Craig Taborn: a keyboards virtuoso and composer to look out for

Ever since Manfred Eicher launched ECM almost half a century ago with the Mal Waldon Trio’s ‘Free at Last’ , the label has been notable for its sterling support of great jazz pianists.  Among its first 20 releases were albums by Paul Bley, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett;  these day you can find such distinguished … Continue reading Craig Taborn: a keyboards virtuoso and composer to look out for

Fable and fantasy find favour at Berlin 2017

The article below was originally written for and published by the BFI  http://www.bfi.org.uk On Body and Soul (2017) Though critics often complain about the awards given out by juries at film festivals, I rarely feel the need to take issue with such decisions. After all, taste in movies, as in anything else, is highly subjective, … Continue reading Fable and fantasy find favour at Berlin 2017

My Berlinale: the top ten movies of the 2017 festival

Here, briefly, is a list of the ten films I most admired and enjoyed at the recent Berlin Film Festival. There were others I liked, of course, and perhaps I could/should have included Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman or Andres Veiel’s documentary about Joseph Beuys, but in the end I had to make some tough … Continue reading My Berlinale: the top ten movies of the 2017 festival

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