To Leicester Square this morning, and the launch of this year’s London Film Festival. There’s always something of a guessing game, prior to the announcement of the line-up, about what’ll be showing. This year, for instance, I’d been hoping we might get John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Mickey Rourke’s apparently astonishing comeback in The Wrestler and Sam Mendes’ film of Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates' novel I recently read and thought was incredible.

No such luck as at least two of them aren't finished yet, but still – the line-up is pretty strong. There’s an artful of choice of marquee name movies mixed with some excellent left-field selections, a fantastic looking documentary about one of the great 60s folk singers and a film which, despite having the most unwieldy name in film history, will be one of the biggest hits of the year.


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I can’t off the top of my head think of another instance where you’ll find a former US President queuing up alongside the head of the Hell’s Angels to dispense hosannas on one man. But that, perhaps, says much about Hunter S Thompson’s influence on American culture – particularly during the late Sixties and early Seventies when, as Alex Gibney’s brilliant documentary rightly identifies, Thompson was, unbelievably, one of the most influential men in the country.


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Don LaFontaine
1940 - 2008

It’s a fair bet that you don’t recognise the name. But the voice, surely, is as iconic to moviegoers as Harry Lime’s final act appearance in The Third Man, Omar Sharif’s entrance in Lawrence Of Arabia or the great white’s tail fin in Jaws.

Don LaFontaine was the unseen star of Hollywood; he was the guy who provided over 5,000 gravely voiceovers for movie trailers.


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The movie career of Steve Coogan has so far proved to be a fascinatingly erratic subject. Sure, it’s not unusual to find a successful British TV comedian struggle to establish himself in movies, particularly in Hollywood. For every Dudley Moore, who became a huge movie star in the States with Arthur and 10, you only have to look at Peter Cook - the true genius in that partnership - whose transatlantic film career barely made it beyond Supergirl.


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As the Reading Festival moves into its second day, you wouldn't be wrong to expect a hint of nostalgia in the air. Yesterday, after all, there was heavy rock, and the return of old favourites Rage Against The Machine. On Sunday, there will be the return of the reassuringly sturdy Metallica, and with them, yet more heavy rock.


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It was back in March that Tropic Thunder first made it onto my radar. I was skimming through a copy of Entertainment Weekly, and found a full-page picture of Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jnr in combat fatigues, rifles at the ready, creeping through the brush in a jungle setting clearly meant to represent Vietnam. What struck me, first, was the idea of these excellent comic actors making a Vietnam spoof could be a brilliant wheeze; secondly, the rather jaw-dropping fact that Downey was in blackface.


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Welcome to Waitsville. A place where bad jokes are good, Vaudeville never died, and the talk is of smoking monkeys, weasels and the mating habits of the preying mantis.


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It’s the moment half way through the set when she arrives, with a swish of the curtain, on stage astride a giant silver skull, wearing a flowing red trouser suit and cap, that we realise we just aren’t in Kansas any more, Toto.


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“Given though this is a family affair, we all know someone who’s a meth head or a speed freak,” thus it is that Kim Deal endears herself to the good ladies and gentlemen of Latitude.


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The good folk of Latitude are becoming more lucid and lyrical, as guest blogger Terry Staunton has discovered...


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The 28th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...