Arts and Entertainment Italian cinema posters for the Oscar-tipped drama 12 Years A Slave were criticised for promoting the film’s white stars ahead of its black protagonist

BIM Distribuzine promoted film's white actors over black lead Chiwetel Ejiofor

Network: A way through the European Babel

The European Commission has long felt the need for translation software. Back in 1976, it bought rights to Systran from the WTC (World Translation Centre), a company owned by the idealistic Hungarian-born American inventor Peter Toma, a veteran of the Second World War, who saw machine translation as a contribution to world peace. Toma worked on a number of prototype systems before the US Air Force bought a Russian-English module in 1974 and the Commission a prototype French-English language pair in 1976.

ARTS: CINEMA In defence of Bruce Willis

There are many reasons to hate the star of `Twelve Monkeys'. But David Thomson can't help warming to an actor who defies expectations

Who gives a monkey's?

A time-travelling vision of hell on earth should have been right up Terry Gilliam's street. If only he had been able to break free from his past, says Adam Mars-Jones

End of road for 'Thelma and Louise'

One of the female crime duo nicknamed "Thelma and Louise" was found guilty yesterday of robbing a man after luring him into a phony date.

Gracious living with gracious queens - or Golden Girls Go to Hell

Bette on the VCR. Now Voyager: the verandah, the moonlight, Max Steiner's music. Paul Henreid does the two-cigarette thing, and Bette starts to cry (smoke gets in your pop eyes). In a voice too touched and too tender to have ever issued from any man's mouth in real life, Paul asks why she's weeping. Bette turns away (killer close-up) and says, "Only an old maid's tears of gratitude for the crumbs offered." I begin sobbing into my bowl of air-popped popcorn, the way you do. Will pauses in passing around the 5lb box of Belgian chocolates to mutter, "She's off", and hands Andrew the triple-layer tissues we prepared earlier. Andrew follows Will's example and nabs a sheet for himself before giving them to me, along with a hug. As Paul politely advises Bette not to be such a silly bitch, we three honk into our hankies, devastated by a dead movie star's quest for true love.

Cinema record

Cinema record

'Seven': a hell of a good film


'Thelma and Louise' fugitives arrested


Pervert-crazy police go astray - again


cinema: Anthony Hopkins

Poor Anthony Hopkins. He hung around in the US for years and was barely noticed (see Audrey Rose), then he was an Oscar winner only three years ago, yet the studios still aren't sure what to do with him. His name came first and his face loomed large in the original ads for Legends of the Fall, but the publicity revamp, less high-brow, less literary, moves him behind Brad Pitt's shoulder: the hot, sexy American star triumphs over the classically trained, critically respected Welsh-born actor. Which only goes to prove, once again, that while Hollywood genuflects to talent, it's a slave to the box-office...

Give me a home where buffalo roam

Legends of the Fall has Brad Pitt, wild bears, a noble savage and a family feud. It's paradise, American style, says Sheila Johnston

Exploring Babel's towering talent

What do you do if your currency is worthless, law and order in your town is run by gangsters, but you just can't bring yourself to emigrate?

FILM / The old route through the badlands: Kalifornia Director: Dominic Sena (US); Belle Epoque (15) Director: Fernando Trueba (Sp); The Scent of Green Papaya (U) Director: Tran Anh Hung (Fr); Redheads (15) Director: Danny Vendramini (Aus); The Thing Called Love (no cert) Director: Peter Bogdanovich (US)

In Kalifornia, the hero (David Duchovny) is a youngish would-be writer with a penchant for black leather, an interest in serial killers and a moody line in voice-overs; the heroine (Michelle Forbes) dresses to match, takes Mapplethorpe-style photographs and reads Camille Paglia. A pretty hip couple, you might think. On the other hand, they can't be that hip, or they'd have seen movies like Badlands and would therefore twig - even if common sense hadn't already told them - that going for a cross-country ride with a snorting, flatulent redneck (Brad Pitt) and his imbecilic simperer of a girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) might not be the shrewdest of career moves.

FILM / On Release: Sheila Johnston's film choice

----------------------------------------------------------------- Sheila Johnston's film choice ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1. . . The Piano 2. . . Naked 3. . . Raining Stones 4. . . Dave 5. . . True Romance -----------------------------------------------------------------

VIDEO / 1492: Conquest of Paradise (15; Guild)

Lumpen quincentennial epic, only partially redeemed by stunning photography and design. A box-office failure for Ridley Scott and a huge disappointment after Thelma & Louise.
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