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The Desert Fox/1951

The Desert Fox, a biopic of Field Marshal Irwin Rommel starring James Mason, can rightfully claim to be the most groundbreaking war film of all as it lauds a German soldier but 6 years after VE Day. James Mason, ironically a conscientious objector, gives a fine performance as Rommel, Leo G. Carroll [...]

May 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

Middle England/ Jonathan Coe

Middle England by Jonathan Coe might end up as the definitive Brexit novel as it’s set from 2012 to the present day. The author does not disguise his remain sympathies but he brings out well the various motives and rationale for voting either way and the destruction it wrought. I first came [...]

May 12, 2019 // 0 Comments

“You’re only supposed …”

No doubt Rusters will have their own favourite candidates, but today I found a piece by Brian Viner detailing a list of his “Best movie one-liners” which I thought worthy of a recommendation – see here, on the website of the – DAILY [...]

May 10, 2019 // 0 Comments

Great Lives/Radio 4

One of my favourite radio programmes is Great Lives, well presented by ex-Tory politician Mathew Parris. The format is one person advocates a great life and an expert supplies further detail. Like most of programmes on the BBC these days it has been railroaded and become a feminist platform. [...]

May 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

Kelly’s Heroes

Kelly’s Heroes (1970) supports my theory that a war film tells you as much about the time it was made as the time it covers. In 1970 America was involved in Vietnam and the film is less about gung-ho heroism than a buffoon general (Don Rickles), a long-haired hippie soldier (Donald Sutherland) [...]

May 5, 2019 // 0 Comments

Love is Blind / William Boyd

William Boyd is one of of Britain’s most popular and successful novelists. He is also one of our most versatile. You never know quite what to expect when you read a Boyd novel. The hero or heroine might be male or female, it can take place in any location in any epoch. It can be comic it can be [...]

April 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

You had to be there … or did you?

Some internet operations are a wonder of the modern world – as an example (and I’m not being paid to suggest this) I’d cite YouTube which, for those just browsing or perhaps searching for ‘footage’ items half-remembered or recommend to them, is as good as they come as a potential source [...]

April 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

Vienna Spies/Alex Gerlis

I do not know how this espionage novel came to be on my Kindle. I can only assume it was a recommendation by Amazon based on previous books I have read set in Vienna. The more obscure theatres of conflict and cities in World War Two have always interested me: Italy after Mussolini surrendered in [...]

April 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

Musee des Beaux Arts

The Musee des Beaux Arts is a handsome building not far from the Negresco. Unlike the other well known museums in this region if reflects more the artists that made Nice their home. Two of the most famous Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse were well exhibited here. Both were born in the north west of [...]

April 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Metropolis/Philip Kerr

Metropolis is the final novel of Philip Kerr, published posthumously as he died of cancer on 23rd March 2018 aged 62. It’s also the final one in the Bernie Gunther series. The best are probably the first three published – The March Violets set in the rise of Nazism, the title is the name [...]

April 23, 2019 // 0 Comments

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