Arts and Entertainment

Jumbo the elephant was a Victorian sensation, who between his birth in modern-day Eritrea and alcoholic death in the American circus of the incorrigible showman PT Barnum was the star attraction at London Zoo.

Journal De France, film review: Raymond Depardon is like an eccentric old magician

(12A) Raymond Depardon, Claudine Nougaret, 100 mins

A copy of vice magazine

Vice's partnership with gay rights group Stonewall is a clever move

The magazine's new film, Young and Gay in Putin’s Russia, will be broadcast to a wider audience thanks to the innovative alliance

Gone with the Wind actress Alicia Rhett dies aged 98

Rhett was one of the last remaining cast members from the 1939 classic

Book review: 'The Mirror' by Richard Skinner

Purgatory is other people

A still from the new Disney film Frozen

Frozen freezes Catching Fire out of UK and US box office top slots

Disney's Christmas offering took £4.7 million in its opening UK weekend

Shane Black and Syd Field at the American Screenwriters Associations' '2002 Screenwriting Hall of Fame Awards'

Syd Field: Screenwriting guru whose alumni included Darabont and who first popularised the three-act structure

Syd Field was a highly sought-after screenwriting teacher, renowned as a guru of the art of the screenplay. Of his eight books on the subject, the first, Screenplay: the Foundations of Screenwriting, is considered the bible of the art. He popularised the classic three-act paradigm, identifying important plot points and formulating a structure which not only reflected many existing films but which allowed writers to structure their own scripts. That he was never much in demand as a screenwriter himself throws an ironic sidelight on his career.

Dustin Lance Black: Five things you didn’t know about Tom Daley’s boyfriend

Hands up if you knew exactly who Dustin Lance Black was before the news broke this morning that he is the man Tom Daley is currently “in a relationship” with?

Horrible History: It was while staying at the Villa Diodati, on the shores of Lake Geneva, that Mary Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein

Mythology, monsters, and Mary Shelley: The enduring fascination of Frankenstein's creation

Events surrounding the creation of ‘Frankenstein’ in 1816 have gripped writers ever since. Lesley McDowell on an enduring literary fascination

Report: Apple closing $345m deal to buy Kinect manufacturer PrimeSense

Israeli-based PrimeSense created the technology behind Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing device, fuelling rumours of future Apple products

Amber Heard will star in Mathew Cullen's film based on Martin Amis's London Field

Screen Talk: Johnny Depp joins Amber in Martin Amis tale

Tinseltown Insider

Book review: Mitterrand. A Study in Ambiguity, By Philip Short

A penetrating study of a president that captures his extravagant complexities

Young: his long-gestating project, a history of British television films, will remain sadly unfulfilled

Cy Young: Film historian, a BFI governor and an 'Independent' obituarist

Occasional visitors to BFI Southbank under Waterloo Bridge could not in recent years have failed to notice the white-haired gentleman asleep in the foyer near the ticket desks; some may even have wondered why security did not have him removed.

Review: Empress Dowager Cixi, By Jung Chang

One of only three Chinese empresses to exercise outright power, Cixi was a survivor of Emperor Xianfeng’s harem who acted as regent for her own and her adopted son for almost 50 years. Stories of cruelty and allegations of murder have attached to her but this picture has been challenged as scholars exposed early accounts as often wildly inaccurate propaganda.

Review: Mastering The Art of Soviet Cooking, By Anya von Bremzen

Billed as “The Hare With the Amber Eyes meets Julie and Julia”, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is part memoir and part history – following the Russian kitchen from the turn of the 20th century through to the present. Von Bremzen herself moved to the USA at the age of 10, and much of the book is recounted from a distance, both of geography and of time.

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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?