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Award

NEAL Ascherson, the Independent on Sunday's columnist, has won the Orwell Prize for political writing. He is the first winner of the award, established by the George Orwell Memorial Fund and The Political Quarterly.

FILM / Bang, bang, you're alive: If death did not exist, the cinema would have had to invent it. Seldom is the screen so animated as when some actor is breathing his last. David Thomson considers dying in the movies, from the original 'Scarface' to 'In the Line of Fire', and nominates Hollywood's greatest expirer

THE SEVEN screenwriters are decent men and women. Their children have been in Non- Violence Awareness programs. They are devout in the faith that there are too many guns in America. Not to mention greater Los Angeles. But they have a problem with this script.

REVIEW / Soft men with hard centres: Adam Mars-Jones finds Clint Eastwood's new buddy-buddy movie, A Perfect World, both sentimental and sour

We don't exactly associate Clint Eastwood with pimping for tears, either as actor or director, but nothing brings out American sentimentality like a story about fathers and sons, and A Perfect World certainly sets out to wet a few cheeks. The strange thing about it is that it has all the characteristics of the heart-warming film except the warmth. Somehow that got left out. In one sequence, a father is ordered at gunpoint to tell his son he loves him ('Say it like you mean it'). That's pretty much the emotional dynamic of A Perfect World. We feel things not because we want to, but because a man with a gun tells us it will be much better for us if we do.

CINEMA / All's right with Clint's World

CLINT EASTWOOD is now a better director than actor. In both jobs, he has always thrived on limitation. Clint the Malibu monolith winces and glares, while Clint the director runs genre pieces through the hoops. He may be the apotheosis of the conservative artist. But while his attempts to break out of convention as an actor have verged on the ludicrous (his huffing, wooden impersonation of John Huston in White Hunter, Black Heart), as a director he's refined and deepened his genre material. In his new film, A Perfect World (15, released next Sunday), he polishes a formulaic script to a sheen.

FILM / Lights, camera, satisfaction: Time was when Hitchcock called them cattle, but now actors call the shots. Kevin Jackson on the stars turned directors

F Scott Fitzgerald famously observed that there are no second acts in American lives, but any number of American actors seem dead set on proving him wrong by nipping around to the other side of the camera, donning natty baseball caps and starting fresh careers as directors. Over the last couple of weeks, the London Film Festival has screened directorial debuts from the likes of Robert de Niro (A Bronx Tale), Andy Garcia (Cachao) and Forest Whitaker (Strapped). Meanwhile, The Man without a Face, Mel Gibson's first stab at directing, opened at the weekend.

The bad and the indifferent

LAST WEEK, I went to see Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. In one sense, it was all Eastwood. Once again, the wordless, narrow-eyed loner wreaks justice with his gun. Once again, the sky and the mountains look down on a community mired in cruelty and cowardice, waiting for its saviour. But Unforgiven is more than just another Clintiad.

FILM / One man and his doggedness

A LOW hiss is pitted against a whiny drawl in In the Line of Fire (15): it's a battle between two memorable movie voices, Clint Eastwood and John Mal kovich. They don't talk much face to face: when they meet they're too busy hopping rooftops, duelling in lifts or hanging off ledges. But they chat a lot on the phone. Malkovich's cranky but clever killer spits out dental sounds like rifle shots: 'I see you standing over the grave of another dead President.' Eastwood's dim but dutiful Secret Servicer whispers sour nothing-doings back: 'That's not going to happen.' No crossed lines there, just crossed swords.

FILM / Sharing the myth: Sheila Johnston looks at the latest releases, including In the Line of Fire, which stars Clint Eastwood, and Blue

Where were you when JFK was shot? As Frank Horrigan, the Secret Service agent and former Presidential bodyguard of In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood was approximately six inches away and failed none the less to stop the fatal bullets. The result: the failure of his marriage and a personal guilt for the decline of a once-proud nation.

FILM / Forgiven: For years, thinking people shunned his films. Now Clint Eastwood is one of the most revered public figures in America. As an actor, he has no direct rival. Unless you count Gary Cooper

SEE CLINT run. In his latest film, In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood plays a secret-service agent responsible for the protection of the President. There are scenes where he has to be one of the suits running alongside the presidential limousine. Then there are the scenes where he has to double-up the pace and go sprinting after John Malkovich, the fruitiest killer Hollywood has conjured since Norman Bates. Clint does this running himself. The shots may be kindly chosen and edited. But there are scenes where he's running with actors half his age, and there's no evident concession - as there was in Personal Best, say, where real Olympic athletes had to be absent-minded and short-striding so Mariel Hemingway could beat them. Clint can flat-out run still, and he's 63.

ARTS / Video

Unforgiven (15; Warner). A man beside a grave, silhouetted by sunset: such is the image that opens and closes Unforgiven. It looks too corny by half, but then westerns have always taught us that really high-grade corn can ripen into poignancy. Clint Eastwood's most acrid and unrepentant western yet returns us to the hard-bitten pleasures of the genre, then makes us wonder why we should admire them so. Anthony Phillips

Ivory Towers: 'Make my pseudo- imperative, punk'

WHEN Clint Eastwood said 'Go ahead punk, make my day,' was he issuing a command, as the two strung- together imperatives would appear to suggest? Or was he using an imperative construction to tell the punk that if he went ahead (by reaching for his gun), this would give Mr Eastwood the excuse to fire his own magnum (the most powerful pistol in the world), thereby making his day?

Dirty Harry shoots down tabloid reporter's Hollywood scam

THE PHRASE 'reliable sources' is much abused in American journalism, but even the shadiest operators would agree that Tony Castro stretched matters a little too far.

Oscars ceremony wins honours for best political platform

HOLLYWOOD, still preening after its vocal role in the election of President Bill Clinton, has begun flexing its political muscle with the most outspoken and topical Oscars ceremony for years. Stars concluded 1 billion viewers were too good an opportunity to miss, and made use of their fleeting moments in the spotlight to hold forth on topics ranging from human rights abuses in Tibet, to HIV- positive Haitians and Panama.

Clintonomics makes their day: will Dirty Harry become The Forgiven?: As the anti-violence crusaders march on Hollywood, a man with a smoking gun strides towards the Oscars. Simon Garfield reports

In two weeks Clint Eastwood straps on the bow tie, gets out the tux and goes in search of a little bounty. Unforgiven, his latest film, has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best actor (Eastwood), best director (Eastwood), best film (produced by Eastwood). The movie, a huge draw at the box office, is an extremely brutal Western - sadistic violence, graphic pain.

Not paranoid? You're crazy]: Behind us, Dixon of Dock Green. In front, Dirty Harry. What went wrong?

John Major promised last night to tackle rising crime 'openly and directly'. Kenneth Clarke says he will do something about it. Oh dear, it looks as if another Tory 'initiative' is on the way - time to take a firm grip on your can of Mace, locate the poker and run a test on your screech alarm.
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Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
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Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
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Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
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Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
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Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
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Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices