Rushes

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The Independent Culture
WHEN AN idea is exhausted it becomes parody. Or does it? In the wake of National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 comes a slew of spoofs squeezing the last drops of juice from tired formula film-making. The trailer for Hot Shots] Part Deux, a comic trashing of Rambo (again) and Terminator 2, already has America rolling in the aisles. Ditto Mel Brooks' rumoured return to form, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, sending up Kevin Costner's whizzing arrow motif. Equally eagerly awaited is Ezio Greggio's Silence of the Hams, with cameos from John Carpenter and Joe Dante, and Carl Reiner's movie buffs' pick 'n' mix Fatal Instinct, an assemblage of steals from Cape Fear, Body Heat, Basic Instinct, Double Indemnity, Fatal Attraction and Sleeping with the Enemy. Armand Assante (not famous for his light touch) stars, explains the director, 'as a cop / lawyer who catches criminals and then defends them in court, believing that they all deserve a fair and costly trial'.

As amusing as these sound, the wary will inevitably wonder about how satirical satire can be when the season also promises the antics of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and a thriller entitled Guilty as Sin, in which an attorney, Rebecca De Mornay, falls for her client (and possible pyschopath), Don Johnson. Sidney Lumet seems unaware that the last film to partially pinch the plot of Jagged Edge was Madonna's Body of Evidence - and audiences laughed the results off screen.

Come into my parlour

Those starved of recent sightings of the former Cannon movie mogul Menahem Golan will be pleased to learn that their idol, no stranger to the twisted by-ways of litigation, recently surfaced in Los Angeles to sue Carolco Pictures for allegedly refusing to give the former 'Go-Go Boy' a producer's credit on James (The Abyss) Cameron's forthcoming rendering of Marvel Comics' Spiderman. Golan's 21 Century Film Corp had announced its Spiderman three years ago. And two years ago.

Golan obviously believes that whatever deal 21 Century finally cut with Carolco last year has been breached, citing the denial of assigned video rights as another reason for bringing suit. Golan watchers await the legal outcome with bated breath.

The Word

The London Film Workshop is running Screenwriting for Hollywood: From Concept to Sale at the ICA, The Mall, London SW1, on 5 and 6 June. The two-day course will be conducted by the producer-screenwriter Michael Hauge, the author of Writing Screenplays that Sell. The weekend seminar usually costs pounds 125 (pounds 145 at the door).

The first Independent reader who returns a registration form marked 'The Independent' will, however, have their cheque returned and can attend the weekend free.

For forms: The London Film Workshop, 6 Chelsea Wharf, 15 Lots Road, London SW10 OQJ.

Animated debate

You've probably heard the one about Walt Disney being cryogenically frozen at the moment of death and stashed in Disneyland's Enchanted Castle. But did you know the man behind the mouse was a union-busting, Jew-hating, FBI-informing Nazi lover? Marc Eliot's biography, Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, has enraged the Disney studio. As for the Dark Prince, he's so mad he could melt.

Howards Ending

Emma Thompson's reasons for stashing her Oscar in the bathroom: 'Because everyone goes there. I don't have to bother running upstairs every time someone asks to see it.'

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