Extras

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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr Hunter S Thompson, Alex Gibney, 119 mins, 15

A biopic of the trailblazing Hunter S Thompson shows ugliness and folly behind the bravado

Council lifts 'Life of Brian' ban

The famous Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian is to be screened for the first time in a holiday resort after a council ban was declared void, it was announced today.

Ledger's death still shrouded in mystery

After inconclusive autopsy, family face agonising wait for toxicology test. By Susie Mesure and Ida Bergstrom

France's Alpine Walk: The Quiet Route

You won't find hordes of walkers swarming over the Queyras Alps, even in August, says Jeremy Laurance. The air is clear and the slopes deserted. It is France as it used to be...

Reviews: COMEDY: Monty Python's Flying Circus... At Last, in French

Riverside Studios London ooo99

Gardener's humble refuge becomes a work of art

Monty Python's comical composer Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson always felt the sheds got in the way of the art. But yesterday at the Victoria and Albert Museum the humble garden structure became the art.

Trail of the unexpected

King Arthur and the legend of the holy grail come alive in France's woodlands

Film: Obscure object of desire

Twelve Monkeys star Madeleine Stowe doesn't like to give much away. So why did this interview end in tears?

Hello there - I'd like to talk to you about ducts

Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam by Bob McCabe Orion pounds 20

Television: It Was 20 Years Ago Today: Monty Python's Life of Brian

On 17 August 1979, Monty Python's Life of Brian was released in the US. The satirical film told the story of a man (Graham Chapman), born in the stable next door to Jesus, who lives 33 unremarkable years before being mistaken for a messiah and sentenced to "cwucifixion" by the Roman governor (Michael Palin). John Cleese played a pedantic Roman centurion and a pedantic Judean terrorist leader; director Terry Jones was Brian's screeching mother; Eric Idle leapt around saying "only joking" a lot.

Obituary: Jerold Wells

JEROLD WELLS was a versatile actor, whether appearing in a television adaptation of a literary classic such as Great Expectations or as the fall guy in a Benny Hill sketch. During the 1960s and 1970s he became a favourite with light entertainment directors, and appeared regularly on television with artists such as Ken Dodd and the Two Ronnies.

Now that's what I call folk music!

The most influential record anthology of the century was born from one man's obsession. By John L Walters

The Critics: Videos

Saving Private Ryan (15) Steven Spielberg's half-hour opening sequence - a graphic rendition of the Omaha Beach landing - is everything it's been made out to be: visceral film-making that immerses the audience in what might be the bloodiest action set-piece in Hollywood history before any of the characters are introduced. (It eclipses everything in the fatuous Shakespeare in Love, this year's Oscar winner for Best Picture.) But it's disheartening to see how swiftly Saving Private Ryan reverts to war-movie cliches. The master manipulator's Second World War epic, hyperbolically lauded as "the greatest war film ever made" by many American critics, is concerned with the rescue of a Private Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Eight soldiers - a predictably diverse bunch, led by a stolid Tom Hanks - are ordered by the State Department to rescue Ryan. The supporting actors (including Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, and Ed Burns) are mostly fine, and Hanks has never been more moving. But the film strenuously poses their mission as a moral dilemma, which here amounts to little more than a series of clumsily written monologues. The movie's failings are almost as indelible as its achievements: there's no more telling indicator of the suspect Spielberg methodology than John Williams's nauseating score, which hammers "meaning" into every scene it accompanies. And the grotesque bookends - a tear-jerking, flag-waving present-day visit to a Normandy graveyard - are among the most spurious images the director has committed to film.

Film: Video Watch

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?