In ‘The Look of Silence’, an Indonesian optometrist confronts torturers and death squad chiefs
©Drafthouse Films

Venice Film Festival – first report

Art imitating art is the emerging theme at this year’s festival

Culture columns

A Lady Gaga wax figure at the unveiling at Madame Tussauds in Times Square in New York December 9, 2010. Eight replicas of the pop singer were unveiled today at different branches of Madame Tussauds wax museums across the globe . AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) ©Getty
The movement’s most valuable contribution was that it shattered ideas of what it is reasonable for an artist to do
I bet that Rubens, when he made his own copy of Titian’s great work, would have taken a photo if he could
Actors and puppets share the stage in 'Ubu and the Truth Commission'
©Ruphin Condyzer

Ubu and the Truth Commission, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh Festival

An audacious updating of Alfred Jarry’s 1896 drama

Felicity Palmer as Clytemnestra in 'Elektra' at the BBC Proms
©Chris Christodoulou

Salome and Elektra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

A hair-raising double bill celebrating Strauss’s 150th anniversary

'Les Revenants' ('The Returned')
©Kobal

French TV on an upward spiral

The television drama makers who are breaking creative barriers

Charles Gaines's 'Numbers and Trees III, Shucks #11’ (1987)

Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York

Gaines’s equations and rules produce surprisingly seductive images

Yannis Kokkos's production of 'Les Troyens' for the Mariinsky Opera. Photo: N. Razina

Les Troyens, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The orchestral playing under Valery Gergiev is magnificent

Audrey Bonnet, right, in 'Yerma'
©Pascal Victor

Yerma, Théâtre 13, Paris

This 1934 drama makes an uneasy transition to the Paris stage

Michael Keaton (left) and Edward Norton square up in ‘Birdman’, showing in Venice and already tipped for Oscars
©Rex Features

Clash of the film titans

As the Venice Film Festival begins, the competition among rival festivals such as Toronto and New York grows ever more fierce

Jonathan Goddard as Dracula and Kristin McGuire as Lucy in Mark Bruce’s ‘Dracula’
©Farrows Creative

‘Dracula’: the ballet with added bite

Two dance versions of Bram Stoker’s horror story are winging their way to British stages this month

Peter Lorre in 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (1934)
©Allstar

Peter Lorre’s gift for macabre ubiquity

The FT’s film critic looks forward to a BFI season of one of the brilliant immigrants to Hollywood who ‘carried film noir across the world’