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

CINEMA / France's most wanted: From Gabin to Depardieu, French cinema has produced some great baddies. Robin Buss, author of a new book on French 'film noir', picks his 10 best

ONE OF the first films ever made - in France or anywhere else, and two years before the American Great Train Robbery - was Fernand Zecca's Histoire d'un crime (1901). Although French critics invented the term film noir for a Hollywood genre of the Forties, crime has been one of the great subjects of French cinema, and there has never been any shortage of actors to play the villains. Only, when you look at their films, with very few exceptions these villains turn out to be a remarkably likeable bunch.

FILM / Wayne's worlds apart: Adam Mars-Jones on American juvenilia and French coming-of-age, Wayne's World 2 and Les Visiteurs

Being brainless in a sophisticated way may not be the only secret of making people laugh. But it's done no harm to Mike Myers, originator of the Wayne's World comedy franchise, now opening its second outlet with Wayne's World 2 (PG), directed by first-timer Stephen Surjik. The two heroes, still nominally teenagers, sleep in their baseball caps; one of them, offered an Old Fashion by a scheming seductress, spits it out, saying: 'This Coke's gone bad.' Their innocence defends them.

Saint Laurent offers sorbets and sweeties

FOLLOWING a severe bout of pneumonia, it seemed unlikely that Yves Saint Laurent would be on top form, but yesterday in Paris he put on a reassuring show of strength both on and off the catwalk. The collection wasn't going to stop the traffic in the Place de la Concorde, but then not much would have done that this week.

Real Life: Adultery: don't do it: Isabel Wolff hears the case for faithful wives

WIVES AND mothers, as we all know, are saints. The embodiment of goodness, love and self-sacrifice, they hover in the piety stakes somewhere between Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa.

Fashion: Le smoking, just le thing pour le soir: A stylish evening jacket and trousers offer freedom from big jewellery and high heels. Kate Constable reports

Most designers work on the premise of 'planned obsolescence'. But when Yves Saint Laurent put women into dinner jackets and trousers in the autumn of 1966 with his first 'Le Smoking', he made planned obsolescence obsolete.

Catherine Deneuve arriving at the festival palace in Cannes

Catherine Deneuve arriving at the festival palace in Cannes yesterday where she is attending the town's 46th international film festival.

FILM / DIRECTOR'S CUT: The difficulties of going native: Regis Wargnier, director of Indochine, on culture-clashes in Sir David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia

There is a scene in Lawrence of Arabia in which Lawrence and the Arabs decide to cross the desert. One man gets separated from the rest and the other Arabs tell Lawrence, 'The man will die; it is written.' But he says: 'It's not written; nothing is written,' and saves him. Some days later they arrive in Aqaba. A fight breaks out between two Arab tribes and Lawrence says, 'If I kill one man in revenge will that settle the argument?' They agree, the guy is on the ground, face down. He raises his head and we see that it is the same man he rescued from the desert. Lawrence has to shoot him, and the Arab chief comes to him and says, 'You see, it was written.'

FILM / Colonial chic saps the strength

IT IS not in every film that the hero accuses his lover of treating him as badly as she treats trees, but Regis Wargnier's preposterous Indochine (12) is no ordinary slab of cinema. 'You treat people as if they were trees,' says handsome Jean-Baptiste accusingly, 'you buy them and you drain them.' The reason that she drains them is that they are rubber trees, of which she owns a plantation.

FILM / Breakfast at Polanski's

THEY have been wandering round Paris all night. They watched the dawn at Notre Dame. Now they're at his place, for the first time.

FILM / The Last Detail: Gilbert Adair remembers the sequence modern movie-makers won't wake up to

WITHIN the extreme narrative ambiguity of Belle de Jour one scene at least can safely be construed as a dream: when Catherine Deneuve is pelted with mud by her husband's liveried flunkies. As might be expected of such a master of elegance, discretion and sly, silky simplicity, Bunuel has recourse to none of the codified techniques (slow motion, skewed angles, time-lapse cinematography) that most other directors would have employed to alert us to this abrupt shifting of gears. We know that Severine has been dreaming because her unsuspecting husband suddenly asks her what she's thinking about.

CINEMA / Brilliant Bunuel and the boudoir Bovary

IT IS 25 years since Belle de Jour first appeared, and time has done little to defrost its chill. Nothing about it looks dated, apart from a dull thug who looks like Terence Stamp, and the clothes, which are a joke and a joy. Catherine Deneuve is dressed throughout by Yves St Laurent, who appears to believe that smart Parisian ladies should be prepared at all times for desert warfare. But Luis Bunuel's film is more about the timeless, unquenchable desire to take clothes off; as they fall away, so do the years.

CINEMA / At home with Bebe Dalle: The star of 'Betty Blue' is finally back on our screens. Anthony Lane drops in

AND I thought my place was a mess. I hadn't seen Beatrice Dalle's. Mine has old newspapers and furry cups of tea. Hers has a stuffed cat's head lying on top of the radiator, growing slightly warm. What had she done with the rest of it? Frozen it for later? Maybe it was still running around - behind the 10-foot snakeskin, through the legs of the Barbie dolls, under the rattan sofa salvaged from the ancien regime. This was mess turned into an art-form, like a painter's impression of his own studio. Beatrice called it a brothel, which was going a bit far. It was certainly more than a junk-shop; for one thing, there was too much light, hazing in from the big glassy roof. The people of Paris hardly get a glimpse of Beatrice Dalle, but the sky of Paris can drink its fill all day.

FILM / Paying the price of pleasure

LUIS BUNUEL began his film career (Un Chien Andalou, L'Age d'Or) as the equivalent of an anarchist with a bomb. But as time went on he seemed to realise that this approach was a bit of a pose. What he relished was not the destruction of bourgeois values but the making of hoax calls. In the long run, he was more of a tease than a revolutionary.

ARTS / Show People: The fire beneath the ice: 34. Catherine Deneuve

DURING the New Wave the dominant image of womanhood in French cinema changed from sex kitten to ice maiden; from Brigitte Bardot to Catherine Deneuve, both protegees of the canny Roger Vadim. Bardot's appeal had been her promise of availability; Deneuve's was a challenge, an aristocratic perfection that invited you to discover its flaw.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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