Remembering John Hurt

I was very sad, though not surprised, to learn this morning that John Hurt had died, aged 77. I first met him twenty years ago, when I interviewed him for Time Out about his role in Love and Death on Long Island, Richard Kwietniowski’s terrific adaptation of Gilbert Adair’s novel. John’s performance in that movie … Continue reading Remembering John Hurt

Bach and Britten and other balms for Brexit, a Braggart and Bully

The inauguration of the new President of the United States – the last two of the B…s in the title above, in case you hadn’t figured that out – was for me, as for many, an abomination best avoided; I decided not to watch a single second of the ceremony. Nevertheless, I was of course … Continue reading Bach and Britten and other balms for Brexit, a Braggart and Bully

Rapsodie espagnole (sort of): new music from the Iberian peninsula

Let me warn you now, immediately: you may well find you’re not remotely interested in the kind of music – contemporary music for the concert hall and the classical CD market – that I’m going to write about. But just in case your tastes do stretch in that direction – and I confess, from personal … Continue reading Rapsodie espagnole (sort of): new music from the Iberian peninsula

Music for a while… Two recent discoveries

Every now and again, a new piece of music comes along that seems to have an unusually timeless quality. For me at least, it’s often something that combines elements which are distinctly modern with others which are centuries old. I suppose the most obvious examples that spring to mind are certain works by Arvo Pärt … Continue reading Music for a while… Two recent discoveries

My year in movies, music and books (what I liked best, anyway)

You certainly don’t need me to remind you that 2016 was in many respects a terrible year – an annus anus, so to speak – and an extremely worrying one in terms of what we may expect of 2017 and thereafter. And I am not going to darken your mood still further by listing the many greats who passed … Continue reading My year in movies, music and books (what I liked best, anyway)

Through Gary Oldman’s eyes: the star gets behind a camera again

It’s now 30 years since I first saw Gary Oldman act – as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986) – and almost 20 since I first met him in person – at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, for an interview about his debut as writer-director, Nil by Mouth (1997). Though both those works – … Continue reading Through Gary Oldman’s eyes: the star gets behind a camera again

Abbas Kiarostami: a remembrance

This tribute was written for and first published by the BFI at http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/comment/obituaries/geoff-andrew-remembers-abbas-kiarostami With Abbas Kiarostami and translator Massoumeh Lahidji on stage at the Marrakech Film Festival, December 2015 When I first met Abbas Kiarostami on the evening of 21 June 1999 – I know the date because it was the night before I interviewed him on … Continue reading Abbas Kiarostami: a remembrance

Stranger than expected: the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain

I must confess that until now, I’d never really found the paintings of Paul Nash (1889-1946) particularly striking. Perhaps that’s not so surprising. Apart from the fact that I’d only ever seen two or three examples of his work at any one time, I wasn’t aware of any especially great claims having been for him … Continue reading Stranger than expected: the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain

Not in Their Names: Carla Bley and Liberation Music Orchestra in London

Since I first came to live in London 40 years ago, there’s been a handful of American jazz favourites I’ve made a point of seeing on each and every occasion they’ve crossed the Atlantic to play a gig. It was certainly that way with both Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden, and it’s still the case … Continue reading Not in Their Names: Carla Bley and Liberation Music Orchestra in London

Where to Begin with Robert Altman…

This piece was written for and first published by BFI online. See http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/all for further pieces. Why this might not seem so easy Despite being one of the most important American directors of the modern era, the late, great Robert Altman (1925-2006) is surprisingly often omitted from discussions that happily namecheck such figures as Spielberg, Scorsese, Eastwood, Lynch, Mann, … Continue reading Where to Begin with Robert Altman…