Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ph.Diva sings the biotech research blues in this animated music video [Video]

Biotech post-doc researcher April Bright has just been invited to present her research at her first conference. But something hinky is going on with her polymerase chain reaction, and she needs to figu… Continue reading

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Why you won’t see Jennifer Aniston on the cover of Vogue

Alexandra Shulman tells how she copes with panic attacks and won’t compromise with celebrity powerHer face has launched a thousand magazines and sold even more, but Jennifer Aniston will not be appearing on the cover of Vogue in Britain any time soon.V… Continue reading

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Why the British economy cannot put all its eggs in the Easter basket

Rain is bad for retailers, but good for cinemas. Sunshine adds a feelgood factor. But this is no year for banking on a boost from the holiday weekendThis has been a fortnight of shorts, sandals and melting ice-creams, but the blue skies boosting Britai… Continue reading

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Trailer trash

Ken Branagh is a dead ringer for Jean Gabin, and Idris Elba has a date with destinyGift of the GabinWatching the crystal-clean restoration of Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion released in cinemas last week, I was struck by how much the great Jean Gabin … Continue reading

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Into the Abyss – review

Werner Herzog’s documentary about a triple murder in Texas is a compelling reflection on capital punishmentMany film-makers cut their teeth directing documentaries before moving on to features. Relatively few continue making them in tandem with their f… Continue reading

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StreetDance 2 3D – review

The plots of hip-hop movies are as rigid as Japanese Noh plays and this pretty average British example makes the usual progress from hero humiliated by rival, the gathering of a new crew around Europe, the rapid training for a big public confrontation,… Continue reading

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Steven Berkoff: the film that changed my life

Steven Berkoff hails José Ferrer’s definitive performance as the big-snozzled soldier-poetI first saw this at a little cinema near Notting Hill in the early 50s. What inspired me was the plot, damned simple yet profound too – that a man who was hero… Continue reading

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Enda Walsh: ‘I tried to take a hammer to rural Ireland’

Disco Pigs made a star of playwright Enda Walsh and his lead, Cillian Murphy. Now, 15 years on, the pair have reunited for a drama about a crazed smalltown preacherThe first time I met Enda Walsh was in the summer of 1997 at a writers’ retreat in Count… Continue reading

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The big picture: William Klein’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? 1966

William Klein’s first movie, a gleeful satire on the fashion industry, underlined his reputation as a brilliant, iconoclastic photographerWilliam Klein is one of the giants of post-war photography: his vibrant pictorial essays on cities like Rome, Toky… Continue reading

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Mark Kermode’s DVD round-up

Hugo; The Deep Blue Sea; We Have a PopeDespite the inherent redundancy of the format, each new wave of 3D cinema throws up at least one oddity which goes some way toward justifying this technical gimmick. Die-hard 3D apologists cite Hitchcock’s Dial M … Continue reading

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Wrath of the Titans – review

The South African director Jonathan Liebesman, chiefly known for the dismal Battle Los Angeles and an unspeakable prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, unwisely picks up the baton dropped by Louis Leterrier after Clash of the Titans. His loud, dull, … Continue reading

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Switch – review

This slick, preposterous thriller is cast from the now rather worn mould that produced The Lady Vanishes. The fetching Karine Vanasse plays a French-Canadian fashion designer who swaps her flat via the web with a fancy pad beside the Eiffel Tower … Continue reading

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Babycall – review

This intriguing Norwegian thriller stars the queen of the current Scandinavian crime wave, Noomi Rapace, who played the impressive, expressive, mercurial Lisbeth Salander in the film versions of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. Here she’s Anna, a si… Continue reading

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Bonsai – review

Based on a novel by the widely praised young Chilean author Alejandro Zambra, Bonsai is a highly literary affair about reading, writing, honesty in life and fiction, and what Susan Sontag called for in Against Interpretation, “an erotics of art”. Rathe… Continue reading

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Corpo Celeste – review

The heroine of Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher’s feature debut is pretty, fair-haired 13-year-old Marta, who returns with her mother and older sister from 10 years in prosperous, clean, well-lighted Switzerland to impoverished, benighted Calab… Continue reading

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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists – review

No comedy about pirates could be worse than Roman Polanski’s Pirates, which got the 1986 Cannes festival off to a bad start, and none has yet been the equal of Robert Siodmak’s The Crimson Pirate, the high-tidemark of the genre. Based on the first of a… Continue reading

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Lincoln Lee is the poster boy for not becoming a monster, on Fringe [Tv Recap]

Why would someone choose to become a monster? That’s sort of one of the central questions of Fringe, throughout its run, and last night’s episode explored it in a slightly different way. The central con… Continue reading

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Not Even a Robot Would Find These Polygonal Pillows Comfortable [Pillows]

Designer Mika Barr apparently took their inspiration for these angular faceted pillows from the patterned creases seen when you unfold an origami creation. And even though they actually can’t feel, we d… Continue reading

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And now, here are marshmallow Peeps operating the Large Hadron Collider [Goofballery]

The best uses for marshmallow Peeps have nothing to do with eating them. When they’re not busy exploding in microwaves, bunny and chick-shaped Peeps are making important discoveries in the field of part… Continue reading

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Carbon breakthrough could mean cheap, eternally stretching graphene [Materials Science]

Graphene, the eternally stretching two-dimensional form of carbon, is one of the most promising synthetic materials in existence, but is still costly to produce to specification. New research released i… Continue reading

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