Arts and Entertainment

The epic, entertaining drama of madness and its misdiagnosis

Mia suicidal

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Doctors 'clear Allen of sex abuse'

NEW HAVEN - Medical experts have determined that Woody Allen did not sexually abuse one of the children he adopted with his estranged partner Mia Farrow, representatives for both sides said yesterday. The long-awaited report has been a key part of the couple's bitter custody battle.

CINEMA / Can't see Woody for the tricks

AS Woody Allen's life grows trickier, his art gets tricksier. In Husbands and Wives, his camera juddered about like a nervous tic. In Shadows and Fog, he borrows the full paraphernalia of German Expressionism. The film is set in an unnamed middle-European town (Prague?) at an unspecified time (the 1920s?): a tracing-paper world of slate greys and charcoals, looming shadows and lamps guttering into the gloom. Carlo Di Palma's photography is so murky you could choke on it. The plot is cadged from Fritz Lang's M: a killer on the loose; both law and outlaws anxious to restore the status quo. We see the strangler, in shadow, at the start of the film. With his knee-length cloak, pointy ears, and spatulate fingers, he's a ringer for Murnau's Nosferatu.

FILM / Comedies off the shelf

COMEDY must be the most ethereal of movie genres: the one that travels least easily and ages least well. So it's encouraging to report that, of the American funnies opening this week, a package of three 70-year-old Buster Keaton films (at the Barbican from tomorrow) effortlessly provides the keenest pleasures. The Playhouse (U) gives us a vaudeville show played by a troupe of Keatons (including a Keaton-ape), accompanied by an orchestra of Keatons and watched - with varying degrees of inattentiveness - by an audience of Keatons.

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow after a meeting

Woody Allen, the film-maker, and Mia Farrow, his former lover, leaving Yale-New Haven Hospital's sexual abuse clinic after a meeting on Thursday. Mr Allen said: 'We're doing our best to try and resolve things'.

FILM / With eager anticipation

The year's first wave of high-profile new releases includes Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Spike Lee's Malcolm X, Stephen Frears's Hero (retitled The Accidental Hero for UK release), Danny De Vito's Hoffa and Barry Levinson's Toys (these last three all box-office disappointments in America, however). New films from Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence), Robert Altman (Short Cuts, based on stories by Raymond Carver), Oliver Stone (Heaven and Earth, the third part of his 'Vietnam trilogy') and Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park) are coming down the pike. And The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton's new project using stop-frame animation, is bound to be among the odder big- budget productions.

Woody Allen in new sex claim

NEW YORK (Reuter) - A lawyer for the actress Mia Farrow dropped a bombshell in court yesterday, charging that Ms Farrow's ex-lover Woody Allen had sex with Ms Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, in front of her seven-year-old sister, who is at the centre of their child custody dispute.

FILM / The Hollywood home movie show: The appearance of Depardieu pere et fils in Tous Les Matins du Mondes continues a long and occasionally dishonourable film tradition. John Lyttle uproots a family tree of sibling rivalries

TWO well-worn routes to film fame: the casting couch and the crib. Both involve a lot of lying about on your back and playing dumb while people loom over you making silly faces, but the crib leaves you with your virtue intact. And if Daddy isn't about to buy you a mockingbird, then he should at least arrange a screen test, shouldn't he?

CINEMA / Mid-life Woody goes crabby

IN HIS new movie, Husbands and Wives, Woody Allen plays a content and courageous naval officer with a large family and a varied sporting life, who one day . . . sorry, my mistake. I was daydreaming. Correction: in his new movie, Woody Allen plays a New York Jewish writer with a marriage past its sell-by date and a salad of mixed troubles. In short, the usual.

Obituary: Cleavon Little

Cleavon Little, actor, born Chickasha Oklahoma 1 June 1939, died Los Angeles 22 October 1992.

FILM / Two's a crowd: Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives reviewed

The puppet-master makes his familiar gestures, but in the black light of media attention the strings fluoresce, and it's impossible not to follow them up to those dancing fingers, and to ask: what was he thinking of, when he made them do that? Is this the equivalent, in terms of Woody Allen's longstanding reputation, of a suicide note?

Allen in threat to sue over sex claims

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Lawyers for Woody Allen threatened yesterday to sue Vanity Fair magazine for libel after it printed a story alleging that he sexually abused the 7-year-old daughter he adopted with actress Mia Farrow.

Mia Farrow visits gala

Mia Farrow, who is fighting her former lover, Woody Allen, for custody of their children, arrives with a friend, Peter Wooster, for a New York gala in honour of the lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

Woody Allen comes to life at the Odeon

WAS IT art imitating life or life imitating art? Or are both propositions contempt of court?

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