Venice Film Festival

The Diary: Booker Prize; Nick Taussig; Venice Film Festival;

If the general public imagined, as I naively did, that Booker Prize judges came steaming out of a room this week to reveal their shortlist (whittled down from a longlist of 13, above centre), you'd be wrong. On Tuesday, the poet and chair of this year's judges, Andrew Motion, revealed the titles to the press and the rest of the world. It had taken them two and a half hours of debate, we were told. As it turns out, it was two and a half hours, a week ago. Andrea Levy, shortlisted author of The Long Song, told me she had received a phone-call five days ago ("while I was moving home") to tell her she'd made it. A former Booker judge later told me it hadn't been like that in his day, when there was a "more or less immediate release of the shortlist after the judges had met." When organisers were quizzed about the time lag – and the very possible risk of one of the shortlistees inadvertently blurting out the secret – they said the change had been implemented three years ago, for practical reasons: so that booksellers such as Amazon and Waterstones can re-print the selected books with the "Booker short-listed" tag on it.

The Girlfriend Experience, Edinburgh Film Festival, Edinburgh

Two decades since winning the Palme d'Or for Sex, Lies and Videotape, Steven Soderbergh returns with another film dissecting the sexual mores of the American middle classes. If you count his recent Che double bill as two separate films, The Girlfriend Experience is his 20th movie in as many years – a remarkable achievement by anyone's standards. Such a prolific output has not always brought stellar results – whether it's the two Ocean's Eleven sequels or the Second World War noir The Good German. Not so The Girlfriend Experience, one of the most engaging and astute works of Soderbergh's career.

The manifesto that laid movies bare

With Dogme 95, four Danish directors reduced film to its powerful best. And more than a decade on, they’re still winning awards. By Kaleem Aftab

Beale's best in show: Oasis (Mother)

Flush from the success of Somers Town at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Mother spent the last week reminding us that it's rather good at the bread and butter stuff too.

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