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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - David Strat­ton Stephen Romei DS John McCal­lum

The Be­guiled (M) Sofia Cop­pola’s re­make of Don­ald Siegel’s The Be­guiled, which she scripted and which won her the best di­rec­tor prize at Cannes a cou­ple of months ago, is un­der­stand­ably tilted more to­wards the fe­male char­ac­ters than the original. That’s fair enough, and she has an ex­cel­lent cast at her dis­posal. Rather than aim for the gothic, down and dirty ap­proach of Siegel, Cop­pola goes for lan­guid sen­su­al­ity. Philippe Le Sourd’s camera glides through the moss­cov­ered, sun-dap­pled trees or wor­ships the beau­ti­ful women in their white dresses in in­te­ri­ors lit only by can­dles. It’s all very beau­ti­ful and just a tad dull. Ad­mir­ers of the original film prob­a­bly won’t be im­pressed with the way Cop­pola man­ages to turn such a volatile nar­ra­tive into some­thing frankly rather bland. How­ever, if you’re un­fa­mil­iar with the original, this taste­ful and un­de­ni­ably beau­ti­ful film may well be­guile you.

The Black Prince (M) The Black Prince is writ­ten and di­rected by In­dian ac­tor and film­maker Kavi Raz and stars In­dian poet and singer­song­writer Satin­der Sar­taaj in his act­ing de­but. This two-hour movie is close to a biopic. At its cen­tre is Duleep Singh (Sar­taaj), the last ma­haraja of the Sikh em­pire, the last king of Pun­jab. At 15 he was sent to Eng­land, roy­ally housed and well ed­u­cated. He be­came a favourite of Queen Vic­to­ria (Amanda Root). If you don’t know much about Singh, you can fol­low this like a his­tor­i­cal thriller. It is a care­fully made film, some­times to the point of slow­ness in plot de­vel­op­ment and over-ex­pla­na­tion in di­a­logue. But it also goes be­yond the dates-and-places his­tory we read at school to con­sider the thoughts, de­sires and re­grets of a man born to have everything but forced to have noth­ing. De­fi­ant Lives (tbc) De­fi­ant Lives is a doc­u­men­tary fea­ture about the campaign to gain rights for people with dis­abil­i­ties. A great deal of Sarah Bar­ton’s film uses ar­chive video footage of past protests, es­pe­cially the pe­riod dur­ing which people with dis­abil­i­ties chal­lenged the author­i­ties dur­ing the Carter and Bush Sr pres­i­den­cies, de­mand­ing wheel­chair ac­cess to pub­lic trans­port and pub­lic build­ings. These protests proved an in­spi­ra­tion to ac­tivists in Aus­tralia and Britain, and footage of their protests is also in­cluded. The film delves into the sorry his­tory of how so­ci­ety deals with the dis­abled, who in the past of­ten were con­fined to in­sti­tu­tions and in­sane asy­lums. The main aim of many dis­abled people fea­tured in the film is to be al­lowed to live in their own homes, out­side the prison-like places where they were for­merly forced to live.

The Kings Cross The­atre, 2/244-248 Wil­liam Street, Syd­ney. Tick­ets: $25-$35. Book­ings: (02) 9331 9900 or on­line. July 28-August 19. This Much is True This Much is True, by Aus­tralian play­wright Louis Nowra, is set in a pub called the Ris­ing Sun. The play has a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of bizarre fig­ures and be­comes an ex­hil­a­rat­ing cel­e­bra­tion of com­mu­nity. It re­minds us to spend time with the strange people we meet in pubs or on the street, and to ap­pre­ci­ate their hu­man­ity. Toby Sch­mitz’s pro­duc­tion is ex­cel­lent. It moves the char­ac­ters around the space, con­tin­u­ally re­con­fig­ur­ing them in new ways, as we do when we are mov­ing around a crowded bar. The Old Fitz The­atre, 129 Dowl­ing Street, Syd­ney. Tonight, 8.15pm. Tick­ets: $35-$42. Book­ings: 0416 044 413 or on­line. Du­ra­tion: 2hr, no in­ter­val. Un­til August 12. Rice Michele Lee’s whip-smart, finely tuned and ul­ti­mately very mov­ing play Rice sim­ply has

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