Bob covers Bob

Bob Dylan’s latest album, Shadow Kingdom, is an intriguing puzzle. The album is the soundtrack of a 2021 concert film, Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan, directed by Alma Har’el. The film was released as a one-off on the live streaming platform, with little information provided beforehand on its form or contents.Read More

O Pioneers!

I have two definitions of what history is, which I wrote years ago and have repeated several times thereafter – and here they are again: 1. History is what was known once but has been forgotten 2. History is the present’s interpretation of the past It’s worth considering these when contemplating the subject of women’sRead More

Charles Darwin’s daily round

Down House, Charles Darwin’s home for forty years, lies in the village of Downe, south of Orpington in what is technically the London Borough of Bromley, but is a part of Kent really. Darwin purchased the house in 1842 and remained there until his death in 1882. It is a functional rather than a beautifulRead More

100 portraits of Frank Auerbach

Promotional video for the Frank Auerbach exhibition An exhibition is currently running at the Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert gallery in London: Frank Auerbach: Twenty Self-Portraits. It brings together recent self-portraits – nine paintings and eleven drawings – by the ninety-two-year-old German-British painter. Although renowned for his searching portraits of others, he has seldom drawn or painted himself.Read More

Ten modest films

Ten and a bit years ago I contributed for the first time to the venerable Sight and Sound once-every-ten-years poll of the greatest films. The poll has been running since 1952. The top choice of the sixty-three critics who contributed was Ladri di biciclette, or Bicycle Thieves (Italy 1948). From 1962 to 2002 the poll-topperRead More