Words: johnson, n.

IN A beguiling review of William Boyd's first novel, A.N. Wilson noted the clinical references to the "penis". Boyd listened: in An Ice- Cream War it is "cock". Redolent of plumbing, this highlights a need for some more dignifed slang - johnson, perhaps.

The bad, sad and crazy movies that mock mental illness

MOVIE-MAKERS have been giving mental illness a bad name, according to a leading psychiatrist who has dissected scores of films where the mentally sick are too often portrayed as mad, bad and dangerous.

Kidman play becomes the hottest ticket in town

RICHARD GERE had a good seat for Nicole Kidman's Friday night performance of The Blue Room, but many hundreds of would-be theatregoers were not so lucky.

The Critics: Who said that xenophobia never pays?

Pepe le Moko U Men with Guns 15 Lethal Weapon 4 15 The Doom Generation 18 Kissing a Fool 15

Cinema: The Eighties revival starts here: and praise be, it's going to be funny

THE BEST THING about retro is that it comes with built-in wisdom - you know, for instance, that this time round pedal pushers are OK, but leg warmers are not. We can laugh in a world-weary, Nineties way at the effusive octogenarian photographer in The Wedding Singer (12) who tells a couple, "you'll be one of those who stays together for ever and ever, like Donald and Ivana, Woody and Mia." While we in the real world live through this decade of retro trying to avoid the nightmare bits of the recent past, cinema revels in all their hideous glory.

Hollywood star gives hope to Tibetans

Peter Popham sees Richard Gere lend a sympathetic ear at Delhi's Speaker's Corner

Film: Fan facts - Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson, health role models

A survey by 'Top Sante' health magazine revealed that women choose Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson as role models. But why?.

Film: `Los Angeles is full of big men who've lost their balls'

Mike Figgis's career as a director has had great highs and lows, but two things remain constant: his love-hate relationship with Hollywood, and the disorienting sexuality of his work. Mike Hasted talks to him about his latest, `One Night Stand'.

We can do lochs too

Wales scarcely figured on Hollywood's map, but 'First Knight' gave the Welsh ideas. Could Wales be the new Scotland? They invited some US film executives to take a look

Comment: The Dalai Luvvie - Profile: Richard Gere

Simon Worrall on the Hollywood actor who is the leading celebrity campaigner for a free Tibet

IS SHE ALL MOUTH?

`Pretty Woman' won her stardom - if not critical acclaim. But with `My Best Friend's Wedding' and `Conspiracy Theory', Julia Roberts is showing signs that she can act as well as flirt

Grey matter: how Liz grew up

There comes a moment when a woman must stop dyeing and start to live an honest life. Elizabeth Taylor's time has come.

'Barry may be the walrus of love. But Luther is the real thing'

Probing, insidious and effortless ... Luther Vandross's voice caresses parts other vocalists cannot reach. His fluctuating weight, the visible emblem of his vulnerability, just makes you love him more - even though he's just stood us all up. By Phil Johnson

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM SIGH

Kissing and the movies go together like Bogey and Bacall. Or at least they used to, before sex got into the pictures. So for Valentine's Day, why not celebrate the lost art of screen romance?
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