"Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" was critic Pauline Kael's succinct summary of cinema's allure. This week, Shots in the Dark, Nottingham's seventh crime, mystery and thriller festival, shows the myriad ways in which sharp- shooting film-makers have elucidated on that primal pull, screening premieres, classic prints and cult crime drama from the small screen.

The festival begins with a round of fresh fire from the likes of Simon West, director of Con Air (an Airport for the 90s with John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi and Nicholas Cage slugging it out at high altitude) and Kevin Spacey, making his directorial debut with Albino Alligator (a claustrophobic hostage drama starring Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway and Gary Sinise).

Also showing will be Unforgettable, John "The Last Seduction" Dahl's latest slice of noir, featuring the fearsome femme fatale Linda Fiorentino as a mousy scientist and Ray Liotta as a Frankenstein-ish coroner (not averse to syringeing brain fluid from coma victims for his own dark experiments), and Night Falls on Manhattan, Sidney Lumet's latest courtroom potboiler starring angry men Andy Garcia and Richard Dreyfuss.

Jim Thompson, the godfather of pulp fiction, is the inspiration behind two new movies: Steven Shainberg's hard-boiled Hit Me and This World Then Fireworks, a surreally styled noir based on a controversial story of incest and madness, deemed too taboo to publish in Thompson's lifetime. Billy Zane and Bound's Gina Gershon (above) are the amoral brother and sister scamming their way through a low-life landscape and preying on Sheryl Lee's repressed policewoman, Lois.

If the seedy supremacy of American writers and film-makers is everywhere in evidence, the festival is not without a scatter of European buckshot. Julian Richard's Darklands plunges in where Twin Town left off in a kind of negative reappraisal of Wales. Set in the post-industrial wastelands of the Welsh steel towns and exploring a sinister Druid cult, it inhabits an interesting psychological hinterland somewhere between Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man.

The Pulp Royale season, meanwhile, traces the influence of crime l'Americain on French film-making, from coinage of the term "film noir" by film-maker Nino Franck, to the obsessive references to paperback thrillers found in the work of New Wave directors such as Truffaut and Godard. Screenings include Shoot the Pianist, Le Samourai and Plein Soleil, Rene Clement's masterful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller.

So, whatever kind of cinematic kiss kiss bang bang hits your target, Nottingham has the whole damn shooting match. Broadway Media Centre, Broad St, Nottingham (0115-952 6600/6611) from 5 Jun


What better way to stop your sun-soaked brain from corpsing than a little Lift, the capital's international Festival of Theatre? This year's intercontinental imports include South American sense terrorists Periodo villa villa, who invite you to crowd into a dark cavern. Feeling as though you're underwater, you look up to where shadowy shapes float overhead. As the music increases in tempo flying figures chase round the walls and into the crowd. A small disclaimer warns that "some members may get wet during the performance" - whether this is through the carnivalesque effects or sheer excitement, it's a small price to pay for such muscular chorerography and Latin American verve.

After the excitement of May's glorious revoluion, the new production from German company Deutsches Schauspielhaus should prove a striking lesson in satirical realpolitik. Set in a surreal training school for politicians, the piece puts the statesmen through a crash course in leadership as they practice shaking hands and walking on red carpets. A monumental performance piece that is as funny as it is disturbing, as the modern Machivellies take respite from their training in haunting songs from Schubert to Coward.

It's probably also worth booking a ticket now for I Was Real, the new work by Japanese shock trooper Saburo Teshigawara. Famous for the virtuosity and velocity of his performance, Teshigawara has, in the past, proved his ninja dance credentials by walking on broken glass and burying himself in mud. His more salubrious set for this production is designed by the fragrant Issey Miyake.

Other productions dispose of sets altogether and make use of found spaces to present a kind of fluidly interactive promenade theatre. At Trinity Buoy Wharf 50 years of Indian independence are commemorated with a celebratory procession wending through canopied walkways, where historic events blend with personal memories. At Meard Street, meanwhile, solipsistic Soho life reaches its apotheosis with live cinema, simultaneously recording and playing back the ebb and flow of fashionable humanity on to surrounding buildings. Alternatively, enjoy the Columbian theatre of Oraculos, which sucks shoeless visitors into the labyrinthine cellars of the Roundhouse building where, among the darkened winding passages, a host of guides will lead you through chambers filled with sounds, textures, evocative smells, rituals and strange apparitions. The sensual odyssey was described by liberation newspaper as a heightening of perception "better than any drug", praise indeed from cartel country and sure to give your spirits a legal lift.

Lift at venues around London 3-29 June. Box office (0171-312 1995) 8am- 8pm. Information (0171-336 0508)

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

    Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

    Early Years Educator

    £68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

    Nursery Nurse

    £69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

    Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

    £117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam