Putting the Japanese in the picture

No 153: POLAROID

Maybe it's because I'm a patronising Londoner

The road winds down a steep and thickly-wooded hill then opens out upon an immensity of moorland, just as the low, sodden cloud breaks for a moment and the sun blazes through. If we had personal sound-tracks, this would be the moment to bring on the trumpets. There are sheep; there is a distant horizon; there is a silver river winding through a valley; for a moment, the shock of scale, like alcohol, distorts the vision, and I think: could this be the place?

Animal rights: the new model army

Forget dreadlocked crusties and horrid pictures of bleeding beagles: these days the anti-cruelty league would rather go naked. Decca Aitkenhead reports

ARTS; Confessions of an award junkie

One of the year's most acclaimed films, 'Leaving Las Vegas' won prizes at all the major festivals. But what's it like to have the film world at your feet? In this diary, its director, Englishman Mike Figgis, reports from Hollywood's frontline

Why brit boys are the 'it' boys

Metropolitan life: They're weedy and waifish, funky but not hunky. So why do the world's designers love British male models? asks Lucy O'Brien

The model agencies say one of these girls is the proper shape and the other is too fat. Are they right?

A concave chest, pin-thin arms, and jutting hip bones can propel a teenager to catwalk stardom - or straight into hospital with a feeding tube down her nose. Model agencies are once again in the dock amid claims that an eating disorder is an advantage for young girls hungry for the fame and fortune that life as a clothes horse can bring.

It's not cool to like Bruce. People feel embarrassed about seeing a macho man show emotion

Anything bad that happens to me is, I'm certain, a result of not touching Bruce Springsteen's hand. It was months ago, but I still feel angry because practically everyone else in the whole of the Brixton Academy got to press flesh with The Boss. It reminded me of all the times I didn't get a going-home bag at a party because the taller kids got in the way and took them all.

Obituary:Claudette Colbert

The epitome of chic sophistication, Claudette Colbert was as unique among Hollywood heroines as Dietrich or Garbo.

At last! I'm ready for the Nineties

Last week, I met some people in a vast and possibly fashionable restaurant in Soho. Earlier that day, the newspapers had announced that the Feelgood Factor was back. I don't know how they could tell, nor, really, what the Feelgood Factor actually is. It seems to be another way of saying that house prices have gone up, but that can't be right. Can it? They wouldn't say that about anything else. Food Prices Go Through The Roof - Population Dances in Streets, Major Set For Further Term. What is it about houses that we want them to get more expensive?

Street smart

A bit of Mod, a hint of Britpop, and a recollection of the film 'Mean Streets' are this summer's offerings from British menswear labels Paul Smith, Jigsaw and Aquascutum. There are no challenging new shapes - just a casual remix of the traditional elements of easy-wear, easy- care clothes. So shrug on your open-necked gingham shirt and your flat- fronted trousers. Looking cool has never been so effortless. Photographs by Garth Meyer

Winding up Ms Lawley on a desert island turned out to be a tricky busin ess for an enfant terrible

That Hanif Kureishi, he's a one. The enfant terrible author (Buddha of Suburbia), screenwriter (My Beautiful Launderette, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid), director (London Kills Me), rock enthusiast (co-editor, The Faber Book of Pop) and freelance wind-up merchant (he told Melvyn Bragg he thought the bloody anti-poll tax riots in Trafalgar Square were "terrific") seems determined to re-establish his desperado credentials.

BLUES: Jimmy Rogers, Belfast

Muddy Waters' mojo worker, the man to blame for heavy metal, awes Colin Harper

One Man a prince in Richards' realm

RACING: The trainer of the favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup talks to Richard Edmondson

But where's the Aston Martin?

the critics

reviewsTheatre The Only True History of Lizzie Finn The Abbey Theatre, Dublin

'The simplicity and innocent beauty of the language gives it depth and an elegiac quality'
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Day In a Page

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there