News Criminal mastermind: Henning Mankell

Mankell will document his battle with the disease for a newspaper column

Digital. Cable and Satellite: Pick of the Day

CRITICS MAY have received his most recent film, Celebrity, with some equivocation, but that was due to the weak performance of its star, Kenneth Branagh, rather than any flaw in Woody Allen's direction. Sleeper (8.30pm FilmFour) sees Allen, almost 30 years earlier, at his uninhibited best, playing a vegetarian musician who dies during a routine operation, is preserved and brought back to life 200 years in the future.

The Information on: Woody Allen's `Celebrity'

What Is It?

Critics' Choice: Film

Human Traffic (15)

Down to every last gesture, Kenneth Branagh has turned into Woody Allen. What does he think he's playing at?

e likes to come across as an ordinary lad, Kenneth Branagh. He's a Spurs supporter. He's partial to a drink. And when not penguined out for some gala performance, he wears jackets and trousers that look slept in. The impression is reinforced by his laid-back RSC Cockney accent, which gradually replaced the original Ulster vowels after Branagh's family moved from Belfast to Reading in 1970. So keen is he to swap Shakespearean diction for man-in-the-street inarticulateness that our Ken keeps getting his syntax in a tangle, adding another "so" or "but" or "cos" and only then realising that he's let himself in for a whole new dependent clause, just when the sentence is running out of steam. In a sense, his career's a bit like that.

Film studies: Not much ado about anything Branagh does now

Just between you and me, what has happened to Kenneth Branagh?

Film: I'd like to thank Dr Frankenstein

Writer-director Bill Condon has reanimated the reputation of James Whale, one of film's forgotten heroes - and won himself an Oscar.

The evidence: The casting director's desk

Nina Gold is a freelance casting director specialising in film, television and commercials. She is currently casting a film for Kenneth Branagh

Tuesday book: The master of the monster

JAMES WHALE: A NEW WORLD OF GODS AND MONSTERS BY JAMES CURTIS, FABER & FABER, pounds 14.99

Arts: Theatre: The Bard would have loved it

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING PLAYHOUSE THEATRE LONDON

Science Notes; The myth of Frankenstein

OUR CHILDREN learn that professors are mad around the time they start reading the Beano, imbibing a tradition that goes back to the alchemists. But the 19th century gave us the most memorable mad scientist of all, Victor Frankenstein.

Out of one closet, into the next one

Normal, sexy, boy-interested girls play hockey, and look like a horse

Choice: Film: The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man, Broadway, Nottingham (0115-952 6611) 8pm

Books: Final curtain for the shocking horror show

It's time to scrap those cyborgs. Scary genetic science owes popular culture a new mythology, argues Marina Benjamin

5 days in the life of ... Jamie Payne

A first-time film director on set with Kenneth Branagh, Paul McGann and Pat Cash
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