Arts and Entertainment James McAvoy as a drug-addled, booze-sodden, totally depraved policeman

Jon S Baird's Filth doesn’t have the formal inventiveness of Trainspotting, but it does possess its chutzpah

Trainspotting and singles sex instead of Trollope

What they read

Anorak Attack

Why is it that no-one wants to be anal? Of the phases that Freud identified in child development (giving rise to the shorthand ways of describing different types of people), only the anal has a really bad reputation. When did you last hear someone complaining that a friend or spouse was so "phallic" or so "oral"? Both of these might be considered to be compliments, carrying with them either the hint of thrusting sexuality and interesting tumescence, or a capacity for sensual appreciation. Anal, however, means focused on the lower bowel, retentive, obsessive.

Letter: Marvellous Mark

Sir: If both the answers to T Turkson's questions are yes (letter, 4 September), and Bridget Jones accepts his proposal, then I would like to point out that I'd be more than happy to give Mark Darcy all the comfort he needs to help him recover from her rejection.

If anyone can, Ken can

Everything was going swimmingly. There was the loch, the orange bus, the ginger sheep, and the actor Robert Carlyle. There was just one problem - the mist. Ryan Gilbey watched Ken Loach tough it out on location

TELEVISION : Talent spotting

From 'Cracker' to 'Trainspotting', Robert Carlyle is rarely off our screens. Nicholas Barber met him

Trainspotting: that's just the way it is

Some people are saying that `Trainspotting', the screen version of Irvine Welsh's novel, glamorises drugs. The people in this photograph think those people are wrong. And they should know. They are former heroin addicts who acted as technical advisers to the film. By Rebecca Fowler


Rob Roy (15). Unexpectedly, one of the movies of the year. Michael Caton-Jones's beautifully crafted epic has all the salt and style that Braveheart lacked. Liam Neeson plays the Highland chieftain, as resolute as an oak against the squalls of English oppression. Tim Roth and John Hurt are superb as his Sassenach adversaries. Jessica Lange is the one disappointment as Rob's bonnie lass. Best of all is the earthy script, by Alan (Night Moves) Sharp. It sounds as if it might have been given a polish-up by a writer named James Boswell. Not one for the more squeamish though.

underrated the case for Gordon Legge

There's an Edinburgh-based writer who's now written three books cataloguing "schemie" culture in Scotland. Books depicting the dead-end aimlessness of lives lived on the margins, whose predominantly male cast find escape in drink, dope and a day at the footie.

Cinema / Och aye, such noble derring-do!

EARLY on in Michael Caton-Jones's Rob Roy (15), Tim Roth's vicious English dandy, Archibald Cunningham, lies abed, sleeping the sleep of the unjust. A besotted servant girl, whom Cunningham has taken advantage of, tries to slip out of his chamber, but is intercepted by Cunningham's factor (Brian Cox). As the girl leaves, Cox feels beneath her skirt. He then waves his hand over his master's slumbering nose: "A wee whiff of quim in the morning, Mr Cunningham, Sir. Just the thing to clear your head." Soon Cox is again harping on about bodily fluids, speculating about the contents of his master's chamber pot: "It's almost pure spirit, or I'm no judge of a pot of piss." By now those expecting a traditional Hollywood Scotch epic - shortbread-tin cinema - will have been disabused. This is no Brigadoon. It is more like Brigadon't.

Bordering on the revisionist

Liam Neeson in a kilt. Jessica Lange with a Scottish accent. A director more at home on the range than in the Highlands. So how come Rob Roy is so good? By Adam Mars-Jones

Off the beaten track

SCOTTISH THEATRE ROUND-UP Trainspotting / Citizens, Glasgow Wasted / Tron, Glasgow

With a little bit of loch

Michael Caton-Jones returned to Scotland after 17 years to do a Hollywo od-approved Rob Roy. Kevin Jackson watched him get wet `Period pictures take you to a different dreamscape - and you come out someplac e different at the end'

THEATRE / Three sides of the triangle: Robert Hanks reviews Shared Experience's Mill on the Floss at the Tricycle

The shadow of the book always hangs over a stage adaptation of a classic novel, and many - even most - never escape it, getting trapped into pedantic rehearsal of the plot. Books necessarily loom large in Shared Experience's version of The Mill on the Floss, now at the Tricycle in Kilburn: as Maggie Tulliver's pet obsession they are scattered around the stage, frantically seized upon, dangled temptingly from above. But there's never any sense that Helen Edmundson's adaptation or Polly Teale and Nancy Meckler's production are overawed by the book. They're faithful to George Eliot's generosity and intelligence, but they do play fast and loose with the conventions of narrative to create a drama that's wonderfully moving and passionate. You certainly never feel for a moment that it's just a sharp attempt to clean up on the post-Middlemarch market.

Almanack: McClennan will be missed

ST HELENS lexicographers will miss Mike McClennan, the coach who left the local rugby league club last week to return to New Zealand. His programme notes, compiled with liberal use of his word processor's Thesaurus facility, were legendary. A farewell example: 'We witnessed . . . players who did not conform to coachability instructions coupled with a defence that did not show steel and with access to the football showed disrespect to correct handling procedures.'
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