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The danger that the newspaper will be out of date before it hits the nation's doormats is, of course, a perennial problem for the press.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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones