Dance: Smoke without fire

PACO PEnA FLAMENCO DANCE COMPANY PEACOCK THEATRE LONDON

Let smokers co-opt the nicotine patch and turn the sign of the pariah into a mark of pride

I should have seen what we despised minorities had in common earlier, only smoke got in my eyes. And in my ears, for surely the shared slang alone ought to have filter-tipped me off to our tortured bond.

STICKING TO HIS GUNS

Film: Actor stephen rea, one of the stars of Trojan Eddie, talks to John Lyttle

Bruce, Terry and Brad's excellent adventure

THE CRITICS: Film

You are about to read a true story...

For 10 years, Paul Auster wrote novels packed full of strange coincidences. Get real, said his critics. So he did. By Kevin Jackson

FILM / Profits without honour: Will the Oscars next week breath new life into the British Film Industry? Sheila Johnston reports

This year the announcement of a grand total of 25 Oscar nominations (per Screen International) for British contenders has tipped the UK media into one of its periodic feeding frenzies. It's sobering to remember, though, that this general aura of self-congratulation and euphoria isn't nearly matched by the three main candidates' box-office success in their own country. The Crying Game (6 nominations) steamed this week past the dollars 40 million mark in America, and on to the front page of Variety. It has, according to Neil McCartney of Screen Finance, more than doubled its take there since the nominations were announced. Here, it has taken just over pounds 1.3m, adding only pounds 400,000 over last month.

Oscar panel gives the Game away

THE TANTALISING secret at the heart of the highly successful British film The Crying Game was blown wide open yesterday, ending months of self-imposed censorship by most of the world's film critics.

FILM / Crossing boundaries: Adam Mars-Jones on Neil Jordan's The Crying Game

THE CAREFUL first shot of The Crying Game (18) sets up in a subtle way the film's peculiar territory. A town by a river in Northern Ireland, with a funfair in progress. Percy Sledge is singing 'When a Man Loves a Woman'. The camera slowly tracks across the river, so that our perspective on the town changes: the colour of the village green contrasts with the pale green growth on some sand dunes, and it comes as a little shock to realise how near the sea actually is. The town is only seen in this first sequence, but the opening shot is a clever abstract announcement of what the film has to offer - a tightly focused story, with large implications, much concerned with crossing over, with the changing of sides and the dissolving of boundaries.

FILM / Cries and whispers: Scorched by Hollywood, Neil Jordan is back in Britain and back on form. John Lyttle reports

The title of Neil Jordan's latest film enjoys a certain aptness. To borrow from the ballad, he does know all there is to know about The Crying Game.

The Sunday Preview: From hostage to kidnapper, in one easy move

THE NEXT in our series of film previews for readers is a movie with a real difference: it's British. Or rather Anglo-Irish. It's The Crying Game, directed by Neil Jordan and produced by Stephen Woolley - the team that made Mona Lisa and The Company of Wolves. Stephen Rea (above), fresh from his stage success as a hostage in Someone Who'll Watch over Me, plays a kidnapper, an IRA man with a
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