The Saturday Miscellany: Foodie voyage movies; Keith Richards; London Film and Comic Con; Maxine Peake; Lumitrix


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The Independent Culture

Culture clash: Foodie voyage movies

Eat Pray Love vs Julie & Julia

By Holly Williams

Food is only one part of Elizabeth Gilbert's voyage of self-indulgent self-discovery (the others being – duh! – spirituality and sex). Gilbert is played by Julia Roberts; after a divorce, she goes travelling for a year, starting in Italy with a life-changing encounter with, erm, carbs: who wouldn't feel happier chowing pizza and pasta in the sun?

In Nora Ephron's film, Amy Adams is Julie, pepping up her life with a self-imposed challenge: to cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. Meanwhile Meryl Streep plays Julia, in flashbacks to her time in 1950s Paris. Julie & Julia is admittedly comfort viewing - self-fulfilment, foodie-style - but Streep and Adams are deliciously winning.

The winner: Julie & Julia

The deleted emails of... Keith Richards (as read by John Walsh)

Sent: 20 June 2013
Subject: Backstage rider

Hey man. Sorry, Emily, I keep forgetting you're a chick. I'm a little hazy about details these days. Can we have a word about the backstage scene? I've looked at the list of stuff in the dressing room and I'm not sure about the exercise bike. Maybe better for Mick? Ditto the Power Plate.

And about the 3 bottles Jack Daniels, the gram of coke, the 10 spliffs of Afghan blue - cd you substitute 2 sachets of decaff Lemon Balm Tea, and some Coconut HobNobs? That would be elegant.

And instead of the porn DVDs – I think you offered Schindler's Fist and Good Will Humping – could I have a box set of Dad's Army, Seasons 1-17? And instead of the leather sofa, can I have a Slumberland Supersoft with goose-down pillows? I like to have a little nap before Satisfaction, you know? Keith

Instant ethics

Dear Ellen E Jones

Q. How drunk is 'too drunk' at a work do?

A. The fun-crushing truth is that work drinks still count towards your professional rep. So ask yourself, how drunk is too drunk for Monday morning at the office? I suggest staying one drink behind everybody else.



By Liam O'Brien


London Film and Comic Con is coming to Earls Court, with talks and appearances from Game of Thrones stars including Peter Dinklage. Lots of people-watching fun. 5-7 July,


The Village's Maxine Peake performs Shelley's "Masque of Anarchy" at the Manchester International Festival. Plus, a stella line up of music and drama; 4-21 July,


Prints of the best new photography are on sale at new website Lumitrix;

Indy Index

4,480 Army personnel have been made redundant in the latest round of cuts

The Ministry of Defence is aiming to cut the number of regular soldiers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2017

Created in 1649, England's first regular army – Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army – had 44,000 soldiers

In 1945, Britain had 4.9 million service personnel

During WW2, the UK used 250,000 homing pigeons as messengers

Men joining the Army must have a Body Mass Index of between 18 and 32. For a woman, a BMI of between 18 and 30 is required

The US has the highest military expenditure. It spent $682bn in 2012. The UK is fourth

The US Navy has 80 trained dolphins that can hunt mines and retrieve objects from the sea floor

110 Swiss Guards protect the Pope in Vatican City. Recruits must be aged between 19 and 30 – and Roman Catholic