WEEK IN REVIEW

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THE FILM

Lost Highway

Directed by David Lynch from a script cowritten with Barry Gifford. This inexplicable conjunction of film noir set-pieces stars Patricia Arquette as both a gangster's wife and the murdered wife of a saxophonist, Bill Pullman as the convicted musician and Balthazar Getty as a mechanic who takes his place on death row and is subsequently released, only to fall in love with the adventurous wife of a gangster...

Adam Mars-Jones was enthralled by `a

Mobius strip of mystifying narrative, a

story with two sides but a single surface'. But The Times was troubled by the poor metaphysics: `Time and space are bent out of shape; one character merges into another ... the lines connecting cause and effect are impossibly skewed'. The Guardian offered a judicious recommendation: `As watchable as any movie he has ever made,' while The Mirror mused: `More Lapsang Souchong than PG Tips, David Lynch isn't everyone's cup of tea.'

At cinemas nationwide THE PLAY

Massage

Austere and insolubly enigmatic, a movie to irritate and fascinate

Steven Berkoff writes, directs and stars in a play exploring the sexual hypocrisy of the British, the fragmentation of domestic and social life and the `delightful' institution of the massage parlour. Berkoff drags up as a disaffected wife turned masseuse on the quiet, Barry Philips plays her

embittered husband - who happens to frequent massage parlours - and an assortment of other customers.

Sue Wilson observed a `marked departure from Berkoff's trademark intensity'. The Telegraph lamented `a truly terrible show', while The Times tried to avoid the spectacle of Berkoff `dragged up grotesquely to the nines like the panto dame he may yet end up being'. The Evening Standard enjoyed it more: `He totters around, twisting his heavily made-up features into a pornographic mask and miming the manipulation of impossibly large members in the air'.

Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh (0131-226 2428) to 30 Aug

The focus of much expectation, now reduced to the status of freak show THE GIG

Blur

For the headliners of V97, last weekend was a real homecoming, and not just in Chelmsford. For the first time Blur took their new material to a wide British audience - first Essex, then Leeds. In a week where the music media hyper-ventilated over Oasis, this was a pointed demonstration of how good pop music can be.

Ben Thompson remarked that there was `something very healthy about the faint sense of unease which the crowd carries out into the Essex night.' But, in the NME's opinion, `complete destruction has been narrowly avoided'. The Times was more optimistic, noting with approval that Albarn was `clearly happy and confident in his own Essex backyard'. The Evening Standard, by contrast, likened him to `an eight-year-old boy who has just been given a scalex-tric for Christmas'.

On tour in November and December. Damon Albarn will appear in a radio version of Joe Orton's `Up Against It' on 15 Sept and in Antonia Bird's film `Face' next month

Worth being there then,

especially if you were

Damon Albarn

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