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Roman Polanski

Violetta Villas

The singer Violetta Villas, who has died aged 73, was a coloratura soprano who spurned opera for popular music, a Polish singer who became a caberet star in Las Vegas and who was trapped for years behind the Iron Curtain when she flew home to tend to her dying mother.

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".

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Seen any good books lately?

The liberties film-makers take with characters and plot when they adapt well-loved novels too often spoil the stories for fans of the originals, argues Arifa Akbar

48 Hours In: Bangkok

Great food, superb shopping and a vibrant culture make the Thai capital an ideal gateway for a journey to South-East Asia.