Arts and Entertainment

Mario Testino’s talent with a camera must be maddening for other photographers working in a highly competitive field, but he remains one of the most revered stars in his profession. Testino has a natural ability to float effortlessly from studio to backstage to after-party, producing stunning shots in any kind of situation. From royals to mega-celebrities, Testino has shot some of the world’s most inaccessible subjects, always with an ease that betrays the complexity of the task. When Testino gets “in your face” he captures you at your best — and that is what makes him the best.

1995 box-office charts

TOP 10 OF THE YEAR: UK

Turn on, tune in, drop dead

THE CRITICS FILM

A film by Gus Van Slick

Gus Van Sant has gone commercial and in so doing sacrificed something crucial - Gus Van Sant. TO DIE FOR Gus Van Sant (15)

CINEMA : Wholly boring, Batman!

I'M AFRAID that Batman Forever (PG) looks to be the measure of it. Invincible, indestructible, ineluctable, the caped crusader cruises, on inky wings, towards the millennium, a blot that can't be erased from the silver screen. Superman is exhausted, The Human Torch guttered out, while The Flash turned out to be just a flash in a pan. But Batman, like a diamond, is forever. A multi-faceted diamond, since Batman's complexity is the source of his robust longevity. Unlike Superman, Batman is one of us: human, confused and vulnerable, at times almost to the point of masochism. It is not hard to read a religious symbolism into this suffering saviour. No doubt Warner Brothers executives, after the movie took $53m on its first US weekend, offered up a prayer of thanks to the man in black.

The big picture: Holy neurosis, Batman

So he's a poor little rich boy whose parents died young. But do we really need to explore the Caped Crusader's twisted pathology? By Adam Mars-Jones; BATMAN FOREVER Joel Schumacher PG

The Kapow! Zap! factor

`Batman Forever' took $52m on its launch weekend. It needed to. By Peter Guttridge

Cannes, part deux

Which hits from this year's festival will come to Britain? Sheila Johnston reports

VIDEO / This week's releases

The Age of Innocence (U). Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel of passion and repression in the 1880s is fetishistic in its fidelity. There's no sense of what the tale tells us today. Still, it's gorgeous and technically brilliant, a buff's and a snob's delight, with quotations from Visconti to Kubrick, and exquisite etiquette animated by Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The Brits out-act the Yanks, the men the women. On video, you may see more of the lavish details: Scorsese shot the picture in Super 35 format, so although the sides will be closer there'll be more at the bottom of the screen.

FILM / On Video

RENTAL

FILM / Deja vu in a recurring nightmare

VADIM JEAN, the young British director of last year's Leon the Pig Farmer, has changed course dramatically with his new film. Beyond Bedlam (18) is a psychological thriller-cum- horror flick, subtitled 'Welcome to your worst nightmare'.

FILM / Crashing about in Wayne's joyless world

WAYNE WANG'S version of The Joy Luck Club (15) tells us that fidelity can be a vice - and it should know. Amy Tan's novel was about women stifled by loyalty. Wang's film is stifled by devotion to Tan. Tan interwove eight lives - those of four Chinese women emigrants to San Francisco and their daughters - hopping in and out of their thoughts and memories, between California and China, taking the century as her canvas. She moved her characters as deftly as they handled their mah-jong tiles at the gossipy get-togethers of the title. The film crashes through its moves with a novice's ham-fistedness.

FILM / Here's the beef, where's the meat?

WHAT is the point of Tom Cruise? Leading men should really get on and lead, but he always seems to operate within limits, or under orders. He was lauded for taking on a 'difficult' role in Born on the Fourth of July, but he made the difficulty look a cinch. His mavericks are regular guys, his tough types chirpy: he is the rebel with a perfectly understandable cause, and he wouldn't let us hate him for a moment. Is he really called Tom Cruise? Even his agent couldn't dream up a name like that: the lad next door with the flush of faraway places, a high-school jock with satin skills at the wheel.
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