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


Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower