Voices Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen

To work through that catalogue afresh would be a sumptuous delight

David Baddiel: Comedy and sport are linked by a level playing field

I think comedians see a parallel universe in the muscularity of sport, in the no nonsense-ness of it

Although I was born Jewish, I have made a pledge: I am giving up meat for lent.

Simon Kelner: For 40 days and 40 nights, fish will be my new religion

I am not religious. I am not a militant secularist. I think Richard Dawkins talks a lot of sense, but then when I hear the Archbishop of York sermonise, I find it easy to get behind him, too. I even find myself in vigorous agreement with the speaker on "Thought for the Day", wishing that I could be similarly beatific. (Although when I fail to locate my glasses and I'm already late for work, and the dog still needs walking, I discover that I'm some distance from Godliness.)

Metcalf: 'If you want to know anything about metal, here is the man!'

James Metcalf: US sculptor who led a community of artists and artisans in Mexico

From his long reign as grand seigneur of Santa Clara del Cobre, high in the Michoacá* mountains of Mexico, James "Jimmy" Metcalf could look back on an extraordinary life in which he knew "everyone" and did everything.

The Last Word: We must relish Super Bowl hyperbole

Unlike the soiled and spoiled FA Cup final, American Football's absurdly overblown showpiece still reflects the spirit of a nation

Zelig, 76 mins (PG) <br/> Hannah And Her Sisters, 103 mins (15)

What a treat this is - a double bill of two of Woody Allen’s finest films, both made in his mid-1980s prime.

One step ahead: Woody Allen on the set of 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'

Woody Allen: A New Yorker's state of mind

A Woody Allen retrospective begins this month at the BFI and promises to be a treat for his fans. But he still regrets never a having made 'a great film', as a new documentary reveals.

Jean Dujardin portrays George Valentin in The Artist

The little French film that has capitalised on the public's dismay with big-budget Hollywood

When Harvey Weinstein phoned his brother and business partner, Bob, from this year's Cannes Film Festival and announced that he had just spent "a lot of millions" acquiring a silent, black-and-white movie by a little-known French director, he is said to have received a two-word response: "You're mad!"

Howard Jacobson: We English do comic explosiveness our own way

Surfing the net recently, on one of those feverish Sunday afternoons when you pretend to be relaxed, enjoying doing nothing, I came upon a diverting piece in which Elaine May purports to interview Woody Allen and Ethan Coen.

Beginners (15)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent

DVD: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Warner Bros, For rental &amp; retail

Woody Allen's latest is a slapdash comedy drama set in London.

Emily Mortimer - A Sloane from the Chilterns who loves life in the fast lane

Emily Mortimer thinks her role as the voice of a sexy sports car is the most glamorous she's had. Gill Pringle catches up with her

Dylan Jones: 'Woody Allen&rsquo;s 41st film turns into a glacial meditation on our futile love affair with the past'

I was in New York last week for a meeting, and through no fault of my own – honest, I'm popular, no, really, even now – I had nothing particular to do on Monday night. And so I asked the concierge to find me a ticket for Jerusalem, this I thought being the obvious way to spend an evening alone in Manhattan at this precise moment. But I had totally forgotten that Broadway is 'dark' on Mondays, meaning I had to slope off and see a film instead.

Story of the Song: Paul Simon, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (1975)

It reads like a Woody Allen short and has one of the most instantly recognisable drum intros in pop.

Terence Blacker: Comedy's a serious thing, Woody

Creators of comedy, by one of life's cruel paradoxes, want above all to be taken seriously. For them, laughter is good – it pays the rent – but what matters more is artistic respectability. They worry that humour is mistaken for triviality, and complain when their books fail to win prizes or their films are not invited to the right festivals.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there