Archive for May, 2011

Words

The Trial of the Century

The Trial of the Century

These days, should their pockets run deep enough, the great and the good (and the not so good) can attempt to conceal their private lives by obtaining a legal gagging order. Of course, the irony isthat the merest whisper of those words ‘super’ and ‘injunction’ is enough to make noses [...]

by × May 26, 2011 × 0 comments

Music

To Keep On Keepin’ On

To Keep On Keepin’ On

As he turns 70 today, those of us who have been following Bob Dylan’s music from the off are reminded of how old we are. In my 21st year I went home to Bulawayo for the Oxford summer vacationand in my suitcase, along with a bunch of philosophy books and [...]

by × May 24, 2011 × 0 comments

Screen

Great Scenes: Time in a Bottle

Great Scenes: Time in a Bottle

This is not a scene from a movie. It is not even a scene from one of those television programmes (Heimat, Dekalog or Berlin Alexanderplatz; The Naked Civil Servant or TheSopranos) that we film critics, who can look down upon television the way critics of the older arts can look [...]

by × May 16, 2011 × 0 comments

Spotify Sunday

The Fallen

The Fallen

Totally Wired I’ve been listening to The Fall since I was a teenager, ever since I heard this in schoolmate Kevin Crotty’s basement. This Rough Trade single didn’t sound punk, or like the bandsthat were emerging from it. It was almost sci-fi rockabilly. The singer’s knowing sarcasm drew me in, [...]

by × May 15, 2011 × 0 comments

Music

Falling in Love Again 

Falling in Love Again 

I first tiptoed into The Fall’s wonderful and frightening world as a music-obsessed teenager. Like everybody who grew up listening to John Peel in the late-1970s and early-80s, I was compelled by Peel’s fascination for ‘The mighty Fall’ and their absolute ruler, Mark E. Smith. The early singles ‘Bingo Master [...]

by × May 12, 2011 × 0 comments

Words

Death of the Woman’s Hardback

Death of the Woman’s Hardback

To say that books are going through a troubled time is a gross understatement. The Bookseller appears to have an endless supply of horrific statistics, whether it’s that book salesduring the week of the Royal Wedding were the worst in eight years (20% down on the same week last year) [...]

by × May 12, 2011 × 0 comments

Words

Thrill Seekers

Thrill Seekers

One summer holiday, bored and 11 years old, I embarked on a trawl through the wardrobes in my Grandparents’ spare bedroom. Most of the discoveries were unpromising: an old coat, a greatquantity of pillowslips, and my mother’s teenage collection of Elvis 45s, which at that time were below my condescension. [...]

by × May 8, 2011 × 0 comments

Screen

Why I Love… Mr Rogers

Why I Love… Mr Rogers

One of my closest friends has lived her whole life in America. Once, during conversation, she made a reference to a Mr Rogers. I didn’t get it. I said I knew he was a children’s TVpresenter of some kind – I’d heard him mentioned on US sitcoms – but that [...]

by × May 6, 2011 × 0 comments

Performance

Working with Pinter

Working with Pinter

Last week the Oxford Literary Festival screened BBC Arena’s recording of the National Theatre Tribute to Harold Pinter. Towards the end of the film Colin Firth gives Aston’s speech from The Caretaker. Hunkered down in a centre-stage armchair, Aston recalls being forcibly electrocuted by doctors in a mental institution. His speech [...]

by × May 1, 2011 × 0 comments