Voices

Something unusual happened on American television last week: a drama finished its first season with all the loose ends tied up. There were no cliffhangers. No teasing hints at stories to come. The show in question was Hostages, which started on Channel 4 last night, and it is adding to the stirrings of a television revolution.

Forgotten authors No. 47: Nevil Shute & Eric Ambler

I sometimes wonder if this column's title is entirely right; perhaps it should be called 'Invisible Ink' because, while neither Nevil Shute nor Eric Ambler is truly forgotten, their words have faded to a faintness only discerned by loyal fans. Reprints are available and second-hand copies lie in Oxfam shops, but both authors have been caught out by the passage of time.

The Stepfather

It's astonishing to think that the thrillers of the 1980s are now deemed insufficiently bland and glossy for mainstream audiences, but it's true. In May we had Obsessed, a (12A)-rated copy of Fatal Attraction, and now we have a plastic, production-line remake of 1987's The Stepfather – with no blood, no swearing, no sex, and no violence – that wouldn't be at home in an episode of Poirot. I'm not even sure why it deserves a 15 certificate, except for all the gratuitous shots of Amber Heard in an itsy-bitsy bikini.

Stoke desperate to keep Shawcross amid speculation

Stoke chairman Peter Coates insists they will do everything to keep Ryan Shawcross but has warned the defender not to get distracted by media speculation.

Pandorum (15)

Paul W S Anderson produced this stranded-spaceship thriller, so expect variations on his earlier Event Horizon, Resident Evil and Alien vs Predator.

District 13: Ultimatum (15)

A follow-up to the hyperkinetic District 13, which also introduced cinemagoers to the breakneck speed and agility of parkour (aka free-running), this brings together the original's buffed stars, Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle, in a Parisian conspiracy thriller of frankly preposterous dimensions.

331 North 62 East (15)

A low-budget British "thriller" that is comfortably the worst film I can remember seeing: threadbare plot, clunking dialogue, brain-dead conspiracy theorising, and a gallery of embarrassing racial stereotypes. Avoid at all costs.

Running wild: London prepares for 'free-running' championships

The world's best 'free-runners' are converging on London. Rob Sharp tries to learn some of their milder moves

North By Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, 131 mins, (PG)

Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau

The Taking of Pelham 123 - Why remake a Seventies classic?

For film-makers in the 1970s, it was the clever, subtle touches that made their movies great. And it's why modern remakes, such as a new version of 'The Taking of Pelham 123', can never compare, says Geoffrey Macnab

12 Rounds (12A)

Pity New Orleans. No sooner have they cleared up after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina than a Renny Harlin action thriller blows into town and trashes the place all over again.

The Ten Best Suspense Films

From hypnotic Sister-in-Laws, to the dangers of seeing dead people, to mark Sky's Hitchcock week, we present ten of the best suspense films.

The Independent Film Forum: Have your say on State of Play

Our readers discuss the political thriller, State of Play

Born to Run: The 39 Steps returns

Richard Hannay is back – played by Rupert Penry-Jones – in the most exciting version of The 39 Steps since Hitchcock. James Rampton reports

Taken (15)

The only puzzle of this toxically stupid Europhobe thriller is that its director (Pierre Morel) and producer (Luc Besson) are both French.

Paperbacks: Hitchcock's Music, by John Sullivan

"Please write nothing for the murder in the shower," Hitchcock told his composer. "That must be without music."

News
Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
news
News
The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
news
News
Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
peopleTerry Sue-Patt played Benny Green in the classic children's TV show
News
The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
news
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?