In his final starring role, Richard Harris glowers impressively as the Irish underworld patriarch in Don Boyd's inspired relocation of Shakespeare's King Lear to contemporary Liverpool, Sadly Boyd directs with a low-voltage energy which flattens out intense emotion and visceral violence into brightly lit, blandly shot TV cop drama.
Pulp's early-'90s videos for "Babies" and "Lipgloss" perfectly capture that periods new optimism, while the promos for "Common People" and "Disco 2000" were Britpop's peak visual moments. But it's the extras on this three-hour DVD that provide evidence of Jarvis Cocker's surreal ubiquity back then: impersonations courtesy of Harry Hill, Chris Morris and Mr Blobby, appearances on This Morning With Richard & Judy and Da Ali G Show, and a take-off on Stars In Their Eyes.
A document of their 1994 Dog Man Star tour, this captures Suede just about surviving the notorious crisis of losing that album's principal architect, Bernard Butler. Still, Brett Anderson bumps and minces with considerable verve and new boy Richard Oakes oozes confidence nevertheless. More interesting are the accompanying tour films, dedicated to Derek Jarman and visibly influenced by said director's Smiths promos.
DVD EXTRAS: Lyrics menu, rare NFT video footage, teaser for accompanying Lost in TV DVD.
Richard Linklater takes the po-faced monologues of Slacker up a level with this extraordinary, state-of-the-art, animated dream trip. The endless navel-gazing and philosophising (Are we alive? Are we imagining everything? There's not gonna be a car chase in this, is there?) are undeniably wearing, but you have to admire the only sentient Texan's ambition and nerve.
DVD EXTRAS: None.
DIRECTED BY David Cronenberg
STARRING Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave
Opens January 3, Cert 15, 99 mins
Over the years, with films like Rabid, Videodrome, Crash and eXistenZ, we've come to expect eerie, special-effects-laden, futuristic horror fare from David Cronenberg. His latest is a sinister but understated study of a schizophrenic (Ralph Fiennes) known only by his childhood nickname of Spider. The film opens in the 1980s with Spider checking into a grim halfway house in a run-down area of east London after 20 years in psychiatric care.
Another dusting-off for the Plastic Ono Band, playing for peace and headlining over Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Yoko climbs out of a bag to shriek along with the atmospheric desperation of "Yer Blues" and "Cold Turkey", and provides the highlight, during "John, John (Let's Hope For Peace)", by throwing Eric Clapton into such confusion he doesn't know what to play.
Tony Richardson's 1961 take on Shelagh Delaney's kitchen-sink drama of schoolgirl pregnancy is a travesty. Delaney wrote her play at 18, but its sweet sadness—heroine Jo's taste of honey is brief indeed—is obliterated by the director's clumping Brit-new-wave clichés. Fairground anyone? Rita Tushingham and Murray Melvin remain facially memorable, but acting honours go to Dora Bryan.