Arts and Entertainment Cate Blanchette, Sally Hawkins, and Andrew Dice Clay in a scene from the Woody Allen film, 'Blue Jasmine'

The Independent’s film critic selects his favourite films of the year

Richard Sarafian: Film director best known for the existential road movie 'Vanishing Point'

Richard Sarafian, who died on 18 September at the age of 83 following a fall, was a film director whose 1971 countercultural thriller Vanishing Point brought him a decades-long cult following. A dark story of a drug-fuelled car chase through the Nevada desert brought on by a bet between a Vietnam veteran and his drug dealer. The veteran Kowalski, played by Barry Newman, drives a Dodge Challenger muscle car across the desert with the police in hot pursuit. "It was about speed" in both the drug and automotive senses, his son Deran Serafian said. "About what it really meant."

Dr Martens

iStyle: Too Cool for School with sensible shoes

The shoes of the season are strictly sensible – and mercifully comfortable, says Naomi Attwood

Pinky and perky...

iStyle: Coming up roses -pink is not just for girls

This season, Lee Holmes urges men to take the  plunge and think pink – it’s never been just for girls

Quiz Show by Rob Drummond

Quiz Show, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

The first memory which might be stirred by this complicated but ultimately gripping psychothriller about truth and perspective from rising star Rob Drummond is a faded one of evenings watching garishly designed quiz shows on a four-channel television in the 1980s.

A billion to join dance against rape

Thursday's worldwide event is to be a 'feminist tsunami' against violence

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks as secret service members keep guard during a campaign rally in Fishersville, Virginia

Secret service star on Romney's lapel pin draws curiosity

As armies of pundits and fact-checkers inspected every phrase and shrug of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in Wednesday's debate, we got this message from a high-level foreign affairs specialist:

A Greenpeace picture shows the deforestation at the Belo Monte Dam project, near Altamira, Brazil

Stars line up to support new Greenpeace initiative to safeguard future of North Pole

Paul McCartney and Penélope Cruz among celebrity backers. By Michael McCarthy

Robert Redford the Sundance Kid shoots down a PM 'in trouble'

Robert Redford says PM has underestimated public appetite for innovative film-making

Moustaches: There's no bushiness like movie bushiness

From Chaplin to Selleck, film stars have been festooned with fuzz. Not now. Daniel Bettridge mourns the demise of the mo

London comic contests top US film festival prize

An award-winning London comedian heads a strong contingent of UK talent out to make their mark at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

Members of the honour guard stand by Havel's coffin in Prague Castle

Farewell Vaclav, we need you more than ever

Stephen Weeks has had a ring-side seat for the procession of Czechs mourning the loss of their national hero this week. Here, the author explains what Havel meant to his country – and laments the politicians who have squandered his glorious legacy

Rewriting Wild West history – did Butch Cassidy survive shootout?

Butch Cassidy, the Wild West bandit and leader of the Wild Bunch gang, did not die in a shootout 1908 in Bolivia as popularly believed but survived and lived the rest of his days in Washington state, according to a book collector and a writer.

Brenda Blethyn turns TV detective in Vera

Brenda Blethyn, everybody's favourite on-screen mother, hits the TV detective beat next month. But first, she's got one or two surprising confessions of her own.

Robert Redford is an eco-hypocrite, film claims

Hollywood A-listers love to trumpet their green credentials. Guy Adams reports on a film-maker who's out to expose them

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London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

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In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

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Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

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New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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