(15) 79min (2 Entertain DVD retail)

Live versions of TV comedies are nearly always disastrous. and this is no exception. Lucas and Walliams have based their inexplicably successful careers on a handful of half-decent ideas ruined by lazy writing. In fact they blatantly rip off League of Gentle/hens live Herr Lipp sketch here involving two audience members in a game of 'find the sausage.‘ It's a laugh- free pantomime for idiots many of whom come dressed up as characters. the twats). a tired parade of catchphrases that relies solely on audience recognition to get by. Racist. infantile and soulless. Little Britain is depressineg indicative of the moribund state of ()()s comedy. Lucas. a fine comedy performer. deserves so much better. Just another piece of crappy merchandise to add to the cash pile. Minimal extras but a limited special edition issue also out now comes With a replica tour programme.

iPaul Whitelaw)



(U) 90min

(Optimum Classics DVD retail) 0...

Aside from being (iuite possibly the great comic actor Alistair Sim's finest hour. The Green Man is also one of the very best postwar British comedies. Directed by camera operator Robert

Day. with the uncredited

assistance of old pro Basil Dearden. and scripted by writing partners Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat (from their play Meet A Body). it combines country house murder mystery with sex farce and throws pitch perfect black humour into the brew.

Sim plays a mild mannered watchniaker whose hobby is the assassination of society's unwanted (in this case a politician). each target dispatched \‘JIill fiendish ingenuity and precision timing. George Cole's door-to- door salesman is the lively lad who gets a whiff that's somethings amiss when he tries to sell Sini's s()xy neighbour Jill Adams a vacuum cleaner. By the time things come to a head at the titular clifftop inn in best farcical fashion. you'll have laughed your socks clean off. Minimal extras. (Miles Fielder)



(18) 100min

(Argent Films DVD retail) 0..

The nun moVIe pretty much became a genre of its own in the 70s. With The Devils. Flay/a. Killer Nun and Behind Convent Walls among the 'iiun-sploitation' inoVIes that got into the

habit. The genre's reputation as a titillating way of blending religion, horror. gore and sex was actually surpassed by the fact that. by and large. most of these films were handsomely shot. fairly po-faced or politiCised examinations of cloistered life.

Domenico Paolella's oddly celebrated 1973 film hardly bucks this trend. British actress Anne Heywood plays one of the nuns looking to take over as Mother Superior when the head of the nunnery dies. The internal fighting here has more to do With money. sex and politics than religion as Paolella works through the various lady's positions. Well shot by Giuseppe Ruz/olini. and with Ornella Muti in an early supporting role. Of arcane film history interest only. No extras. (Tony McKibbin)


(BBC DVD 2Entertain)

Thanks to the unerring wisdom of BBC archivists. countless pieces of classic TV were iunked in the early 70s to make room for a new coffee machine. Early instalments of Dr Who suffered badly in the Cull. particularly those featuring the second Dr Patrick Troughton. But now thanks to animators Cosgrove/Hall (Danger Mouse. Count Ducku/a) two AWOL episodes have been reinstalled to the 1968 eight-part Cybernian classic The Invasion. Episodes one and four have been recreated using the existent soundtrack


A round-up of the latest film books

David Bordwell’s The Way Hollywood Tells It (University of California Press 0000 ) is a very impressive look at recent American cinema’s fascination with ‘impact aesthetics’ and intensified continuity. Bordwell, the author of classic film studies text Film Art, doesn’t think there is that much difference between old Hollywood and new,

but does suggest that contemporary filmmakers are often offering style over content. In the first half of the book, Bordwell focuses chiefly on the way new Hollywood tells old stories with new twists, and in the second half shows how directors have shortened shot length, multiplied the use of different lenses and made the camera ever more mobile - not always to good effect. Bordwell quotes Mike Figgis saying, ‘If somebody goes for a piss these days, it’s usually a crane shot'. Michel Chion has written marvellous books on sound (Audio- Vision: Sound on Screen for example), but his book on David Lynch (SH 000 ) is of 3

together with some evocative black and white animation. It's a successful experiment. the hope being that further lost classics will be revived in the same

lesser species, though still a very decent analysis of Lynch’s work, and contains some very useful observations - on how Lynch generates stillness out of a medium given to movement, for instance. ‘No

moment is ever as intense as when there is no more outward bodily agitation to hide the infinitesimal speed of an inner movement animating him’. This sums up the horrors of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet quite brilliantly. Tanya Krzywinska’s Sex and the Cinema (Wallflower Press 000 ) is a solid, sometimes stolid, generally very useful look at sex in film. It’s a book in two parts, the first concentrating on ‘Defining Sex: Forms and Frameworks’, with chapters on the formal conventions of cinematic sex, narrative formulae and also the way censorship works. The second half works with themes of transgression so looks at adultery films, incest cinema, and the way animal transformation in cinema often has a sexual link. Krzywinska’s best ideas, though, tend not to be her own: observations by Georges Bataille,

way. The story itself sags in the middle. but has some wonderful moments. including iconic scenes of Cybernien bursting from the sewers and


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Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault don’t so much ground the book as transcend it. This leaves Peter Cowie’s rather disappointing Revolution! (Faber 00 ). It’s a study of 605 film and its impact on the world. The best bits, again, don’t come from the writer, but from the filmmakers themselves, as Cowie talks to Flesnais, Bertolucci, Makavajev, Forman and numerous others. Cowie’s own observations are often flat and un- analytical. Occasionally, however, he returns

, ,. mu

.2, ~ “7?

us to the era with a nice bit of sociological fact. ‘lt’s hard to believe that Hiroshima Mon Amour was rejected for the Cannes Festival in May 1959. The real reason was that the festival feared that it might offend the United States’.

(Tony McKibbin)

descending St Paul's steps. Extras include features on the restoration and a lovely 5() minute documentary on the making of the original. (Paul Whitelaw)

Loud °Cleor


lifl Nov 2006 THE LIST 47