home country. before being withdrawn by the authorities who objected to the way it satirised Islamic clergymen. The title character Reza, endearingly played by comic actor Parviz (Parvis) Parastoie (Parastui). is a career criminal who escapes from a Tehran jail oressed as a mullah. Arriving at a border town. he's forced to pretend to be he new leader of the local mosque. where he's expected to lead the prayers and conduct sermons.

Peyman Ghassemkhani’s broadly amusing screenplay enjoys playing around with audience expectations of how a haji should behave. whether it's Reza head-butting a local criminal or attempting in his restricting garments to chat up a beautiful young divorcee. (In true Carry On style she's invariably chaperoned by an old crone.) And there's a running gag about Quentin Tarantino. who's mentioned in a late- night TV show and who's later described as “the great Christian filmmaker‘. But beneath the slapstick and one-liners lies an undeniably moral film. which preaches a comforting

Credits roll. we're reminded of a repentant Reza's belief that 'there's no one in this world who doesn‘t have a path to reach God'. (Tom Dawson)

I Film/rouse. Edinburgh from Fri 22 Jul (until Thu 28 Jul only).


There's a serial killer on the loose in the woods near the remote US woodlands town of Shallow Valley. As a sheriff and his deputies pack up a discontinued police depot. a strange. da7ed boy covered in blood enters their station for no apparent reason. Disturbed Sheriff Jack Shephard (Timothy V Murphy) thinks this has something to do with his inability to save a young woman from being killed the previous year. but the truth is more universal and a lot scarier than he thinks.

Bad dialogue. creaky acting. unruly Characterisation and a distinct feeling of deja vu marks this interesting. if very derivative. horror which seems to have been sewn together from off-cuts of

Assault on Precinct 73. Victor Salva's Jeepers Creepers and scraps of early Craven (noticeably The Last House on the Left). So in essence this is either mildly diverting or tedious. depending on your opinion of those films.

But Shallow Ground is not without its merits. Director Sheldon Wilson clearly knows what he is doing in terms of setting up moments of Suspense and those good old—fashioned jolt out of y0ur seat moments. Also John P larver's cinematography is cleverly referential to that of Luciano Tovoli (Suspirra, Teriebrae). and there is an incredibly satisfying amount of gore. (Paul Dale)

I UGC, Renfrew Street. Glasgow from Fri 29 Jul.

message of divine forgiveness. As the


(PG) 114min 0...

Following his flawed remake of Franklin J Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton’s announcement that he was remaking Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a way which would appease fans of both Roald Dahl’s book and the 1971 musical starring Gene Wilder was always one to be treated with trepidation. And yet somehow everything comes up smelling of rose scented chocolate.

Burton quickly introduces us in his own quirky manner to the four children, Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry) and Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb) who will battle it out with poor boy Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore) for Willy Wonka’s ultimate grand prize hidden deep within the labyrinth of his chocolate factory.

When it comes to creating environments through set design, Burton has few peers. Whether it is kitsch houses in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, a gothic city in his Batman films, or the symmetrical kaleidoscope lawns in Edward Scissorhands, there is always magic with his architecture. In Charlie, Burton outdoes himself and it’s the inside of the chocolate factory and its

Raimi's The Evil Dead. Carpenter's

community of singing Ooompa-Loompas that scintillate. The candy room that first greets visitors is like a Takeshi Murakami painting. The invention room is in the vein of the sets Ken Adam used to design for Kubrick, the nut room looks like the top of a lollipop and best of all is the TV room containing references to 2001, Planet of the Apes and Psycho. This is entertainment for all ages.

In casting Wonka - a lonely anti-hero Tim Burton turned to serial collaborator Johnny Depp to fill the mighty Wilder’s boots. Looking like a new romantic pop star, Depp is on inspirational form. His Wonka has a fear of germs and has unknowingly taken on the worst traits of his estranged father (Christopher Lee). In the major addition to this version, there is a backstory shown in flashback that centres on Wonka’s own childhood, explaining how he came to love chocolate and became a weird recluse. The device works well, but not everything does. The songs may be more true to the book, but they’re far more dated than the 1971 musical ditties. Also Charlie, despite being portrayed well by Highmore, is too tediously goody- goody to be truly likeable in this day and age. Occasionally it lacks warmth because of the emphasis on style over substance, but these are minor gripes. (Kaleem Aftab)

I General release from Fri 29 Jul. See feature. page 20.

Film news and giveaways for beautiful cineaste types

I Don’t miss the special charity gala premiere of Richard Jobson’s A Woman in Winter at 7.15pm on Thursday 18 August at Vue Cinema, Edinburgh. A Q&A with Jobson will follow the film. Tickets cost £10 each from www.myvue.com or 0871 2240 2410. All proceeds go to FSU Scotland, which works with some of the country’s most vulnerable children and families. I Vue cinemas is also hosting the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival 2005 between Saturday 30 July and Friday 5 August. Visit www.sohoshorts.com for more information.

I Kinofilm Manchester International Short Film Festival wants Scottish entries before the Sunday 31 July deadline. Call 0161 2882494 or email kino.submissions@good.co.uk for information.

I See the Clydebank Town Hall be transformed into a 19403 picturehouse for an evening of newsreel footage and war movies at 7.30pm on Thursday 4 August. Tickets 23 on door. Call 01389 608 042 for details.

BEST Willi FILMS mm Cl.ll..l.E€jilllfll-li "’ H The List has three copies of the War Collection DVD box set - which includes The Longest Day, Behind Enemy Lines and Enemy

at the Gates - to give away. To

be in with a chance of winning one, send an email marked ‘WAR COLLECTION’ to promotions@list.co.uk before 1 August. Usual List rules apply.

FIGHT Gilli? {ll/ll

m Knuckle down for a ringside seat with this lovely new DVD edition of David Fincher’s great 1999 movie. For a chance of winning a copy, send an email marked ‘FIGHT CLUB’ to promotions©list.co.uk before 1 August. Usual List rules apply.

21 Jul—4 Aug 2005 THE LIST 47