FILM / Rushes

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The Independent Culture
Culture clash

Disney's animated blockbuster Aladdin opened in Kuala Lumpur last week, ready for the school holiday rush - and in time for protests from the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia. The pressure group demanded the film be banned for 'insulting Arabic culture'. Asked to produce evidence, the MYMM cited the lyric, 'I come from a land . . . where they cut off your ear, if they don't like your face. It's barbaric but hey, it's home.' And what's more, it doesn't even rhyme.

Meanwhile Japan has seen right-wing nationalism raise its ugly head. During a screening of a new film by Juzo Itami a man rushed to the front of the theatre and slashed a 29ft gash across the screen. It could have been worse: last May, shortly after the release of his anti-gangster treatise Mimbo no Onna, the director's face was slashed by five gangsters. This time around, Kazuhiro Yamazaki said that he damaged the screen because the film 'desecrated' the Japanese flag. As the director points out, no such scene exists.

Serial rights

You can't keep a good serial killer down. The rumour mill claims Silence of the Lambs II will revolve around the romance - and eventual marriage - of Hannibal and Clarice: this may the only occasion when steak knives would make the perfect wedding gift. Meanwhile, the cult of the repetitive murderer will be kept alive by Ghost in the Machine (serial killer transformed into computer virus), Benefit of the Doubt (insane father Donald Sutherland stalks the daughter who gave evidence against him), So I Married an Axe Murderer (self-explanatory), Kalifornia (sociopathic Brad Pitt tours famous homicide sites) and Mother's Boys (Jamie Lee Curtis terminates her husband and his lover). Finally, there's the eagerly anticipated Jennifer 8, in which cop Andy Garcia shields blind Uma Thurman from a madman who dispatches women with 'physical imperfections'. Bruce Robinson's box-office failure attained cult status after going belly-up in the States. A British release is promised for the autumn.

Drawn from life

With the news that John Goodman is to play Fred Flintstone and Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd, further casting suggestions for cartoon characters: Tweety Pie (Melanie Griffith), Speedy Gonzales (Cheech Marin), Wile E Coyote (Jack Nicholson), the Tasmanian Devil (Danny DeVito), Pepe Le Pew (Kevin Kline), Dick Dastardly (Peter O'Toole), Muttley (Bob Goldthwait), Mr Magoo (Spike Lee), Goofy (Woody Harrelson), Bugs Bunny (Bill Murray), Elmer Fudd (Dustin Hoffman), Droopy (Harry Dean Stanton), Daffy Duck (Steve Martin), Yogi Bear (George Wendt), Penelope Pitstop (Madonna), Yosemite Sam (Robin Williams), Mickey Mouse (Sally Field) and Minnie Mouse (Sally Field). Readers ideas on match-ups are welcome.