The Independent recommends: Film

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The Independent Culture
WHEN THE American magazine Premiere polled its country's most influential film critics to find the best movie of 1996, the modest comedy- drama Big Night came up trumps. You can see why. Some of the scenes in this story of restaurateurs struggling to stay afloat in Fifties New Jersey have an Ozu-like simplicity; others are brashly comic. The mood is one of nostalgia holding pain at bay, and there are gentle performances from Stanley Tucci (left) and Ian Holm.

On limited release

The Velvet Goldmine events at the Edinburgh Film Festival continue today with a "scene by scene" talk from the picture's writer-director, Todd Haynes, in which he illustrates a discussion of his work with excerpts. And you can catch his chilling 1995 drama Safe, about a woman who becomes mysteriously allergic to her environment. Go for originality and magic, not answers.

`Safe' 12.30pm; Todd Haynes 7pm, Edinburgh Filmhouse (0131-623 8030)