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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee