duk is something of an outsider. His previous film The Isle (2000) notoriously made viewers scream, vomit and pass out at its Venice premiere, such was the scale of its unapologetic barrage of genital mutilation and animal cruelty. This time Kim leaves the lakes and drives into the city - a city of sin.

Mute thug Han-Ki (Kim's favourite actor, the strangely Mongolian looking Cho Jae-hyun) kisses nice

Cho Jae-hyun is The Bad Guy

middle class girl Sun-Wha (Seo Won the Neanderthal beast. Her timing is corners of urban inhumanity does,

kim) in a park in front of her boyfriend because she is trying to ignore his stalker stares. Time reveals that Sun-Wha is a bit of a kleptomaniac and up to her neck in


loan sharks and eventually to a window position in the brothel that Han-Ki co runs. Obsessed with the

sex (and indeed lose her virginity)

through a two way mirror but guess Sonatine). This occasionally incoherent scream into the darker

what? This fragrant flower falls for


Whether there .vas a cryng need for yet another fr'rr‘ yersro AEW Mason's 190‘. mean to lllil)(3ll£ll|8ll‘ rs debatable There have been no fewer than fl‘yt? prevrous r.rersror1s. although Zoltan KOrda's 19139 adaptatzon strll rergns suprerr‘e. lndran-born drrector Shekhar Kapur. who East revrsrted Englrsh hrstory rn hrs second frlrrr E/r/abeth ra prece of quirky revrsronrsrn \.-.=hrch he descrrbed as ‘the colonres' revenge'r. sets out hrs agenda farrly early on by castrng a thorougnry contemporary eye upon the morairty of the proc 3edrngs.

Ourttrng hrs reg'rr‘ent rather than frght rn the Sudan. Harr‘, Fevershan‘ Heath Ledger: rs grver‘. four feathers. a syrr‘bof of cowardrce. But later he n‘usters resoive. drsgurses hrrrwseif by gorng trrtdt—2r'(:o\.'er as an Arab and embarks on a secret agent rrrrssron to rescue hrs fellow soldrms. More :mportantly. he needs to wrn back the respect of hrs best par. Jack Durrance rWes Bentley}. and hrs glrl. Ethne lKate Hudso'rl.

So what's new? Screenwrrter Mrchael Schrffer follows the Mason novel very clt se to the letter. However, rr‘stead of romantrcrsrng Hare, "s brave plunge rnto an arren culture. Kapur trres tr broaden the hrstorrca! pempectrve through the rntroductron of a new character. Abou Fatnra leIll‘Oll HOunsour. an Afrrcan mercenary warrror and all who wrlr become Harry 's passport .nto understandrng the rari‘rfcat'or‘s of hrs countrymen's actrons.

Full of faux gung-no rrrxperralrsn‘. The Four Feathers :s beautrfully n‘ctrnted. though. and so full of antrgue charrr‘. strff uppm lrps and rousrng actron exudzng at trrr‘es the battle weary charm of Zu/ur. rt rs drffrcult not to embrace Kapur's take on thrs venerable old war horse. An Illft)l'(?SSl‘~. e addrtzon to the colonral niovre roster. rchhard Mower

Antique charm and stiff upper lips

32 THE LIST 3—1 7 Ju £3.75

crap, though, as Han Ki is about to be dragged into a full scale gang war are certainly some very inventive initiated by some of his disgruntled

Kim isn’t going to win any awards debt, 3 road that leads straight to the for originality, though it would probably be fair to say that along with hard-core porn, he draws huge pretentious though. If nothing else, it chunks of influence from Jean girl the quiet man watches her have Cocteau (especially La Belle et la Béte) and Takeshi Kitano (noticeably for Kim’s next cinematic outing.

however, have its moments. There

things done with sliced mirrors and bits of paper, while Kim’s control of the busy street scenes highlights an ease and fluency in his directorial

control. It is all fairly obnoxious and

has certainly set the hyperbolic taste bar one notch lower in preparation

(Paul Dale)

I Selected release rtrrr‘ Hr Ja"

Confederate commendations


In thrs prequel to Gettysburg. the even longer 19913 Amerrcan Crvrl War ep:c by wrrter drrector Ronald Maxwell. Stephen Lange plays General Stonewall Jackson a devout relrgrous man defendrng the South from the rnvadrng Yankee Army. Hrs story rs rntercut wrth that of the thoughtful and dedrcated er—zute'rant Colonel Chamberlarn rJeff Daniels; from the North

As produced by Southern hrppre tycoon Ted Turner who has a cameor. the frlrn rs heayrly slanted to the Confederate srde and carrres wrth rt all the rncumbent complex guestrons such assocratrons brrng abOuI.

The frlm. however. struggles to overcome rts soap opera productron values. A cast of xrllrons can't drsgurse the (:orrrr_)rorrrrsed sets and costumes. and Maxell's screenplay sermonrses and werghs the frlm down horrrbly from the yen; begrnnrng. Only Danrels and Mrra Somno las Chamberlarn's wrfe. Fannyl emerge ‘.‘.*llh therr drgnrty Intact. Robert Duvall Creaks beneath hrs makeup made up to look ancrent as General Lee. who was actually only rn 1861 ».

Maxwell's attentron to detarl rs r.-.'orth commendrng. as are hrs astcnrshrngly grrpprng battle scenes. But lrke those bushy moustaches. thrs COuld really do wrth a trrm. a ciean and a good waxsng rchh Cirner

‘fH'E‘iN LAWS (12A) 95min .0

“vs 's not the star‘, at M straw Douglas ed a \‘.ersh ass. :‘u‘ld watts of photos. t‘-..‘tt.‘*1ert‘.lv.etfr'l fear at Po", Talhot's youth a. has. and gets to”: .tl‘rr‘tll a sheeer anatu'n. tr, hrs Tom Jones l'Tll‘t"f§\‘Tl,lIlTltl trrother rr: ’av. That 'rrrtlllt hape bet-n funny Instead. we bane a had remake of an Arthur Hillel 18%") comedy. that rs nat even as good as. feet T'reParer‘fs The rzarrrng of Mrrihael Douglas and Albert Brooks as personalrtv clashrng father rn laws rs raped of all (:omrt: potentral by a preposterous plot rn y‘rhrch they try to forl a closet homosexual arms dealer's attempt to buy a stolen submarrne Wrth whrch to ply hrs crrmrnal trade

Boring old men . . . bonding

Then half way through The /rr-[_.'rws. the fabulous Candrce Bergman turns up as Douglas ex-ere and electrrfres proceedrngs as a Buddhrst convert wrth an rnsatrable sexual appetrte. Yes please. more. more, more. but the frlm only uses Bergman to tease us sporadrcally about how good thrngs mrght have turned out. The rest of the frlm focuses on two borrng old men tryrng to be tough guys whrle bondrng rn convoluted and downrrght stuprd Srtuatrons. A dud. (Kaleem Aftab)

I Genera/ re/ease from Fr/ 4 Ju/