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Despatches - movie news from Alan Jones
Taken from the December 1999
Film Review

Bullock’s Full Slate • Sandra's busier than ever
Sandra B in Lemonheads' track homage shock!Sandra Bullock will star in Alison’s Starting to Happen, an adaptation of the Gorman Berchard novel, in which she will play a self-absorbed woman who dies in a car crash and is then given time to find meaning in her life if she’s going to get to heaven. Then, Bullock will appear in Babe Behind Bars, a comedy drama about a beautiful and ruthless Hollywood executive sent to prison after leaving an elderly car accident victim in a coma. Bullock, who recently wrapped the Betty Thomas-directed 28 Days for Columbia, has just completed producing her first film for Fortis, the company she runs with her sister Gesine Bullock. Titled Gunshy, it's a comedy starring Liam Neesonand Oliver Platt with Bullock playing a cameo.

The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Poets • Temple goes classic
Linus Roache, John Hannah: Great Rock'n' Roll poetsDirector Julien Temple, best known for his music-related features (The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners), will make a film about the turbulent relationship between 19th Century poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Pandemonium stars John Hannah, Linus Roache, Samantha Morton and Emily Woof and is based on a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce of Hilary and Jackie fame.
Unfolding against the backdrop of tumultuous change in English society, the story profiles the early collaboration between the poets. Despite their complementary talents, the two fall prey to jealousies and a destructive antagonism.

Stiff Competition • Movies head straight for the crotch!
Those of you interested in foreign art movies may have noticed a growing trend of late. That once obscure object of desire, the erect penis, it becoming less so thanks to the British Board of Film Classification’s more lenient attitude to what they consider ‘serious works’. Their usually half-cocked approach to such sensitive material is becoming less rigid thanks to the steady influx of European fare using sex as a social statement. The Idiots, I Stand Alone, Sit-Com and Romance have featured the tumescent male member in all its glory and there’s a lot more to come in the recent Cannes winner Le Humanite, the latest Italian sensation Look At Me and the gay Australian drama Head On.

Erections and penetration have always been bones of contention due to Britain’s outdated obscenity laws and we remain one of the few countries to ban most pornography outright much to the puzzlement of our less repressed Continental neighbours. That’s becoming an increasingly difficult double standard to maintain, however, with the continuing growth in hardcore videos and niche-marketed movies such as Romance blurring the boundaries between the two extremes. So does this mean Britain is finally loosening up? David McGillivray, author of Doing Rude Things: The History of the British Sex Film says, “We must get in line with the rest of Europe sooner or later over what is only considered a taboo here. I don’t see how the BBFC can do anything to halt the inevitable and, now they’ve allowed Romance, I can’t see any going back. The erect penis seems to be to the late Nineties what pubic hair was in 1968 with movies like Blow Up. They’re going to be everywhere soon.” Full story in magazine

In the Cut • Kidman takes charge
Nicole Kidman and her Portrait of a Lady director Jane Campion plan to re-team for the erotic thriller In the Cut, based on Susanna Moore’s explicitly sexual 1995 novel. Kidman optioned the book out of her own pocket more than three years ago and plans to make her feature producing début with the project. She would play a New York University professor who, after a young woman is murdered in her neighbourhood, launches into a dangerous affair with the detective investigating the case. The $15 million movie will be made once Kidman completes work on Baz Lurhman’s film Moulin Rouge.

Just a taste of Alan Jones' extensive news section.
Read the full news pages every month in Film Review.

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