As a former couple go to court in a bid to carve up their record collection, Tom Hodgkinson rejoices in the fact that our love affair with vinyl is far from over
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Friday 08 July 2011
Novelist and erotic memorist Monique Roffey rightly notes that few British male writers venture far into the bedroom these days, and when they do, ridicule swamps them. Somerville dared to breach this pitiable public schoolboys' taboo with this sweatily intense novel of a summer affair on a Greek island. Inevitably, it won the Bad Sex Award.
Monday 27 June 2011
Sunday 26 June 2011
Friday 10 June 2011
Paul Simon's ruminations here on love, age and encroaching mortality have a valedictory flavour about them.
Monday 30 May 2011
And so one of the longest, bitterest and most entertaining literary feuds of recent times goes gentle into that good night. The Nobel prize-winning novelist V S Naipaul and the best-selling travel writer Paul Theroux sealed their reconciliation with a handshake amid the old tomes and new celebrities that crowd Hay-on-Wye at this time of year. Authors concerned with gravitas and structure both, they could not but appreciate the symmetry: this was the very place where they had fallen out so dramatically 15 years before. Conciliation services were supplied by Ian McEwan, whose novels include Enduring Love and whose latest work, Solar, features a Nobel laureate (albeit a physicist) – so you might say he was supremely equipped for the task.
Thursday 26 May 2011
Saturday 21 May 2011
Monday 16 May 2011
The playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents wrote the books for two true classics of musical theatre, West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959), and directed the hit musical La Cage aux Folles (1983).
Sunday 15 May 2011
Darren Aronofsky's exotic mix of backstage soap opera and gothic horror movie is tosh, really: being cast as the lead in Swan Lake wouldn't turn anyone into a gibbering psycho, even someone as highly strung as Natalie Portman's fledgling ballerina.
Friday 13 May 2011
How do you solve a problem like Aronofsky? His films are so full of vim and tricksiness, but precious little humanity (Mickey Rourke's fighter in The Wrestler perhaps being the exception).
Friday 13 May 2011
When Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood' was first published in 1966, he characterised it as the first "non-fiction novel". What remains remarkable about it, even in a market suffused with narrative history, is Capote's ground-breaking ability to fuse fact with the hard-won skills of fiction. The book – for which he made a reputed 8000 pages of research notes – is plotted and structured with taut writerly flair. Its characters pulse with recognisable life; its places are palpable. Careful prose binds the reader to his unfolding story. Put simply, the book was conceived of journalism and born of a novelist.
Saturday 07 May 2011
Friday 06 May 2011
Friday 06 May 2011
It's 1943 and the Allied invasion of Sicily is at full tilt. In a lull in the fighting, a British battalion marches through the heat into the heavily bombed city of Catania to be met by the women, children and old men, many of them emerging into the light after several weeks in hiding.
Marie-France Pisier: Actress and screenwriter noted for her work with Truffaut, Rivette and Robbe-Grillet
Thursday 28 April 2011
Elegant, poised, with beautiful green eyes and a singular, sensual voice, Marie-France Pisier was one of France's best loved actresses, admired as much for her feminist and political beliefs as for a career that spanned 50 years and as many films. She worked with some of her country's most celebrated auteurs, including Jacques Rivette, the novelist and film-maker Alain Robbe-Grillet, and most famously with François Truffaut, who cast her as Colette Tazzi, the first love of Antoine Doinel, his filmic alter-ego, portrayed by Jean-Pierre Léaud. She made her debut as the haughty Colette in Antoine Et Colette, a 30-minute segment included in the 1962 omnibus film L'Amour à 20 Ans (Love At Twenty), the second instalment of Doinel's progress from childhood to middle age, had a cameo in the third, Baisers Volés (Stolen Kisses), in 1968, and returned 11 years later in the last of the five Doinel pictures, L'Amour En Fuite (Love On The Run), which she co-wrote with Truffaut.
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