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Monday, 23 June, 2003, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Tadpole
Tadpole
Newsnight Review discussed Tadpole, a low budget film shot over two weeks on digital video.


(Edited highlights of the panel's review taken from the teletext subtitles that are generated live for Newsnight Review.)

TOM PAULIN:
I little thought when 40 years ago I read Catcher in the Rye I would have to sit through this film. It is unbelievably atrocious! The quotes from Bodilaire...

KIRSTY WARK:
Voltaire!

TOM PAULIN:
I am sorry, Voltaire. This is made in a country that has banned French fries. Were they doing that deliberately against that, or were they just in the void? The word "void" kept coming into it. It's hopeless.

PAUL MORLEY:
Here we have a great performance from Bebe Neuwirth. Great performances from Weaver and Tom Ritter, the king of American sitcoms. In a way, this is a shrivelled up sitcom pilot, the kind of thing you see for teenagers on Disney, but not as good as that. It is the young adventures of Woody Allen but without the humour. It was more an example of a love e-mail. One of the problems is the fact it's shot on digital video. They say it gives a theatrical feel, but we get none of the great imagery we get from cinema, we get none of the liveness of theatre and the great actors and actresses are left floundering as if they are improvising something that isn't particularly funny and if it was in something like Curb Your Enthusiasm, it would have been left on the cutting room floor as not good enough.

KIRSTY WARK:
Did you believe the relationship between the young boy and the stepmother?

JEANETTE WINTERSON:
It wasn't sexy enough. It was just a little too sexually timid and puritanical. You know what Americans are like when it comes to sex, they can never quite pull it off. I like the digital video element of it.

KIRSTY WARK:
It's terrific that Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth have come to this film.

JEANETTE WINTERSON:
We are in a good time for women on screen. At least women over 40 are allowed to have sex and they don't end up with their throats cut or divorced!

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