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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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

Th Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up