Independent Plus

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Story Featurette

A behind the scenes look at the new film.

Happy birthday Ms Monroe

Had she lived to see it, today would have been Marilyn Monroe's 85th birthday. To celebrate the life of one of the most photographed women of last century, we've put together a selection of images of her life.

Album: Katia and Marielle Labeque, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Bernstein: West Side Story (KML)

One misses the opening clarinet glissando to "Rhapsody in Blue", of course, but thereafter they furnish enough dextrous drama to satisfy, with delightful little jazzy touches, while the re-statement of the theme as a cakewalk is entirely in keeping with the mood and momentum of the piece.

Ironclad (15)

The Magnificent Seven, in chainmail. Jonathan English's action movie takes history as its base metal – the siege of Rochester Castle by King John in 1215 – and forges it into the cold steel of Medieval derring-do. Once you get past sniggering at Paul Giamatti as John, it's a pretty enjoyable face-off between the king's mercenary army and a rag-tag band of patriots led by James Purefoy's self-denying Templar knight and Brian Cox's lusty Baron. The trimmings are standard-issue: full-throated Middle Ages cackling, gnarled peasant faces straight out of Brueghel and lots of ferocious hand-to-hand combat with pluming fountains of blood. But it's a persuasive portrayal of a violent era and its harsh privations.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Theatre Royal, York

It is 51 years since Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was first published. Launched in the midst of the US Civil Rights protests, where young black men and women campaigned for the right to sit in the same public spaces as white citizens, the book captured brilliantly the simmering injustice of the time.

Album: Herrmann, Psycho Suite – Tippett Quartet/Julian Bliss (Signum)

Pigeon-holed by his fame as a film composer, Bernard Herrmann would have heaved a weary sigh at the shower on the cover. But the "Psycho Suite" is only the coda to a disc that otherwise focuses on the lyrical abstractions of Herrmann's European-influenced "Echoes", and the extended "Souvenirs de Voyage".

The Graduate, By Charles Webb

I'd unfairly dismissed Charles Webb's The Graduate, first published in 1963, as one of those novels outdone by the movie it inspired. But, as Hanif Kureishi remarks in his introduction to this new edition, the book is more than a match for the film, carried along on light and limber prose.

The real Steve McQueen

Hollywood's king of cool is being celebrated in a new season at the BFI. Geoffrey Macnab uncovers the reality behind the action man

Hollywood’s greatest theme tunes

Good movie music enhances the storytelling – and lingers long after the credits have rolled. Geoffrey Macnab picks some of his favourite soundtracks

Story of the scene: Bullitt (1968)

Steve McQueen is in his 1968 GT Ford Mustang. The hit men are in their black 1968 Dodge Charger 440 R/T. What follows, through the streets of San Francisco, is the greatest car chase ever filmed.

Keith Waterhouse

The obituary of Keith Waterhouse (8 September) reminded me of an interview I once did with Albert Finney, who told me a lovely story about his West End debut as a leading man, in Waterhouse's famous play Billy Liar, writes Brian Viner.

Spellbound by Beauty, By Donald Spoto

An innocent female in a Hitchcock film is handcuffed. The actress was obliged to do many takes, "crying out for her manacles to be removed".

Return of Ryan's daughter

Sarah Miles, star of David Lean's 1970 classic drama set in Ireland, is planning a sequel

Once Upon a Time in the West(R/I)

Sergio Leone's frontier parable is a landmark in Westerns, and features not only one of the greatest opening sequences ever made, but also the best use of a harmonica in cinema.

As history it's quite possibly trash, but Leone instinctively grasps the romance of the West, and he uses actors' faces – Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson – almost as landscapes in themselves. Memory, desire, ruthlessness, revenge are all here, treated in the only way this director knew – incandescently.

Ulysses and Us, By Declan Kiberd

Next Tuesday marks the 105th anniversary of Bloomsday – the eventful day of 16 June 1904, on which a young aspiring writer called Stephen Dedalus, a Jewish advertising canvasser called Leopold Bloom and his adulterous songbird wife, Molly, played out a bonsai version of Homer's Odyssey in the streets of Dublin. Hundreds of Dubliners throng the streets each year, recreating the characters in costume, on stilts and in carnival floats, breakfasting near Bloom's (now demolished) home in Eccles Street, lunching on cheese sandwiches and Burgundy at Davy Byrne's pub, making the pilgrimage through the day to the cabman's shelter where Bloom and Dedalus converged after midnight.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform