The traumatising power of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List has obliged L A's Museum of the Holocaust to provide 'A Viewer's Guide to Schindler's List' to help audiences. The booklet suggests how to prepare to see the picture and compiles a list of post-screening questions ('What scene was most impressive, most poignant?'). Stunned customers are said to find the guide useful, though critics who charge that List is an exercise in easy guilt point to such admonitions as 'to eat popcorn while watching would be inappropriate' as evidence that sanctity, not art, will propel List to an Oscar sweep.
THIS SUNDAY's Moving Pictures carries a cogent piece about Hollywood's relationship with a press reliant on studio releases and approved interviews.
Moving Pictures itself avoids this trap. Interviewing the director Mike Figgis last week about the making of the Richard Gere drama, Mr Jones, the show weaved a classic tale of Hollywood back-stabbing with Figgis in fine form as he recounted the denunciation of the troubled project from the legendary producer Ray Stark: 'It's a piece of shit.'
One wonders how it might have played with actual clips from Mr Jones, contrasting Figgis's cut with the studio version. (Columbia Tri-Star says there was no print available. How unfortunate.)
Did Columbia Tri-Star get wind of Figgis's intentions? When his agent did, a re-edit and a certain amount of transatlantic hand- holding ensued, for fear that the outspoken director would never 'eat lunch in this town again'.