As regular readers will know, I’ve been posting my personal ‘year’s best’ lists ever since I started writing here in 2016, and each time I’ve prefaced the survey of my favourite movies, music, etc, with complaints about the dreadful state of British and international politics followed by the expression of (mostly forlorn) hopes for an … Continue reading My best movies, music, books and other moments from 2022
Just in time for Christmas, part 2: classic movies, new music releases and books…
Over the last few years I've occasionally posted recommendations for recent BluRay/DVD releases and CDs that might prove useful for anyone wondering what to buy as gifts for Christmas. Since they seem to have been fairly popular posts, I thought I’d do it again – and I’ve even added in a couple of books this … Continue reading Just in time for Christmas, part 2: classic movies, new music releases and books…
Behind the Beautiful Mask: Paul Newman on Paul Newman
I’ve never been very interested in reading autobiographies by movie stars; wrongly or rightly, I’ve had the impression that they often have a tendency towards mythomania. But recently I was asked if I’d like a review copy of Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man – A Memoir, and since I’d seen a fellow … Continue reading Behind the Beautiful Mask: Paul Newman on Paul Newman
Best of another bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2021.
For the list of my best (ie favourite) films, music, books, etc two years ago, I noted the importance of taking solace from the arts at a time when Brexit, Johnson, Trump, climate change and others were cause for such anxiety, anger and despondency. Last year, of course, with Covid having taken its toll, we’d … Continue reading Best of another bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2021.
Conversations with Abbas Kiarostami: a welcome (new-ish) book of interviews.
Those of you who, like me, are admirers of the cinema of Abbas Kiarostami are probably aware that – given the high esteem in which he was held – surprisingly few books have been written about the late, very great Iranian artist’s work, be it in film or in any of the other mediums he … Continue reading Conversations with Abbas Kiarostami: a welcome (new-ish) book of interviews.
Brighteners for ‘Blue Monday’: a dozen sources of pleasure
Last week a friend alerted me to the imminence of ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday of January, believed by some to be the most depressing day of the year. With the current state of uncertainty, that’s an even more dubious superstition than it has been in the past, but since I fully accept that … Continue reading Brighteners for ‘Blue Monday’: a dozen sources of pleasure
Best of a bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2020
In the few years I’ve been posting best-of blogs in the face of worsening political circumstances, I’ve often expressed a rather forlorn hope that things might improve the following year. Well, it turns out, obviously, that the hope I expressed last year could not have been more forlorn. How terrible 2020 has been… not only … Continue reading Best of a bad year: movies, music and other highlights of 2020
My best movies, music and other moments from 2019
This time last year, in introducing the lists of my favourite films, music, etc, etc of 2018, I expressed the admittedly somewhat forlorn hope that 2019 would give us less reason to have to seek solace in such things, and that peace, tolerance and reason would prevail. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way, … Continue reading My best movies, music and other moments from 2019
Félix Vallotton: a remarkable artist you may not even have heard of (I hadn’t)
To be absolutely honest, I wasn’t really aware of Félix Vallotton, let alone of any of his pictures, until very recently. A few years ago I read ‘Keeping an Eye Open’, Julian Barnes’ excellent collection of essays on (mostly French) art, but his chapter on Vallotton hadn’t really stayed with me simply because, apart from … Continue reading Félix Vallotton: a remarkable artist you may not even have heard of (I hadn’t)
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