Rushes

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The Independent Culture
After Dracula, what else but Frankenstein? At least four companies are currently in the process of making a monster. Francis Coppola's American Zoetrope might be said to have a head-start; having recently completed Bram Stoker's Dracula, the production company is at work on its companion piece, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Warner Brothers, meanwhile, is putting the nuts and bolts together for its own Frankenstein project. Rumour has it that Tim Burton may direct and Arnold Schwarzenegger may star in this version, though for the moment rumour is all that is. While over at Universal, Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire, is hard at work on a remake of Bride of Frankenstein. Even our own Thames TV is getting in on the act: the company is currently filming Frankenstein: The Real Story, starring Randy Quaid (see feature in next Monday's paper). As Sony Pictures' Peter Guber told reporters last week: 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.'

One of the country's leading transvestites has expressed anxiety about the showing of Just Like A Woman (see review, right), which had its royal premiere last night. Jed Bland, the author of The Gender Paradox and a partner in the telephone information service The Gender Line, said: 'All over the country are Geraldines looking for their Monicas. Many of the calls (we get) are from men wanting to tell their wives and from distraught wives trying to cope. Just Like a Woman encourages this, yet it doesn't say anything about why a husband should tell, or how the couple should deal with it. I foresee many tragedies by the end of the year, broken marriages, lonely men and bitter wives.' The Gender Line can be reached on 0246 551100.

Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives opened last weekend, taking dollars 3.5m ( pounds 2.1m) from 865 screens across America, putting the film into fourth place in the box-office charts. 'We're thrilled . . . This is Woody's biggest opening ever,' said Ed Russell of TriStar Pictures. True though this is - Woody's previous best was for Hannah and Her Sisters, which took dollars 1.2m in 1986 - it's also true that no previous Allen film has opened so widely (Hannah debuted on a mere 54 screens). And despite good reviews and massive media attention, the numbers seem almost paltry when compared with the performance of Sarafina], which also opened last weekend. The Whoopi Goldberg musical, about a teacher in South Africa, earned dollars 84,000 in its debut at just two cinemas - more than 10 times H & W's per-screen average.

Details of the third in the London Film Workshop's informative series of seminars on low- low-budget film-making: the two- day workshop devoted to making it in Tinseltown will be held at Bafta and hosted by Mark Litwak, author of Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood. He promises inside information on pitching, packaging, deal-making, schmoozing and doing lunch. In short, all you need to know about 'How To Succeed in the Movie Business'.

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