THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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The Independent Culture
THE WEEK IN REVIEW

David

Benedict

THE FILM

KIDS

The debut feature by photographer Larry Clark is a day in the life of a 17-year-old who has sex with virgins, thus "exposing" the sex 'n' drugs lifestyle of American teenagers. Caused uproar in the US.

Adam Mars-Jones was uneasy with its "melodrama and moral manipulation". "The kind of movie a nerd would write to upset his parents ... Clark is what a nerd turns into when he grows up: a dirty old man," observed Premiere."True to life and fake as hell," havered the Guardian. "Voyeuristic," asserted the FT. "Commercial trash," scoffed the Standard. "Bad cinema," concluded the Times.

Cert 18, 93 mins (1 minute cut by the censor). MGM Haymarket and across London but not at Warner cinemas, which have refused to show it.

A drama with documentary pretensions, down to its amateur cast. Like a Benetton ad even Benetton wouldn't run.

Alan Bates returns to the role of Simon Hench in Simon Gray's sequel to his typically dyspeptic 1971 success Otherwise Engaged. Directed by Richard Wilson, better known as TV's Victor Meldrew.

Paul Taylor felt it to be "mordantly funny as well as bleak ... a superb central performance". "Not an especially distinguished play ... brought to life by Bates's remarkable central performance," agreed the FT. "Bates's most powerful performance since his days of glory as a Sixties film star," announced the Standard. "Amusing and absorbing though it is, it does not quite hit the mark," observed the Times.

At the Minerva Studio, Chichester, Sussex (01243 781312) to 1 June. There are rumours of a transfer.

You don't have to have seen the original, but it helps. Worth it for Bates's return to form.

George Michael becomes a Virgin artist after his expensive split with Sony with his first album in over five years. Contains the singles "Jesus to a Child" and "Fastlove".

Andy Gill yawned. "Bland and empty. There's an absence of character at the heart of Older." "Brave, downbeat ... for the most part, it's a lovely record," praised the Sunday Times. "Obsessively honed elegance ... Michael has ended up in a fantastically stylish limbo," said the Times. "Sophisticated but uneventful, something to play in the background on a quiet night in," groaned the Telegraph.

At every conceivable record shop near you.

Advance orders topped 500,000 and it's selling fast. Don't be fooled.

David Alden revives his ENO staging of Handel's heroic opera with a plot similar to Much Ado About Nothing. Joan Rodgers and Gwynne Howell join Christopher Robson and Ann Murray as Ariodante.

David Benedict found it "a magnificent evening. A genuinely rare combination of dazzling singing, tremendous visuals and thrillingly dramatic staging." "Looking and sounding even better than ever ... simply not to be missed ... Murray alone is worth the price of admission," exclaimed the Guardian. "Even better than the original ... an evening of pole-axing musico-dramatic power," gasped the Times.

Further performances at The Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300)

A world-class act from the entire ENO team. Cancel all other engagements.

THE PLAY

SIMPLY DISCONNECTED

THE ALBUM

OLDER

THE OPERA

ARIODANTE

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