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

Prodigious armies

Lately I have been seeing something of English Civil War re-enactments. I have absolutely no interest in dressing up in seventeenth-century clothes, bearing a musket, or shouting my allegiance to Charles or Cromwell, but it is fascinating to see those who do. Most recently I witnessed members of the English Civil War Society (ECWS) inRead More

Looking up to the light

To the cinema to see a film about cinema. Is there any art form, any medium, that has been quite so sentimental about itself as cinema? There is nostalgia in the understanding of every art form or medium which has transformed through time, but cinema’s forlornness seems particular to itself. It is summed up byRead More


The best-selling song in Britain in 2022 was Harry Styles’s ‘As It Was’. It runs for two minutes and 47 seconds. In a recent piece in iNews, Adam Sherwin argues that that popular music is getting shorter because of the attention spans of the TikTok generation. In the mobile world, a song needs to captureRead More

2022 – the year in images

Finally, in this short series of reviews of 2022, we have images. Below is a selection of favourite photographs from the year, excluding images of the Lake District, which form the theme of the previous review post. All have links to higher resolution copies on my Flickr pages. The images document the year as itRead More