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The Independent Culture
New Directions With his new film Ride With the Devil, Ang Lee is set to abandon his family chamber pieces (Eat Drink Man Woman, The Ice Storm) for a more muscular action-adventure. Set during the American Civil War, the movie stars Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich as two Confederate soldiers, and is likely to feature the sound of thundering hooves rather than the murmur of polite dinner-table conversation.

Other directors branching off into new directions include Spike Lee, who is swapping his usual meditations on race and sex for a film based on the real-life adventures of Bronx serial killer Son of Sam, while Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) is currently making Gladiator, set in ancient Rome.

Tartan Treasure The Edinburgh Film Festival got off to a cracking start on Sunday with the premiere of Todd Haynes's Velvet Goldmine. Although local paparazzi have been claiming that celebs are a little thin on the ground at this year's festival, Goldmine stars Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor did appear at the 1970s-themed post-screening party, where McGregor discovered a Beercan Goldmine and proceeded to entertain the packed dancefloor by gyrating in his kilt.