The bitterly contested bill to criminalise prostitutes’ clients is heading for legislative limbo

Cinema: Un homme for all seasons

Likeable and versatile, with hidden depths - Daniel Auteuil is the perfect French actor. Robin Buss met him

Review: Videos

The People vs Larry Flynt (18). Vigorously airbrushed, Milos Forman's impassioned biopic of the Hustler publisher is styled primarily as a celebration of the First Amendment. The screenplay, by Ed Wood scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, provides sharp, memorable characterisations, and the actors respond accordingly. Woody Harrelson plays Flynt as a lovable goof ball (pissing off Gloria Steinem in the process); a wonderfully composed Courtney Love is sweet, sad, and funny as his wife Althea, a stripper turned heroin addict; the promising Edward Norton, as Flynt's fresh-faced lawyer, attacks his righteous courtroom diatribes with relish; and the terminally underused Crispin Glover shines in a delightfully bewildering minor role. Resorting too often to feelgood, all-American flag-waving, it entertains far more than it enlightens.

Theatre: Making the French connection

For those of us who haven't spent the last three summers and a small fortune renovating a disused cow shed in Brittany which any sane Frenchman would have abandoned, France is still a country redolent of heady cultural pleasures. This is, after all, the land of Bonnard and Matisse, Simone de Beauvoir and Marcel Proust, Brie, brioches, and bouillabaisse, not to mention Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve.


Mon Homme Bertrand Blier (18)

French elite march for immigrants

The figures tell the story. More than 100,000 people (not 30,000 as the police begrudgingly insisted) marched through Paris at the weekend to protest against a proposed new law to control illegal immigration.

French will not have to declare guests

The French government yesterday backed down before the massed ranks of the country's artists and intellectuals and announced two changes to a proposed immigration law.

Scotch mist

It's 150 years since Mr Mackintosh invented the rainproof coat - and unwittingly started a fashion for not-so-practical imitations. The real thing is still made in Scotland, and Tamsin Blanchard looks at some of the best

Fragments of love and death

Are women magical? Do boys ever grow up? Was Francois Truffaut a great film director? Chris Peachment considers the evidence on the eve of a month-long retrospective

Obscure origins of a thirtysomething crush

AS MIDDLE AGE approaches (I was 34 last week, at last, and promise this will never be mentioned again), I am in the grip of two different cultural obsessions. The first is the obvious one: that all of a sudden, however much I struggle to understand, I don't have a clue about teenage style, let alone the pre-teen variety that my five-year-old is so confident about.

centrepiece; A model wife

Whatever angle you're coming from, Catherine Bailey (right) comes out of it rather well. Which isn't bad going when you consider the angles hubby David has lined up for her in his new book and exhibition of photographs, The Lady is a Tramp, now showing at Hamiltons Gallery. But then, if you're going to be posing nude, stretched over a rock, baring your body in full- blown pregnancy and revealing yourself in the messy throes of childbirth, it helps if you have the full model credentials - endless legs, perfect bone structure and the face of an angel.

Bradford diaries: red hot and true

Once you've got over the shock of the end of society as we know it - an event whose weekly occurrence over the last three decades has somewhat dulled its impact - there are things you can learn from C4's "Red Light Zone" season.

Butterflies cluster to watch Yves strike a classic pose

The social butterflies who are long-standing devotees of Yves Saint Laurent sat clustered along the front row at his haute couture show yesterday. And they clapped as the master couturier sent jackets and dresses encrusted with exquisitely beaded butterflies down the runway at the Intercontinental Hotel.

CINEMA / John Lyttle on cinema

Former New Yorker movie critic, Pauline Kael, once said that even in the worst movie there was always something, a titbit, that redeemed the tedium; a hot song or an eccentric supporting role or a line about wombat sperm. As usual, the divine Pauline is no more than right. Indeed, one should like to pick up her ball and mince very quickly with it and suggest that a scoring system be instituted to alert movie-goers as to why they should attend a film that otherwise would be made to wander the streets calling out 'Unclean, unclean'. Take Bloodhounds of Broadway. It's a major bore but Madonna actually keeps her clothes on. Surely the public should be made aware of this miracle and be encouraged to rejoice? Imagine how ticket sales would have picked up if punters had known the Material Girl was going to - pardon the vulgarism - 'get her tits in'.

Fashion Update: Remarried for five minutes

Catherine Deneuve and David Bailey are back together . . . on video, at least. Back in the Sixties (when it was cool to be married for five minutes) Catherine was, briefly, Mrs Bailey. Now Malcolm McLaren has recruited Bailey to make the video of the first single from his new album, Paris. The singer is Catherine Deneuve. Bailey has included footage from their wedding, including a sighting of a youthful Mick Jagger, in the video.

Captain Moonlight: National symbols

AS YOU know, I'm not normally one for anything continental, but I do rather like the way the French continually update Marianne, the embodiment of the Revolution, whose busted embonpoint enlivens the nation's mairies. Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve have both served as models in the past; a new version featuring Ines de la Fressange, the celebrated beauty, is now being churned out by le tonne. Shouldn't we be doing this with our old symbol? Busts of a new, improved relevant Britannia could reunite the nation, take a lot of heat off the Royal Family, brighten up post offices no end, and, incidentally, spare future sculptors endless grief trying to get the Prince of Wales's ears right. The model? I was swayed by promptings for Lady Olga Maitland, Eve Pollard, Sarah Dunnant, Norma Major, Melanie Phillips, Judith Chalmers, Jeanette Winterson (loved the book, by the way), Barbara Cartland, the Duchess of York, the great Betty Boothroyd, and, of course, Lady Archer. All the others seemed to be weather forecasters. In the end, though, there could be only one choice: for her special combination of toughness and compassion, but, above all, for that hair and those ear-rings, Mrs Bet Gilroy, nee Lynch, mine hoste of the Rover's Return, Coronation Street, Weatherfield.
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