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The Independent Culture

The winner of the Independent Young Film Journalist of the Year is Ryan Gilbey. He impressed the judges with his ability to combining accurate description with a refreshing enthusiasm for the emotional effect of cinematic technique. His review of The Cement Garden argued his case rather than stating it and often found powerful verbal equivalents for visual pleasures. The judges also commend Jeremy Clarke for a thoughtful and shrewd analysis of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and K H Shuaib for an original review of True Romance which found something new to say about an excessively well-trodden field.

ONE OF THE unrecorded movie trends of 1993 has been the incredible expanding film trailer, usually accompanied by a song designed to flog the picture. Check out Sliver and UB40's 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and What's Love Got to Do with It and Tina Turner's 'I Don't Want to Fight', a trailer and music video rolled into one.

Now Disney has taken the trend further. The trailer for The Lion King, the studio's latest animation offering, doubles as the first four minutes and 14 seconds of the movie and highlights the Tim Rice / Elton John collaboration 'The Circle of Life'. The movie proper is still being sketched and won't be seen until next summer. Disney's unusual tactic is thought to be protective: unlike The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, The Lion King is an original screenplay and therefore something of a box-office gamble.

CHRISTIAN SLATER replaces River Phoenix on Interview with the Vampire, knocking down rumours that Johnny Depp, Phoenix's pal, would step into the role. The National Enquirer, the American tabloid, has received a backlash for printing a centrefold of the late star in his coffin. It claims it was acting in the public good by exposing the evils of drugs. Of course.

THE FUGITIVE and Sleepless in Seattle have now both been in the London and national top 10 charts for 10 weeks. The next closest is The Piano which has met viewers' popular approval for a mere five.


The Young Film Journalist of the Year competition, the results of which we announced last week, was co-sponsored by Sight and Sound magazine. Our apologies.