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

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor