Choice: SHEILA JOHNSTON

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The Independent Culture
Pity the poor National Film Theatre, under siege everywhere this week for its "trashy", crowd-pleasing programming. There's a definite fogey element in some of these complaints (targets include the recent Russ Meyer season, the popular gay and lesbian film festival and a forthcoming programme celebrating rock music in the movies) but also no doubt that they're partly justified: tonight the "attractions" down on the South Bank include Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Princess Carraboo, the mediocre British comedy which was on release only months ago, and a double-bill devoted to Quentin Tarantino, the least under-exposed director in the country.

The weekend looks much brighter, though. Tomorrow sees a rare screening of a film recording Richard Burton's 1964 Hamlet, while MOMI gives an outing to Fear Eats the Soul, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's wonderful weepie about the love affair between a North African immigrant and a much older German woman. On Saturday, there's an interesting day event, "Women and War", with female war correspondents and numerous film extracts, including Branwen (above). On Sunday, a treat: Abel Gance's silent epic Napoleon, which packed in audiences throughout the Eighties, returns (with piano accompaniment) to entrance a new generation. Not bad value at £9 for five and a half hours of thrilling cinema.

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