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Films In 1997

Twenty-five year-old Tommy Hudler (David Arquette) is the quintessential boy next door: salesman of residential burglar alarm systems with a smile that conveys nothing but honesty. His boss, Heinrich Grigorpis (Stanley Tucci) is forever formulating schemes for underhanded sales strategies. Tommy ... Read more
An alarm clock rings, awakening our hero, the bell boy. Then, mad panic as the bell boy tries to make it to work on time. A small gem, with superb cinematography, production design and music propelling the story towards it's conclusion - a pay off as satisfying as it is simple. ... Read more
Just when you thought if was safe to be a miserly, exploitative, conniving Montgomery Burns-style CEO... Michael Moore is back! A giant by reputation as well as physical presence, Moore first made his indelible mark on cinema with the hilarious but incisive Roger and Me, an attack on the mass ... Read more
One of the many chilling moments in this superb lo-lo-budget documentary occurs when a veteran US marshall reluctantly admits that there are residents in his Nebraska jurisdiction that do not consider people with any differences (race, religion, sexual persuasion) as human. This twisted hillbilly ... Read more
Based on Patrick McCabe's contemporary literary masterpiece, The Butcher Boy tells the story of 12 year-old Francie Brady, a boy whose near-fantasy world adventures with his best friend Joe differ markedly from the brutality of his real life in a small Irish village. His father, Benny (Stephen ... Read more
The sea, a field, a room. Memories, boundaries, observations, observers. A woman tries to make sense of her life whilst struggling against inner turmoil. Forces from within and without work upon her, propelling her forward into the clarity and calm of the outside. ... Visually striking sets and ... Read more
The final instalment in Tony Gatlif's gypsy trilogy, The Crazy Stranger follows 1993's critical and box office winner Latchmo Drom and Mondo (1995). Stéphane is a handsome young Parisian musicologist travelling through a remote region of Romania in search of a legendary singer he hopes to record ... Read more
The Eel (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 1997) balances comic tragedy and drama in its telling of the rehabilitation of Takuro, released from jail after stabbing his wife eight years previous. In the outside world he remains largely uncommunicative, except with an eel he found while in prison ... Read more
In just twelve months of beautifully edited archival footage, Bill Morrison constructs a sparse and poignant narrative to remind us of how powerfully cinema taught us to see the world afresh. The result is an essay on the origins of cinema, birth and creation, desire, longing and loss, history ... Read more
Robert Carlyle - forever etched in most moviegoers' memories as the psychopathic Begby in Trainspotting - is a jobless steel worker, Gaz, who dreams up an outrageous scheme to pull himself and mates out of the personal and financial doldrums of long term unemployment. Gaz is first seen trying to ... Read more
On his sister's wedding day, Sweet William returns to his rural Nova Scotian home after a ten year absence. He left as an obese, unhappy and closeted teenager; now he's a thin attractive and openly gay man. His family, however, are as troubled as ever. Encrusted with generations of family secrets ... Read more
A scathing but subtle attack upon the time-honoured British bloodsport institution of the fox hunt. Opting to do without a judgmental narration, director Niek Koppen allows the subjects of his powerful documentary to reveal their snobbery, outmoded values and xenophobia in their own words. Hunt ... Read more
Winner of numerous awards - including European Discovery of the Year - The Life of Jesus is startling and masterful. Freddy and his pals are unemployed, perpetually bored and, apart from their scooters and the souping up of an old Peugeot, are without direction or ambition. Like a low-powered biker ... Read more
The year 2059, Christmas eve. 3000m below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean a huge water ship floats past. The lighted portholes draw us into its mysterious interior. Jack Stenberg wakes from a nightmare about drowning and makes a desperate decision - he must find a way to escape his incarceration ... Read more
Victor Bukowski (Douglas Henshall) is an out-of-work actor with a lousy agent and a chronic communication problem with directors. His life is lurlher complicated by the fact that he is still in love with his ex-girlfriend Sylvia (Lena Headey), who's set to marry tomorrow. Desperate, Victor shames ... Read more
Jafar Panahi has once again utilised the services of youthful Mina Mohammed Khani, the utterly charming young thesp whose talents made The White Balloon the most popular feature of MIFF 1996. His second film after a succession of shorts, Panahi has excelled under the tutelage of Iranian cinema guru ... Read more
What begins as a poorly conceived documentary by a neurotic, egotistical and not particularly talented poet/filmmaker soon becomes one of the most incisive and damning exposes on our collective obsession with penis size, income levels and shooting ratios ever committed to film. ... Read more
"Whether in spite of, or reaction to, the dulling effect of political correctness, there is a bold new movement in the independent film world. Comedies are leading the pack this year, and none is as refreshing as the darkly sardonic romp, The Opposite of Sex. ... Bill (Martin Donovan, Malcolm X ... Read more
A fast and florid dramatization of the last moments of a man's life, mixing melodrama and lyricism, terror and wonder. In Atanasio's feverish imaginings, death throes and birth trauma, mother and spider woman, doctor and priest become interchangeable. Drawing on a variety of film genres and styles ... Read more
A cinematic satirist par excellence, Tom DiCillo delivers his most rounded, accomplished and funny film to date. DiCillo takes some familiar comic characterisations and allows his outstanding cast to go to town. ... Joe (Matthew Modine) struggles to get by in Manhattan on a waiter's pittance ... Read more
Under the most inhospitable of conditions in one of the most remote regions in the world, director Ulrike Koch has documented the journey and rituals of a nomadic Tibetan community. The fact that she has devised a film of sublime beauty and epic proportions while enduring such adversity is ... Read more
“In the years since we made this movie, virtually every element has emerged in the headlines. It never seems to date.” - Joe Dante ... Over 10 years after its release, with strong anti-immigration winds sweeping the US, watching this epic political comedy feels like turning on the news ... Read more
Tashan, a young street kid, is caught stealing a sheep. He is branded, cast out and left for dead in the desert. He covers up his mark and is taken in by a family who give him food and a roof over his head. When his mark is eventually revealed, he is once again cast out but the charismatic boy has ... Read more
Through terrible experience, a doctor has become innured to his patients' suffering. Battling a storm, a litany of surreal obstacles and his own indifference, he struggles to reach a boy with fever on the other side of town. Based on Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor, this film, narrated in numbed ... Read more
"Mark Rappaport's brilliant new film is an ironic, fascinating and intellectually daunting examination of the classic era of Hollywood studio moviemaking. The film charts the frequently cruel and perverse measures taken to erase any suggestion or traces of a gay influence in American cinema. It's ... Read more
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