Student

22-year-old adult James Ashford recently visited Harry Potter World on his own. This is his sorry tale

VIDEO MONTHLY:What's the colour of money? Pink, apparently

Once upon a time, gay video meant just two things: a butch, leather-clad Al Pacino in Cruising, or a limp-wristed John Hurt lusting after Ryan O'Neal in Partners. Way back then (the early 1980s, that is), the potential of the pink pound had yet to be realised, so in theory, the market didn't exist.

FILM / The last Apache: Sheila Johnston on Geronimo, the best western to come out of America since Unforgiven. Plus other new releases

Geronimo (12), Director: Walter Hill (US); To Live (12), Director: Zhang Yimou (China); The War of the Buttons (PG), Director: John Roberts (UK); Monkey Trouble (U), Director: Franco Amurri (US); Sparrow (12), Director: Franco Zeffirelli (Italy); Threesome (18), Director: Andrew Fleming (US)

And suddenly the winds blew: The biblical epic is back, with Richard Harris stepping into Abraham's sandals. But, he tells Linda Joffe, they won't be stamped 'Made in USA'

Time seems to have overlooked this remote region on the edge of the Sahara. Camels and goats are tended by barefooted herders. Women bake unleavened bread in the age-old fashion. Remarkab1y little here, in fact, has changed for thousands of years. It's somewhat surprising to learn, therefore, that the nearby monasteries have united in devout supplication - rain for the parched land? A year of good crops?

FILM/ The Oscars: The merest whiff of a scandal: 'And the sinner is . . .' Phil Reeves reports on pre-ceremony jitters from Los Angeles; plus nominations and odds

THERE is always belly-aching about the inequity of film awards and this year's Oscars are graced by a spat over Scent of a Woman, a comedy-drama in which Al Pacino's blind military veteran takes a schoolboy on a binge to New York.

FILM / The bad and the beautiful: Laurence Earle canvasses opinion on 1992, the year of The Player, Unforgiven and Beauty and the Beast

GORE VIDAL, writer: 'I have seen a lot of films on video this year but I really can't say that anything marvellous springs to mind, although I did like The Player - anybody who's had anything to do with Hollywood knows how extraordinary and funny and precise it was. My contribution might be a more general observation: that a movie on video cassette always looks better than it is, but is somehow less interesting; whereas in the cinema films often look worse than they are, but are more interesting. You figure it out.'

FILM / Here's shooting at you, Kid: Unforgiven; A League of Their Own

A MAN beside a grave, silhouetted by sunset: such is the image that opens and closes Unforgiven. It looks too corny by half, but then westerns have always taught us that really high-grade corn can ripen into poignancy. We know the liturgy so well - the lonesomeness, the matching crags of paleface and rockface, the coat peeled back like a curtain to show the holstered gun; it should go stale, but the promise of adventure feels more reliable every time. Come home to real gunfire.

FILM / An end to the Perrier western: Eastwood returns on a horse and on form

When Clint Eastwood is preparing a western, he wears the gear around for a while. He pretty much lives in the shirt and pants. He spends time in the hat. This sounds like a standard American film-star approach, until you realise that Eastwood is at the opposite extreme to say, Robert De Niro in his preparation. It's not that he needs to practise how it feels to wear a cowboy hat, if he's to get properly inside his part. It's a method acting lesson all right, but it's for the benefit of the wardrobe not the actor. The shirts and pants have to feel right about what they're doing. The hat needs to get used to being worn by Clint Eastwood.
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect