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The Royal Collection, Picasso ceramics and building a collection

Yesterday I went to the Royal Academy to view the collection of Charles 1. He may have been a hapless monarch but as a collector of art he had no English royal equal. Titian, Mantegna, Holbein, Durer, Rubens and Van Dyck he had pictures by them all. The collection was broken up and sold but the [...]

February 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

It’s complicated

Over the past eight months or so the salaries of UK radio and television presenters have been getting plenty of coverage in the media, largely because of the historical and continuing alleged unequal piles of dosh that have been doled out to men and women. Two main accusations have been made:- [...]

February 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

Joan Collins on current cinema

Along with The National Rust, my magazines of choice are The Week and The Spectator.  I like the former for its balance, 3/4 views on every topic and its scope – covering politics, the arts, travel, sport and business. I do not always chime with the High Toryism of The Spectator [...]

February 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

A Good Read

For many years the book programme on Radio 4 A Good Read was a source of enjoyable recommendation but like many a broadcast on the BBC its direction has been blown away by the headwinds of feminist dogma. On yesterday’s programme the first contributor Jayde Adams, a comedian, freely admitted [...]

February 14, 2018 // 0 Comments

Phantom Thread

Ten minutes into this film I was truck by its similarity to a much better film Rebecca. There is the same three-way power struggle, the taking of a young awkward woman in servile employment into a house where she is made unwelcome and the debonair but unreliable Reynolds Woodcock resembles Maxim [...]

February 7, 2018 // 0 Comments

Churchill ( again)

Yesterday when I did the morning supermarket shop and was looking for the over-priced ink cartridges for my printer, I passed the DVDs displayed which only reminded me how disconnected I am from modern cinema. However I saw a DVD of Churchill – starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson [...]

January 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

The Darkest Hour

I came to this film late and was determined neither to be influenced by the favourable reviews nor the more negative critique of this  organ and several friends. The one scene that the latter did not like was that of Churchill on a tube. I liked the scene and would say it was pivotal to the film. [...]

January 30, 2018 // 0 Comments

View from the future

It’s always interesting to see a film set in the past but also produced in a different time as it tells you about both epochs. With this in mind I revisited this week Oh What a Lovely War! (1969)  and The Day of the Jackal (1973). Although no expert like Henry Elkins I am confident in [...]

January 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

The dark arts

Two aspects of art that intrigue me, and both are linked, are forgery and the contemporary art market. Recently a museum exhibition in Ghent of Russian modern art was questioned by experts for its authenticity. The Russian modern art market is notoriously prone to forgers. Another is the painter [...]

January 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

Veteran film stars

In the week I had lunch with a film buff who spoke highly of  All The Money In The World and in particular  of Christopher Plummer who, aged 88, turned out a stellar performance. The interesting thing about Christopher Plummer is that he is best known for Fritz von Trapp in The Sound of [...]

January 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

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