Arts and Entertainment

I’ve always tried to pursue the things I’m most passionate about You have to follow your heart. That’s why I’ve written and directed [new TV show] Mob City [based on John Buntin’s book LA Noir: The Struggle For the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City]. I’ve always loved film noir, the potboiler aspect, the fact that everyone has an angle, a secret, and that the heat is always being turned up under the kettle.

Dirty Pretty Things (15)

London kills me

Asylum. With added glamour

So how should you portray immigrant life? Matthew Sweet on Stephen Frears' latest film

Phillip Noyce: The not so quiet Australian

From political movies to Hollywood schlock and back again. Sheila Johnston meets the unpredictable director

Sweet and Low: Oliver Parker

The director of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' chooses his best and worst scenes of all time

Words: shiver, v. and n.

THE POET James Dickey, whose novel Deliverance became a movie, knew the effect of a single word. "My whole existence has proceeded from one word in a poem, which I read in an anthology on Okinawa during the last weeks of the second war."

Look out, he's dangerous

He was pure sex - and it was all done with the twitch of a lip and the arch of an eyebrow. David Thomson remembers Steve McQueen

Theatre: Do we believe in this Godot?

Waiting for Godot Royal Exchange, Manchester Collateral Damage Tricycle, London The Importance of Being Earnest Festival Theatre, Chichester The Late Middle Classes Richmond, London

BOOKS: Expect the unexpected

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King Hodder pounds 12.99

Film: Double Bill - Rohan Woods, director of `the boys' , currently on release, on his ideal cinematic pairing

WORLD WITHOUT SUN DIR. JACQUES COUSTEAU (1964) WHEN FATHER WAS AWAY ON BUSINESS DIR. EMIR KUSTURICA (1985)

A man of good character

In `Backlash', the late JT Walsh yet again gave a brilliant performance in an `ethically challenged' role. Ryan Gilbey celebrates a talent never fully recognised

Arts: The sweet blank of success

John Cusack could have been the next Tom Cruise, but he just wasn't interested. The buzz surrounding his first feature, `Grosse Pointe Blank', suggests that he was right to stick to his guns. By Ryan Gilbey

Gusto

A deep depression has cheered up America. Dea Birkett reports; The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, Fourth Estate, pounds 14.99

Death becomes him

The pulp writer Jim Thompson died penniless and all but forgotten. Now Hollywood producers can't get enough of his `sour, dead-end view of the world'. Poetic justice...
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015