Farewell the trumpets

Farewell the Trumpets is the title of the final volume of the Pax Britannica trilogy on the rise and fall of the British Empire, written by the late Jan Morris. As the three books mostly cover the Victorian era, with the third opening with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, it feels like a goodRead More

Just a Brixton shop girl

The first feature film that Buster Keaton directed, The Three Ages, is not perhaps as familiar as it should be. A comic history of love in prehistoric, Roman and modern times, it has Keaton fighting his rival, Wallace Beery, over a girl and winning her against the odds each time. Allegedly parodying Intolerance, it isRead More

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

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