• Dogman review: A brilliant, beguiling comic drama that takes on a tragic hue
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    The Independent

    Dogman review: A brilliant, beguiling comic drama that takes on a tragic hue

    Dogman is one of the best Italian films of recent times, a modern day neo realist fable that bears comparison with the great work of Fellini, Rossellini, De Sica et al. Its main character, the dog groomer Marcello (Marcello Fonte), is a wonderful creation: loveable, vulnerable, seedy and comic all at the same time. Marcello also does a little low level drug dealing on the side, to earn extra money to spend on his teenage daughter.

  • Halloween review: Delivers all the nasty, spine-tingling pleasures we expect
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    The Independent

    Halloween review: Delivers all the nasty, spine-tingling pleasures we expect

    David Gordon Green’s new addition to the Halloween “slasher” franchise, launched by John Carpenter 40 years ago, is a very creditable update of the grisly old series. It is considerably bolstered by the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis, playing the same character, Laurie Strode, as in the original film.

  • Dracul: Why revisiting beloved literary characters can be a perilous business
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    The Independent

    Dracul: Why revisiting beloved literary characters can be a perilous business

    A new novel published this week sees Bram Stoker’s Dracula rise from the grave once more. Dracul, written by the Victorian author’s great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker and JD Barker, imagines the novelist’s youth in Dublin and the sinister early encounters with the supernatural that would provide the inspiration for his famous vampire count. “I am quite convinced that there is no doubt whatever that the events here described really took place, however unbelievable and incomprehensible they might appear at first sight,” Bram Stoker wrote in that introductory note, discovered by his 21st-century relative in a vintage Icelandic edition of the book.

  • Milkman – a worthy Man Booker Prize winner
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    The Independent

    Milkman – a worthy Man Booker Prize winner

    It falls into that cult category – as in, if Burns were to dress in ceremonial robes and beckon me into the woods, I’d be right behind her, brandishing a signed direct debit form. Milkman is set in Seventies Northern Ireland in the middle of the Troubles, although our nameless 18-year-old narrator is not especially interested in political turmoil. The narrator’s vulnerability is apparent, yet she’s isolated and abandoned.

  • Man Booker Prize 2018: the shortlist ranked, with Daisy Johnson set to become youngest ever winner
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    The Independent

    Man Booker Prize 2018: the shortlist ranked, with Daisy Johnson set to become youngest ever winner

    There’s something blissfully boring about this year’s Booker shortlist. There’s nothing dull about the books themselves, but after a longlist that was eclectic as it was divisive, the final six picks are consistently excellent, and assured.

  • Blue Peter at 60: How did the longest running children’s show come about?
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    The Independent

    Blue Peter at 60: How did the longest running children’s show come about?

    Blue Peter celebrates its 60th birthday today, marking a significant milestone for Britain’s longest-running children’s television show. More than 5,000 episodes have been broadcast, with its most notable hosts including John Noakes, Peter Purves, Janet Ellis and Anthea Turner. Blue Peter was devised by BBC producer John Hunter Blair, who had been asked by Owen Reed, the corporation’s head of children’s programming, to devise a show for five- to eight-year-olds.

  • 30 best children’s books: From Peter Rabbit to Artemis Fowl
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    The Independent

    30 best children’s books: From Peter Rabbit to Artemis Fowl

    We all have cherished memories of the books we read and shared as children. Big friendly giants, honey-loving bears, hungry caterpillars, iron men: these figures populate the vivid imaginary landscapes of our childhoods. Everybody will remember the book that made them laugh and cry, the one that they turn to again and again. Like totems, we pass them on to our own children, each book a spell in itself.

  • Fashion Climbing: A New York Life by Bill Cunningham, review: 'Enjoy the glorious, glamorous ride'
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    The Independent

    Fashion Climbing: A New York Life by Bill Cunningham, review: 'Enjoy the glorious, glamorous ride'

    Bill Cunningham was the unassuming New York Times fashion photographer who, despite his documentation of the expected haute couture events, was most famous for his weekly “On the Street” column, the material for which he gleaned while cycling the streets of Manhattan. Immediately identifiable, riding his bicycle, always dressed in the same blue French worker’s jacket, Cunningham lived a near-monastic existence in a tiny studio apartment above Carnegie Hall. If you haven’t seen it already, watch Richard Press’s charming 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham, New York, in which the director follows his subject around the city.

  • Indigenous languages are disappearing – and it could impact our perception of the world
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    The Independent

    Indigenous languages are disappearing – and it could impact our perception of the world

    A report warned earlier this year that all of the state’s 20 Native American languages might cease to exist by the end of this century, if the state did not act. American policies, particularly in the six decades between the 1870s and 1930s, suppressed Native American languages and culture. It was only after years of activism by indigenous leaders that the Native American Languages Act was passed in 1990, which allowed for the preservation and protection of indigenous languages.

  • Haruki Murakami interview: 'When I write fiction I go to weird, secret places in myself'
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    The Independent

    Haruki Murakami interview: 'When I write fiction I go to weird, secret places in myself'

    Killing Commendatore is hard to describe – it is so expansive and intricate – but it touches on many of the themes familiar in Murakami’s novels: the mystery of romantic love, the weight of history, the transcendence of art, the search for elusive things just outside our grasp. In town for a few days last week, Murakami, 69, sits for a brief interview in his publisher’s office after an hour’s jog around Central Park. How did you get the idea for ‘Killing Commendatore’?

  • Alec Baldwin claims 'black people love me' after Donald Trump SNL parody
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    The Independent

    Alec Baldwin claims 'black people love me' after Donald Trump SNL parody

    Alec Baldwin has been criticised on social media for claiming "black people love me" after his Saturday Night Live parody of Donald Trump. The actor discussed his amusing Saturday Night Live role as Donald Trump in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, in which he mused about what the portrayal has meant in real life. According to Baldwin, ever since he began doing the impression of the president in 2016, which has since won him an Emmy, “black people love me”.

  • Jimmy Kimmel tricks people into explaining what they think of Christopher Columbus's nomination to Supreme Court
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    Jimmy Kimmel tricks people into explaining what they think of Christopher Columbus's nomination to Supreme Court

    Jimmy Kimmel celebrated Christopher Columbus Day by asking people what their thoughts were on the explorer’s nomination to the Supreme Court. “There’s a lot going on in the country, so we decided to combine two of the big things going on right now,” Kimmel said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. According to the late-night host, people should know who Columbus is - as he’s the “third that we learn the most about in elementary school” after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

  • Desiree Akhavan interview: 'Bisexuality is taboo in both the queer and the straight world'
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    The Independent

    Desiree Akhavan interview: 'Bisexuality is taboo in both the queer and the straight world'

    When Desiree Akhavan first dreamt up The Bisexual – a comedy-drama series about a lesbian who realises she’s also attracted to men – she pitched the idea to just about every network in LA. The next said they already had a female, brown-skinned lead in The Mindy Project (never mind that Akhavan is Iranian-American, and Mindy Kaling is Indian-American). For most people in her position, such preposterous, blinkered decision-making would be demoralising – but for Akhavan, all it did was “light a fire under my ass”.

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    The Independent

    Navaratri - the Hindu festival honouring the warrior Goddess Durga

    One of the most vibrant Hindu celebrations of the Indian subcontinent, Navaratri is a festival of whirling dance and incessant drumming to mark the victory of good over evil. It is held in honour of the Goddess Durga, who is revered as a divine being of cosmic intelligence with the power to conquer the negative forces of the universe. While it is celebrated over 10 days, Navaratri is Sanskrit for nine (nav) nights (ratri).

  • Kurt Vile interview: 'I'm hypersensitive to the world, my brain gets scattered pretty quick'
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    The Independent

    Kurt Vile interview: 'I'm hypersensitive to the world, my brain gets scattered pretty quick'

    “You guys are being a little weird,” Kurt Vile says to his daughters Awilda, eight, and Delphine, who is almost six. Vile, his wife Suzanne Lang, and their two home-schooled girls live in a house smartly decorated with mid-century modern furniture, in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, bordering the forest-like 1,800 acre Wissahickon Valley Park.

  • Yayoi Kusama: How the Instagram generation fell in love with the world’s top-selling living female artist
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    The Independent

    Yayoi Kusama: How the Instagram generation fell in love with the world’s top-selling living female artist

    Yayoi Kusama, at 89 years old, is the world’s top-selling living female artist. Kusama’s work has been hashtagged more than 300,000 times, with Katy Perry, Adele and Nicole Richie all seeking out one of her famous Infinity Mirrored Rooms for a selfie. One of these rooms, titled Infinity Mirrored Room – My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, now forms the centrepiece of an exhibition of new works at the Victoria Miro gallery in London.

  • William Forsythe, A Quiet Evening of Dance at Sadler's Wells, London review: Introspective and playful
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    The Independent

    William Forsythe, A Quiet Evening of Dance at Sadler's Wells, London review: Introspective and playful

    William Forsythe’s A Quiet Evening of Dance is literally quiet: soundtrack from silence to birdsong to baroque dances by Rameau. It makes a cerebral, sometimes funny evening: Forsythe tenderly taking ballet to bits, so he can expose and play with its mechanisms. Produced by Sadler’s Wells, A Quiet Evening is Forsythe’s first full-length programme since he closed The Forsythe Company in 2015.

