(Network DVD retail)

Loss adjuster Noah Render (Elias Koteas) works for an insurance company. helping claimants to determine the size of their compensation. He's already having trouble separating his life from his work. and things only get more complicated when he makes the acquaintance of Bubba (Maury Chaykin), a tortured and cuckolded filmmaker.

Everything is symbolic in Atom Egoyan's deeply reflective 1991 film - from Noah's partner‘s chosen career path (she is a film censor) to the solitary real estate corruption plot.

While the taciturn, dysfunctional characters make empathy impossible and sympathy unlikely, Chaykin gives a disturbing yet mesmeric turn. matched only by Koteas as the complex. compelling lead.

Shot thrOugh with moments of absurd humour and emotional ambiguity. this is far from flawless filmmaking. but as an adult investigation of possession and craving. it's an unqualified success. Extras include director's commentary. (Dave Martin)


(Anchor Bay UK DVD retail) «0

David Cronenberg scored a critical and commercial hit with Scanners. the gory yet

cerebral tale of Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack), a powerful psychic driven to confront rogue scanner Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside. pictured) in a bout of gurning and overacting so painful that only one man can survive. With a suitably gritty aesthetic and all the exploding heads you could want. the original remains the best in the series. a master class in grungy low-budget horror. Made a decade after the original film. Scanners 2: The New Order is an action- orientated take on Cronenberg's original concept. This is the story of a right-wing cop who forces David Kellum (David Hewlett) to use his scanning powers to wage a vigilante war. The film's passable special effects and mournful jazz soundtrack make it a cut above your usual straight-to-video fare. Throwing some Eastern mysticism into the mix. Scanners 3: The Takeover again ups the action ante. and also injects some in advised ‘humour' into proceedings. Still, mere exploding pigeons do not a comedy make. and this exploration of a power struggle between

scanner siblings Alex (Steve Parrish) and Helena (Liliana Komorowska) confuses matters further with a laughable ‘erotic' sheen.

With costumes that Liberace would have rejected as too flamboyant, this seems almost a parody of Cronenberg’s original, and although the series limped on for two further regrettable instalments. anyone with self-respect is advised to draw the line here.

Extras are sparse for a so-called Special Collector’s Edition. but each disc does include a diverting, if short. documentary by horror critic Allan Jones.

(Dave Martin)



(U) 107min

(Artificial Eye DVD retail) 0.”

" .. a. Eric The G een Ray Rohmer is a great director of ‘chit-chat' but his films always contain a wider philosophical questioning. In this. the final of his ‘Four Seasons' tales from 1998. he tells the autumnal story of two fortysomething women - one married (Marie Riviere). one single (Beatrice Romand). In doing so he works through the permutations of need and desire. honesty and dishonesty. and the way our body language reveals and betrays us. in a constantly . questioning way. It may appear that the i characters are just chatting to each other, but we'd be unwise to take what they say at face value. Extras j include an excellent short interview with the director. (Tony McKibbin)



A couple of years ago. Simon Day's pub bore was given his own Fast Show spin-off in a show called Grass. It featured him escaping his London manor for the lush English countryside to escape some nasty criminals he had snitched on. In The Green Green Grass. John Challis' nouveau riche bore gets his own Only Fools and Horses spin-off by escaping his London manor for the lush English countryside to escape some nasty criminals he had snitched on. This repetition is the least of the show's worries. There are perhaps two amusing lines in the

i opening episode (both of

them belong to Boycie when he's being mean to Marlene) and the whole

thing has the overly-

familiar feel of a 8801 sitc0m on a Friday night. Only fools and Del Boy devotees will stick ar0und to find out what nasty comeuppance

BOyCie receives at the hands of those felons.

the new neighbours and his miserable family. (Brian Donaldson)



PORTRAITS: THE ME GENERATIONS Channel 4, Sat 10 Sep 7.15pm mo

Documentaries about

5 art tread a fine line 3 between being too high

brow and boring and

being too simple and condescending. This well-considered

production, presented

by the thoroughly

engaging and ever- intelligent Matthew Collings. manages to strike the right balance

; as it examines the history of self portraits in

art. and how their

development has 2 mirrored the changes in

how we look at the

3 world and ourselves.

This first show of the series concentrates on

the life of Albrecht DUrer.

the German painter of the Renaissance period who reputedly created the first ever self portrait. Collings successfully examines the links

3 between the

Renaissance. the rising humanist tendencies that went along with it. and the resultant

7 interest in personality and the self which

prompted Dtirer's groundbreaking work. The show only jars slightly when trying to tie in a modern artist 's self- portraiture style. but, that quibble aside. this is a thought-provoking and astute piece of work. (Doug Johnstone)

BlACK COMEDY NIGHTY NIGHT 8803, Tue 13 Sep, 10.30pm no

The opening episode of the new series of this award-winning comedy show continues where it left off, with Julia Davis' Jill, the evil. scheming beautician. having framed Mark Gatiss' Glen for murder. He's now getting sodomised


in a mental institution. where the two get married so she can get her claws into his chip'n'pin. Meanwhile. Jill's mission to track down Angus Deayton's Don and his poor wife (Rebecca Front) continues unabated. and our disgusting blonde temptress is more creative in her nastiness than ever. This is darker than Fred West 's nightmares. . and occupies a manky Jam-style nook in some sort of entertainment definition that you wouldn‘t want to consume with your parents. The problem is that. although the start is clever and uncomfortably original. it's not terribly funny. Still, it's almost certainly worth sticking with. if only to keep hearing Jill , using diarrhoea as a catch-all excuse for

pretty much everything. (Ashley Davies)

8 2? Sep 2005) THE LIST 43