Friar’s Crag

The Lake District is my home from home. I have been coming here for years, the first time on a family holiday when I was eight or so. I became entranced by the rugged beauty of the places, the clearness of the rivers, the colours and roundness of the stones, the single-word poems that wereRead More

The singer and the song

It’s time to consider singers. I have produced a series of posts on musicians: on guitarists (strictly speaking guitar solos), bassists (strictly speaking bass lines) and drummers. Each has come with a top ten of personal favourites. To complete the ensemble we must have a singer. Other contributors might have been considered – keywords, rhythmRead More

Printer’s devil

Ink is a new play running at the Almeida Theatre in London, written by James Graham, author of the very successful drama about 1970s politics, This House. Its subject is the relaunch of The Sun newspaper under owner Rupert Murdoch (played by Bertie Carvel) and editor Larry Lamb (Richard Coyle). It’s a clever and entertainingRead More

Discovering Kinemacolor

Kinemacolor was the world’s first successful natural colour motion picture system. It was preceded by some trial colour systems that did not work in practice, and it competed against artificial systems which painted colours onto film stock. Kinemacolor was the first system successfully to achieve one of the primary goals of the pioneers of motionRead More

I remember # 15

430. I remember Mott the Hoople 431. I remember Percy Edwards, animal impersonator, last relic of an age when animal impersonators could rise to be memorable 432. I remember being lost for the first time, and the terror that followed 433. I remember Stringer Davis, husband of Margaret Rutherford and modest sidekick in her filmsRead More

Dylan’s jazz

I’d listen to a lot of jazz and bebop records, too. Records by George Russell or Johnny Cole, Red Garland, Don Byas, Roland Kirk, Gil Evans – Evans had recorded a rendition of “Ella Speed,” the Leadbelly song. I tried to discern melodies and structures. There were a lot of similarities between some kinds ofRead More

Endnotes

I have been reading Magic Moments by the literary critic John Sutherland. It is a memoir constructed around the books (and some films) that he experienced when young, viewed again from the perspective of its subject six decades later. It’s an ingenious way of constructing a biography, with each chapter devoted to the stories heRead More

Cinema contexts

Of all the ephemeral objects we build for ourselves in the digital world, among the most precious and at the greatest risk of disappearing are databases. Databases are organised and queryable collections of data. The larger ones, along with their cousin the content management system, govern our world and manage who we are, since theirRead More