THE FIVE BEST FILMS

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The Independent Culture
Majorettes in Space (18)

Highlights of this inspired and unmissable package of short films, subtitled "Five Gay Tales from France", are Summer Dress and A Little Death, by young director Francois Ozon. See New Films, right.

Love and Death on Long Island (15)

Anyone insulted by what Visconti did to Death in Venice should turn to Richard Kwietniowski's tentative love story for comfort. John Hurt is the fuddy-duddy who falls for an American teen idol (Jason Priestley).

Life Is All You Get (18)

Aids, unemployment and riot squads in modern Berlin. Not obvious comic material, but Wolfgang Becker's highly original film has a parched, surreal wit on its side - Ken Loach crossed with Bertrand Blier.

The Castle (15)

A well-judged offbeat comedy from Australia. Capraesque overtones abound in this tale of a proud family man (Michael Caton) who defends his humble turf against a greedy corporation.

Zero Effect (15)

Bill Pullman is a hoot as Daryl Zero, the world's greatest private investigator, in this comedy from 22-year-old Jake Kasdan (son of Lawrence). His performance is manic, even seething, yet brimming with compassion.

THE FIVE BEST REVIVALS

Psycho (18)

What was Hitchcock's most perfectly conceived and executed work? Psycho is in the running: 38 years on, it is still blackly funny, effortlessly chilling and a pretty succinct encapsulation of the joys of cinema.

La Grande Illusion (U)

Renoir's haunting and poetic story of a blossoming friendship between two French POWs (Jean Gabin and Pierre Fresnay). Made in 1937, its profound vision and generosity endure even today.

His Girl Friday (U)

Howard Hawks's sparkling comedy of ethics is one of the funniest films ever made. Cary Grant is the editor trying to win back his star reporter (Rosalind Russell) who also happens to be his ex-wife.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (U)

What modern adventure films lack is the sense of fun that makes this 1938 swashbuckler such a breeze to watch. Errol Flynn is the quintessential dashing scoundrel, while Basil Rathbone is eminently hissable.

The Little Mermaid (U)

This was the film that, in 1990, rejuvenated the Disney studio's then-ailing animated output. Adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, it is bright, entertaining, and peppered with memorable songs.

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