Anthony Hopkins

Hannibal hits the high notes in a classical collection

Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins has composed a range of classical works inspired by childhood memories in South Wales, he tells Jessica Duchen

Album: Michael Nyman, Michael Nyman (MN)

This reissue of Michael Nyman's second album from 1981 – effectively his first with a Michael Nyman Band that included Alexander Balanescu and Roderick Skeaping – has aged well.

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins: Hannibal hits the high notes with a classic performance

The Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins has composed a collection of classical works. Many of the pieces are inspired by memories of his childhood in south Wales, he tells Jessica Duchen

David Cameron with Julian Fellowes at Pinewood yesterday

UK film industry critical of how PM defines success

Directors, actors and critics hit back at David Cameron's call for film funding to focus on "commercially successful" pictures, arguing it would "dilute the quality of the product and mean "we won't move forward culturally".

The Etam video shows three models at the Musée d'Orsay, disrobing and wandering around the gallery to the surprise of bemused visitors

Museum gets hot under the collar as French lingerie chain's forbidden video goes viral

Scantily clad women may be popular on the walls of art galleries but are apparently unwelcome among the visitors. The Musée d'Orsay is threatening legal action after a publicity stunt by the clothing chain Etam saw models in underwear running through the gallery's Impressionist collection.

Harriet Walker: Of course we still need feminism... we always did

And 2012 is supposed to be the year that we all come to terms with feminism being nothing for men or women to be scared of. So how did we kick things off? With a naked lady, of course. Actor Lara Pulver triggered complaints after she appeared naked if carefully draped before the watershed as Irene Adler in the BBC's Sherlock. Since the brouhaha over her bralessness, she said she felt the stunt was "empowering". Call me old-fashioned, but it strikes me that any instance of a woman using her body to get what she wants – whether fictionally or not – is proof enough that we still need feminism. Holmes, after all, doesn't need to get his kit off to make us take him seriously. He just does that infuriating thing where he works out what colour pants you're wearing from the way you rest your chin on your hand. Women have laboured too long under the illusion that being overtly sexual, not to mention angry about sex, is a form of empowerment. Being naked in front of an adversary isn't empowering; having sex with someone you despise doesn't give you the upper hand. And who propagates this myth? Male writers. From Steven Moffat's Irene Adler to Martin Amis's Nicola Six, retrograde, two-dimensional women who play their sexuality for power end up losing out. Don't worry, though, there are plenty of other "strong women" proposed as role models for us this year. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo features Stieg Larsson's tough-as-old-Doc Martens private investigator Lisbeth Salander, hailed as a woman who doesn't take any nonsense. But Salander is, in fact, a deeply troubled rape victim, whose monomania for finding and punishing men who kill women verges on a revenge malady as heartily theatrical as any such Jacobean obsession. This is not a role model so much as a cartoon character – and one who needs some counselling, at that.

I had no great aspirations regarding roles: Fowler (left) in John Paddy Carstairs' 'Top of the Form' (1953)

Harry Fowler: Prolific screen actor known for his 'cheerful cockney' characters

The archetypal "cheerful cockney" on screen, Harry Fowler was also the quintessential character actor.

A showing of the secret film follows a meal themed around the black-market driven world of the Russian quarter of a European city

Fine dining discovers its 'Fight Club' side

The creator of Secret Cinema has teamed up with one of London's most distinctive eateries. Sarah Morrison takes a bite

Potter works his magic on indy cinema chain

The leading independent cinema chain, Apollo, saw turnover soar 19.5 per cent in the year to 31 March, after box office hits such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Superficially similar, but the Iron Lady had a quality that Streep lacks

Iron Lady film made too soon, says David Cameron

David Cameron today stepped in to the row over the Iron Lady, claiming the film should have been made "another day".

Cultural Life: Melissa Hamilton, ballerina

Ballet: Being a soloist with the Royal Ballet Company means I am pretty much on stage in every production throughout the season, leaving very little time to see other companies performing. YouTube is one of my greatest means of seeing other companies and dancers. I think it can be very detrimental for dancers only ever to see their own company. There is so much you can learn from watching dancers from other companies around the world and it is also important to know there is not just one way of doing something. As great as YouTube is, unfortunately seeing dance on a computer screen in no way compares to seeing it live in theatre.

Profile: Meryl Streep

Gareth Malone celebrates taking the Christmas No 1 spot

Top of the charts – now choirmaster heads for US

Gareth Malone set to repeat success of The Choir in America's recession-hit 'rust belt'

Simon Calder's video diary bloomers

Hello, Simon Calder here. If you’ve been kind enough to watch my weekly video diary for The Independent Traveller through the year, you really deserve to know what’s been cut.

Geoffrey Macnab: A small band of film critics and their curious choices

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has always been an eccentric organisation. How, you wonder, can the small troop of foreign critics based in LA have overlooked the claims of Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winner, The Tree Of Life? Why is The Ides Of March – such a middling thriller – being so feted? How did Angelina Jolie suddenly appear from left field to secure a Foreign Language nomination for her Bosnian-set directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey? (It has not been widely seen or reviewed.)

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick