11th March 2006
12:00 AM — Truman Capote ranks as one of America's greatest ever writers, yet today is probably best known - at least to film lovers - as the author of that classic Audrey Hepburn flick Breakfast at Tiffany's.He is also prime material for the typical Hollywood biopic - a man who rose from poverty in the deep south to the New York cocktail set, mixing with A-list celebrities and royalty while engaging in a string of doomed homosexual relationships with married men and battling drug and alcohol addictions, before dying of a drug overdose aged 59.
12:00 AM — One of the major dilemmas for any fan of Hollywood blockbusters over the last decade has been how to explain what has happened to Harrison Ford. This is the man who played the two coolest cinematic characters to have merged in the final quarter of the 20th Century.This is Han Solo. This is Indiana Jones. This is also Deckard from Blade Runner, another all-time iconic film character, and a man Oscar-nominated for his starring turn in the serious and restrained Witness.
The White Countess
12:00 AM — The death of producer Ismail Merchant in May last year marked the end of an era for British film-making. As one half of the Merchant Ivory team, the "Ivory" being director James Ivory, his name has become synonymous with the kind of lavish costume drama which typified British films for much of the latter half of the 20th Century, teaming up on more than 40 film projects, including the much-loved adaptations A Room With A View (1985), Howards End (1992) and The Remains of the Day (1993). The White Countess is the last product of this partnership, which has brought more intelligent and lavish versions of literary classics to the big screen than any other.
Imagine Me And You
12:00 AM — As soon as one film finds success with a subject previously thought not to hold any commercial appeal, movie-makers tend to run around in a desperate attempt to imitate the same previously unconsidered route to success.Gladiator shows that the historical epic can still find an audience, and within a couple of years we have the likes of Kingdom of Heaven and the upcoming Hannibal trying to cash in. X-Men does stupidly well at the box office, and the next few years sees cinemas packed out with umpteen other movies based on comic books and superheroes.
Tristan + Isolde
12:00 AM — The medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde (or Yseult, depending on how archaic you want to be) is these days best known thanks to the grand opera by Richard Wagner, often claimed to be one of the finest ever written.After its initial appearance during the Dark Ages, by the 13th Century Tristan had been elevated to the level of one of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table, before the tale of their tragic romance eventually evolved into that of Lancelot and Arthur's queen, Guinevere.
The Pink Panther 1
12:00 AM — You would have thought that he would have learned his lesson after reviving the classic comic character of Sgt Bilko for the screen, but it seems that Steve Martin pays little attention to critics.Having failed to do justice to American comedian Phil Silvers' most famous creation, Martin has now decided to attempt to pick up the mantle of the best-loved character of that most versatile of British actors, Peter Sellers, by donning the trademark moustache and trenchcoat of bumbling French detective Inspector Clouseau.
12:00 AM — After the ridicule heaped upon actors who meddle in politics in 2004's entertaining puppet satire Team America: World Police, it is a brave Hollywood star indeed who dares to tackle the contentious world of contemporary politics.Yet as the war in Iraq reaches its third anniversary, mainstream Hollywood seems finally to be catching up with the political debates that have been raging ever since the "War on Terror" was launched in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The figurehead for this new movement is emerging in the unlikely shape of a fat, bearded George Clooney.
The Weather Man
12:00 AM — The basic premise of Nicholas Cage as a man wrestling with the age-old dilemma of whether his family or career is more important may sound rather familiar to fans of this often brilliant, frequently erratic actor.Back in 2000, his disappointing feel-good flick The Family Man - even the title was similar - gave him a Sliding Doors-style second chance at life, where he opted for love over money.
Keanu Reeves brushes off gay rumours 7
12:00 AM — The Hollywood star, Keanu Reeves, prefers to laugh off rumours questioning his sexuality rather than consult his expensive lawyer.He told the New York Post: "I try not to live my life by what other people say. People were gossiping about what the king and queen were doing way back when."It's just human nature. We like talking about other people."