The acclaimed New York artist Julian Schnabel never intended to make movies. But when concerns over the way a biopic about his late painter friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat, was going compelled him to take over and direct it himself, he became an accidental filmmaker. "I did it as a rescue mission," he says, "and had no intention of making another film. But it was just something that came very naturally to me."
Some musicians are content to tour the globe repeatedly performing the same handful of concertos. And then there is Nikolaj Znaider.
The 35-year-old, Danish-born violinist has everything a top international soloist could desire - phenomenal technique, fine-honed musicality, good looks, charisma and a Guarneri del Gesù violin that once belonged to the great Fritz Kreisler..
Jenny Lewis has had a few incarnations. Starting off as a child actress, she appeared in dozens of teen movies. She moved onto music and earned the title "princess" of indie-rock as frontwoman of the critically acclaimed band Rilo Kiley, before becoming a solo musician. Now, she has teamed up with her boyfriend, the singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, to release a record under the does-what-it-says-on-tin name of Jenny and Johnny. Not that she had planned any of it.
David Cameron spent last week in China trying to stake Britain's claim to a piece of the Chinese ecomonic boom. One man who knows all about China's rapid industrial growth is the acclaimed Israel-born, UK-based photographer, Nadav Kander.
So much dust was kicked up by Mike Leigh's recent decision to cancel a cultural visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank that it almost obscured the fact that the outspoken veteran of stage and cinema has a new film out this week - and arguably one of his best, at that.
It was earlier this year, on his own wedding day, that film director Sam Leifer came up with an idea for his next project. In keeping with tradition, straight after the ceremony he and his new wife went to the yichud room for their first secluded moment together as man and wife.
“After 10 years together, it seemed slightly unnatural to be in that situation,” says Leifer. “It was almost a question of, what do we talk about?”
For Evgeny Kissin, the piano is no longer the only means of communication. Renowned worldwide since performing both Chopin concertos as a 12 year old, Kissin has always avoided politics and controversy. Unlike musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Kissin has stuck to his artistry.
But he has decided that "as a Jew" he must now change that. "After all this time of anti-Israel hysteria, I felt that I had to raise my voice." He dipped his toe in the water earlier this year with an open letter to the BBC about its coverage.
Josh Howie jokes about circumcision, the Holocaust and Jewish attitudes to money. Shazia Mirza makes fun of suicide bombers, imams and Islamophobia.
For both comedians, the prime aim is to make audiences laugh. But they are aware that by being funny about such sensitive subjects, they can demonstrate humour's capacity to break down religious and racial barriers .
Tony Curtis was more than an idol, if Jews were allowed to have such things. He was that from his hair to his shiny pointed shoes. And then some.
Jews loved him because in an age when it was fashionable for actors to cover up their Jewish heritage along with their original names, Curtis did none of that. He helped Jewish causes, he gave money to communities wracked with problems when the red flags came down in Eastern Europe - particularly those in Hungary where his parents were born - but above all, everyone knew he was really Bernie Schwartz from the Bronx.