FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
What does the Budget mean for the British film industry? The last helping hand extended to the ailing (perhaps even mythical) beast came last year when extensive lobbying persuaded the Government to allow the writing-off of pre-production development finance in the year it occurred. Circa 1993? 'Nothing,' Andrew Patrick, chief executive of the British Film Commission, says. 'It's a disappointment after months of talks with civil servants. There was an initial optimism that there would be accelerated tax write-offs and more incentives for overseas productions. As it turns out, there's no mention at all. We'll have to redouble our efforts and hope that the autumn Budget will address these questions.'

Those American remakes of European hits keep coming. After the recent successes of Sommersby (The Return of Martin Guerre) and The Vanishing (Dutch director George Sluizer remaking his dark thriller with a happy ending) comes Bridget Fonda, toplining Point of No Return, the much-trumpeted US version of Luc Bresson's hit-woman hit, La Femme Nikita. Fonda was willing to duplicate the original's gun-play and nudity, but drew the line at mingling fully clothed with a cluster of beach bunnies. The offending scene has been excised.

The seventh London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival runs from 20-31 March at the National Film Theatre under the title Seventh Heaven. It brings together features, shorts, video work and often hysterical talks (see Jenni Olson's happily excessive Camp For Boys and Girls). Word of mouthrecommends Mark Rappaport's Rock Hudson's Home Movies, Charles Bryant's legendary 1923 mounting (ooh er) of Wilde's Salome, Derek Jarman's Wittgenstein, Monika Treut's fetishistic Female Behaviour, Rosa von Praunheim's I Am My Own Woman and Marc Huestis' documentary Sex Is. . ., a kaleidoscopic view of gay sexuality from the Fifties till today. In fact, there's something to offend everybody. Box office: 071-928 3232. A regional tour begins in April.

Oscar time is almost upon us and actors and actresses all over the planet are breaking out with nervous rashes and obscene tirades against rivals. Would they feel better if they knew that the following names never received a gold-plated statuette in the springtime of their careers? Greta Garbo, Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Deborah Kerr, Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, John Garfield, Fred Astaire, Anges Moorehead, Gene Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck, Marilyn Monroe, Orson Welles (well, half an award for Citizen Kane's screenplay), Rosalind Russell, Thelma Ritter, Steve McQueen, Jean Harlow, Bob Hope, Myrna Loy, Liv Ullmann, James Mason, Claude Rains, Robert Mitchum, Edward G Robinson, Gena Rowlands, Jean Simmons, Margaret Sullavan, and John Barrymore. . . Good company to be in.

Showbiz jokes (first of an occasional series, contributions welcome): 'Do you know the secret of The Crying Game?' 'No.' 'The sled is called Rosebud.'