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The Independent Culture
Happiness (18)

Set in New Jersey, Todd Solondz's second film is a comedy of loneliness and sexual deviancy that reaffirms this young writer-director's talent. Imagine Parenthood remade by David Lynch and you're getting there.

Gods and Monsters (15)

A sly, droll speculation on the last days of 1930s horror auteur James Whale (Ian McKellen), who is spellbound by his gardener (Brendan Fraser). Director Bill Condon won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Pleasantville (12)

Two Nineties teenagers are magicked into the world of a favourite Fifties sitcom, and begin to exert a dramatic influence on its conformist black-and-white idyll. A witty parable about prejudice and change.

Festen (15)

Danish director Thoman Vinterberg's superlative black comedy concerns the 60th birthday of a family patriarch, who finds himself at the centre of the dark secrets that unexpectedly emerge.

Shakespeare in Love (15)

This enjoyable - and now Oscar-laden - historical romp suggests how romance fired the young Will Shakespeare with the creative inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow head an impressive multi-star cast.



Das Boot: Director's Cut (NFT)

Three-and-a-half hours may seem a long time to spend below the sea in a German U-Boat, but Wolfgang Petersen's taut direction and a first- rate cast led by Jurgen Prochnow exert an unshakeable grip. Today 6.30pm


Out of the Past (Curzon Soho)

Robert Mitchum stars as the private detective willingly ensnared by Jane Greer's femme fatale in Jacques Tourneur's classic slice of noir fatalism. Tomorrow 3pm


The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Lux)

Jacques Demy's mad musical about a woman (Catherine Deneuve) left pregnant and forlorn when her lover joins the military is remarkable for its use of vivid, picture-book colours. Tomorrow 2.40pm


The Killing (Scala)

One of the late Stanley Kubrick's greatest films, this tale of a racetrack robbery is beautifully played - Sterling Hayden stars as the ex-con who plans the heist - and memorably photographed by Lucien Ballard. Tomorrow 7pm


Top Hat (NFT)

"Heaven, I'm in heaven..." Astaire and Rogers hoof it up in one of their finest films together. Comedy as light as a souffle, elegant Deco sets and a handful of Irving Berlin tunes make it an irresistible treat. Wed 6.15pm