Arts and Entertainment

Viennese noir... with red tinges

OBITUARIES: Joseph Heller

JOSEPH HELLER once told his friend and fellow author Kurt Vonnegut that, if it weren't for the Second World War, he'd be in the dry-cleaning business. He wasn't referring only to his wartime experiences - which provided the material for his satirical novel Catch-22 - but also to the opportunity the GI Bill gave a working-class kid from Coney Island to get a college education after the war. Paradoxically - and Heller was a master of paradox - the author of one of the greatest anti-war novels ever written often insisted that, everything considered, he had had a "good" and even "enjoyable" war.

Joseph Heller, master of black satire, dies at 76

JOSEPH HELLER, who achieved worldwide fame with his 1961 anti- war novel Catch-22, about the lunacies of the United States military in the Second World War, has died aged 76. His wife, Valerie, said he had a heart attack on Sunday at their home in East Hampton on Long Island.

ARTS: VISUAL ART CHOICE

TURNER PRIZE 1999

Going Out: Film - VIDEO REVIEWS

The Idiots (18)

Film Studies: 'Citizen Kane' must be banned - for its sake, and for ours

Last Friday, at the London Curzons "and at selected cinemas across the country", Citizen Kane opened in the closest to a general release it has enjoyed since 1941. "The greatest film ever made," said the ads. But then I noticed this reckless dismissal, this height of naivete - its "U" certificate. U! No parental guidance! No scholarly introduction? Just that enormous, complex, sensual experience, that song of power, the crowd and applause, that bottomless well of solipsism, for any six-year-old innocent enough to wander into the Curzon?

Cinema: What a swell party this is

Human Traffic (18) Justin Kerrigan; 95 mins Jean de Florette (PG) Claude Berri; 121 mins The Deep End of the Ocean (12) Ulu Grosbard; 107 mins Without Limits (12) Robert Towne; 118 mins Virus (18) John Bruno; 99 mins Vigo - Passion for Life (15) Julien Temple; 103 mins Crush Proof (18) Paul Tickell; 91 mins Citizen Kane (U) Orson Welles; 119 mins

THE FIVE BEST REVIVALS

1

Letter from Hollywood: Our latest screenwriting discovery: a chap by the name of Orson Welles

Orson Welles is a director whose fame rests almost as much on the movies he did not make, or was not allowed to complete as he wished, as on the ones he did. With the exception of Citizen Kane, the brilliant debut that both launched and cursed his career, there is barely one work that wasn't dogged by studio re-editing, financial tussles, or the technical nightmare arising from his later, largely self-financed projects.

Letter: Mismatch

BY NOW, I am sure that you have been told that in the feature on drunken journalists ("No more sleaze on the street", Real Life, 27 September), the photograph and the legend did not match up.

The third man reconstructed

A new radio drama which charts the birth of the classic film Citizen Kane brings together some exceptional talents to portray three giants of stage and screen. The play's director, Ned Chaillet, talks about the history of the actors, and characters, involved

Caution: Small minds on big screen

Just what David Thomson needs: another top 100 films poll. And it's not even as if the list-makers ever get it right

Interview: Just a roll, no baloney

Joseph Heller's memoir glows with nostalgia for his Coney Island childhood. But the old master of satire has not gone soft, he tells John Walsh. Photograph by Jonathan Torgovnik

Film: Ring in the old, ring in the new

Even if you had made a studious effort to avoid every new film released in 1997, you still wouldn't be able to deny that it's been a rich year for cinema - old cinema that is, dusted off and smartened up. The new prints of old films which have surfaced this year have provided the chance to savour classic pictures without having to wade through a snowstorm of scratches, or those jumps that can make a Renoir look like a hip-hop video; they also provide a choice in the matter of when and where you see a film - no longer is a perfect date movie like His Girl Friday consigned to Saturday afternoon on BBC2. For the film critic for whom Charlie Sheen and Chris O'Donnell appear to be taking over the world, the appearance of a Spiral Staircase or a Plein Soleil on the release schedules provides a refreshing oasis. This year has seen some of the finest films ever made returning to the cinema screen - The Battle of Algiers, Vertigo, Citizen Kane, along with glittering treasures like The Honeymoon Killers and Mamma Roma. Anyone who questions the absence of the Star Wars trilogy from this list should consult their GP immediately.
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