Time to call cut on long film titles

Have some sympathy for cinemagoers who make the mistake of booking their tickets over the phone in the next few weeks. Quite apart from the purgatory that is the multiplexes' booking systems, they'll also have to contend with titles that will leave them breathless.

Carpet rolled out for Bafta awards

The champagne is on ice and the red carpet is being rolled out as some of the biggest names in Hollywood gather for tonight's Bafta film awards.

Tomas Alfredson: 'I was bought up on film sets; my own kids think they're boring'

As a child, film meant the possibility of being closer to my father He had been making films since before I was born, so I was brought up on different film sets and I learnt a lot about the process that has been useful to me as a director. But at the time it was mainly something I knew I could talk to him about.

Depardieu cast in role of Strauss-Kahn in new biopic

Gerard Depardieu is to play Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a Hollywood biopic about the scandal that destroyed the economist's hopes of winning the French presidency.

DVD: Perfect Sense, For retail & rental (Entertainment One)

Perfect Sense features yet another of the global pandemics which seem to obsess today's film-makers, but it's less an apocalyptic disaster movie than a haunting indie fable about two people, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, learning to accept true love.

Stan Lee: 'Each day when I come to work, it's a new exciting day'

Stan Lee: Creator of the Hulk and Spider-Man is a £4bn Marvel

Even at 89, the man behind the phenomenally successful comic book and film franchises isn't slowing down – and, in a rare interview, he says he can't wait to meet his fans in London later this month

A Postcard from Angela Carter, By Susannah Clapp

Angela Carter liked to make an entrance. Susannah Clapp, now a drama critic, first saw her when she herself was working in a makeshift office in 1979-80, helping to launch the London Review of Books. She hoped to coax Carter into contributing. Carter strode in, wrapped in a big coat, her face free of make-up: "the first woman I knew," Clapp says, "who went grey without looking like a granny."

Bias claim by Fox News gets the Miss Piggy treatment

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have rejected claims that their new film, The Muppets, pushes a communist political agenda.

Kara Tointon will star in 'Absent Friends' at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London

Cultural Life: Kara Tointon, actress

Theatre: I try to go to the theatre as much as possible. I saw 'The Ladykillers' at London's Gielgud Theatre, which was hilarious. The run has been extended because it has been so popular. It was some of the best stage acting I have seen, with a very clever set.

Dewald Aukema’s icy images in The Nine Muses could embody an immigrant’s view of Britain as a place of cold exile

The Nine Muses, John Akomfrah, 92 mins (PG)

A haunting odyssey on immigration could have been among the last of its kind – but a funding review may well bring a reprieve for 'arty' movies

Something about Mary

As Mary Nighy makes her directing debut in the West End, she tells Arifa Akbar why the theatre is a good place for women right now
Family business: Mary Nighy, the director of 'Shallow Slumber'

There's something about Mary Nighy

As Mary Nighy, the daughter of two celebrated British actors, makes her directing debut in the West End, she explains why the theatre's a good place for women now

Philip Hensher: Try avoiding hackneyed 'Hockney' response

W hat's the world's greatest film? Citizen Kane. Greatest painting? The Mona Lisa. The greatest symphony? Beethoven's ninth. The greatest novel? War and Peace. Of course. What isn't quite so generally agreed is Top Living Exponent – or at any rate, it tends to change from time to time. By the time Lucian Freud died, it was generally agreed that he occupied the place of Top Living British Painter. The jockeying for position after a great man's death is not a noisy or ruthless affair – not like the lobbying for position which follows a political death. But the question starts to arise, nevertheless. In the New Year, David Hockney was awarded the Order of Merit – the grandest of honours, a step up from the Companion of Honour he has had for 14 years. That is timed to precede the most conspicuous of seals of fame, an enormous survey of his recent work at the Royal Academy, over which he has evidently had almost total control. Ten years ago, there might have been half a dozen plausible names competing for the honour of being the answer to the question: "Who's the best living British artist?" Now, the quest seems to be over for now; the answer: Hockney. The search for and subsequent assertion of Top Thing in an art form is an arid and discouraging affair, I must say. Stravinsky disliked the word "genius" with its responses: "Leonardo" and "Beethoven". The reason that such answers arise is that not all of us have sufficient time to devote to the arts. We don't want to waste our time with artists who are pretty good, with novels which have a terrific chapter now and again. The flawed masterpiece, or the flawed master, is one which is taking up our time. If we are going to find a work of art to fill a spare hour, it had better be something agreed to be the best. The value of art is not like the result of a sporting competition – it is only what is agreed on when thousands of critical judgements collide. Hockney is a fascinating but very quirky artist. Some will find his RA show horrible to look at and resent the recommendation which comes from him being considered Top Brit. And that may be as legitimate a judgement as the award of an OM. Nobody knows which has more truth to it.

Tim Walker: A suitable case for treatment?

It's odd that all the self-proclaimed sex addicts we hear about seem to be good-looking male celebrities
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
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The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution