<a href="http://martinking.livejournal.com/1336.html">Marathon Man: Drivers, you're round the bend</a>

Drivers: you're idiots. Murderous, stupid, criminal cretins. Not all of you, I know. Not all of the time, maybe. But there is one particular driving fault that I can vouch affects most of you, most of the time.

<a href="http://martinking.livejournal.com/1203.html">Marathon Man: With a little help from the gizmo</a>

OK, I know part of the aim to enter the London Marathon was to get off my backside, leave the computer screens behind and hit the road. But all those years with the geeks left me feeling the need for a bit of techie assistance.

First night: Rain Man, Apollo Theatre, London

Film star fails to shine in dull stage performance

Sleeping around: A bit of balance

'There's a lot to be said for taking the time to get to know the other person and not falling for a fantasy image'

Simon Calder: You're still safer up there than down here

This perfect storm, or so the airlines believed until yesterday, had three dimensions: the unprecedented price of oil; weakening demand from cash-strapped holidaymakers and businesses; and reluctance among the banks to shore up ailing carriers.

After 35 years, 'Papillon' gets Hollywood remake

When a film about a petty criminal who was wrongly convicted of murder and banished to a desert island colony was released in 1973, it instantly earned a place in movie folklore for the phenomenal on-screen chemistry between its two lead stars, Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.

Picture Post: Roll credits - Gene Hackman bows out

"I guess you could call it retired. I haven't worked for four years now." Gene Hackman, 78, will make no more movies, if Hollywood's gossip columnists are to be believed. Hackman declared this week that he doesn't want to play grandfathers or doddering old men, and says he won't miss movie-making. Audiences, though, are sure to miss him. He lacked the star wattage of Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson, and would probably have remained a character actor, but he brought a craggy intensity to his best roles and seldom, if ever, gave a bad performance.

Midnight Cowboy

Directed by John Frankenheimer

Scenes from a Revolution, by Mark Harris

Are American films any worse now than they used to be? It's tempting to name a year and suggest that, before this point, movies were better, but is the idea of Transformers being nominated for an Oscar any crazier than Dr Dolittle making the Best Picture list four decades earlier? There have been key periods, though, when Hollywood has experienced a sea change. In 1981, after Raiders of the Lost Ark won Best Picture, there was a shift away from films with a demanding European aesthetic, towards merchandisable matinee popcorn. In 1967, Mark Harris argues, there was another pivotal moment, as studio-generated epics gave way to smaller films that reflected the countercultural thirst for change.

Roy Scheider: Actor best known as Police Chief Brody in the blockbuster 'Jaws'

Lean faced and sinewy, the versatile actor Roy Scheider reached his career peak in the Seventies, when he received two Oscar nominations, as best supporting actor for his role as police partner to "Popeye" Doyle (Gene Hackman) in The French Connection (1971), and as best actor for his uncompromising performance in Bob Fosse's autobiographical All That Jazz (1979).

BOX OFFICE: FILMS

UK Top 10

FILM: Racing Stripes (PG) Frederik Du Chau ii888

Just as Buzz Lightyear thought he was really an astronaut, so Stripes the zebra thinks he's a thoroughbred racehorse. A stray from the circus, Stripes is adopted by a widowed horse-trainer (Bruce Greenwood) and befriended by a goat and a Shetland pony. That the latter are voiced respectively by Whoopi Goldberg and Dustin Hoffman should tip you the wink: this is school of Babe, where the animals talk to each other and flies whizz around enthusing over "poo".

FILM: TOP 10 FILMS UK & IRELAND

Most film sequels (apart from The Godfather Part II, of course) are subject to the gloomy law of diminishing returns, both critically and financially, but Jay Roach's Meet The Fockers (which follows 2000's Meet The Parents) has at least hit the box office top spot in its first week. But the combination of A-list Hollywood stars (including Dustin Hoffman, above) and lavatory humour has proved less successful with reviewers. Nobody seems to like it but the public.

Ocean's Twelve (12A)

When more is less

Kevin Whiteman: He came through the miners' strike in '85 but now for the great water revolt of 2005

Sipping at an 'Icytonic', Kelda's chief executive tells Tim Webb why his glass isn't half empty despite higher charges and City criticism
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project