It was the arrival of the cannon in the 19th century that finally heralded the end of elephants being used as an instrument of war. Until that time, from as early as 1000BC, they trampled across battlefields around the globe, through wars in places as far flung as Yemen and Sri Lanka.

Choice: Film: Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights, on general release

He's back, and he's got a new toupee

In the Seventies he ruled Hollywood, in the Eighties he fell into B-movie, chatshow hell, and now, finally, Burt Reynolds is back, as the slimy porn merchant in the hit disco nostalgia fest `Boogie Nights'. Nick Hasted charts his recovery.

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.

Film: Family values, nostalgia, fun - that's porn for you

A film about the American pornography industry is not the first place you'd look to find a celebration of conformity and family life, but it's there at the heart of Boogie Nights, the second feature from the 26-year-old writer/ director Paul Thomas Anderson. The porn industry has traditionally been depicted as a place of ugliness and corruption, in films such as Inserts and Hardcore, but Anderson gives it a homeliness that owes much to nostalgia for a time before Aids (the story unfolds in Los Angeles between 1977 and 1984). The characters in Boogie Nights, just like the Addams Family or the junky clan of Drugstore Cowboy, have their own equivalent of the weekend barbecue - though admittedly, few families would consider ejaculation a suitable subject for the tea table.

Film: Ryan Gilbey's top five

1 The Wings of the Dove

Film: Porn to be wild: cinema girds its loins to go sex mad

`Boogie Nights', a dark comedy about the rise, fall and partial rise again of a male porn star, is out next week. Laurence O'Toole looks at a film that features Mark Wahlberg - aka Marky Mark, white rapper and Calvin Klein underwear model. Is thi s the first of a new genre of Hollywood art porn films? With a title like Boogie Nights, you know you're in for a vintage disco soundtrack and some dodgy dancing gear to match. Though the director, Paul Thomas Anderson is too young to have lived the disco lifestyle, he lays on a feast of period kitsch: bubble perms, Saturday Night Fever line- dance sequences, gaudily-patterned polyester shirts. Kitsch is also how he characterises Seventies cinematic porn, captive to bad taste, loud emotions and sensual excess.

No illusions about stardom

Julianne Moore understands the illusory nature of stardom as well as most. In the bound-to-shock `Boogie Nights' she plays a porn star - as illusory an occupation as you can find on the seedier fringes of Hollywood. She talks to Nick Hasted about fame and fear.

New Films: The Myth of Fingerprints (15) Directed by Bart Freundlich

There are too many characters and not enough time in The Myth of Fingerprints (which isn't to say that I wished it were longer; legend has it that you'll find a pot of gold at the feet of a film critic who complains about movies being too short these days).

Boogie frights

Since the attempts to censor david Cronenberg's Crash any film which attempts to tackle sex and violence feels threatened with a ban. Chris Darke examines offerings at the London Film Festival whose controversy might outweigh their worth.

Screen Life: You have to like a film that needs a glossary of porn-speak to be comprehensible

Let's do a little word association. Ready? Burt Reynolds. Now. What did you think? Washed-up actor? Rug Man? Has-been in opticians' advert? Somebody your mum used to fancy? Did you hear the din of duelling banjos? Or did that lovable "sonofabitch" in Smokey and The Bandit spring to mind? Get ready to adjust your archives. By all accounts, Reynolds has made a Travolta-sized comeback as Jack Horner, a blue movie producer who wants to make "art" in the upcoming Boogie Nights.

People: Hopkins's Hannibal voted baddest baddie ever

Hannibal Lecter is the most evil movie character ever, according to a top 100 of film bad guys.

Monster movie makes millions

The Lost World has soared straight to the top of the UK box office chart after a hugely successful opening - but it has not beaten last summer's epic Independence Day.

Unsworth before and after Hannibal

With his new novel, one of the major events of an autumn rich in fiction, the Booker-Prize winning novelist enters modern times Photographs by Andrew Buurman

Sick note from suburbia

Satire, art movie, medical horror? In the film's very ambiguity lies the fascination. Adam Mars-Jones risks the 'Safe' experience

Cinema: Singular white female

With 'Short Cuts' and 'Single White Female', Jennifer Jason Leigh corne red the market in dangerous women. In her new film, she takes on Dorothy Parker . And this time she might just win an Oscar. David Thomson reports
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