A very modern MS

A week in books

FILM THEATRE EXHIBITIONS GIGS CLASSICAL MUSIC/DANCE

GOING OUT - CRITICS' CHOICE

CINEMA: CRITICS CHOICE

Amateur An ex-nun and virgin nymphomaniac becomes involved with a handsome amnesiac who used violently to abuse his former mistress, a porn star, who in turn sets a brace of high-powered corporate assassins on her lover's tail. Writer-director Hal Hartley is an acquired taste, but the film has warmth, humour and humanity.

FILM / critic's choice

Amateur An ex-nun and virgin nymphomaniac becomes involved with an amnesiac who used to abuse his former mistress, a porn star, who in turn sets a brace of corporate assassins on her lover's tail. Writer-director Hal Hartley is an acquired taste, but thefilm has warmth, humour and humanity.

CINEMA : Margot: a royal in search of a roll

WITH delicious irony, the great dissection of British monarchy turns out to be French. La Reine Margot (18) is too stately and subtle to be taken as a broadside at our royals, but the House of Windsor must feel some rumbles from its mighty impact . The events are set in 16th-century France, and they show our current royal crop to be mere amateurs in matters of regal decline and decadence. The marriage of religious convenience between the Catholic Margot (Isabelle Adjani) and the Protestant Henri de Navarre (Daniel Auteuil) is, Prince Charles-style, loveless, but also avowedly sexless. When Margot fancies a fling with a commoner (Vincent Perez's La Mole), mere toe-sucking is not enough: she mounts him against the castle wall in full public view.

OTHER NEW RELEASES:The cook, the thieves, some punks and a stiff

If eating, as Ang Lee delicately hints in Eat Drink Man Woman, is the publicly acceptable substitute for sex, what would be the erotic equivalent of Stinky Tofu? There is a fair bit of food in the film, from Joy Luck Dragon Phoenix to Wendyburgers - fortunately for the viewer's hunger pangs, not all the grub on display is high-gourmet fare. But sex, or even platonic love, are not, or not explicitly, on the menu.

'Hulk' dies

The television actor and director Bill Bixby died at home at the age of 59 after a long battle with cancer, Reuter reports from Los Angeles. Bixby starred in several television shows, including The Incredible Hulk and My Favorite Martian.

Letter: Look beyond Hollywood

I AM compelled to agree with Alan Pavelin (Letters, 26 September) who berates the paucity of non-Hollywood films in UK cinemas. One reason is your own Critics pages. Your film critic further hyped the much-hyped Sleepless in Seattle and The Fugitive, yet could find no space for other new releases, among them Ang Lee's comedy, The Wedding Banquet (winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival).

Real Life: Don't board this new childbashing bandwagon: It is violence from adults which produces violence in children, says Penelope Leach

CHILDREN and young people, stereotyped and scapegoated, are always an easy target for society's anger, bewilderment and despair. Mass hysteria is dangerous because it usurps sense and sensibility. Mourning the tragic death of James Bulger and condemning the children accused of killing him, the nation ignores the 90-plus toddlers who die unsung each year at the hands of parents or care-takers. As Geraldine Bedell and her ilk leap on the bandwagon of childbashing with wild talk of 'little emperors' (21 February), nobody notices her blind refusal to distinguish picking up a newborn baby when it cries from letting a three-year-old do anything it pleases; her determined avoidance of everything we know about infant development and socialisation.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / Sense and sensibility: Angela Hewitt - Wigmore Hall

Mendelssohn's unfashionable liking for Bach was not just scholarly pioneering, but acknowledgment of a vital creative source. The Mendelssohn Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op 35 No 1, with which the Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt opened at the Wigmore Hall on Wednesday, is a brilliant idiomatic tribute and also a heady flight of fancy. Nothing could be closer to the language of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues than the loitering fugue subject and its firm andante exposition; yet by the end Mendelssohn, in a thrilling fast-forward, has glided into the enchanted caprices of his Midsummer Night's Dream music.
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells