Moving pictures for the patient English ...

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As a service to readers, I am bringing you a rundown of the main feature films to be on release this Eastertide. Happy viewing.

Mr Norris Changes Trains.

Europe is in turmoil. France doesn't know what it wants. Germany thinks it knows what it wants. Enter Steven Norris. He hasn't the faintest idea what he wants either! He thinks he wants love. And a Tory government. And cars. And the Newbury bypass. Then he changes his mind. He still wants love. But now he wouldn't mind a Labour government. And he likes trains better than cars now. And he doesn't like the Newbury bypass after all. Wacky film, wacky character! Expect a sequel.


Not for the squeamish. Crash is about a man who gets sexually turned on by the sight of firms going crash, specifically banks. The year that Baring's went down the tube was the most exciting of his life. Life seems dull thereafter. So he joins NatWest to try to do the same for them - and damned near succeeds! Full of full frontal banknotes and simulated currency exchange deals. ("Sick, perverted" - Financial Times.)

Space Jam.

A grim look ahead into a future where the Tory road-building programme finally backfires and there is the first traffic jam in space (between the Moon and the Newbury turn-off).

Mars Attacks.

Another science fiction film with glittering special effects. One day the inhabitants of an unnamed capital city look up and see a sleek black object several miles long sliding over the rooftops. It is a giant Mars bar! But where has it come from? Is it something to do with the forthcoming London marathon? When the weather turns hot will it melt and drown the inhabitants in its yummy molten golden interior? And will the Government's plan to have it eaten by specially starved children really work?

The English Patient.

Britain has sometimes been called "the sick man of Europe" and in this thoughtful, sensitively filmed political allegory, the British condition is looked at very closely. We think we may be European, but we are not sure if we are British, or English, or Scottish. We sometimes think we want to get out of Europe, but we don't even know if we are properly in. We want to affect the way Europe is run, but we don't want to be affected by it. We even have an election in which one party wants nothing but to have a referendum about Europe. Are we going mad? Are we having a nervous breakdown? Oh, well - at least it provides amusement for the French and Germans, who look on, fascinated.

Spice Jam.

First full-length feature movie starring the Spice Girls, it tells the story of some girls who get together and sing and become very famous overnight and decide to make a major movie while they are still hot.


Emma was safe in the Tory party. She had everything she needed - safe seat, large majority, parking space. But her life was empty. There was something missing. What could it be? A husband? No - she already had one. So it must be the spotlight. She didn't have the attention she craved. So she joined the Liberal Democrats. Now she had all the attention she craved! But did she retain the seat, the majority, the parking space? We won't give away the exciting ending ...

Fierce Creatures.

John made a very successful film about a fish called Wanda which everyone loved. But he didn't make another one for a long time (excepting funny little videos about how to organise seminars and motivate salesmen) because he knew that the critics would be out to get him. Critics have long teeth, and long claws, and are bloodthirsty, and cannot make films themselves so they have all the single-minded savagery of the eunuch ... Then finally John made another film and the critics closed in for the kill. Not a pretty sight.

Spouse Jam.

Instructional short film about the dangers of marriage and divorce put out by the Church of England.


French film. Young Jean Majeur comes to the capital to win fame and fortune, er, that is, to serve his country in any way possible, and finds to his horror that to achieve any kind of political success you have to lie, cheat, bribe, dissemble, fawn, flatter, cringe, time-serve and go through the motions. He refuses to do any of these things. He gets nowhere. He changes his mind.