  • Melmoth by Sarah Perry, review: 'A haunting book that speaks to mankind’s worst atrocities'
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    The Independent

    Melmoth by Sarah Perry, review: 'A haunting book that speaks to mankind’s worst atrocities'

    The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry’s last book – which was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 – reads like a long lost fin-de-siècle Gothic classic. Melmoth, meanwhile, re-writes an early 19th-century Gothic classic for the modern age. In Perry’s version of the story, she turns the titular figure into a woman: Melmoth the Witness, otherwise known as Melmotte or Melmotka, “cursed to wander the earth without home or respite... always watching, always seeking out everything that’s most distressing and most wicked, in a world which is surpassingly wicked, and full of distress.” As in Maturin’s original, stories nest within stories, and it’s by means of a collection of letters, diary entries, footnotes and endnotes that the whole is pieced together.

  • From ‘liquid raptures’ to ‘saucy pricks’: How poets have been writing about sex for centuries
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    The Independent

    From ‘liquid raptures’ to ‘saucy pricks’: How poets have been writing about sex for centuries

    The judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover used in the landmark 1960 obscenity trial of DH Lawrence’s famous novel is to be sold at auction in October. The paperback copy will be sold with a fabric bag, hand-stitched by the judge’s wife Lady Dorothy Byrne so that her husband could carry the book into court each day while keeping it hidden from reporters. The lot includes the notes on significant passages that Lady Byrne had helpfully marked up on the book for her husband, and a four-page list of references she had compiled on the headed stationery of the Central Criminal Court.

  • Frieze 2018: Where women have parity in the art world
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    The Independent

    Frieze 2018: Where women have parity in the art world

    In that context, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, the sibling art fairs taking place from Thursday to Sunday in Regent’s Park, are notable: women have most of the leadership positions, and they have pushed for female-centric programming at every level. “They’re trying to counter the effects of the male-dominated art market,” says Diana Campbell Betancourt, the curator who is this year in charge of Frieze Projects, the parts of the contemporary-focused Frieze London that extend beyond the traditional dealer booths. “They are leading by example,” Betancourt says.

  • 14 best poetry books
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    The Independent

    14 best poetry books

    National Poetry Day was launched in 1994 with the aim of inspiring people to enjoy, discover and share poems. This year’s event takes takes on October 4, with poetry readings, talks, performances and competitions across the country. To mark National Poetry Day, which is supported by organisations including the BBC, Arts Council England and the Royal Mail, we’ve chosen some of the best books of poetry, from old favourites to new collections.

  • Roald Dahl's Matilda at 30: A heroine who changed lives
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    The Independent

    Roald Dahl's Matilda at 30: A heroine who changed lives

    Like Matilda, I was surrounded by bullies. Like Matilda, I was surrounded by people who thought intelligence was an inconvenience and a liability. Unlike Matilda, my method for dealing with my bullies was based on crying and hiding.

  • The Cry review: Jenna Coleman shines as an unravelling new mother
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    The Independent

    The Cry review: Jenna Coleman shines as an unravelling new mother

    In fact, if the BBC ever decides to do a crossover episode, Joanna could do with a friend like Liz from BBC2’s brilliant dark comedy Motherland, whose refreshingly lax advice for a children’s birthday party is to “buy four caterpillar cakes from Asda and put them together to make one big Human Centipede cake, then just let the kids help themselves. “Is he not hot?” Her political aide husband Alistair, played by Ewen Leslie, isn’t much help. It is this deftly handled depiction of parenting that makes The Cry, based on a novel by Helen Fitzgerald, worth watching – not the dramatic abduction to which the first episode is building.

  • A New Beginning: How these people are changing the stereotype of refugees
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    The Independent

    A New Beginning: How these people are changing the stereotype of refugees

    Each person has been photographed by a group of renowned artists including Nick Waplington, Campbell Addy, Diana Markosian and duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, all of whom have visually reflected the diverse character of the refugee experience in the UK. “We learn the English language in schools back home, but other than that we don’t have much access to British culture – all the movies and TV we consume are American.

  • World Alzheimer’s Month: Portraits of people with dementia around the world
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    The Independent

    World Alzheimer’s Month: Portraits of people with dementia around the world

    Without action the world is woefully unprepared for the dementia crisis. This World Alzheimer’s Month, leaders around the world are being urged to take urgent action on dementia and unite to ensure better diagnosis, care and awareness. The Alzheimer's Society is a founding member of the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance, a coalition of NGOs seeking to champion global action on dementia.