FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
Diversity, as always, is the keynote of the 37th London Film Festival, running its usual packed programme from 4 to 21 November. The hot ticket is Robert Altman's Short Cuts (Sat 13) but here's a brief hit-list of titles worth looking at: Forest Whitaker's directorial debut, Strapped, is a black street thriller with a twist (Mon 15). Ditto the Hughes brothers' eagerly awaited Menace II Society (Tue 16). Steven Soderbergh watchers will want to know if King of the Hill will restore his pre-Kafka reputation (Sat 13).

Off the beaten track is Dream Girls (Sat 20), a documentary study of the all-singing, all-dancing, all-female Takarazuka Revue from Japan. Beatrice Dalle pouts again in La Fille de l'air (Fri 5), a real-life prison rescue flick, while Bertrand Blier returns to delight and offend with 1, 2, 3, Sun, a satire on family mores (Wed 17). Wolfgang Becker's Child's Play (Tue 9) also detonates the nuclear family - eyes peeled for a senile grannie's mock trial.

Gore fans will melt to Body Melt (Fri 12, Mon 15), which might be subtitled 'The Vitamin Drink from Hell'; Desperate Remedies, a costume drama, is one for camp addicts (Sat 13); Bad Boy Bubby (Sun 14) makes Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer look like the Teddy Bears' Picnic; Jack L Warner, the Last Mogul (Mon 15) reflects on the man who moulded a studio. '92 The Legendary La Rose Noire (Sun 14), spoofs Cantonese action fare. The documentary In Darkest Hollywood (Tue 9, Sat 13) looks at cinema and apartheid. Videophiles should note Pixelvision (Fri 19), a knowing selection of artful confessional cliches, leaving the more innocent to Four Junior Detectives, a socially conscious children's adventure (Sun 21). The festival closes on the same date with Chen Kaige's gay love story, Farewell to My Concubine. Box office: 071-928 3232, open 10.20am-8.30pm from Nov.

THOSE TV to movie adaptations keep coming. Next: The Prisoner and The Green Hornet. Traffic in the opposite direction: Robocop, the Series, despite the poor box office of Robocop 2 and non-appearance of Robocop 3 on these shores.

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