Arts and Entertainment Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity

'Digital imagery has never looked this stunning or hyperrealistic before'

Diary: 'Take 35' for film star Carla

Gleeful reports in the British press this week regarding Carla Bruni's trials and tribulations on Woody Allen's film set suggest Meryl Streep need not be losing any sleep quite yet. We're told – with maybe a hint of exaggeration – that it took France's First Lady a whopping 35 takes to convincingly exit a grocery store. Apparently the problem was caused by the fact "Madame Fancy Pants" couldn't stop staring at the camera! As the Daily Mail helpfully pointed out, it's not the first time she's tried to "monopolise" the lense. Apparently on a visit to London she shamelessly deployed all her "feline charm" in the direction of hapless snappers "licking her lips seductively" and offering a "husky 'bonjour'." (Glad I missed all that). Still, suggestions Bruni's take-tally could be one for the record books are wide of the mark. According to film historians, that honour still goes to one Shelley Duvall, who was obliged to perform 127 takes of the infamous" baseball-bat" scene with Jack Nicholson in The Shining before director Stanley Kubrick was satisfied. Still time Carla.

Anthony Burgess: More than ultraviolence

A new archive reveals how the novelist Anthony Burgess's polymathic vision went way beyond mere dystopian allegory, says Sophie Morris

Cameras in pursuit of the unfilmable: Hollywood's impossible dreams

Some of our greatest stories have always defied movie directors – but a few are finally being realised on screen.

Jim Thompson: Pulp friction

They're criticised for being violent and misogynistic, but Jim Thompson's Fifties novels make for compelling cinema, as a new version of The Killer Inside Me proves

Last Night's TV - Spartacus, Bravo; Stephen Fry on Wagner, BBC4

A gush of blood from their heads

Dylan Jones: The Pearl & Dean theme tune became ironic decades before irony was commodified'

The sound of the future has been imagined many times, so many times in fact that it always tends to sound the same. Through attrition, repetition, and – one suspects – laziness, the future always sounds accelerated, robotic, metallic and other-worldly. And not a little computer-generated. Which is obviously how we like it. Walter Carlos has imagined it (he wrote much of the incidental music for A Clockwork Orange), as have Giorgio Moroder and Tonto's Expanding Head Band. Neu did it, John Barry did it, and Kraftwerk have been at it for 40 years.

Johansson to star in lost Kubrick whodunnit

<i>Lunatic at Large</i>, found by the director's son-in-law, is to be filmed later this year

Not for their consideration: notable omissions in this year's Academy Award nominations

The Academy has always had its blind spots. Over the years, many films subsequently acknowledged as gilt-edged masterpieces have been completely frozen out of the Oscars. The list of omissions stretches from Howard Hawks' 'The Big Sleep' to Charlie Chaplin's 'Modern Times', from the Marx brothers' 'A Night at the Opera' to Stanley Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory', from Orson Welles's 'Chimes at Midnight' to John Ford's 'The Searchers'. Westerns, comedies and gangster films have been especially unfortunate – and you don't find many horror movies in the mix, either.

On the Spartacus Road, By Peter Stothard

Ancient Rome was, without a trace of shame, a slave society. Captives from her innumerable wars were auctioned as chattels, and were seen as no more than "talking instruments". By the first century BC, slaves may have accounted for one third of the population of Italy, some two million souls.

Stanley Kubrick - A dream movie revisited

As a huge new book is published about Stanley Kubrick's unmade Napoleon film, Rob Sharp speaks to the director's relatives and collaborators, and gets rare insights into his famously assiduous working methods

The movie that mattered to me

In a new book by Independent writer Geoffrey Macnab, the world's leading film directors talk about the films that first inspired and influenced them

The Shining declared 'scariest horror film ever'

The Shining has been declared the scariest horror film every made by top film website Totalscifionline.com.

Story of the Scene: 'Say it again, Bobby' and other greats

The Independent's Story of the Scene column has now been turned into a book. In these exclusive extracts, Roger Clarke gives the inside scoop on the famous sequences from seven classic movies
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