Janet Jackson

Carol Muskoron My parents had me at the same age as Janet Jackson

When I was five, my dad, aged 57, had a massive heart attack that knocked him unconscious and took away his health. I then helped care for him for the next 10 years, until he died two days after my sixteenth birthday. But, believe it or not, I had a happy childhood

The Dance of Death, Trafalgar Studio 2, London

It's become a truism that Strindberg's depiction of marital hell in The Dance of Death paved the way for the lacerating, liquor-fuelled slug-fest and the unholy game of “Get the Guests” in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and that there are distinct affinities with the stormy love-hate intensity of the relationship in Private Lives

Todd Lynn: Tailor-made rock'n'roll

Designer Todd Lynn has dressed U2 and Marilyn Manson, but he's branching out with a show next week at Ascot. He tells Harriet Walker why he's having a flutter on some new customers

Lights, camera...type!

As Beat fans await the new Allen Ginsberg biopic, Kevin Jackson recites an elegy for the tragic history of poetry on film

Observations: How cinema's inside man manages to do the right thing

Spike Lee was on typically rambunctious form at The Independent Interview on Monday at London's BFI. In a wide-ranging discussion, guided gently and not always successfully by David Lammy, MP, the director covered everything from the release of Do the Right Thing 20 years ago and the racism of critics, to how Barack Obama is coping with a post-election onslaught from "redneck crackers" ("The euphoria of him winning has gone. He's under attack"), and the changing face of cinema, where funding is scarce. "Unless you're Spielberg, Lucas or Tyler Perry, it's hard to get a film made." Nevertheless, the single-minded director (he demands final cut on all of his movies) revealed that he had turned down big-budget directing jobs in the aftermath of his most successful film, Inside Man. "Every available bank-heist movie that had been lying around was dusted off and sent to me".

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Tom Dixon: Free spirit

Tom Dixon is the great maverick of British design. In a rare interview, he talks to Clare Dwyer Hogg about his life and career, his decade as head of Habitat, and what he's planning next

Congress and a comic caper

Popular culture and the American way have never been comfortable bedfellows. As a new book reveals, even cartoons were accused of corrupting the nation's youth. David Usborne reports