FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
Helmut Kohl has good reason to be annoyed with the makers of The Terrorists, aired on German television on Monday. The film, which depicts a fictional attempt on the German Chancellor's life, provides a virtual blueprint for potential assassins.

The Chancellor has never been physically attacked in his 10 years in office, but the rising tide of right-wing violence in Germany means that politicians are now more in danger than ever. In a letter to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Kohl complained that the film might constitute a self-fulfilling prophecy: 'The Terrorists gives the clear impression that some people think an attack on me could, in certain situations, be seen as a possible way to overcome a feeling of helplessness . . .' With barely concealed exasperation, he added: 'I urgently request that you make sure that no more programmes are broadcast . . . showing the use of force against representatives of our state.'

And if you're in any doubt that on-screen violence can have a real-life reflection, a story from Nigeria's Concord Daily might convince you. Public Enemy No 1 in Lagos currently is the male leader of a gang of female car thieves. Last weekend alone the gang made off with 10 luxury cars, bringing their tally to nearly 100 vehicles since May. The gang is also alleged to have killed policemen, soldiers and civilians. Their leader? A man who styles himself Shina Rambo, after the Sylvester Stallone character.

Movie-going parents in Seattle have found the answer to the problems of baby-sitting bills and taking temperamentally challenged infants to the cinema. Four cinemas in the city have introduced 'crying rooms', where toddlers can throw tantrums without causing a diplomatic incident, and parents can still watch the movie. The rooms have up to 10 seats, space for children to run around and, most importantly, sound-proofed doors.

Hollywood's next new wave? Lesbians, according to Julia Phillips, the movie producer turned best-selling author of You'll Never Eat Lunch in the Town Again. Phillips, who is researching the subject for Harper's Bazaar, reckons, 'There is a series of (lesbian) circuits that will figure out in the next three years that it could be a network. Women being women, they'll make peace with their straight sisters and it will be the first time that women create a legitimate power base in Hollywood.' But why has it taken so long for them to get together? According to Phillips: 'Women are too bitchy.'

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