Arts and Entertainment Ryan Guzman (pictured) is signed to Step Up 5

Tinseltown Insider

Film: Still afraid of the men in black

Big bad Hollywood is always bullying British films out of the cinema - so the script goes. Kevin Maher talks to the distributors

No, not Cooney. Clooney

Twentieth Century Fox is planning a film of the quintessential British stage farce 'Run For Your Wife'. The studio wants to capitalise on the success of new wave British comedies such as 'The Full Monty' and 'Brassed Off'. The company is said to be offering more than one million dollars to the show's creator, Ray Cooney, for screen rights to the trouser- dropping farce in the touching belief that it is part of the new wave. Cooney, who is in Los Angeles for negotiations with Fox, said: "I think that with the success of 'The Full Monty' and 'Brassed Off', Hollywood has started to look at British films and British comedy in a very positive way. I am in negotiations and it looks as if this time it is finally going to happen." Cooney remains unfashionable among British theatre critics, though not among audiences. He has written 16 farces and 'Run For Your Wife' ran in the West End for nine years. But none has yet been made into a film. Indeed the Fox project, to be produced by Harold Ramis, the man behind 'Ghostbusters', will be the first attempt by a big studio to film a British farce since 'No Sex, Please, We're British' 20 years ago. But can Cooney's politically incorrect world of randy men, scatterbrained women and gesticulating homosexuals possibly translate? David Lister eavesdrops on a planning meeting at the Hollywood studios.

Moments that made the year: Fine romance proves that big isn't necessarily beautiful

The best films can take you back to the first time you were ever held in the spell of the cinema screen, with the smell of popcorn hanging in your nostrils, and the sound of the projector whispering in the distance. There were a handful of pictures this year that made me remember how intoxicating cinema can be. My favourite film of 1997 was Baz Lurhmann's Romeo & Juliet, which proved to be less a case of the film-maker adapting the text than lunging at it with a broad sword. Rather than simply updating the play, Luhrmann dragged the setting into modern times while audaciously keeping the language firmly plugged into the late 16th century. The results were sensual, witty and bold, with moments that made Fellini look like a master of understatement.

Film: Precocious prankster who gets a thrill from tripping people up

David Fincher is associated with the making of relentless, dark thrillers like `Seven'. Although his latest film `The Game' has its playful moments, Ryan Gilbey finds its director revelling in its depths of illusion

Real Living: The return of the clash

James Sherwood meets one man who has no plans to chuck out his chintz

Box Office London

1 The Full Monty 20th Century Fox

Stirling stuff: welcome to 'Braveheart' country

Sir William Wallace once beat the English here. Now, with Thursday's referendum looming, history could repeat itself.

Style police: Move over, Marilyn...

Slinky pencil skirts, cute stilettoes - the sex kitten is back, says James Sherwood

Mind your backs Fear is the key

Grosse Pointe Blank George Armitage (15)

PIPE DREAMS

Directing the most commercially successful films in Hollywood history is one thing, founding a new studio quite another. And Steven Spielberg could be about to discover the difference. Report by David Thomson

It's Dollywood as Tinseltown sees double

Dolly the Sheep may already be a double - but can she act the part? The world's first cloned sheep is being courted by television and film companies anxious to sign up the woolly star.

Obituary: Irving Caesar

"I write fast", maintained the lyricist Irving Caesar. "Sometimes lousy - but always fast."

A film script for the City

PROFILE : Barry Spikings One of Hollywood's leading Brits wants our money men to go to the movies. Ian Griffiths reports

Teacher Babe

The cinema has invaded the classroom. Media studies in the national curriculum has led to film becoming an increasingly important teaching aid in British schools. Daniel Rosenthal reports

THE CUTTING EDGE OUT

A fantastic voyage through the body is no longer a Hollywood dream. Roger Dobson examines the new technology which enables surgeons to practise skills without ever picking up a scalpel
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