Photographic genius at the Tate: the remarkable work of Don McCullin

Tate Britain’s exhibition devoted to the work of the great photographer Don McCullin is, in its own pleasingly straightforward and unpretentious way, one of the finest exhibitions I’ve been to in some years. Of course, as someone who used to peruse the Sunday Times magazine in his teens, when McCullin’s strikingly vivid, often deeply disturbing … Continue reading Photographic genius at the Tate: the remarkable work of Don McCullin

Agnès Varda par…

Some hours after the announcement of the death of Agnès Varda, my friend Nick James – editor of Sight & Sound magazine – felt moved to tweet that his Twitter feed was so choked with tributes, it felt as if Varda was the Bowie of cinema. ‘Perhaps she was,’ he added. It was an intriguing … Continue reading Agnès Varda par…

Giovanni Guidi: great jazz pianist and versatile composer

Since its inception 50 years ago, the ECM label has become a haven for great jazz pianists – only last week I wrote about a new album from Craig Taborn and Vijay Iyer. But the label is perhaps especially famous for having promoted a particular kind of piano trio, where bass and percussion carry as … Continue reading Giovanni Guidi: great jazz pianist and versatile composer

Luminous meshwork: the dazzling piano duo of Craig Taborn and Vijay Iyer

A couple of years ago, to coincide with the release of his quartet album Daylight Ghosts, I posted a piece about the great American pianist Craig Taborn in which I ended by wondering enthusiastically about what he would come up with next. Well, we now have the answer in the form of a new album, … Continue reading Luminous meshwork: the dazzling piano duo of Craig Taborn and Vijay Iyer

My best of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival

In writing about my favourite films at last year’s Berlin Film Festival – which I confessed from the start was not in my opinion a vintage edition – I felt able to select 10 films to recommend you look out for. In retrospect, now that the 2019 edition has come to an end, selecting that … Continue reading My best of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival

Of birds and bombs: new music from Eleni Karaindrou

If, like me, you’re a fan of the films of the late Theo Angelopoulos, there’s a fair chance that you are also an admirer of the music of the composer Eleni Karaindrou, who composed the music for the great Greek writer-director’s last eight features, from Voyage to Cythera (1984) to The Dust of Time (2009) … Continue reading Of birds and bombs: new music from Eleni Karaindrou

Mulling over Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was undoubtedly a major artist, and a hugely important, massively influential filmmaker, one of those few who really did change how people thought about the cinema and its potential as an art form. Not surprisingly, then, his films amply repay repeat viewings. (Hence the current BFI retrospective.) That’s partly because the films … Continue reading Mulling over Antonioni

My best movies, music and other moments from 2018

When, around this time last year, I posted my round-up of my favourite movies, music and so on of 2017, I felt the need to say what a difference the arts had made for me in a time of depressing political confusion and chaos. I’m not going to kick off another rant this year, even … Continue reading My best movies, music and other moments from 2018

Movies and music for Christmas and beyond

This time last year I posted a piece highlighting some favourites movies of mine which had been released on disc during 2017; I hoped it might prove helpful for anyone wondering what to buy for Christmas presents. It seemed to go down quite well, so this year I’ve decided to repeat the exercise, with some … Continue reading Movies and music for Christmas and beyond

A plug for ‘Mug’ (Don’t let that title put you off a terrific new movie!)

There’s a new movie out in the UK this week – Mug – though, as is now so often the way with foreign-language titles, it is receiving a disappointingly limited release. I imagine it will probably end up appearing on other platforms, however, so I’d like to draw attention to the film now. It’s well … Continue reading A plug for ‘Mug’ (Don’t let that title put you off a terrific new movie!)