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The ring of tedium

Soundtrack: <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>

Little big man

How did one of Europe's most controversial movie directors become one of its hottest actors? Mathieu Kassovitz tells all to Stuart Jeffries.

Rules of the gamine

<b>Movie of the week:</b> Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film <i>Amélie</i> has been a huge hit in its native France, and has replicated that success around the world, writes Shaun de Waal.

Telling strokes

<b>REVIEW: </b> Sarah Penny's <i>The Beneficiaries</i> (Penguin) The poetic images that stake out the opening pages of this book give the reader fair warning of the emotionally bleak and morally difficult story it contains, writes Jane Rosenthal.

Recycling the African archive

REVIEW: David Karanja's <i>A Dreamer's Paradise</i> (Kwela)

White roots in black soil

Alexandra Fuller's rollicking, passionate memoir recalls her childhood during the chimurenga that brought Zimbabwe to the threshold of independence, writes Jane Rosenthal.

Beats for beatniks

Erik Truffaz: <i>Mantis</i> -- Imagine Miles Davis playing with Jimi Hendrix, writes Matthew Krouse.

Aftershocks rock Taiwan in quake aftermath

HUNDREDS of aftershocks rocked Taiwan on Monday and seismologists warned frightened residents to brace for more to come as the death toll in the island's latest earthquake rose to five.

So, you want to sing like thiiiiiiiis?

THE nation that brought the world karaoke has found a way to protect audiences ears from the damage inflicted by tone deaf crooners — a machine that adjusts tunes to the singer's ability. Taito Corp. said its new karaoke machine, to be introduced in Japan this summer, will automatically adjust the pitch and tune of songs to those of the singer, the company spokesman Makoto Tanaka said Wednesday.

Bloody business of Japanese whale ‘research’

FIVE Japanese whaling ships will return to Japan later this week after killing 440 minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean under the country's ''research''...

Flames lick Ramallah after sunrise attack

THE Israeli army on Tuesday launched rocket and tank fire on the Palestinian security service headquarters in Ramallah.

Bin Laden trained hitmen to kill Clinton

FORMER US president Bill Clinton said suspected terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was conspiring to kill him and was training hitmen for that purpose.

Iraq urges Arab states to use oil as a weapon

IRAQ'S ruling Baath party on Monday called on Arab countries to use petrol as a ''weapon'' against Israel and the United States to ensure the liberation of Palestinian land.

Thieves like us

<b>MOVIE OF THE WEEK</b> One begins to wonder, after <i>The Curse of the Jade Scorpion</i>, who the ageing Allen could cast in the Woody Allen role in his next movie, writes Shaun de Waal.

Jazzworx, making jazz work

<b>Q&A</b>: JAZZWORX with Matthew Krouse

Erykah, George, Ringo and Toots

The world's top jazz and soul musicians gather in Cape Town this weekend at the North Sea Jazz Festival for an impressive 32-act line-up, writes Rob Rose.

Little Empires

<i>The White Life of Felix Greenspan</i>, published this week by <i>M&G</i> Books, revisits the autobiographical character of <i>The Celibacy of Felix Greenspan</i>. In his book Lionel Abrahams shows us the disabled writer Felix from childhood on, grappling with issues from sexuality to politics. In these excerpts, Felix experiences life at boarding school.

Art steps out

Public sculpture is no longer restricted to parks and malls. Chris Roper finds out what happens when art becomes an intrusion.