Sam Mendes

007's dark side and other film fantasies

Is James Bond more than one man? Who is the real hero of Harry Potter? Fan theories are more than just idle internet gossip. Stephen Kelly looks at how the best of them can add a new dimension to big-screen classics

The Diary: Henry Perkins; Sam Mendes; Cristian Solimeno; Hassan Blasim

Henry Perkins, the 18-year-old ballet prodigy from Hampshire who won a prized place at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and who has given his life to ballet over the past three years at the academy there, appears to be beating the Russians in their own game. He is not just fluent in Russian, but, earlier in the this summer he was awarded the highest mark among the boys in his group for Russian national dance! The Russian training style has changed his physique for the better, according to his mother, Sue Perkins, especially the strength and appearance of his legs. He has been given a soloist's role by the dance school in Yuri Grigorovich's new 'La Fille Mal Gardée', which will be premiered on the Bolshoi stage in November, and was taken to New York to demonstrate pas de deux on the academy's 2009 summer intensive for American students. Henry will make history next June (2010) when he will be the first ever British ballet dancer to graduate from this prestigious Russian ballet school, contrary to the report in 'The Independent' on Tuesday 25 August, which mistakenly said that no teenager has so far stayed beyond the first year of the Bolshoi Academy's gruelling training regime. It seems like this prodigiously talented British 'Bolshoi boy' is proving us all wrong.

Birdsong: An epic in the making

Sebastian Faulks sold the film rights for his bestselling novel 16 years ago. Only now may shooting finally start on the sweeping wartime love story. Geoffrey Macnab pieces together a blockbuster saga with a cast of thousands

Award season - what a prize mess

The award-season shenanigans surrounding Kate Winslet's multiple nominations reveal a flaw at the heart of the system, says Kaleem Aftab

Kate Winslet: The golden girl

She's beautiful, self-deprecating, hearty and a little bit posh. But is Kate Winslet really the perfect English rose she seems?