Arts and Entertainment
 

Going, going, gone – to my billionaire best friend in the fifth row. It takes years to train as an auctioneer and a couple of decades on top to smooth one's salesroom patter and gavel-banging. If you're Leonardo DiCaprio, though, a few pals in high places are all you need. At an auction at Christie's New York on Monday, the actor raised $38.8m (£25.5m) for his Foundation, which works to protect endangered species and wildlife habitats.

Page 3 Profile: Jean-Michel Basquiat, American painter

Wasn't he the Amy Winehouse of the art world?

A generation on, why drop-out junkie Basquiat remains the hottest dead young artist in town

"The only thing the market liked better than a hot young artist was a dead hot young artist, and it got one in Jean-Michel Basquiat,” the art critic Robert Hughes once said.

Diary: Hopper under the hammer

One of the works in Dennis Hopper's art collection, which goes to auction next week in New York, is a portrait of the late actor by British artist Johnny Yeo. Yeo is known for his 2009 portrait of David Cameron, which sold for £200,000 – a record for a politician yet to serve as PM (it might not fetch so much these days). But he's also one of just three artists granted permission to paint Hopper, the others being Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol. The second work of Yeo's in the Christie's sale is a montage of falling leaves made from pornographic magazine clippings, won by the actor in a bowling competition. The art-loving Hopper, Yeo tells me, considered acting a dirty job necessary to fund his collection. "The first time Dennis sat for me," he remembers, "I wanted to take him for lunch somewhere that he wouldn't have been before. I decided the Chelsea Arts Club was off the beaten track, but suitably bonkers. When we walked in, though, the place was absolutely empty. Dennis turned to me and said, 'You know, it was a lot more fun when I used to come here with Hockney in the Sixties.'"

Miral, Julian Schnabel, 112 mins, (12A) </br> Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois, 120 mins (15)

Julian Schnabel's promising career as an innovative director takes a dive in this clumsy Middle East-set melodrama whose script, score and acting are all wanting

The American, Anton Corbijn, 104 mins (15)

Anton Corbijn's handsome second feature leaves its superstar stranded between God and 'amore'

Life, love and death in Venice

Depardieu brings the house down with a feelgood farce and the violence of the Pinochet regime is unflinchingly reenacted at Italy's easygoing film festival

British films prove a hit at Venice

Isaac Julien joins veterans Martin Scorsese and Catherine Deneuve on the Lido

Schnabel's true romance inspires tale of love across cultural divide

The real-life romance behind the film could not have better advertised its subject matter: a Jewish American film director and son of a Zionist mother meets a Palestinian woman at an art exhibition, falls in love, reads about her traumatic childhood under Israeli occupation and brings her moving story to the screen.

Irving Penn - the portraits

Irving Penn was a master at capturing the true character of his subjects, as a new exhibition exploring the work of the American portraitist reveals. By Michael Glover

Tim Walker: 'Sam Taylor-Wood and Steve McQueen always had an eye on the screen'

The Couch Surfer: A well-known YBA is now almost as commercial a proposition as a pop promo director

DVD: Lou Reed, Lou Reed's Berlin, (Artificial Eye)

Panned on release, Lou Reed's 1973 album 'Berlin' – documenting the downs and downs of an abusive relationship – has been reappraised as a miserabilist masterpiece.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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
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Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
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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

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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
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Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project