The Information on: Gods and Monsters

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Embellished biopic of the life of James Whale, the British film director who illuminated Hollywood in the 1930s with such ground-breaking horror epics as Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Shunned for his homosexual tastes and afraid of succumbing to senility, this bastion of British heritage determines to provoke his own earthly monster - his gardener Clayton Boone - into taking him to an early grave.

Who's In It?

Ian McKellen shines in the central role, supported by Lynn Redgrave as `Meester Jimmy's' Hungarian housekeeper, devoted to him but not his unscrupulous antics. Both were Oscar-nominated for their performances. Brendan Fraser is the beautifully robust gardener, who falls in with Whale's subliminal agenda, unaware of his employer's linking of him with the infamous misunderstood monster.

What They Say About It

"It isn't just about memory and Mortality... it's also about the fragile yet enduring consolations of art" Anthony Quinn, Independent. "McKellen flexes his acting muscle like never before" Anne Billson, Sunday Telegraph. "An unusually rich and ambitious film" Sebastian Faulks, Mail on Sunday. "Its synapses fizz and pop with connections and images" Tom Shone, Sunday Times. "It's a gay, guilt-free Sunset Boulevard" Philip French, Observer.

Where You Can See It

Now showing at selected cinemas nationwide. McKellen himself will introduce the film (and answer questions) at 8pm on Thursday (1 Apr) at the Cornerhouse, Manchester (0161-200 1500; tickets pounds 6/pounds 5 concessions).

Beatrice Hodgkin