‘Dad described the plot of Psycho at the dinner table’: how my parents taught me to love film

The Guardian film critic on how his mother and father shaped his relationship with cinema My parents are dead now, and I think about them both every day. They loved the cinema, and would go all the time as a young couple. My mum had a crush on the young Marlon Brando after seeing him in On The Waterfront and as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. But it was my dad who was the more voluble about film, if not necessarily the more opinionated. Albert Desmond Bradshaw came to London from Belfast in the 1950s to be a photographer. That was where he met my mum, Mollie, who was working as a secretary. They lived in Highgate, north London and …

‘Incel’ violence is horrific, but Joker is complex, and doesn’t take sides

Alarmist reactions to the rightwing film starring Joaquin Phoenix as a needy, dangerous wannabe star comic overlook its subtler points Tincel culture, or involuntary celibates men who see themselves as losers and beta males who women dont want to sleep with. Angry, misogynistic and feeling entitled to sex and attention, incels have been prone to real-world violence, as with the Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (obsessed by Betsy), he becomes romantically intrigued by Sophie (Zazie Beetz), a pretty girl he barely knows, his fantasies go into overdrive. Yet romance and sex, or lack of these, is not a major factor in Jokers move towards violence; he never expresses any particular malice toward Sophie. Rather, Arthur is driven by a ( …

Is Simon Cowell’s surprising new face a vision of our deepfake future?

In the future, we might all embark on a side-slide not into younger, prettier people, but whole new personae The human face, that subsection of appendages living just south of our eyebrows, has rarely been under such attack. Take the deepfake Red Room reverse speech. Surely, there should be some law to stop this; some guidelines. But the horse has already bolted. Our faces can be used for anything. The future will be one long and terrifying version of ShaggysIt Wasnt Me. Elsewhere, as Cruise was having his face faked, Simon Cowell unveiled his new tight-and-bright visage on the Americas Got Talent red carpet, and caused shockwaves of his own. This isnt my moment to snipe at silly celebrities for …

Heres the long and the short of it mullets are back

With a little help from Stranger Things, the 80s hairstyle is a hit again David Bowies Ziggy Stardust wore his cascading down his neck, Andre Agassi kept his in check with a headband. Patti Smiths, meanwhile, was pure business in the front, party in the back. Mullets were everywhere in the 1970s and 80s, and now perhaps to the surprise and consternation of many they are back. Partly inspired by the hit TV series Stranger Things and the 1980s footballer look showcased to perfection in the recent documentary has been reinvented for the 21st century as a statement of gender fluidity and cool. Mines a combination of George Michael and Ian Botham, said Tom Watson, 20, who regards the look …

Wild oversharing comic Phoebe Robinson: ‘I do dumb things. That’s who I am!’

Is the fringe ready for the brash standup who used to get paid in nachos and chicken wings? We meet one half of 2 Dope Queens as she fills her shoes with sweat What does Phoebe Robinson want to see when she arrives at the Edinburgh fringe? Just tons of dudes smuggling their bangers and mash in their kilts. Observational comic, astute social critic, signee of a deal with ABC studios, bestselling author (2 Dope Queens (the podcast duo turned HBO stars), Robinson has a philosophy: that comedy thirsty, uninhibited, occasionally gross, with riffs on Googling David Bowies penis size after learning he has died can be a force for good. At Edinburgh, Robinson will tour her show, called Sorry, …

Why have Americans given so much money to restore Notre-Dame?

When the iconic cathedral was nearly lost to flames, the wave of grief was felt across the Atlantic as donations came rolling in As news broke on 15 April 2019 that the roof of the French cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris was on fire, phones immediately started ringing at the offices of the French Heritage Society, executive director Jennifer Herlein recalls. People, most of them Americans, some in tears, were offering donations to rebuild the beloved gothic monument. We cannot imagine a world without Paris, and we cannot imagine a Paris without Notre-Dame, the French Heritage Society had said in its call for funds. It was right. The French Heritage Society has so far received $2.45m in donations, mostly from the …

Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump

Whether its hexing the president, chatting in WhatsApp covens or featuring in TV reboots, radicalised women have been finding strength in the ancient pagan arts This is the time for getting scary, the writer Andi Zeisler told Elle magazine on the eve of the 2017 Womens March. We need to go full witch. At the dawn of the Trump administration, witches were suddenly everywhere in the US. Neo-pagans used blogs and social media to circulate popular rituals for hexing Brett Kavanaugh (accused of sexual assault, which he denies), and Donald Trump himself. The Trump curse was enacted by thousands of people, including the singer Lana Del Rey. Basic Witches, in which they explained: If you speak when youre told to …

Lena Dunham on Love Island: I’m asking the same question they do can you love after hurt?

When the writer and director arrived in Wales to shoot a new drama, she was nursing a broken heart and romantic ideas of British life. Then she discovered the reality soap opera… As I planned my summer in Wales, my head filled with visions of romance, I supposed Id do what the heroines of novels did when they crossed the pond for a new life: go to the shore to take the healing air. Meet a man and move into his stunning manor, possibly watched over by a sinister housemaid. Scurry through cobblestoned streets and into dusty bookshops, furtively pulling up the hood of my cloak. Go to a banquet and dance to piano music in a great hall. Taste …

Spider-Man is showing our boys that normal guys can be heroes too | Gaby Hinsliff

Youngsters are growing up with a much broader concept of masculinity and even Hollywood is catching up, says Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff Not all superheroes wear capes. But if they come in many guises, what they tend to have in common is a desire to save the world. And thats what makes the new not to run for the Tory leadership because she didnt want to leave Scotland and has just had a baby. He is the Prince William of superheroes, visibly conflicted about the prospect of becoming king. Welcome to Work-Life Balance Man, who isnt sure he wants to make it to the top of the Avengers pantheon if that means theres no time left for anything else; a …

How an app made hiking easier with unintended consequences

Guthook Guides maps and crowdsourced information have made outdoor adventures far less wild In March 2012, the Pacific Crest Trail changed for good when Hollywood version. From 2013 to 2018, PCT applications nearly quadrupled. But Wild wasnt the only thing that transformed the trail that March. The same month, a thru-hiker named Ryan Linn quietly released an iPhone application thru-hiking a map, compass, guidebook and water reports and consolidated them into a single virtual location. It functioned offline and crowdsourced updated information about trail conditions and campsites when online. Such an app might have been inevitable, but for ultralight-obsessed thru-hikers, it was a revolution. Linns timing couldnt have been more perfect. In the last three years, the app has been …

Dioramas of death: cleaner recreates rooms where people died alone

Miyu Kojima creates scenes based on rooms she has cleaned after solitary deaths It was at a trade show for the funeral industry that Miyu Kojima had what might seem at first like a macabre idea. Kojima, 27, works for To-Do Company, a cleaning firm that specialises in the apartments of the recently deceased. Many of their jobs involve kodokushi (solitary deaths), where people die alone and are not found for days, a phenomenon that has recently gripped the Japanese imagination. The company was advertising its services at the trade show by displaying photos of the rooms theyd cleaned. But the photos are gruesome to look at, Kojima said. I felt they lacked respect for the deceased and for their …

Today I have to talk to three of my patients about dying. This is how I do it

Its tempting to put these all-important conversations off but the consequences can be dire Its 9.15am. The medical team is full of energy and caffeine. We have patients to see, some of whom are on the road to recovery, others who have already been recognised as dying, and some who have uncertain futures. There are three new patients whose condition could worsen at any time. Given their frailty I believe cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would be futile. It is now my job to start a discussion about their future care. Three conversations. I take a deep breath. The trainee doctors are attentive and still learning how to do this. I complete my assessment for the first patient, pause, then open the …

No plastic please, Mum: my quest to make waste-free packed lunches

The average lunchbox contains lots of needless wrapping. So how easy is to create eco-friendly alternatives and will children eat them? A couple of months ago my sons dislike of school dinners reached the tipping point, and outweighed his parents refusal to find an extra 10 minutes each morning. We did the unthinkable and switched to packed lunches. A shelf in the kitchen quickly filled with colourful packages, each containing smaller packages. The drink cartons came with plastic straws, in tiny film sleeves stuck to the composite carton with a dab of glue. We bought them in trios, swathed in more plastic.And all the while the calls to cut plastic waste were growing and growing. Our treat shelf began to …

‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Dr Ruth: ‘Nobody has any business being naked in bed if they havent decided to have sex’

Sex therapist, child of the Holocaust, former sniper Dr Ruth Westheimer has lived more than most. Now 90, shes as busy as ever and still has strong opinions on pornography and consent Early this spring, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, famous as a time capsule of American history and culture, reached out to Dr Ruth Westheimer and asked her to donate an object to its vast collection. Its there that you can find such iconic totems of Americana as the glittery red shoes Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz, or influential TV cook Julia Childs kitchen, fully reassembled. Soon you will also be able to find the microphone that Westheimer used at WYNY, the New York radio …

Wes Anderson gets a wallpaper collection let the over-decorating begin!

Campy wallpapers inspired by his films are now on sale. Which other directors, from JJ Abrams to David Lynch, should get their own lines? Wes Anderson turns 50 next week. Of all the ways you could mark such a momentous event, one stands head and shoulders above all others: you could deck out your entire house in whimsical wallpaper that will make you feel as if youve accidentally set foot inside one of Anderson Aesthetic collection by MuralsWallpaper is campy, meticulously designed wallpapers that are inspired by the set designs of his movies. Theres the Suzy, made up of row upon row of perfectly symmetrical butterflies. Theres the Margot, a headache-inducing tiki-style clash of green leaves and orange tigers. And …