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The critics - the cinema: Cronenberg unplugged

eXistenZ Director: David Cronenberg Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law (96 mins; 15)

Film: The Big Picture - The games people play

eXistenZ (15) DIRECTOR: DAVID CRONENBERG STARRING: JENNIFER JASON LEIGH, JUDE LAW, IAN HOLM 96 MINUTES

Film: Does this man think he's God?

Fundamentalists are unlikely to enjoy David Cronenberg's eXistenZ but he can't see why. He thinks he and they have a lot in common. 'I understand Rushdie: "The Satanic Verses" was Imax and "Crash" was Super-8'

Film: Blame Spielberg, not me

David Cronenberg's latest is typically extreme, although that's not what he'd have you believe.

Film: Lean and mean and full of genes

Film: Lean and mean and full of genes

NICE LEGS, PITY ABOUT THE GENES

Andrew Niccol's film 'Gattaca' depicts a futuristic world where genetic make-up is all. Sci-fi it may be, says Marek Kohn, but there are no laws of nature blocking the way

Film: Danny the Man goes futuristic

Danny DeVito moves into science fiction with his new film, `Gattaca'. Martyn Palmer talked to the pint-sized Titan

Choice: Discussion: Closer, National Theatre

Closer, National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252) 10pm

TECHNOFILE: THE GOD GAME

Just fill out the form, and you too could have a genotype like Uma Thurman's, or Jude Law's ... Well, not quite, but at least the site promoting the sci-fi film Gattaca has come up with an interesting use for those tedious on-line forms. The Design-A-Child feature could have been designed to induce apoplexy in critics of genetic determinism. At the start, you choose between two buttons: "Yes, I want to design my own child", or "No, I want to roll the genetic dice". Choose "No", and you're asked to consider if that's really such a good idea.

THEATRE: In the family way: Paul Taylor reviews Sean Mathias's production of Les Parents Terribles at the Lyttelton . . .

There was a time not so long ago when you could scarcely open a theatre programme without finding the Larkin line 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad,' prominently quoted in it. I remarked to one of our leading directors that this was a vacuous practice since you'd be hard put to find a play to which the tag was not relevant, saving perhaps The Wind in the Willows. He laughed, a trifle wanly, and no wonder, given that the line proved to be emblazoned on the bumf to his own next production.

THEATRE / Living dream: Paul Taylor on Death of a Salesman at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

American drama's compulsion to pin everything on the dysfunctional family could be seen at its distorting worst recently in The Destiny of Me, Larry Kramer's disappointing follow-up to The Normal Heart. Its protagonist's crusade against the US government's stance on Aids became entangled with an autobiographical Neil Simon-type memory play, flashbacks filling us in on the hero's history as a gay misfit in a smothering Jewish home.

THEATRE / What's it all about, Alfie?: Nick Curtis reviews Alfie, newly arrived in the West End, plus the best of the Fringe

BEFORE the touchy-feely Nineties man has even begun to flash his reconstructed credentials on stage, a pre-emptive strike has been launched by the old lads. First John Osborne exhumed Jimmy Porter for a misogynistic reprise in Dejavu. Then the National Theatre's revival proved that the charming sheen had worn off Billy Liar. Now the ultimate post-war wide-boy has returned: Bill Naughton's Alfie rears his roguish head at the Queen's Theatre.

THEATRE / Correction

The actors pictured in yesterday's review of Snow Orchid at the Gate were Roger Lloyd Pack and Adam Magnani (not Jude Law).
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