Monthly Archives: November 2015


The conflicting attitudes towards Philby between the sister services of British intelligence would expose a cultural fault line that predated this crisis, long outlasted it, and persists today. MI5 and MI6 — the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service … Continue reading

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A love letter to Paris

“Si on t’frappait, j’prendrais les armes…”

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“Neo-realism” was an obligatory first phase for post-war directors who wished to be taken seriously, and some fine films resulted from it… The products of this genre are usually gritty, worthy and well made, shot on the street often with … Continue reading

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New reality

Wembley Stadium last night. [Pic via Die Welt]

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Was it jazz? No, not exactly. But Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn turned in a breathtaking display at the London Jazz Festival. Here’s my Times review [£]. Five stars.

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The National Theatre lit up in memory of the victims of the attacks in Paris.

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Colour blind

Aziz Ansari reflects on Hollywood, race and casting: To anyone worried it may be “weird” to cast someone a certain way to play a certain part, because it’s not what people are used to, I say: Arnold Schwarzenegger.  It’s true. … Continue reading

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Concert of the week

  “Dirty Old Town” was, inevitably, one of the encores. My review [£] of “Blood & Roses”, a celebration of the music of Ewan MacColl. Steve Earle wasn’t present at the Barbican, but he does appear on the excellent new album … Continue reading

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Philip Larkin, photographer

“England’s famously provincial and sardonic poet-cum-librarian may not seem the most likely candidate as an early proponent of the selfie.”  The poet and his pictures.

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Derby day

Manchester City vs Manchester United, Maine Road, 1947. [HT @TerraceImages]

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