In the forthcoming French-language Portraits Chinois she's amazingly fluent as the Paris-based muse to a top couturier, rolling her rrrs like a native (though she does overdo all that Gallic shrugging). All the way through she puffs on strong French ciggies, and every time she grins she bares a set of gnashers which look like they've been rubbed with Marmite. Then I started to examine her co-stars. Stubbly, baggy, lived-in French faces; unwashed bodies which testify to a life lived on caffeine and sleepless nights, with the occasional mooch through Montmartre at midnight for exercise. If it were made by Americans you might suspect some horrible warning about the prematurely ageing effects of Euro-decadence. As it is, the film seems delightfully non-PC, a generous, sensuous movie which shows there's more to life than flossing and going to bed early. I still think Hel should get some smoker's toothpolish, though.
In these bold new times it's hard to imagine that anyone might feel remotely nostalgic for the Eighties, or, more specifically, for that quintessentially Eighties art-form, the slasher movie. But it's making a come-back. Wes Craven's Scream is gaining critical plaudits (though not from our Kevin), and in its wake comes a new enthusiasm on Wardour Street for witty gore. "Horror writers have had to lie low in recent years," observes screenwriter Christopher Fowler, who suddenly finds himself in demand. The success of Scream prompted a British film company to put up the cash for his "viral ghost story" The Waiting Darkness. Like Scream, it's a horror flick with strong female characters. A few weeks ago, in the Sunday Review, David Thomson bewailed the lack of roles for mature actresses - Chris, sterling fellow, has centred the film around a mother- daughter relationship and whispers the name of a glorious, but undeniably getting-on-a-bit actress who's top of his wish-list. Now he's off to Cannes to find a director.
I always said I'd leave the country in the event of a Labour victory. Actually, I said I'd leave the country in the event of a Tory victory as well. I was going on holiday anyway, but it looks like being a rather longer one than I expected. "The fact is, Dillie, there's no place for It Girls in this bold New Labour world," says the Arts Editor. So it's farewell to pubic wigs, Seven Degrees to Ralph Brown, crap stand-up comics, poets, Buddhists, drag-names, Ralph Fiennes' hairy legs, nipple-doubles, why the Rose theatre resembles a rectum and everything else I've felt moved to share with you. It's been special. Now you can all stop sending me the strange photographs and letters written in purple crayon.