Cinema: Pleasantville (12) - It's a phantasmagorical life

Director: Gary Ross Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, Reese Witherspoon

Film: The Big Picture - A clear and pleasant danger

PLEASANTVILLE (15) DIRECTOR: GARY ROSS STARRING: TOBEY MAGUIRE, JEFF DANIELS, JOAN ALLEN, REESE WITHERSPOON 124 MINUTES

Cinema: A winter's tale of politics, sex and the Seventies

WATERGATE, the oil crisis, Vietnam and the Osmonds made the 1970s a difficult, discouraging decade for American culture. But the decade's mix of political atrophy and social excess is making it an attractive subject for film-makers. Last month, Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights turned the clock back to 1975. This month, Ang Lee's The Ice Storm (15) takes the time tunnel to 1973. Costume drama has gone flared: bell-bottoms are the new bodices.

Film: So cold and bleak you could cheer

The Big Picture: The Ice Storm

High rollers sweep in and pollute the memory of Eddie

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The Art of Theatre: 18 Brothers: Nicholas Wright's Masterclass

AUSTIN is a mild-mannered young screenwriter, the kind who listens attentively in script conferences and never misses a deadline. His brother Lee is a wild original: he steals for a living, makes 'good money' out of his pit bull terrier, roams the desert. Doing what?

FILM / Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark: Meltdown explores the difficult marriage of sight and sound in films. Kevin Jackson is given a conducted tour of soundtracks by the composers George Benjamin and Benedict Mason

ALL ART, Walter Pater declared, aspires to the condition of music; but then, he was writing before the days of Melies and the Lumiere Brothers. In the 20th century, it might be more appropriate to say that some music aspires to the condition of cinema. This, anyway, is one of the possibilities suggested by Meltdown, a week- long festival devised for the South Bank by the British composer George Benjamin. Meltdown will encompass a wide variety of work, including concerts, dance and installation pieces, but one of its main concerns is to reflect on and illustrate the various ways in which film and music may complement, criticise or compete with each other.
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