A scene from ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’
©Industrial Light & Magic/Paramount

Hollywood transformed by China

How the Chinese are changing the DNA of America’s blockbuster movies. Tom Shone reports


‘Britannia’ (c.1915) by Sydney Kendrick ©Bridgeman
As Glasgow welcomes the 2014 games, what is the role of the Commonwealth? Contrasting visions of Britain’s place in the world, reviewed in December by Gideon Rachman
epa04307957 M75 rocket launched from the coastal strip into Israel by militants of Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam militia, the military wing of Hamas movement, in Gaza City, 09 July 2014. Israel launched the military operation Protective Edge, which came in response to a renewed wave of rockets out of the Gaza Strip, for some of which Palestinian group Hamas has claimed responsibility. It is the first time since 2012 that Hamas has done so, claiming that intervening attacks were sent up by groups working outside its control. EPA/MOHAMMED SABER ©EPA
Writing in March this year, Peter Aspden watched ‘Gaza: Chronicles of a Conflict’, a documentary that gets up close with fighters from Hamas
illustration of Niall FitzGerald by Ferguson

Niall FitzGerald

Over risotto in London’s Knightsbridge, the former Unilever chief talks about his time as chairman of the British Museum

‘Hear O Israel’ (1955) by David Bomberg and El Greco’s ‘Christ Carrying the Cross’

The influence of El Greco, 400 years on

Two exhibitions in Spain reveal the painter’s Jewish connections and his impact on 20th-century art

Sue Norris poses with her ebike beside the lake
©Elisabeth Real

Pedal power around Lake Constance

Inspired by the Tour de France but intimidated by the thought of a cycling holiday? Try a grand tour on an electrically assisted bike

Captain Charlie May outside his tent during training on Salisbury Plain, England

The first world war: soldiers’ testimonies

As the world prepares to mark 100 years since the outbreak of 1914-18 war, some eloquent memoirs are still surfacing, writes David Stevenson

Sports bra (£70) and leggings (£115), both by Live the Process at Net-a-Sporter

Sharp new looks for the exercise class

How independent designers are muscling in on the market for fashionable women’s sportswear

‘Brando’s Smile’, by Susan L Mizruchi

The restless intellect behind the magnetic screen presence of Marlon Brando. Review by Antonia Quirke

Lebanese singer Assi El Helani performing the musical play ‘From the Days of Saladin’ at the Baalbeck festival in 2011
©Wael Hamzeh/epa

Baalbeck festival, Lebanon

The region’s oldest arts event returns to its Roman site – in a Hizbollah stronghold near the Syrian border

A sandy cove on Cavallo, part of the Lavezzi archipelago

Just off Corsica, the Caribbean

The tiny French island of Cavallo is privately owned and, as a result, beautifully preserved

Caroline Issa

Packing: what to take on your travels

Business? Art fair? Fashion show? Four globetrotters share last-minute packing tips for your next jaunt



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