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
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Hey Arnold! is coming back, and possibly Rugrats too
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 200,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up