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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
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home