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from The Times (U.K.)
July 26, 2003

Hinds Sights
By Pauline McLeod

When not visiting Parisian galleries, Ciaran Hinds loves to watch the work of Kieslowski, Kurosawa and Loach.

Films
The Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, who made the Three Colours trilogy, was extraordinary in his detail. He never made a scene to deliberately create drama, but by watching it you become involved in the minutiae of thought or action. And Akira Kurosawa's films were epic, elegant and theatrical -I have always loved Ran, his take on King Lear. Abbas Kiarostami, an Iranian director, also makes beautiful films. They are so quiet and you find yourself absorbed into a completely different culture. I am a big fan of Ken Loach as well. He continually makes films about British realism with heart. Even though the stories are rough and tough, there is always some kind of hope to them. Sweet Sixteen was tremendous, very touching and I didn't have to suspend any disbelief at all.

Television
I've never watched much television and, since we moved to Paris almost a year ago (his wife is the French-Vietnamese actress Helene Patarot), none at all. Have I Got News for You is brilliant, so sharp. A favourite drama was Dennis Potter's Son of Man many years ago in the Play for Today series. It was about Christ, but this was the angriest, most furious Christ you could imagine and he was portrayed by a wonderful actor called Colin Blakely.

Music
Music is not important to me, though, at the moment I experience it through listening to my 11-year-old daughter who is studying piano and violin. My tastes are quite simple -Van Morrison or Irish traditional -although I find I like a bit of Mozart and Bach, too.

Theatre
I saw The Elephant Vanishes by Simon McBurney, who runs the Theatre de Complicite, at the Barbican (London, EC2) recently. The stories were very simple on one level, but set against a background of the brutality and violence of the modern life we lead: full of traffic, noise, pollution, fast food, videos, etc. It was quite amazing. I remember clearly being held in a spell for two hours (and that was only the first half) -by Les Liaisons Dangereuses, again at the Barbican. This classical French play by Laclos, played brilliantly in English by Lindsay Duncan, Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson, took you to another place.

Books
I love the different, magical world that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (Penguin, Pounds 5.99) takes you to. Whoever translates from Spanish does a fantastic job because apart from the words, to translate a feeling and imagination which changes in every culture I think is a remarkable feat. James Joyce is difficult and some of his stuff you just don't bother with because he is so complex, but he was quite a writer, a fair old scribbler. His short stories in The Dubliners (Penguin, Pounds 5.99) are beautiful -very austere but delicate, and he convinces the reader that something almighty and desperate has happened to somebody's soul or mind.

Art
I am very jammy because I live a few minutes' walk from the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre is ten minutes away and not far is the fabulous Musee D'Orsay where all the Impressionist paintings you see on calandars are for real. There are the smaller galleries, in Paris, too, and exhibitions coming and going and, though there is no accounting for taste, there is always something worth looking at.

City
When I first visited Venice tears formed in my eyes because the sight of it is so beautiful.

Pet hate
I am quite placid by nature, but I find people who put money into theatre or cinema simply for a return on their investment, rather than having a love or feel for the project itself, pretty disappointing.