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
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones