54 By Wu Ming

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even President Tito...

The Heart of America - American icon - The Greyhound bus

The slogan reads: "Travel throughout North America with safety, dignity and convenience". Greyhound still sends off more than 20,000 buses every day. The Dog got its start in 1914 in Hibbing, Minnesota, transporting iron miners. Its big break was the film It Happened One Night (1934), in which Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert rode a Greyhound overnight to Florida. The Dog has been a national institution ever since. The rise of the low-cost airlines has hit the very long-distance services, yet Greyhound still has a seamless network of transport covering much of the country. You'll see a different US, one that only rarely makes the American news, the one where almost all Americans live. That's my country, and once you get the knack of navigating it, it's not such a bad place after all.

Lord and lady of the dance

Putting on a 'Strictly Come Dancing' bash for 300-odd guests is par for the course for the party-mad Harrisons, says Simon Beckett

Album: Martina Topley-Bird

Quixotic, Independiente

Camille, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Beauty and the beast

Camille, Lyric, Hammersmith

A feverish affair of the nerves rather than the heart

The Unexpurgated Beaton, by Cecil Beaton (edited by Hugo Vickers)

Nice one, Cecil: your bitch's brew is just delicious

David Boyle: Off to see the euro wizard?

From the alternative Mansion House Speech given by the economist at a meeting in Fleet Street, London

THE GUILLOTINE: Twentieth-Century Classics That Won't Last No 49: `GONE WITH THE WIND'

The argument was most succinctly put by the dramatist Jean Giraudoux. "Il n'y a pas d'oeuvres," he claimed, "il n'y a que des auteurs". There are no works, there are only authors. Or auteurs. For, as the millennial threshold approaches, it's increasingly clear that the auteurists were right. The films destined to survive are those whose formal and stylistic distinction can be traced to an individual creative personality, while the films destined to fade are those whose directors were little more than capable hired hands employed to pull all the material together, celluloid "conductors", so to speak, rather than "composers".

Words: tote, adj. and v.

A CURIOUS aspect of Neil Hamilton's libel case is his daily arrival at court with a London Library tote bag prominently displayed. One must wonder what that august and congenial private library makes of this unusual product placement.

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