Arts and Entertainment On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Stressed Eric and Famous Fred are the talk of the toons

OSCAR hopeful Joanna Quinn received a boost last night when she won a top prize at the British Animation Awards.

Classical cinema: New series - It could be the greatest film ever made

PERHAPS if it had always been called Tales of the Pale and Silvery Moon After the Rain it would be better known. At least that gives a hint of ghostliness. Yet that title could have sounded exotic or obscure; we do not really expect to be bowled over by the poetry or ceramics of 16th-century Japan. In America, the film is called just Ugetsu - maybe that one word seemed to some distributor to be in the same league as Godzilla! Something like "Ugetsu - Was She Dead or Alive!" We call it Ugetsu Monogatari (1953), and 45 years after it was made, it is timeless, beautiful, heartbreaking. Just because so few of you knew it, and just to give Citizen Kane some relief from the burden that may be its obituary, let's propose that Ugetsu Monogatari is the greatest film ever made.

Film: Free radical

Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin so alarmed a British government worried about naval mutiny that the film was banned. Now, 100 years after the director's birth, we can appreciate Eisenstein's genius afresh, writes Richard Gott

South Bank salvation

With all the dreadful films that are traditionally shown on television at this time of year, the only solution for many is a Christmas trip to the NFT

The Kaufman show takes centre stage

Full of fire, invective, mischievous wit and knowledgeable analysis, the select committee report reflects its author. Presiding over the weekly sessions of inquiry Gerald Kaufman has turned a parliamentary formality into the best show in town.

Film: Revenge of the mad camera fiend

In 1960, 'Peeping Tom' disgusted the critics and nearly ruined Michael Powell. Tonight, it's on TV. By Ian Christie

Good Venue Guide 10: National Film Theatre, SE1

Date of Birth: 1957.

Obituary: Vanda Jones

At a time when visiting the National Film Theatre in London was both a treat and a pleasure and one felt that the management cared about the comfort and welfare of the members, the imposing and grandly welcoming figure of Vanda Jones was prominently visible in the theatre foyer, always available for conversation, praise or complaint. She knew many of the members by name, recognised and greeted them, and always revealed a deep understanding and true love for cinema.

Fight films: The gospel according to Rector

Harry Mullan pays tribute to the men who committed canvas to celluloid

Eye am a camera

IMAGINING REALITY: The Faber Book Of Documentary eds Kevin Macdonald and Mark Cousins, Faber pounds 20 ,


The National Film Theatre kicks off its first television festival, TV97, with a Coronation Street bonanza. Combining feature previews, workshops and on-stage events, the festival (6-10 February) offers public access of a kind normally reserved for members of the television industry. Highlights include behind-the-scenes revelations from Channel 4 News and the nation's favourite Northern soap. In association with the Independent on Sunday, the NFT is offering an all-expenses-paid trip to the Coronation Street set in Manchester for one reader and their guest, plus 10 runners-up prizes of day passes to the festival.


With his fuzzy head of curls and droopy Sixties tash, pioneering actor, jazz musician and film director, Mike Figgis, doesn't resemble your typical Renaissance man, or, for that matter, a power-broking player in the movie business. Yet this unorthodox Geordie has the kind of rocket- fuelled energy and charisma to succeed at three careers when most of us can only scratch a living from one.

Did the guy look good?

Howard Hawks is being celebrated at the NFT - a reason to be cheerful


Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Career Services

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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little