Sigmund Freud

Krampus: Hollywood’s latest bogeyman

Every 5 December, a demon known as Krampus stalks naughty Austrian children. Now, with festivals and a film bringing the beast international fame, Holly Müller explains why the resurgence of this ancient and brutal tradition is nothing short of petrifying

Ragnarok: The End of the Gods by AS Byatt

The gods knew, Odin knew, that the time of the wolf would come." AS Byatt's statement goes to the heart of what makes Norse myth so compelling. Its gods, are not immortals, but have precisely specifiable beginnings and a prescribed, and unavoidable, ending. For all the terrors they wreak and inspire, their power is ultimately finite.

Julie Burchill: What makes a hate crime?

If you could put money on a word combo coming up empty on Google, one of the best bets would surely be "Dire Straits" and "hate crime". But apparently the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has just amended a 15-year-old ruling that the Straits' "Money For Nothing" was unfit for broadcasting, due to three uses of the word "faggot".

Beginners, Mike Mills, 104 mins (15)

Mike Mills tells the story of an older man revealing his true sexuality with a pleasing mix of melancholia and whimsy, aided by Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor

Rachel Kneebone: Lamentations, White Cube, Hoxton Square, London

It's a gloomy world that Rachel Kneebone has created at White Cube. The walls are painted in shades of grey, dark and brooding in the downstairs gallery and paler upstairs, the paint streaked in rain or tears. Kneebone makes extremely complex, delicate porcelain sculptures that teem with confusing, writhing tiny body parts arranged like urns or wreaths: a leg here, a penis or vagina there, and twisting forms that look as though they could be vines or spinal chords. Pieces of bodies in a horrific jumble. The sculptures are at times hideous visions that present bodies in states of fear, sadness and horror.

Freud and Jung: A Meeting of Minds

As David Cronenberg reveals he is to make a film about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, Arifa Akbar analyses the relationship between psychiatry's biggest brains

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, By James Shapiro

One train may hide another, as the track-side signs at French country stations say. And one literary scandal or sensation may mask an altogether bigger deal. In Contested Will, James Shapiro cooly considers and then deftly dismantles the belief that Shakespeare did not write his own plays. This irresistible book hums with all the learning and panache that made Shapiro's 1599: a Year in the Life of William Shakespeare such a treat. No credible scholar has ever given such polite, even sympathetic scrutiny to the 150-year record of snobbery, fantasy and paranoia behind the claims that either Francis Bacon or Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, pulled off the scam of the ages as an undercover toff ran history's most tortuous conspiracy while "having his latest play delivered surreptitiously to the stage door of the Globe".

Hänsel and Gretel, Opera Holland Park, London

Here's a first. As the sweetly atmospheric prelude fades away, the stillness is rudely shattered by the abrasive wail of an air-raid siren sounding the all-clear. Two gas-masked faces peep around a gigantic door. It sits at the centre of sinister, charcoal-drawn walls depicting the forbidding forest beyond. We are in wartime, for sure, a time of fear and austerity and rationing, but whether in Germany or dear old Blighty (there are resonances of both and the sung language is German, of course) is pretty much irrelevant to Stephen Barlow's wittily effective staging. What matters to Hänsel and Gretel is that it's a strange world to be growing up in.

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