FILM / Rushes

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The cancellation of Bridgewater Films' The Wings of the Dove, based on the Henry James novel, has kept rumour mills grinding despite official word that puts its collapse down to the withdrawal of promised monies. If the matter was strictly about cash flow, however, the director, Alastair Reid, would presumably not be repelling press interest in 'artistic differences' with the star, Uma Thurman, by saying legal reasons forbid him from talking about it. (Insiders claim that 'artistic differences' had less to do with it than Thurman's rattled state, thought to stem from her previous venture, Gus Van Sant's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.)

The producer, Ann Wingate, is also legally restrained from making public pronouncements, but she does say: 'There were all sorts of reasons, not just one. There were creative differences between Alastair and Uma Thurman - between all of us, actually. And some finance wasn't in place at the right time.'

Wingate insists Wings hasn't been scrapped and that its latest start date is September. A new director will be on board, but will Thurman? 'That depends on various factors, including the new director.'

Kris Clarke might sympathise with Alastair Reid. Her documentary profile of bisexual stand-up comic Sandra Bernhard, Confession of a Pretty Lady, is doing the festival circuit (it turns up at the Eighth London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival this Saturday; see preview, right) and is due to air on BBC 2's Arena on 20 May. But is being denied wider distribution by Bernhard, who has given an adamant no to the addition of extra footage for cinema release. 'Sandra says she doesn't want it released at this stage of her career, though I'm not sure what that means,' Clarke says. 'I thought she was expanding her market with Roseanne and her HBO special. Confession would help take her beyond the core audience.'

La Bernhard is famed for her mood swings, so perhaps all is not yet lost. 'Oh, knowing Sandra's notoriety she just might flip and say yes,' Clarke sighs. 'But I'm not holding my breath. I sent a fax at Christmas and I'm still waiting to hear back.'

And speaking of female wits, Jennifer Jason Leigh will play Dorothy Parker in Mrs Parker and the Round Table . . .

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