Voices

This definition of anti-Semitism has been too stretched for too long

FILM: Stick up for Brit flicks

When it comes to home-grown movies, we're their harshest critics. MATTHEW SWEET deplores a long and ignoble tradition

Will the real Bilbo Baggins please stand up

Whenever I think about Mike Leigh's new film, Vera Drake, the one about abortion in the 1950s, I worry. Not about abortion. Not even about the1950s. What I worry about is how many women there are out there in real life who are called Vera Drake and whose life is being made difficult by it.

The best of 2004: reference books reviewed

Fighting talk in the year of chavs

How a £1.25m 'blind grant' led to Leigh's Venice triumph

Mike Leigh's portrait of a 1950s working class wife and mother who "helps out" pregnant girls by performing illegal, back-street abortions has been hailed as his greatest film since Secrets and Lies. But when the UK Film Council agreed to stump up £1.25m to fund the film, it had no clear plot or script and was simply known as Untitled '03.

THEATRE: Great minds do not think alike

A play dramatising the wartime struggle between De Gaulle and Churchill is just one of Paris's current stage successes. Why? By Paul Taylor

THE 1990s IN REVIEW: CINEMA - Hollywood takes over the world

In Britain, we had `Trainspotting' and `Four Weddings'. But overall, American blockbusters triumphed. By Gilbert Adair

`Third Man' heads list of century's top British movies

A FILM whose two stars were both American has been voted the best British motion picture of the century. Carol Reed's enduring version of Graham Greene's The Third Man, starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten, has come top in a poll of 1,000 directors, actors, producers and screenwriters.

Film: Who's the daddy now?

Tim Roth's directing debut focuses on incest. Is he pointing at a hidden past or exploiting a controversial topic?

Edinburgh Festival '99: Too close for comfort

THEATRE Riddance Traverse Theatre, Venue 15 (0131-228 1404) to 4 Sept

Books: An Aesop's fable from the dead zone

The Nudist Colony

Film: They weren't all 'Life of Brian'

REMEMBER Lenny Henry transformed by latex into a white man in True Identity, his 1991 foray into Hollywood? Or Rik Mayall in Drop Dead Fred, a film condemned by Halliwell's Film Guide as a "singularly tasteless comedy, lacking any vestige of wit"?

Film: Meet our reluctant friend in the North

Gina McKee really doesn't like interviews. But she's a star now. Does she need to loosen up?

Focus: A patio to die for

Once it was the height of suburban aspiration. Now it's for burying bodies

Young, gifted and criminally ignored

'Secrets and Lies' showed Marianne Jean-Baptiste to be one of our brightest talents, so why has she had to go abroad to look for work? She talks to Andrew Gumbel

Offers: Win Tickets To See 'cold Feet And Wet Toes' And Free Day Passes To The Sanctuary

Cold Feet and Wet Toes is a new, part-Bridget Jones, part-Mike Leigh comedy about two twentysomething women who juggle sex with careers and
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...