Mini MOMI

Thirty years or so ago, the Museum of the Moving Image opened on London’s South Bank. Funded privately then operated by the British Film Institute, the museum traced the history of motion pictures from ‘pre-cinema’ days to the blockbusters of 1988. It was notable for the many rare and unique objects on show, for theRead More

Filming Windrush

I have been having an online discussion with a couple of journalists about newsreels of the Empire Windrush and the arrival of West Indians at Tilbury Docks on 21 June 1948. The Pathé newsreel has been repeatedly used in news programmes and documentaries, and has been widely shared on social media. The conversation brought upRead More

Island music

Reggae is island music. It is music that came out of the island of Jamaica, and in its true form could only derive from that place, but its island nature lies deeper. Islands are worlds unto themselves that nevertheless can only be defined by their relation to the worlds that lie beyond. They are proudlyRead More

Masks and faces

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, newly released theatrically and on Netflix, opens with a film by Georges Méliès. Escamotage d’une dame chez Robert-Houdin (1896), known in English as The Vanishing Lady, features Méliès in his familiar role as a magician, placing a woman (Jehanne d’Alcy) under a cloth and, throughRead More

The horizontal view

To the Garden Museum, in Lambeth, a museum I’d not visited nor indeed knew existed before now. Of all the small, quaint museums devoted to minor subjects that can be found in London, few can be more quaint yet more rich in interest than the Garden Museum. It is constructed out of a medieval church,Read More

The catch

The 2019 cricket World Cup got underway with something extraordinary. Occasionally one is able to look beyond the noisy crowds, the pop music blaring out at every pause, the multi-coloured kits, the banalities of the TV commentary and the formulaic highlights programmes, to moments when the sport shines through. So it was that in theRead More