Arts and Entertainment

Mario Testino’s talent with a camera must be maddening for other photographers working in a highly competitive field, but he remains one of the most revered stars in his profession. Testino has a natural ability to float effortlessly from studio to backstage to after-party, producing stunning shots in any kind of situation. From royals to mega-celebrities, Testino has shot some of the world’s most inaccessible subjects, always with an ease that betrays the complexity of the task. When Testino gets “in your face” he captures you at your best — and that is what makes him the best.

Books: The last thing he expects keeps happening

Maid of the Mist by Colin Bateman HarperCollins pounds 10.99

Why the next English Patient will be British

IT MAY LOOK British, sound British and star Emma Thompson, but in the eyes of the Government, this is not enough to make it a British film.

Staying In: Video Reviews

It's a Wonderful Life (U) Polygram, retail, pounds 12.99 HHHH

The Independent Recommends: Film

THE FUGITIVE'S Andrew Davis has remade Hitchcock for the multiplex generation in A Perfect Murder (left). More reptilian with each passing movie, Michael Douglas is sublimely smarmy as businessman and control freak Steven Taylor, who plans to bump off his heiress wife (Gwyneth Paltrow, as a Grace Kelly ice queen) by blackmailing her lover, Viggo Mortensen. Glossy trash, and a gorgeous way to spend a winter afternoon.

The Chart

LONDON BOX OFFICE

Cinema: Dial M for Michael

A Perfect Murder (15)

Net Gains: Quality Control www.aperfectmurder.com

Hollywood executives are obsessed about controlling the publicity of their films. However, up until now, the Internet seems to have bypassed their quality-control mechanisms: the Godzilla website actually portrayed the beast devouring the Spice Girls. Tinseltown executives have now begun to twig that they've been underexploiting the medium.

Film: Basic instincts of the president's man

Michael Douglas has played some of the defining cinema roles of recent years. He's always used the screen to air his views. Now he's decided to stand up and have a go at the Establishment

Sticking the knife in

Standing in a spectacular Shakespearian theatre, the words "time- warp" spring to mind. The elevated seats are empty, but below on stage, a vicious duel is being played out by two men with a range of theatrical swords and daggers.

Film: High-speed nightmare

Also Showing: Breakdown Jonathan Mostow (15) Sliding Doors Peter Howitt (15) My Son the Fanatic Udayan Prasad (15)

PLACES: DAKOTA

AS IF NOTTING HILL wasn't already stuffed with achingly fashionable eateries, since November its fun-loving inhabitants have had a new watering hole. Dakota, new baby sister to the established Montana in Fulham, is an attempt by directors Drew Barwick and Kevin Finch to bring "contemporary American" cuisine to London - there are plans for further venues later this year. Here, you can enjoy your grilled Iowa rib eye steak or jalapeno polenta with New World wine in feng-shui'd surroundings almost reminiscent of the birch and maple forests of the American north-west - well, kind of. The partitions, at any rate, are made of very authentic-looking logs. Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney and Boy George have all been sighted.

Fast food: Don't say you haven't tried aloe vera juice

Popping a few anti-oxidants every morning is not the only way to ensure your future well-being. You clearly haven't been paying attention. Why take a pill when you can benefit from the effects of a raw material free from synthetic drugs? Royal jelly and ginseng have all had their 15 minutes of fame and now it's the turn of Aloe Vera.

Fan Facts: Mark Wahlberg

Myth: Have you seen Mark Wahlberg in his previous incarnation as the Calvin Klein underwear model? This "Hello Girls" vision certainly fuelled vivid imagination - but could a 13-inch number fit in those pants? No. In reality, Mark's role as an appendage-advantaged porn star in Boogie Nights, included a prosthetic, erm, John Thomas.

Arts: Putting the `um' into millennium

As `The X-Files' so relentlessly tell us, the truth is out there, banging on the door to the next century and pointing at the hand of God. John Lyttle takes a Manichean view of BSkyB's latest Zeitgeist-buster

WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS? NO 7: GWYNETH PALTROW

Main Claim: Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt. For two years, Gwyneth has been the very public girlfriend of the world's most lusted after actor. Thus, a generation of girls literally dreams of being Gwyneth Paltrow. Her sidekick prompts universal salivation: lesbian magazine Diva recently named him among its top 30 lesbian lust objects. "Getting a crush on Brad Pitt is pathetic," Gwyneth had to tell herself when first smitten. Brad has referred to Gwyneth as "my angel".
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Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

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