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The Magician/Colm Toibin

One of the interesting aspects of biography is the attitude – often better described as the relationship – between the writer and his/her subject. Gitta Sereny wrote an excellent biography of Albert von Speer but seemed to be in thrall of him. Tristram Hunt wrote a detailed account of [...]

October 29, 2021 // 0 Comments

Ridley Road, Paris 1900, Paul Verhoeven revisited & The Directors

Ridley Road  finished last Sunday and by and large I was impressed. Without in any way denigrating the Black cause that has suffered such discrimination in my lifetime it’s good that in the anti-racism platform the BBC gives expression to anti-semitism too. Ridley Road was set in 1962 when [...]

October 27, 2021 // 0 Comments

The Forgotten Battle (2020)

I worked up a full head of steam recently with a feminist film critic I met at the San Sebastián film festival over Paul Verhoven, the Dutch director of Basic Instinct.  She had him down as a subversive, sexually exploitative, cineaste who was now out of date. I pointed out that his earlier films [...]

October 19, 2021 // 0 Comments

The Public School film genre

On Friday at the unusual time of 6 am I watched the 1994 version of The Browning Version.    It was originally the directorial project of Ridley Scott but then taken over by Mike Figgis. The screenplay was by Ronald Harwood (The Dresser) and the stellar cast included Albert Finney, Greta Sacchi [...]

October 9, 2021 // 0 Comments

Impressions of London

I was in London for social and professional reasons these past few days. It’s very different to the London I witnessed earlier in the year in lockdown when you could look down the length of Oxford Street and not see a soul. It’s the old vibrant London again, teeming with people with every [...]

October 8, 2021 // 0 Comments

Music of the movies

Sky Arts have assembled their normal team of Neil Norman, Ian Nathan, Steven Armstrong and Dr Bonnie Greer to cast their expertise on the subject of film scores. These can define a movie. Zinnemann Take for example Bernard Herman’s score of Psycho or rather take it away from the famous stabbing [...]

September 18, 2021 // 0 Comments

And here (possibly) is one he made earlier

Most Rusters will be at least aware of the infamous Salvador Mundi, the subject of one of the art world’s all time greatest controversies, which – if legend is to be believed –  currently resides upon a massive super yacht owned by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin [...]

September 10, 2021 // 0 Comments

Borsalino (1970)

My Alain Delon season continued with the only film in which  he is paired with the other French  box office star of the sixties and seventies Jean Paul Belmondo. They play two up and coming gangsters in 1930s Marseilles. Even though they generate a certain chemistry on screen, off screen there [...]

July 26, 2021 // 0 Comments

South Pacific

It was good after such a lengthy absence to see live theatre again. My last visit was possibly at the self-same Chichester Theatre to see Fiddler on the Roof. Similarly South Pacific carries a deeper message of racial prejudice. You cannot go wrong with this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic as it [...]

July 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

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