Cultural Life: Jonathan Miller, theatre director
Friday 23 March 2012
Books: I read all the time. I recently read a big book on the nature of seeing and believing by Pylyshyn. I've also been re-reading a book that has been an influence on me: 'Frame Analysis' by Erving Goffman, about how we make sense of things. There's also a whole series of philosophical books by Donald Davidson – particularly 'Essays on Actions and Events' (1980). It's difficult and you need to read it again and again to get it straight. Hand movements are something I'm always thinking about when directing an opera or theatre production. I also read a very good new translation of 'Madame Bovary' by Lydia Davis.
Television: I found an hour-long documentary 'The English Surgeon' extremely interesting. The British neuro-surgeon Henry Marsh operates for free on poor patients in the extremely derelict health service in the Ukraine, helping Igor Kurilets, a neurosurgeon, who has to remove a brain tumour with basic tools. It shows how profoundly different and inefficient things are.
Visual Arts: I saw the Mondrian/ Nicholson: In Parallel exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery (Ben Nicholson's '1937 below). It explores the relationship between Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson during the 1930s. It's this idea of influence – what is it about living with one another that leads to recognisable styles?
Music: I listen to the radio rather than buy records. I listen to Bach a lot and my wife and I went to a good performance of Shostakovich at LSO St Luke's – we are also planning to go to some chamber music concerts with violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Jonathan Miller directs 'Rutherford and Son' for Northern Broadsides in February 2013 (northern-broadsides.co.uk)
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Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove