Arts and Entertainment

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

Review: `Fight Club'

What Is It?

Sometimes it's hard to be a man

Fight Club Director: David Fincher Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton (135 mins; 18)

Film: It should have been a contender

The Big Picture

Brad Pitt's fist-fighting movie is censored

SCENES OF "sustained" violence have been cut from Fight Club, the bare-knuckle film starring Brad Pitt, to allow it to be shown to British audiences.

Arts: `Little Miss Period Drama' breaks free

She's best known for roles involving elaborate dresses and the novels of EM Forster. But for her latest part, Helena Bonham Carter has swapped her corset for a wheelchair - and made her most personal film to date. All she needs to overcome now is prejudice. By James Rampton

The Critics' Awards 1998: Film - The good, the bad, and the really, really bad

When habitual, recidivist, and even paid filmgoers come to look back on a year just past, there is a temptation to be solemn, whether or not the millennium is now like the iceberg waiting for Titanic. It's easy to pronounce that things are not as they were - above all, I fear, in the sparse range and quality of foreign-language films. It's possible to surmise that 10 or so years into the next century, there may be far more ice than navigable ships on the water. Nevertheless, I had a good time in 1998 - even if that paints me as blithely shacked up in a first- class stateroom as the ice loomed.

Staying In: Video Reviews

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

Film: Acting is different for Graves

There's something rather endearing about Rupert Graves. Despite our meeting being scheduled for early evening, Graves appears to have just got out of bed. Dark hair sprouting wildly from his thin, beaker- shaped face, he affects a bemused-with-life persona, but comes on all bolshie. Happy to tell me he gets bored of doing plays that run longer than a month, he lacks the obligatory public relations riff most actors store up.

When the cameras stop rolling, dress to please yourselves

The fashion police have felt the frayed collars of two of Britain's best young actors. Melanie Rickey senses a miscarriage of justice

They don't make 'em like this any more

There are times, no matter how much I harp on about fleece and comfy things, when I wish that women (and men) dressed like they used to. All that palaver, that ceremony, that romance. The Wings of the Dove will make you ever so wistful for the costumes of yesteryear: fabulous coats with fur collars for winter, heavily embroidered and cocoon- shaped (so the hem is curved and dips down at the back) for summer. Layered ankle-length dresses with sumptuous brocade on silk mousseline, dainty dolly shoes with sexy, curvy heels. So, the corsets may have made you faint, goodness knows how they washed them and the weight of such finery may have made you glow like a freshly fried chip, but by golly how fantastic these clothes were. The only way, really, to recreate these looks faithfully is to buy from second-hand shops and arrange themed evenings so you have an excuse to wear them. Verily.

Fashion: How to become a movie star in six (not so) easy steps

Helena Bonham Carter wanted to look the part for the London premiere of her new film `The Wings of the Dove' on Wednesday. Tamsin Blanchard watched the transformation.

MAYBE SHE CAN ACT, AFTER ALL

A decade of playing costume-drama ingenues against a backdrop of exquisite Tuscan landscapes turned Helena Bonham Carter into a cinematic cliche. But should we now be taking her more seriously?

NO SLOB STORY

Actress KATHY BURKE talks with James Rampton If someone's casting for a bit of rough, you can't get rougher than me

Stiff upper lip service

Twelfth Night Trevor Nunn (U)

No sneezing please, we're British

Paul Binding reflects on the significance of hay fever and the shortcomings of the Condition-of-England novel
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee