Film: Video Round-up
Thursday 22 April 1999
to rent from Monday
People threw up in terror upon its first release, 25 years ago. Now, 15 years after the BBFC inflated its lurid reputation by banning it on video, it's finally yours to rent as the director William Friedkin intended it. And just about worth the wait.
Don't bother holding your breath for the notorious effects, though. Friedkin's graphic staging of William Peter Blatty's tale of an adolescent girl's demonic possession - the spinning head, the crucifix masturbation, the thrashing bed - inevitably looks dated. But while the film comes nowhere near some of the claims made for it, in other ways it has weathered well. The eerie Middle-Eastern desert prologue is photographed in almost painful brightness before the gloomy Georgetown denouement. From frame one, then, Friedkin creates a mood of immanent evil that never relents. The doubts and preoccupations of the various priests, particularly those of the disillusioned Father Karras (Jason Miller), convey a powerful sense of spiritual crisis (even if the holy fathers' ubiquity at Georgetown parties and social events looks even more unlikely now). Friedkin's remarkable portrayal of the failure of modern medicine and its terrifying instruments should also find a more receptive audience today than it did in 1973.
Dancing at Lughnasa (PG), to rent
There's an air of deja vu to Pat O'Connor's torpid adaptation of Brian Friel's stage play. Kate (Meryl Streep) is a repressed schoolteacher, eldest of five sisters, including, of all people, a chain-smoking Kathy Burke, struggling to withstand the pressures of the modern world in pre- war rural Ireland. The Irish Tourist Board visuals and La Streep's thesp antics are par for the course, but that's not what nags. Then it hits you. Housebound? Tugging on a Woodbine? Bickering? It's Waynetta O'Slob: "Piss off Meryl - I am smoking a fag!"
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 #NotGuilty: Second Oxford student writes of brutal rape by two men who then threw her in a bin as part of campaign against victim blaming
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils