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High-Rise delivers Brutalism and bloodshed

Fans of Brutalist architecture and man-of-the-moment Tom Hiddlestone will find plenty of visual stimulation in director Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise. The star of The Night Manager sheds his clothes, daubs himself in blue paint and caresses the gorgeous concrete surfaces of… Continue Reading →

The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

After four episodes, The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story seems to be distinctly lacking in gravitas. I love TV legal dramas, but I would have expected a real-life story about a horrific double murder to be a bit… Continue Reading →

Back to black: seven things I love about vinyl records

On a recent episode of the BBC’s Back in Time for the Weekend we got a timely reminder that vinyl records still have the wow factor. I thought teenager Daisy Ashby-Hawkins would be far too entrenched in the world of… Continue Reading →

Spotlight on old-fashioned reporting

Is it the smell of newsprint or the (virtual) absence of the internet that makes the Oscar-nominated newspaper drama Spotlight feel so old-fashioned? Set mainly in 2001, this investigation into a child abuse scandal in the diocese of Boston seems like… Continue Reading →

War and Peace: big hits and some misses

For once the BBC content warning about “upsetting scenes” was not misplaced. I’m not talking about those hyperactive leeches that made an appearance early in Episode 5 of War and Peace, or the demise of Prince Nikolai Bolkonsky (magnificently played… Continue Reading →

David Cameron excels at playing the blame game

Imagine you’ve been summoned by your boss to explain your recent poor performance in the job. You respond by blaming it all on the shortcomings of your predecessor, who was sacked five years ago. It doesn’t sound like a winning strategy,… Continue Reading →

Who cares about the Oscars?

The Oscars are essentially parochial, popularity driven and largely irrelevant to people who aren’t fascinated by frocks, flash-bulbs and side-boobs. Oh we do love a Hollywood drama – especially one in which Tinseltown’s hallowed institutions take centre stage. I’m talking… Continue Reading →

Joy – Jennifer Lawrence cleans up again

Jennifer Lawrence is so hot at the moment that people would probably pay good money just to watch her mopping a kitchen floor. On Sunday Jennifer Lawrence completed a hat-trick of Golden Globes, when she picked up the award for best actress in… Continue Reading →

Are you a 20th centuryist?

Have you ever exited Barbican tube station in London and felt awestruck at the sight of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s Barbican estate with its soaring towers and cantilevered balconies? Did you the join the chorus of disapproval at the removal of Eduardo… Continue Reading →

No news is good news in 2016

If we’re going to do our navel-gazing through the prism of the James Bond movies we really are in trouble. Well played, Ben Stokes. Just three days into this wind-blasted and waterlogged new year, the England all-rounder smashed 258 runs off 198… Continue Reading →

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