Arts and Entertainment

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

Cool Runnings voted most heart-warming film off all time

Olympic comedy Cool Runnings has been voted the most heart-warming film of all time, in a poll of film fans.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand

Last Stand star Arnold Schwarzenegger refutes link between gun crime and film

Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't think there's a parallel between film and real-world gun violence.

What should I call my pet? Top Ten Most Popular Dog Names of 2012

Fido will no longer cut it. If you hope to ascend to the upper echelons of glamour, it's not enough to name your children Tabitha and Casper, your pets must also have unique monikers. At least that's on the evidence provided by the top ten most popular dog names of 2012.

Burchill's attack follows the same pattern - trans stories are only of interest if we star as villains

If we want acceptance, we must sit on the sidelines and cheer for the "real women's issues".  Except we do that already

My Secret Life: Mena Suvari, 33, actor

'My real-life villains better watch out'

Daniel Day-Lewis tipped for Oscar hat-trick

Daniel Day-Lewis is odds on to complete an oscars hat-trick after he was nominated for best actor for his performance in US historical drama Lincoln.

After box office success will Bond unmask a Bafta?

Shortly after becoming the highest grossing film in UK box office history, Skyfall has secured eight Bafta award nominations, as expectation grows that it could become the first Bond film to be nominated for an Oscar.

Some parents cry, I fell asleep: Les Misery of watching Les Misérables

As the film adaptation hits our screens, is it really worth watching?

Editorial: Today's fish and chip paper?

The danger that the newspaper will be out of date before it hits the nation's doormats is, of course, a perennial problem for the press.

Uneasy truce: Suraj Sharma with his animal companions in Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi'

Film review: Great tiger – a pity the narrative of Life of Pi is all at sea

For long sections of the film, one forgets what the story is meant to be proposing at all

Paragon gets its teeth into horror

Dracula, Frankenstein and the Mummy in all their Hammer House of Horror glory are set to be the stars of a themed attraction venue in central London.

Album: American Aquarium, Burn. Flicker. Die. (Blue Rose)

Fronted by songwriter BJ Barham, American Aquarium are a heartland rock band from North Carolina with a serious Springsteen habit and, by the sound of it, serious anxieties about the lives they're living.

How did they bring the 'unfilmable' Life of Pi to our screens?

The tale of an Indian boy who becomes stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger went on to sell more than seven million copies

How Marty made a mouse roar

The RSC has drawn inspiration from Scorsese's Goodfellas for its setting of a cult children's classic. Arifa Akbar looks forward to a real Christmas drama

Tom Cruise's Battle of Trafalgar

Tom Cruise brought Trafalgar Square to a standstill yesterday when he dropped in by helicopter to do battle with aliens during the shooting in London of his latest film, All You Need is Kill.

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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine