Is America finally ready to forgive Polanski?

The director's legal team claims the judge and prosecutor acted improperly in the 1978 sex case that has hung over him ever since

After 30 years' exile, Polanski challenges US rape charge

Film director claims new evidence proves he was the victim of 'judicial misconduct'

Polanski seeks dismissal of child sex charge

Lawyers for Roman Polanski, a fugitive for 30 years in a notorious sex case involving a 13-year-old girl, filed a request in Los Angeles to dismiss the charge against him because of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

Jonathan Bates: Award-winning sound editor who became closely associated with the films of Lord Attenborough

Jonathan Bates was a brilliant sound editor who won two Bafta awards and an Oscar nomination for his outstanding contributions to cinema. He enjoyed a particularly rewarding association, and friendship, with Richard Attenborough, for whom he supervised the sound on 10 films, including Gandhi (1982), which earned him his Oscar nomination.

Storyville: Tales of the unexpected

BBC4's Storyville is everything good documentary should be – fascinating, unpredictable, and truly eye-opening. As the new series gets under way, Sophie Morris looks at the highlights of the winter schedule

Roman Polanski: The truth about his notorious sex crime

In 1977, the director Roman Polanski was prosecuted for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. Now, a controversial film asks: was it a perversion of justice?

Beauty and the beasts: The BBC's latest period drama has a real dark side

Forget the frills and frivolity – the BBC's latest period drama, starring Gemma Arterton, has a real dark side. James Rampton reports from the set of Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Britain's libel laws are stifling free speech, says UN

British libel laws are stifling free speech around the world as wealthy businessmen and celebrities increasingly turn to UK courts to silence their critics abroad, the United Nations has warned.

Brett Anderson, Mermaid Theatre, London

At the helm of deviant wannabes Suede, he reignited interest in English eccentricity and paved the way for Britpop. Now without a record contract, Brett Anderson points the way in the post-label age for fortysomething artists.

Lights, cameras, fashion: Designers reveal their cinematic inspiration

When glamorous star meets beautiful clothing, something magical happens. On the eve of the second Fashion in Film Festival, Rhiannon Harries asks four designers where they find cinematic inspiration

Corporate jollies to oust 'cultural fuddy-duddies' from Pompeii ruins

It is perhaps the most remarkable archaeological site in the world and more than 3 million visitors stampede through it every year. But if the new tourism councillor for Campania has his way, the numbers visiting Pompeii will be drastically cut, and the site will be thrown open to multinationals for private events to rake in the money needed to maintain the ruins.

Story of the scene: 'Chinatown' Roman Polanski (1974)

An LA private investigator called JJ 'Jake' Gittes, played by Jack Nicholson, has been hired to spy on the chief engineer of the city water department. The mystery is why gallons of water are being sluiced from reservoirs at night – in the middle of a drought.

Album: Gary Lucas vs The Dark Poets, Beyond the Pale (Some Bizzare)

His work with Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart probably makes Gary Lucas the world's most popular avant-rock guitarist, though his solo work can lack focus.

Pandora: Paws for thought

A report this week claimed that owning a cat "cuts the risk of stroke by a third". Take that or leave it – perhaps the latter – but a feline companion will make you more likely to sneeze, hate plastic trays and, apparently, vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Slick customer: Director Paul Thomas Anderson strikes it rich with his gritty new oil saga

After his last film, Paul Thomas Anderson couldn't get arrested in Hollywood. But, as he reveals here, the director has hit paydirt with his forthcoming oil epic
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there