Life and Style Wonder and frustration: the Leap Motion Controller in action

An idea that deserves a big hand – a pity it's not mine

Labour `glove puppets' put Tories in a spin

LABOUR MPS were dismissed by the Tories as "Alastair Campbell's glove puppets" last night, after a Commons committee was split by a dispute over government spin-doctors.

Video rental

1 Tomorrow Never Dies (12)

A message for engineers of change: coercing the poor has never worked

"It is suicidal for the nation to drive the mother to earn money in industry, at the expense of so neglecting the children that they grow up, if they grow up at all, stunted, weak and untrained."

LONDON TOP TEN

1 / LA CONFIDENTIAL

Going Out: CINEMA TODAY

Times are for today's films in London. Films marked (P) are also showing outside London.

Wide angle: Just what the doctor ordered

John Hodge combines a career as a doctor with that of a successful screenwriter - the title of his latest, A Life Less Ordinary, could sum up the man himself

Interview: A team less ordinary

`A Life Less Ordinary' is a strange film. Even its screenwriter thinks so. But then, as Ben Thompson discovers, that's just the kind of creative dissent you'd expect from the trio that made `Trainspotting'

CINEMA / The shape of things to come in the digital domain

CHARLES RUSSELL's The Mask (PG) is an adventure-comedy crafted out of the future. Seeing it may make you feel like that startled audience, nearly 100 years ago, who first watched Louis Lumiere's image of a train and, when it hurtled towards them, as relentless and palpable as a nightmare, fled the cinema in fright. The Mask isn't that scary, yet it is a vision of cinema to come that may appal some viewers, even as it dazzles them. It takes a step further the computer sorcery of Robert Zemeckis's Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), which allowed cartoon figures and actors to interact. The Mask's hero switches between flesh-and-blood mortality and cartoon malleability with polymorphous aplomb. When computers are so dextrous, what price human invention? The microchips are down for the movies.

FILM / A big hand for SFX: Adam Mars-Jones looks beneath Charles Russell's beguiling The Mask.

Any honest filmgoer, surely, will admit the profound pleasure to be had from special effects. It isn't just a matter of indulgent childhood memories, the first magical viewing of King Kong or The Wizard of Oz. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Brazil, Prospero's Books and The Naked Lunch are not what you think of when you think of special effects movies, but where would they be without their boxes of tricks?

History lessons to keep British focus: Education adviser denies shift to multiculturalism

Claims that British history will give way to multiculturalism in the new national curriculum are false, the Government's most senior education adviser said yesterday.

MPs urge clean up of the minicab trade

A TWO-TIER licensing system for all taxis and minicabs should be established to rid the trade of illegal operators, an all-party committee of MPs suggested yesterday, writes Christian Wolmar.
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