Cannibal! The Musical (18). Alferd Packer was a Colorado mountain guide who, in the 1870s, became the first man to be tried for cannibalism in America. His bizarre life story gets the Rodgers and Hammerstein treatment (well, sort of) in this 1993 student film by Trey Parker of South Park fame. Parker himself stars as Packer (his partner Matt Stone plays a member of the prospecting party) and co-wrote the musical numbers ("Hang the Bastard", "When I Was on Top of You"). As in South Park and the boys' other movie projects (the porn spoof Orgazmo and the sports satire BASEketball), the humour is wilfully adolescent, with a surprisingly effective absurdist streak. Ultimately, the film seems sadistically overlong, but for the first half hour at least, it's difficult to resist.
2 X 50 Years of French Cinema (no cert). True to form, Jean-Luc Godard's contribution to the BFI's "Century of Cinema" series is the most provocative and beguiling of the lot, slyly challenging the prevailing celebratory tone. Also released: Edgar Reitz's Night of the Film Makers and Stig Bjorkman's I Am Curious, Film, surveys of German and Scandinavian cinema.
The Blackout (18). Abel Ferrara's latest is one of his murkier. Matthew Modine displays surprising range as a debauched film star who, once he cleans up (and shacks up with Claudia Schiffer) is haunted by visions of a violent crime. Ferrara's usual commitment to sleaze is in evidence, but for all its attempts at emotional nakedness, the film feels a little stale and trite.