Computers: Recalling screen icons as time goes by

Wendy Grossman
Friday 31 December 1993 00:02

THIS IS THE gift for movie-lovers. Start from Cinemania 94's extensive (19,000) movie list by typing in or selecting the name you want. Up comes basic information - length, year, black and white or colour, awards won - a cast list and a short review.

Click on one of the highlighted cast names and up comes a short biography and a photograph. Click on the 'Filmography' button and get the complete list of every film the actor has appeared in. Click on one of the highlighted film names, and . . . you get the drift.

Interlaced with all this are plentiful movie stills, dialogue and music clips and even short film clips.

Clicking on the dialogue icon in the entries for Casablanca gets you Humphrey Bogart saying: 'Here's looking at you, kid.' Clicking on the film icon gives you the full scene of Rick's first meeting with Ilsa while Sam plays in the background.

The core of the disk is the reference books it contains and these are some of the best: Ephraim Katz's Film Encyclopedia; Roger Ebert's Video Companion; former New Yorker critic Pauline Kael's 5001 Nights at the Movies; and Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 1994. Video clips are nice, but being able to browse quickly and seamlessly to find out why that actor looks familiar is priceless.

You can get at all the text and photographs on this CD on any PC that can run the Windows 3.1 operating system - a 386SX or better processor - and which has a VGA standard monitor, CD-rom drive, 2 megabytes of main memory and 4 megabytes of hard disk space to store the CD's search files.

To be able to play the dialogue and music clips, you need a sound card hooked to speakers or headphones. To play the film clips, you need one of the newer double-speed CD-rom drives - otherwise the action will start and stop unpleasantly.

Cinemania 94; Microsoft; pounds 39.99

The Computer page welcomes readers' feedback, which can be sent by electronic mail (E-mail) to the editors, at the internet address:

comppage@independent. co. uk.

Of course snailmail (ie the ordinary post) would reach them just as well, addressed to:

The Editors, Computer Page, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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