Choice: RYAN GILBEY

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The Independent Culture
Hal Hartley's Amateur (right) has Martin Donovan as an amnesiac fishing for his identity in New York, aided by Isabelle Huppert as a virginal nymphomaniac. Despite aching emotion and grim peripheral shadows, it's very funny, albeit blackly so. Ha rtley is a talent in full flight - you can actually chart his progress, onwards and upwards.

Gus Van Sant probably had similar intentions at heart while making Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. But his compass must have been faulty. However, the oddball visuals will please those who adored My Own Private Idaho and irritate those who didn't. While London's flea-pit art-house the MGM Swiss Centre (£6 for murky prints and cramped auditoria) undergoes alterations, its programme switches to the MGM Panton St (£6 for murky prints and, yes, cramped auditoria). The films - De Sica's enduring Bicycle Thieves , Zhang Yimou's To Live - are wonderful.

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