Mini Reviews

Film review: American Animals

American Animals is a heist film with a difference. Set in Kentucky, the story involves the theft of rare books from Transylvania University Library by four college students. The bold introduction states that the film isn’t based on a true story. It is a true story.

In 2004, college buddies Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Chas Allen and Eric Borsuk attempt to steal extremely rare books:…

Exhibition review: Michael Jackson: On the Wall at The National Portrait Gallery

The Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is the first exhibition of its kind to focus on the erstwhile ‘King of Pop’ and commemorates his sixtieth birthday on 29 August 2018 - if he’d been alive. The introduction states: ‘This exhibition is not about Jackson’s biography or memorabilia related to the singer. It explores the impact of Jackson on contemporary art.’

The…

Exhibition review: 'Votes for Women' at the National Portrait Gallery

Amongst the paintings, black and white photographs and postcards at the ‘Votes for Women’ exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is an unusual picture. It’s a photograph of a damaged portrait by Milais of Thomas Carlyle, one of the Gallery’s founders. The portrait was vandalised by Suffragette Anne Hunt who gashed it three times.

Now the National Portrait Gallery is paying homage to…

Film review: Isle of Dogs

Director Wes Anderson is known for his offbeat films. His whimsical new work ‘Isle of Dogs’, made using stop motion animation, is no exception. It’s set twenty years into the future, in a fictional dystopian Japanese city: Megasaki.

Megasaki’s entire dog population is quarantined on Trash Island following an outbreak of canine snout fever. Twelve year old Atari (Koyu Rankin) is distraught…

Exhibition review: Dell Cathryn Barton

Can contemporary art be original and new anymore?

Take for instance the artist Dell Cathryn Barton, whose work‘ The Highway is a Disco’, was recently on exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia). This multimedia display entitled is a summary of Sydney-born Barton’s career to date. She is known for her drawings and paintings, which are the highlight of this often patchy exhibition.

‘Inside…

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Janet Murray. An obituary for my friend and tutor

An obituary of the journalist and lecturer Janet (Jan) Murray who dies at the Marie Curie Hospice in London on the 1st of July 2016

Review: The Trouble with Scott Capurro at The Bill Murray @CamdenFringe

“They’re just jokes – I’m not even gay!”

Scott Capurro greets “all my imaginary friends in the front row” as he skips onstage at The Bill Murray. The front row is conspicuously empty – who after all would be so foolish as to sit there? But there’s no escape later in the set when he begins to interact with members of the audience. Before long a man who came out at the age of 30 is describing…

Committee a Musical at the Donmar Theatre

Committee A Musical is the Donmar’s new play based on a Parliamentary Inquiry into the high profile childrens charity Kids Company. 

Book review: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Poet Hollie McNish, judge for the 2018 fiftieth anniversary Golden Man Booker prize, said ‘I have never read a book like Lincoln in the  Bardo … it was so imaginative and tragic, but also a piece of genius in its originality of form and structure.  

Read more | Aug 11, 2018

Book review: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Pacey and fizzily plotted, Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill is a breathless romp of a novel. The year is 1746, and Mr Smith, a glib tongued and amiable English charmer, is newly pitched up in Manhattan with an order for one thousand pounds in his pocket.

Trump’s First Year and the Foreign Media

Has the foreign press done enough in terms of holding Donald Trump to account in his first year as US president? Trump’s approval ratings have remained static despite the FBI investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, sleaze allegations and his generally unpresidential conduct. Even the publication of Michael Wolff’s book ‘Fire and Fury’ hasn’t fazed him. This topic was central to…