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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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada