Pre-Teenage Kicks

Blog by Ray Philp | 25 Feb 2009

A sludge of salacious news rags were both aghast and fascinated in a voyeuristic and vaguely titillated fashion over the recent case of a twelve year old sink estate urchin fathering a wee yin. The fallout from this incident has resulted in a debate surrounding the efficacy of sex education, but might The Skinny enter into the fray of dictating social policy at the risk of annoying film certification bods; we suggest the best way to stop your wee laddie becoming a wee daddy is hiding the scamp in your trenchcoat and sneaking him into The Unborn, on general release as of the 27th. David Goyer’s horror revolves around a woman who is being haunted by the ghost of a baby, and if that isn’t scary enough, Gary Oldman is in it. A film that could lay claim to being the ultimate cinematic contraceptive, Goyer's film might go some way towards persuading junior to fiddle with a different sort of joystick.

While dubious sexual escapades are a tertiary focus of Palme d’Or winner The Class, this Laurent Cantet directed study of the increasingly arduous profession of teaching in the context of French multiculturalism is equally deserving of the attentions of the general public. Francois Begaudeau is exceptional as intelligent yet emotionally vulnerable teacher Mr. Marin as he grapples with his belligerent and disinterested class. Having debuted in Scotland via The Glasgow Film Festival, it will be granted a general release this Friday.

The Macrobert cinema, situated within the Stirling University campus, is well known for their appreciation of flicks for the kids. However, the 27th is more of an adult affair as Aida showcases Franco Zeferelli’s Verdi-based vision of a pre-embalmed Egypt, when pyramids were merely fanciful construction projects and pharaohs weren’t greeted by the gaping maws of eccentric English archaeologists. Aida is an Ethiopian woman who is hauled off to Egypt, doomed to enslavement until Commander Radames catches her eye, and what follows is a tug of war between his love for Aida and loyalty to the pharaoh.

Elsewhere, Gerald McMorrow’s ambitious feature debut Franklyn is released this Friday. Flitting between fictional metropolis Meanwhile City and present day London, Eva Green and Ryan Phillipe are among a highly respectable cast in a film that defies normative genre descriptions, so allow us the indulgence of some abnormal ones; ironic suicide-as-multimedia study meets post-Sin City career revivalist noir. If any of that makes sense, then you might be able to unknot the fidgety entanglements of McMorrow’s brooding plot.

Also coming this Friday is The International, a Clive Owen and Naomi Watts thriller of prodigious timing. As Tom Tykwers’s film shakes a self-righteous fist towards the beleaguered financial sector, the synopsis broadly speaking involves some naughty bankers legging it from Owen and his smouldering eyebrows in a Guggenheim. Owen and his eyebrows then proceed to give aforementioned naughty bankers a standing order of shut the heck up and die, with 188.3% interest APR.

The Dundee Contemporary Arts is screening Far North this Friday, a film initially released in 2007. Asif Kapadia directs this austere love triangle between Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Krusiec and Sean Bean, set in the bristling coldness of the arctic. Also showing at the DCA is Erick Zonca’s Julia, a film that showcases Tilda Swinton’s versatility as an actress as she plays the serially skint and alcohol dependent protagonist, whom via a botched kidnapping attempt, ends up looking after a millionaire’s son. The synopsis adds that Julia thus embarks on a journey of self discovery, so you would presume that won’t involve chibbing the boy for his dinero and doing one to Tiajuana.