Arts and Entertainment

Buster Keaton wasn’t just a born star – he was a revolutionary film-maker

Bogart and Hepburn `greatest film stars'

THE ARCHETYPE of the dapper Englishman was named yesterday as the second most important film star of all time by the venerable American Film Institute, in a list of stars that is causing controversy across the United States.

Brian Viner's Icons of the 20th Century: No 2: Charlie Chaplin, Comic

THERE ARE those who say that Buster Keaton is the greatest screen comedian of all time. Others plump for WC Fields, some for Jacques Tati. A friend of mine rates Robin Askwith very highly. But nobody was ever more famous for making people laugh than Charlie Chaplin. And never was a comedian more versatile. WC Fields, not a man given to ladling praise, called him "the greatest ballet dancer who ever lived". Sarah Bernhardt described him as "the pantomimist sublime". For George Bernard Shaw, he was "the one genius created by the cinema". Keaton himself rated Chaplin "the greatest comedian in the world".

Obituary: Charles `Buddy' Rogers

CHARLES "BUDDY" ROGERS will be remembered primarily because he succeeded Douglas Fairbanks as husband to Mary Pickford. But he had an impressive career in his own right.

First Night: Passionate dance stings the senses

Cruel Garden Ballet Rambert London

Obituary: Eleanor Norris Keaton

WHEN ELEANOR Norris, in 1940 a contract dancer at MGM, married the great film comedian Buster Keaton, who was over twice her age, few predicted that the union would last, but it was to be a consistently happy marriage that was to survive Keaton's alcoholism and career vicissitudes and last until his death 26 years later.

Arts: What a fine mess they got us in

Stan and Ollie have become victims of their own slapstick cliches. Now, 70 years after their first film, a new generation of funny men is acknowledging the original genius of Laurel and Hardy. By James Rampton

Books: Not quite the full montage

EISENSTEIN: A Life in Conflict by Ronald Bergan Little, Brown pounds 22.50

Film: Free radical

Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin so alarmed a British government worried about naval mutiny that the film was banned. Now, 100 years after the director's birth, we can appreciate Eisenstein's genius afresh, writes Richard Gott

Comedy - it's a serious business; CINEMA

As Jacques Tati's `Jour de Fete' is re-released, David Thomson recalls the movies that have made him laugh the most

Travel: Deep down it was scary

Days out: The Allan family visits the Black Country Museum. By Catherine Stebbings

Losers on sofas: a funny way to sell a snack

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 126: HULA HOOPS

Another fine mess?

John Sessions and Robbie Coltrane play Laurel and Hardy. By James Rampton

First encounters / When Charlie Chaplin met Jean Cocteau

Charlie Chaplin's first encounter with Jean Cocteau was memorable not so much for its improbability (it took place on a Japanese boat in the South China Sea) or its spirit (friendly enough) as for the marked disinclination the meeting inspired in either man for any second encounter.

first encounters: When Greta Garbo met John Barrymore

Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: Lenin and Trotsky

Letter: Scene of triumph

From Mr Don Honeyman
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own