Video: Exclusive interview with Black Swan star Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman, star of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, talks exclusively to independent.co.uk about the rigours of training for the role.

Self-mutilation on film - What a carve-up!

In 127 Hours, a climber hacks his arm off with a knife. Strong stuff? Yes, but it's only the latest entry in cinema's rich history of self-mutilation, argues Kaleem Aftab

Screen Talk: Dan dares

Bach's great unfinished work has been subjected to many realisations, the original keyboard exercises applied to recorder, saxophone, woodwind and string interpretations, and even an electronic rock version by Laibach.

There's a buzz about ballet

The worlds of film and fashion have got the point at last – dance is hot

Portman tells of the agony she endured to be a dancer

The actress Natalie Portman has revealed that the punishing schedule she endured for her new role as a ballerina in Black Swan left her fearing she was going to die.

Sarah Sands: Do we really want friends and family to be our ballet critics?

It was not chivalrous of Alastair Macaulay, the British dance critic of The New York Times, to write that Jenifer Ringer, principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, looked overweight in The Nutcracker. To say that a woman with a history of bulimia and anorexia looked as if she had had "one plum too many" as the Sugar Plum Fairy showed an undeniable emotional insensitivity. The incident coincides with the imminent release of Black Swan, a film about the grotesque physical demands made on dancers, and with a wave of ballet mania. So Macaulay's remark has hit black ice in front of a mass audience. As Natalie Portman, star of Black Swan, asked rhetorically: "In whatever other fields is it acceptable to judge artists by how big they are?"

Can Emma Watson hold on to the magic?

Hollywood history is littered with fallen child stars – but smart, savvy Emma Watson isn't about to join the list, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

Closer Look: PS3 Move and the best of its launch titles

S3 Move, Sony’s motion control peripheral, hits stores on Friday and brings with it the release of a number of Move exclusives and updates to a select few existing games — most notably Heavy Rain, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and Resident Evil 5.

Pardon my French: Actor Jean Reno speaks out on his compatriots’ attitude towards American cinema

Sean Bean – he's mean. Depardieu – can't remember his lines. And don't even get Jean Reno started on his countrymen's hypocritical attitude towards Hollywood...France's favourite actor opens up to Rhiannon Harries

Star Wars - When the fans hit the Sith

In a new documentary, George Lucas is accused of ruining his Star Wars franchise with poor prequels and gratuitously tweaked reissues. James Mottram reports

DVD: Brothers, For retail & rental (Lions Gate)

Another remake, this US version of Susanne Bier's Danish drama stars Tobey Maguire as a marine who's held hostage in Afghanistan, and Jake Gyllenhaal as the brother who comforts Maguire's wife, Natalie Portman.

DVD: Brothers (15)

"Why couldn't you just stay dead!" is the last thing Tobey Maguire's "war hero", Sam, needs to hear from his daughter when he returns from hell in Afghanistan.

Best celebrity: Natalie Portman

After Lily Allen for New Look and the car crash that was Lindsay Lohan's brief tenure at Emanuel Ungaro, you'd be forgiven for thinking celebrity fashion collaborations were a tasteless marketing technique more in keeping with the days of It-bags and Big Brother than with a more sober, post-Crunch vision of responsible mass consumption. So when 28-year-old Natalie Portman launched a range of vegan shoes (that's to say no leather or other animal products, rather than that they're edible) for green label Te Casan, she too came in for a certain amount of scorn and mockery. But the stylish Mary-Janes and court shoes that she created for the eco-tailor were created with the integrity and drive that marks most of her initiatives – and all profits were donated to environmental charities.

The Boys Are Back, Scott Hicks, 103 mins (12A)<br/>Brothers, Jim Sheridan, 105 mins (15)

Boys don't cry &ndash; even if everything in their world is coming to an end

Brothers (15)

Jim Sheridan's drama of guilt and forgiveness reworks the Danish director Susanne Bier's 2005 film, adding an extra polish to the story of US Army captain Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire), who's missing presumed dead after his helicopter is shot down in the mountains of Afghanistan.

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