In Valley of Love, the new film from French director Guillaume Nicloux, Gérard Depardieu heaves his massive, sweating bulk around in the searing heat of Death Valley in eastern California, where temperatures regularly top 49C (120F). Perched on the edge of the Mojave desert, and notoriously among the hottest, driest places on the planet, Death Valley would appear to be one of the most hostile environments possible to make a film. Even if you don’t – as Depardieu has admitted doing – chug more than a dozen bottles of wine a day.
Selfridges, for the uninitiated, is a century-old, upper-crusty British department store (founded by an American expat; go figure). Its home base is a many-columned palace on Oxford Street in London, famous for its window displays and a foie-gras-related spat with topless animal-rights activists.
It’s now 20 years since the birth of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned. This groundbreaking scientific achievement was accompanied by warnings that Dolly might age prematurely because she had been cloned from adult sheep cells, whose “biological clock” had not been reset. Fears were heightened in 2001 when Dolly was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at five years of age (she died two years later). This was heralded as evidence of premature ageing, although the condition is actually very poorly described in sheep.
Here it is: Matt Damon’s fourth and not necessarily final outing as the CIA’s amnesiac super-assassin gone rogue, Jason Bourne. That’s after The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and not counting franchise spinoff The Bourne Legacy (2012) in which Bourne himself did not actually appear.