The Independent Recommends: Film

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GETTING A second outing for half-term after a brief release in the summer, Paulie is one of the most charming Hollywood kids films in recent memory. With an upmarket cast led by Gena Rowlands, it's an unexpectedly wistful tale of loss in which Paulie (a talking parrot voiced by Saturday Night Live's Jay Mohr) recounts his picaresque adventures.

On selected release.

Few modern directors have declined from youthful dynamism to middle-aged lethargy quite as spectacularly as William Friedkin (above), whose career is being celebrated at the NFT to coincide with Friday's re-release of The Exorcist. Made in 1980, Cruising marked a halfway stage with Al Pacino as intense as ever as a cop who goes undercover to track down a gay serial killer stalking New York. Eighteen years on, what's shocking isn't Friedkin's leering look at Manhattan's S&M subculture, but the half-heartedness of the suspense generated along the way by the man who, only nine years previously, had given the world The French Connection. An intriguing one-off, nevertheless.

National Film Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 3232) 8.30pm

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