Into the Light

Up until about 3 months ago James Turrell was unknown to me. Quite how I managed to miss one of the major artists of the 21st century is beyond me but I admit I did. Only when reading the excellent collection of essays on artists by Calvin Tomkins did I discover about the Light and …

Paris Texas

The recent demise of Harry Dean Stanton got me thinking about one of my favorite films, Paris Texas. It of course stars Stanton as a man who re-emerges from the desert like a latter-day Jesus and then slowly starts to connect with his family. His brother, his son and finally, the mother of his child …

Tess

I understand Roman Polanski is top of many people’s shit list right now. A serial rapist is not exactly the sort of person you want to be praising. Yet on seeing the movie ‘Tess’ again recently I have to do just that. But remember I praise the work not the man. It’s hard actually to …

Naomi Klein

How do fight back in the age of Trump? I looked to Naomi Klein to give me some tips. She was being interviewed by Jia Tolentino as part of the ‘New Yorker Festival’, a long weekend of interviews with a series of famous and/or expert people. Klein did not disappoint. She said something, which stayed …

Alien

    I just saw ‘Alien’ at Metrograph cinema  and aside from these extremely annoying people who laugh at profoundly unfunny moments of the sci-fi classic to show , of course, that they are seeing some witty reference by the director unseen by the unwashed masses, it was as great as ever. I must have …

Dunkirk v Detroit

Like a flotilla of small craft carrying soldiers, Dunkirk was met with rapture on its arrival in England a few months ago. Apart from the usually dissenting voices who you always suspect are more interesting in being contrary than being honest, the reviews were gushing. Then something unfortunate happened. The leader of the anti-immigration right-wing …

Anyone for a guitar solo?

When you approach an album called ‘A Deeper Understanding’, it’s probably with a heavy heart. Rather in the same way you don’t announce the funniness of a comment by saying ‘That is soooo funny’ rather than actually laughing, so you don’t announce your new depth by saying ‘I have a deeper understanding’. But awful title …

Maurizio’s John

Ever taken a slash in a gold-plated toilet? You haven’t lived my friend. But if you were in New York for the past couple months the opportunity for your ‘golden shower’ was available too you at the Guggenheim. Conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan had created his shining head for the esteemed gallery and called it ‘America’ …

The Long Day Closes

Terence Davies is a film maker largely unknown in much of America. His brand of visual art house is not shall we say ‘box office’ but is visually stunning. This is particular true of his work set in his native Liverpool, a city I also spent many formative years in. Perhaps his most beloved work from …

I Called Him Morgan

‘I Called Him Morgan’ is a new documentary about the brilliant jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his untimely demise at the hands of his wife Helen. Filled with great footage of jazz greats like Art Blakey and Warner Shorter performing with Morgan, as well as classic behind the scenes photos it reminds us a beautiful …