New Films: Reviews

EAST SIDE STORY (U)

Director: Dana Ranga and Andrew Horn

This oddball documentary spotlights the propagandist entertainment that flourished behind the Iron Curtain. Volga, Volga was Stalin's favourite movie, while Frank Schobel's hormonal antics in 1968's Hot Summer had him labelled "the Elvis of the East". Hollywood frivolities re-tailored in strict Soviet fashions.

West End: ABC Swiss Centre

THE EXORCIST (25TH ANNIVERSARY RERELEASE) (18)

Director: William Friedkin

Starring: Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn

In the cold light of day, and with two decades' worth of imitations under our belts, the head-swivellings and projectile vomitings of The Exorcist might not look quite so appalling as they did to those brave enough to keep their eyes open at the late-night show back in 1973. What has retained the power to haunt, however, is the unforgettable Devil's voice emanating from Linda Blair's throat, provided by the uncredited Mercedes McCambridge, best remembered on screen as the harpie who terrorises Janet Leigh in the motel in Touch of Evil.

West End: ABC Baker Street, ABC Tottenham Court Road, Elephant & Castle Coronet, Hammersmith Virgin, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Marble Arch, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Ritzy Cinema, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero, Warner Village West End

FUNNY GAMES (18)

Director: Michael Haneke

Starring: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Muhe

Haneke's attack on screen violence views like a harsh lab experiment: mix one family unit with two psychopaths (Arno Frisch, Frank Giering), then scrutinise the fireworks. It discreetly cuts away during the more shocking moments, yet is big on sound effects (golf-club on kneecap, blood- curdling screams), and its cast-iron claustrophobia leaves you fighting for breath.

West End: Metro, Curzon Minema, Richmond Filmhouse, Ritzy Cinema

PRIMARY COLORS (15)

Director: Mike Nichols

Starring: John Travolta, Emma Thompson

Primary Colors is based on the book by Joe "Anonymous" Klein, which was celebrated as a true-life account of the Clintons' campaign when Bill was Governor of Arkansas. As Jack Stanton, John Travolta's performance amounts to a vaudeville impersonation of Clinton, and you can't take your eyes off him. With the arrival of Kathy Bates as Libby Houston, a former Chief of Staff hired to conceal Stanton's peccadillos, the plot hares off in a new direction. Libby and Henry check out Governor Fred Picker (Larry Hagman) and find enough dirt to keep the National Enquirer in front pages for a month, but Libby decides it's unusable. Remember idealism, guys? (she asks). Spare us this debating-society crap, you think; this is supposed to be a satire on Realpolitik. Nichols can do brilliant things with narrative, symbolism and farce, but he can't leave his audience to draw their own conclusions.

West End: Barbican Screen, Empire Leicester Square, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Fulham Road, Virgin Trocadero

RAZOR BLADE SMILE (18)

Director: Jake West

Starring: Eileen Daly

Eileen Daly's vampire assassin indulges her penchant for kinky sex, rubber cat-suits and loaded weapons throughout debut-director West's chiller. Cobbled together on a skid-row budget, this boasts some of the most archly awkward dialogue this side of Falcon Crest.

West End: Empire Leicester Square, Odeon Camden Town, Ritzy Cinema, Virgin Trocadero

STILL CRAZY (15)

Director: Brian Gibson

Starring: Stephen Rea, Timothy Spall

Clement and La Frenais-scripted comedy about a bunch of Seventies rockers re-forming for a comeback tour. Unashamedly hailing from The Full Monty school of feelgood fodder, it boasts abundant charm and a clatter of raucous gags.

West End: Clapham Picture House, Notting Hill Coronet, Odeon Camden Town, Odeon Kensington, Odeon Swiss Cottage, UCI Whiteleys, Virgin Chelsea, Virgin Haymarket, Warner Village West End

Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette

film
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz