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For its title sequence, The Full Monty (15) resurrects a Seventies promo film for Sheffield, a showreel that may have influenced the aesthetic Weltanschauung of a young Jarvis Cocker. It's new-town retro with a hint of Soviet optimism. Tower blocks gleam in the sun, buses cruise around new concrete roundabouts, molten steel bubbles in crucibles. A smoothly cheerful voiceover that might once have been used to advertise Dralon Zed beds enumerates the city's industrial triumphs. Then the screen blacks out with the caption, "25 years later". We're in the present day, and civic modernism has been discredited by the heritage pub, stone cladding, and the fact that Marxism is dead as Adorno. In The Full Monty's Sheffield the working man is an oxymoron. The only way male dignity can be re- invented is for blokes to get their kits off and wave their todgers in the air.

CONSPIRACY THEORY Director: Richard Donner Starring: Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart (15)

There is a sequence about 30 minutes into this initially promising thriller which suggests that there may be something more to what we're seeing than meets the eye. As a paranoid New York cabbie and the brains behind a conspiracy theory newsletter, Mel Gibson seems at first like your usual opinionated, motor-mouthed taxi-driver. The film opens with him detailing various conspiracy theories to hapless passengers who simply stare in amazement at his ability to talk - and talk drivel - without taking a breath.

Just because you're paranoid...

Conspiracy Theory Richard Donner (15) The Full Monty Peter Cattaneo (15)

david aaronovitch

It has been reported this week that the Foreign Secretary, Mr Robin Cook (henceforth to be known only as Robin), is to circulate those who lie abroad for their country with a special video, introducing himself and his policies. Previously they only received a short note reading something like "Dear colleague. My name's Malcolm. I'm another Tory. I want Britain to be at the heart of Europe. Cheers."

Mel Gibson meets Derrida

It's one of the most popular university courses. But is cultural studies of intellectual value, or a refuge for lazy charlatans?

`Scalping' exposed at Villa Park

The news agency Associated Press can always be relied upon to provide a peculiarly American perspective on what we call "football" and they call "soccer" - its reports on matches played in the States can often read like descriptions of a totally different sport.


Once they were fearsome medieval warriors; today they fight on

`Braveheart' in League of his own

If you want to understand what really happened in Italy's general election, ask Mel Gibson. Or rather, marvel at the timing with which his film Braveheart swept the Oscars last month. His tale of William Wallace's revolt against the English provided the Northern League, the volatile separatist movement that rails against the iniquities of rule from Rome, with the perfect symbol for its poll campaign.

Two hundred diners in search of a stereotype and celluloid Scots

"ODDLY enough, Trollope himself was not a great admirer of Lincoln's Inn."


BEST PICTURE: Braveheart

Film: The oscar box

Last week we asked film pundits to name their best and worst Oscar awards. Here, they give their verdicts on this year's results...

Bravehearts and statuettes

Oscars special: Susan Sarandon, the bookies' hot favourite to take the Best Actress prize at tomorrow night's Academy Awards, talks to Daniel Jeffreys As the nominees await their fate, David Thomson offers his Oscar predictions

Contempt and content for a crime without punishment


Scotland learns from epic lost to Ireland

Scotland's film industry was revitalised by Mel Gibson's decision to film much of his epic Braveheart about Scots hero William Wallace ... in Ireland, Scottish arts minister Lord Lindsay said yesterday.
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
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Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
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newsIn short, yes
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Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
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Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories