Wide Angle: New viewing figures in '98

It's going to be a big year for big names, with new films from Tarantino, Verhoeven, Spielberg and Eastwood. But trendspotters can also have fun with the many interesting films from unknowns

Men In Black? LA Confidential? Nil By Mouth? ... soooo last year, darling, So what's in store for cinephiles, blockbuster babes and multiplex monsters in 1998? It's back to the spangly 1970s for the first few months of next year, as the nostalgia wheel spins film-makers back to the decade that fashion forgot. First off is January's Boogie Nights (right), a sprawling glitterball of reflections on the sex industry from Paul Thomas Anderson. Starring Julianne Moore as Amber Waves, Heather Graham as Rollergirl, Don Cheadle as Buck Swope and Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler, the film is epic in names alone, not to mention the unfeasibly-large prosthetic penis Wahlberg gets to don for the role of protege to porn auteur Burt Reynolds (in another nicely self-parodic turn).

While also set in the 1970s, Ang Lee's stunning latest The Ice Storm (February) offers quite a contrast. This cool but intense chamber piece explores the crisis in confidence of Nixon's America through the emotional fracturing of two families. Offering powerfully understated performances from an ensemble that includes Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline and Joan Allen, it's a definite must-see.

Travel back in time to a parallel Seventies in March, with Quentin Tarantino's neo-exploitation flick Jackie Brown, starring original superfly star Pam Grier alongside Samuel Jackson, Bridget Fonda and Robert De Niro. Expect big hair, big shoes and big backchat from the motor-mouthed maestro.

Finally, 1998 also sees enormously talented American indie director Todd Haynes moving away from the minimalism of Safe to embrace the excesses of 1970s glam rock in Velvet Goldmine, which stars Ewan McGregor as an lggy Pop-style rock God.

But enough of this retro-kitsch and back to the future. One of the first blockbusters of the year promises to be Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, a bug-eyed and ultra-violent B-movie which essentially pits a crew of beautiful unknowns against a load of computer-generated giant insects. Sci-fi fans can also look forward to seeing Mulder and Scully finally hitting the big screen this summer in X Files: The Movie.

James Cameron's hulking Titanic washes up on the screens at the end of January, while February sees Spielberg turning serious once more with Amistad, the true story of a 1839 uprising on board a slave ship. The Coen brothers release their mistaken identity comedy The Big Lebowski, starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman. Other releases include Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which shows an intriguing change in orientation from director Clint Eastwood, who abandons his usual lean style for a foray into Southern Gothic.

On the star side, catch Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman in The Avengers, Robert De Niro and Anne Heche in political thriller Wag The Dog and Claudia Schiffer making her film debut in The Black Out, the latest nightmare to escape from the troubled brain of Abel Ferrara.

For those whose tastes run to something darker than celebrity spotting, this year offers a fine crop of provocative independent work. This week's well-wrought Kissed assays nechrophilia, while next month's documentary, Sick: The Life and Death of Supermasochist Bob Flanagan, poignantly charts how cystic fibrosis sufferer Flanagan takes control of his own suffering, unflinchingly detailing his predilection for hammering nails through tender body parts.

Spring is sadism, with Neil La Bute's In The Company of Men describing how two frat boy executives decide to revenge themselves on women by victimising a deaf secretary. And if that weren't enough, April also sees the release of Gummo, the bizarre new film from Kids writer Harmony Korine which, with its heady combination of cat killing and squalid sex, looks set to rival 1997's Crash in controversy. Happy New Viewing.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

    Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Day In a Page

    Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

    Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
    General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

    All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

    The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
    How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

    How Etsy became a crafty little earner

    The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
    Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

    King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

    Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

    The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
    Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

    Don't fear the artichoke

    Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
    11 best men's socks

    11 best men's socks

    Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
    Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

    Paul Scholes column

    Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
    Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
    London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

    Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

    Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

    Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
    Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

    Khorasan is back in Syria

    America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
    General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

    On the campaign trail with Ukip

    Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
    Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

    Expect a rush on men's tights

    Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
    Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

    In the driving seat: Peter Kay

    Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road