First Night: W.E., Venice Film Festival

So Wallis Simpson was a victim – and Madonna can direct

Carnage, Venice Film Festival

Roman Polanski likes confined spaces. Knife in the Water, Cul-de-Sac, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby all had a determinedly claustrophobic feel. So does Carnage (a world premiere in Venice.) The difference here is that this is a comedy, albeit a barbed and vicious one. Adapted from Yasmina Reza's play, it is a chamber piece, lasting barely 80 minutes. Thanks to the coruscating dialogue and four tremendous central performances, the film transcends its stage origins. Not since Richard Burton and Liz Taylor tore strips off each other in the movie version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has there been a film that has probed so pitilessly into the lives of middle-class couples.

The Europeans are coming: why our film-makers don't need Hollywood any more

The big draws at this week's Venice Film Festival are notable for one thing: they have not required US money

Madonna gets ready to cause a commotion in Venice

The star's latest film will premiere at this year's festival. Kaleem Aftab reports on the rumours of a troubled production

DVD: Unknown (15)

Liam Neeson appears to be landing the roles that Harrison Ford once claimed in the 1980s and 1990s; in films like Roman Polanski's conspiracy thriller Frantic and the chase drama The Fugitive.

Jodie Foster - A single-minded star who is nobody's puppet

Jodie Foster has been steadfast in her defence of her friend, and latest leading man, Mel Gibson. She opens up to Kaleem Aftab

Meet the Alpha Boomers: They're older, richer, wiser and determined to prove that age is just a number

Laura Tennant reports on the changing face of ageing

And... cut! Nazi outburst earns Von Trier a ban from Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival, long-heralded for its libertarian attitude to the work and lives of its many auteurs, has finally drawn a line in the sun-scorched sand. Its organisers have banned Danish director Lars von Trier from the festival for telling the world's media he was "a Nazi" and could "understand Hitler".

Swinton: 'It's a horror film, a love story, a war film, not social comment'

A best-selling novel unnervingly brought to life by the British film-maker Lynne Ramsay has so far been the competition highlight of the Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 2003 book by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin stars Tilda Swinton and is directed by Glasgow-born Ramsay, who made her feature debut in Cannes in 1999 with the acclaimed Ratcatcher and whose last film was Morvern Callar in 2002.

Forty years ago, one man found the devil in Ms Asher

'Deep End', in which she torments an adolescent admirer, is to be re-released. The star talks to Geoffrey Macnab about sex, femmes fatales and girl gangs

The Resident (15)

Starring: Hilary Swank, Christopher Lee

Geoffrey Macnab: The dark side of the cinema screen

In early-1970s Hollywood, when maverick directors were making personal and provocative movies, actresses were still treated as badly as ever

It's time to grow up, advisers tell Sarkozy

Almost four years after taking office, President Nicolas Sarkozy has decided to become the President of France. That is to say, he has been instructed by his advisers that his hopes of re-election next spring will increase enormously if he acts in a more "presidential" manner.

Culture Club: Black Swan (15)

Readers review this week's big film

Pierre Guffroy: Oscar-winning set designer who worked with Godard, Truffaut and Polanski

Oscar-winning art designer Pierre Guffroy worked with many of Europe's best-known directors. Equally suited to Bresson's austerity, Buñuel's surrealism and Polanski's absurdism, his designs also helped define some of the best-known films by directors including Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Marcel Camus.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her