Arts and Entertainment

Viennese noir... with red tinges

Film: Greatness lies in what is lost

As 'The Magnificent Ambersons' returns, David Thomson considers the remains of Orson Welles's masterpiece

South Bank salvation

With all the dreadful films that are traditionally shown on television at this time of year, the only solution for many is a Christmas trip to the NFT

Interview: The classics mangled by the studio janitor

The cinematic clash between the `philistine' studio boss and the sensitive director has left many films lying mutilated in the editing suite, or even melted down for their silver content. Chris Darke looks at attempts to find and restore some mauled classics.

A crime against expectations

How suddenly stereotypes change. Among countries, Britain was the ageing aristocrat fallen upon hard times - decent and law-abiding but fundamentally exhausted, an object of curiosity, sympathy even, as it slipped gently into history's twilight. No longer. Our dynamic economy, our vigorous new government are said to be the envy of all. But, it seems, we are also world-beaters in a less flattering sense.

Film: CRITIC'S CHOICE

1. Scream

The price of free speech

Also Showing

Through everything, the one quick look reigns supreme

You fall in love 20 times before you get to work. Walking down the street, on the bus, crushed on the dank, sweaty Tube, you fall. Fall for faces that you'll never glimpse again, for names you don't know and will never know, fall for men who probably fall those 20 times as regularly and as redundantly as you, every day, every week, every month of the year, and who will have forgotten that falling in love before their first cup of coffee, if they have not forgotten well before. And all because of just one look.

The awesome Welles

ROSEBUD: The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown pounds 20ROSEBUD: The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown pounds 20

THE OSCAR BOX

Which was the most absurd Oscar ever awarded?

My life as a film

Oliver Stone's Nixon is a reminder that a biopic can be many things: psychodrama, pastiche, caper, epic. What makes a life into a story worth telling? By Kevin Jackson

When Hearst met Welles

first encounters: Illustration by Edward Sorel Text by Nancy Caldwell Sorel Next week: Captain John Smith and Pocahontas;

BOOKS: CRACKS IN THE MIRROR

The legend and the lifetime: the first part of a new biography of Orson Welles debunks some old myths surrounding the man

CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT:THE LIST

FALSE ALARMS: Columbus was told he'd fall off the edge of the world in 1492, but didn't; Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII, was "pregnant" for many months by Philip II but died childless in 1558; in 1678 Titus Oates concocted a story of a "Popish plo t" which led to the murder and persecution of many Catholics; the fictional news flash that Martians had landed, at the beginning of Orson Welles's War of the Worlds led to panic in the US when it was broadcast in 1938; The Protocols of Zion outlined a J ewishplot to take over the world but were exposed as a forgery in 1921; the White Brotherhood waited in vain for the end of the world in Kiev in 1993; an Australian television technician working at Sky in 1993 saw a practice news flash that the Queen Mo therwas dead, and told his mum who told the world; a Moscow news agency reported last week that Russian air defences had shot down a "missile" - it was a Norwegian research rocket and it wasn't shot down.

Citizen Kane: the `Antiques Roadshow' years

The revelation that there is now a collectors market in McDonald's ephemera is one of those facts that manages to combine shock and inevitability. You can't be serious . . . well, of course. Because the truth is that the collecting virus has only ever had a coincidental connection with discrimination or taste; it doesn't require beauty to thrive, just a minimal durability and relative scarcity. In Darwinian terms it is beautifully adapted as a parasite; each addition to the collection consolidate s its grip on the host organism, becomes a further reason to collect some more.

Director's Cut: Every shadow tells a story: Michael Winner on the eccentricity, boldness and Hitchcockian surprises of The Third Man

I first saw The Third Man as a child, and it was rather like a religious person seeing God. First of all, the popular films of the time, as they are now, were American. The British didn't often come out with anything you particularly wanted to see. And the whole spirit of the film and the photography and the acting and the plot were so perfect. If people tell me: 'I want to be a film director,' I say, 'You don't need to go to film school. Just watch The Third Man 100 times.'
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