• Second World War in film: 20 of the best war movies ever made
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    The Independent

    Second World War in film: 20 of the best war movies ever made

    The most striking aspect of the commemorative events marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings last year was the testimony of the veterans who participated in the conflict and who spoke eloquently and movingly about the events of 6 June 1944.These interviews should be compulsory viewing so people understand the courage and sacrifice of a generation of men and women who displayed the “unconquerable resolve” the Queen spoke about during her speech in Portsmouth.

  • Christopher Tolkien death: Son of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien dies aged 95
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    The Independent

    Christopher Tolkien death: Son of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien dies aged 95

    Christopher Tolkien, the son of The Lord Of The Rings author JRR Tolkien, has been hailed as a “titan” of fantasy literature following his death aged 95.The Tolkien Society, which promotes the life and works of the revered fantasy writer, confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter.

  • Friends reunion special negotiations stall at HBO Max: ‘Today it’s just maybe’
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    The Independent

    Friends reunion special negotiations stall at HBO Max: ‘Today it’s just maybe’

    The Friends reunion special is in limbo as negotiations have stalled at HBO Max.Kevin Reilly, the platform’s chief content officer, shared a status update on Wednesday as part of the Television Critics Association’s press tour.

  • How Netflix’s Aaron Hernandez documentary could bring attention back to the hidden epidemic in America’s national sport
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    The Independent

    How Netflix’s Aaron Hernandez documentary could bring attention back to the hidden epidemic in America’s national sport

    On 15 April, 2015, Aaron Hernandez, once a tight end for the New England Patriots, was found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player. Two years later, on 19 April, 2017, Hernandez died by suicide in prison, days after being acquitted on most charges in a different, double murder case. The Hernandez story has lived on as a shocking page of the National Football League’s history, understandably so – the New England Patriots, for whom Hernandez still played at the time of 2013 his arrest in the Lloyd case, are considered one of the league’s best ever teams, home to Tom “greatest quarterback of all time” Brady.Hernandez was 21 years old when he played alongside the Patriots during the 2011 Super Bowl. To put this into perspective, odds of being drafted into an NFL team, even for skilled athletes, are famously microscopic. Playing alongside a team like the Patriots during America’s biggest sporting event of any given year, in your early twenties, is a life-defining event. Before his arrest, Hernandez was a sports superstar by most metrics, having signed a reported $40m, five-year extension contract in 2012.

  • Issa Rae says academy must 'do better' after Oscars diversity row left her 'tired'
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    The Independent

    Issa Rae says academy must 'do better' after Oscars diversity row left her 'tired'

    Issa Rae said a slow-moving teleprompter led to her subtle-yet-searing quip about the Oscars’ lack of diversity.The ‘Insecure’ star went viral after reading out an all-male list of nominees for best director, then looking into the camera and saying “congratulations to those men”.

  • Aaron Hernandez: Netflix series Killer Inside offers chilling look at NFL star turned convicted murderer
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    The Independent

    Aaron Hernandez: Netflix series Killer Inside offers chilling look at NFL star turned convicted murderer

    A new Netflix docuseries will examine the true story of how a star athlete fell from grace after being convicted of murder.Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez attempts to piece together the double life of NFL player Aaron Hernandez, who played for the New England Patriots until being arrested in the summer of 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

  • test Cold Feet is less than the sum of its parts – review
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    The Independent

    test Cold Feet is less than the sum of its parts – review

    TEST TESTNot many TV shows from 1997 are still going. You remember 1997, surely? The year Tony Blair ended 18 years of Tory rule, Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash and the first Harry Potter book was published. The dawn of New Labour was also when the potty mouths of South Park first appeared on our screens, the first tweedy corpse was discovered on the village green in Midsomer Murders, and the pilot for Cold Feet, a series about thirty-somethings making their way in a changing world, first aired.

  • The Masked Singer: Fans stunned after Justin Hawkins unveiled as chameleon
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    The Independent

    The Masked Singer: Fans stunned after Justin Hawkins unveiled as chameleon

    The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins is the latest celebrity to be unveiled on controversial singing competition The Masked Singer UK.Fans were stunned to see the musician unmasked after wearing a chameleon costume during the show.

  • In photos: A global exploration of nature-based technology
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    The Independent

    In photos: A global exploration of nature-based technology

    Three hundred years ago, intellectuals of the European enlightenment constructed a mythology of technology.Influenced by a confluence of humanism, colonialism and racism, this mythology ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive.

  • How I read 52 books in a year
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    The Independent

    How I read 52 books in a year

    I’ve just turned the page on my 52nd book of the year and completed my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 – to read one book every week.OK, so some books actually took a little longer than a week, and others I finished in days, but if you cut me some slack I’ll let you in on how I managed to do this and still have time to work, eat and hold together something resembling a social life.

  • Christmas 2019 streaming guide: What to watch, from Avengers: Endgame to The Witcher
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    The Independent

    Christmas 2019 streaming guide: What to watch, from Avengers: Endgame to The Witcher

    Once upon a time, Christmas television was a far simpler affair.While picking out the films and television shows for the festive season, you were limited to five terrestrial channels – and maybe a film subscription service, if you were lucky.

  • 40 books to read before you die
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    The Independent

    40 books to read before you die

    Books, books, books. They will increase your lifespan, lower your stress and boost your intelligence. They will give you fuller, thicker hair.Whatever the breathless claims about reading, one thing is certain: losing yourself in a great novel is one of life’s most enduring and dependable joys. Job satisfaction comes and goes, partners enrapture and abscond, but you can always fall back on the timeless ability of literature to transport you to a different world. From Jane Austen’s mannered drawing rooms to the airless tower blocks of 1984, novels do something unique. They simultaneously speak to the heart and mind. They teach you about the history of our world, the possibilities of our future and the fabric of our souls.

  • Game of Thrones characters ranked worst to best, from Cersei Lannister to Euron Greyjoy
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    The Independent

    Game of Thrones characters ranked worst to best, from Cersei Lannister to Euron Greyjoy

    Few shows have as many great characters as Game of Thrones.Some have gone through huge changes across the series’ seven seasons, such as Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who went from annoying teenager to battle-worn ruler of Winterfell.

  • This quiz will help you decide what film to watch at Christmas
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    The Independent

    This quiz will help you decide what film to watch at Christmas

    You've been looking forward to taking a break all year, but now you've set everything up with blankets and mince pies you've drawn a blank on what you actually want to watch.Several new Christmas films come out every year - you've got far too many films to choose from, and most of them aren't much good anyway.

  • Christmas TV guide: All the movies to watch, from Paddington 2 to Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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    The Independent

    Christmas TV guide: All the movies to watch, from Paddington 2 to Mission: Impossible - Fallout

    Christmas has the ability to make even the lousiest filmmaking feel warm and brilliant. Movies that are treacly and embarrassing become festive traditions, loudly mocked in the living room with family, yet affecting enough to somehow be watched every year.They’re similarly the perfect accompaniment to entirely shutting out the world. Nothing happens on Twitter, the news tends to be uneventful, and shopping centres across the land are hateful miniature apocalypses that no one with sense will dare to tread.

  • Tom Felton and Emma Watson share photos from Harry Potter cast reunion
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    The Independent

    Tom Felton and Emma Watson share photos from Harry Potter cast reunion

    Harry Potter cast members have reminisced about their time at Hogwarts with a reunion photo shoot.On Wednesday, Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton shared Instagram photos of himself alongside Emma Watson, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, and Matt Lewis, who played the characters Hermoine Granger, Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, and Neville Longbottom.

  • View from the north: The wit and warmth of Salford's post-war street photographer
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    The Independent

    View from the north: The wit and warmth of Salford's post-war street photographer

    Shirley Baker became obsessed with photography as a young girl growing up in Salford, transfixed by her mother’s folding camera.For her 10th birthday she got a camera of her own, a plastic box Brownie, and she was soon developing her own negatives in the chilly darkness of the family coal shed. From then until the turn of the millennium, she roamed the streets in the north of England with her camera tucked in her handbag – she called her desire to photograph a “compulsion”.

  • Swive [Elizabeth] review, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: Clever, funny and indignant
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    The Independent

    Swive [Elizabeth] review, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: Clever, funny and indignant

    “What must I do to be taken seriously?” bellyaches the Prince of Wales in the film version of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III.“I tell you, sir, to be Prince of Wales is not a position. It is a predicament.”

  • The art world’s great ‘Banana’ moment won’t change a thing
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    The Independent

    The art world’s great ‘Banana’ moment won’t change a thing

    It’s already being talked up as a game-changing moment in the history of contemporary art: when the bubble of art-world pretence, with its grossly inflated prices, finally burst.I’m talking, of course, about the great banana moment, when Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan duct-taped a banana to a wall at the Art Basel Miami art fair with a price tag of $120,000 (£92,000), thereby precipitating the biggest art controversy since Banksy’s self-destroying painting last year. When the banana was eaten by Georgian-born performance artist David Datuna in an apparent protest at that absurd price, it was replaced by another which was removed from exhibition after “several uncontrollable crowd movements”. Riots at an art fair? Good grief!

  • Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes review, Sadler’s Wells: A gorgeous swirl of storytelling and style
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    The Independent

    Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes review, Sadler’s Wells: A gorgeous swirl of storytelling and style

    Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes is a love letter to more than one art form. Based on the 1948 Powell and Pressburger film, Bourne’s danced production is a gorgeous swirl of storytelling and style. In its first revival, the show is even sharper than before – and now it has Adam Cooper, original star of Bourne’s groundbreaking Swan Lake with male swans, as the impresario Boris Lermontov.The movie created a generation of ballet-lovers, and was smitten with the possibilities of film as well as dance. Bourne’s version adds a passion for theatre to this story of a ballerina torn between the demands of love and art.

  • Intimate lost photos rescued from a recycling plant show a changing Bejiing
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    The Independent

    Intimate lost photos rescued from a recycling plant show a changing Bejiing

    Artist Thomas Sauvin has plenty of pictures to show for his 12 years of living in Beijing.Unusually though, none of them show Sauvin himself. Instead, his archive of over 850,000 images offers a peek into the everyday lives of Chinese citizens over the 20th century and into the new millennium, and, simultaneously, the sweeping social and economic change that occurred during that time.

  • Cyrano de Bergerac review, Playhouse: A very good James McAvoy stars in a piercingly perceptive production
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    The Independent

    Cyrano de Bergerac review, Playhouse: A very good James McAvoy stars in a piercingly perceptive production

    Edmond Rostand’s play about the eponymous and nasally over-endowed poet has been endlessly revived and recycled since its premiere in 1897. Derek Jacobi and Gerard Depardieu have excelled, the former on stage, twanging the heartstrings as one of nature’s great go-betweens – swordsman and virtuoso, bearing a rapier wit in more senses than one – the latter on screen, putting a real sense of the outsize into Cyrano’s verbal rodomontade and urgent desire for rhinoplasty. You could well argue that since its emergence, the play has been destined to be set in a world of rap. Verse is used to compensate for a perceived physical deformity in Rostand’s drama, and for the intolerable silence of the oppressed in the art form’s black roots.​Certainly, Edwin Morgan thought so in his racy Glaswegian-accented version for Communicado in the early 1990s. “I cannae rap,” revealed one of the fractious male divas of the play’s world of white factional politics and literary infighting. Roxane – the cousin whom Cyrano adores but feels too shy and disfigured to woo except by proxy – colloquially captured the link between the hero’s testy idealistic drive and the streak of low self-esteem occasioned by his conk when she said: “Inaction/ Get right up his nose, right to distraction.”

  • McGregor + Mugler, London Coliseum review: a shiny collaboration that never adds up
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    The Independent

    McGregor + Mugler, London Coliseum review: a shiny collaboration that never adds up

    McGregor + Mugler does not add up. A collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor and fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, it weighs its stars down with plumed wigs and shiny codpieces, gesturing at concepts that never come into focus.You’d think fashion and ballet would be a good fit. They’re both visual forms, both work with the body, both skilled in fantasy and glamour. Yet collaborations often come unstuck. Designers pile detail onto bodies that need to move, like the time Karl Lagerfeld decided what The Dying Swan really needed was a feathery neckbrace.

  • Camille Claudel: Who was the French sculptor who broke moulds for women in art?
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    The Independent

    Camille Claudel: Who was the French sculptor who broke moulds for women in art?

    The life and work of Camille Claudel, the French sculptor who defied gender-based restrictions to pursue her art, is being celebrated with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 155th birthday.Born in Fere-en-Tardenois, northern France, on 8 December 1864, her works reside in the national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine, which opened in 2017, as well as in a room specially dedicated to her in the Musee Rodin in Paris.

  • Midcentury Memories: Anonymous photography project explores family life through amateur eyes
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    The Independent

    Midcentury Memories: Anonymous photography project explores family life through amateur eyes

    Rewind back to the midcentury, before the age of Instagram and Snapchat, where people were using 35mm cameras loaded with colour film to document both monumental and mundane moments in their lives.They took pictures of their loved ones, their vacations, their celebrations. They memorialised the births of babies; a child in a cowboy outfit; a new colour television set; sightseeing in national parks; fishing trips; lazing on the beach; weddings; office parties; family reunions; holding hands, kissing and dancing.