The Saturday Miscellany: Lars von Trier vs Werner Herzog; Julian Assange; Queen's Club Championships; Dior Couture


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Culture clash: Demanding directors

Lars von Trier vs Werner Herzog

The Danish director has an uncompromising vision – be that of apocalypse, genital mutilation or majestically miserable musicals – but to get there, Lars von Trier makes actors suffer. He told animal-lover John C Reilly he was going to kill a donkey, and nearly broke Björk, who accused him of wanting to “destroy” actresses. Sadistic, yes, but he provokes astonishing performances.

To get the right shot, Werner Herzog – and the German’s long-suffering casts and crews – have filmed on a live volcano, dragged steamships over mountains and nearly drowned in a river. Relations with actor Klaus Kinski were so strained, Herzog threatened to shoot him – and himself. He may make insane demands, but at least he puts himself in peril too.

The winner: Werner Herzog

By Holly Williams

The deleted emails of... Julian Assange (as read by John Walsh)

Date: 30 May 2013
Re: Ecuadorian cookbook proposal

G’day, Gail.  I hear you’re the big swinging dick, pardon my language, on the British publishing front, and I want to suggest a likely bestseller.

I’ve been staying at the Ecuador embassy for a year now.  I don’t get the chance to get out much, but, staying in, I’ve become familiar with the country’s interesting cuisine.  I wanna write “The Ecuadorian Epicure” with recipes, foodie lore, gastroporn snaps, the works.

It’ll cover all aspects of the food I’ve been sampling every night: fried guinea pig, roast guinea pig, potato patty stuffed with cheese, cheese patty stuffed with potato, boiled guinea pig with egg, ditto without egg, yuca with cheese, corn with cheese, boiled yucca with cheesy soup, soupy guinea pig with potato, salad with parasites, ditto without (but with cheese.) Delicious!

Can you let me know soon? And please don’t mention it to anyone. I wouldn’t want word of it, you know, leaking out.   


Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. How many days is it acceptable to go without calling your parents?

A. Don’t think of calling them as a chore: they are the only people biologically-bound to put up with your whinging. Think of it as a chance to offload weaker anecdotes and make loan requests.



By Liam O'Brien


The Queen’s Club Championships attracts top tennis talent: see who’s in form for Wimbledon. 10-16 June,


Fashion fans will love this show of Dior Couture from the 1940s-50s at the Gallery of Costume. From 12 June,


Beats headphones by Dr Dre are ubiquitous, but  perhaps treat your dad to a less garish set from Bose for Father’s Day.  AE2W Bluetooth headphones, £199.95,

Indy index

- Britain’s MPs added to their salaries with outside earnings of more than £7m over the last session of parliament

- The current annual salary for an MP is £65,738

- In 1993, an MP’s annual salary was £30,854

- The average annual earnings of a full-time worker in Britain are £26,500

- In a recent poll Tory MPs said they should be paid £96,740, while Labour MPs put the figure at £77,322

- US senators pocket an official salary of $174,000 (£115,000)

- In 2010 the median net worth of a sitting US senator was put at $2.63m (£1.7m)

- Kenyan MPs recently increased their salary to around £6,540 a month – 130 times greater than the country’s minimum wage

- New York’s billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg takes an annual salary of $1 for the job, getting a check each year for 93 cents, with 6 cents going to social security and one cent to Medicare


MPs declare £7m income from other jobs, The Guardian

Members’ pay, pensions and allowances,

Average earnings rise by 1.4% to £26,500, says ONS, BBC

MPs in line for £20,000 pay rise in move likely to spark public anger, The Independent

Senate Salaries since 1789,

In Congress, nearly half the members are millionaires, MSN Money

Kenyan MPs vote to increase their pay despite protests, BBC, Reuters

Is a $1 Salary Paid in Installments? Slate, Forbes