Category Archives: Film

A giant step, but for whom?

I had the feeling this now passing year, 2019, that celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the American landing on the moon were underwhelming.  The BBC showed a  documentary by director Robert Stone which in its first two parts featured … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Current Affairs, Film, Philosophy and Philosophers, postmodernism, Writing | Tagged , ,

Armando Iannucci The Death of Stalin: how do you make comedy out of tragedy?

Armando Iannucci’s film The Death of Stalin (2017) graced The New York Times’ best-of-the-year list last December for good reason. It raised the question of how you treat comically a story of moral depravity on a vast scale. It reminded … Continue reading

Posted in Arc of Utopia - my latest book, Cold War, Film, Russia, Writing | Tagged , ,

‘Mozart and Salieri’ from Alexander Pushkin to Peter Shaffer

When Alexander Pushkin, the father of Russian literature and still its greatest figure, mooted a tragedy called ‘Mozart and Salieri’ an article had recently appeared in the German music press. The rumour was that Antonio Salieri, a minor composer dead … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Literature in Translation, Music, Pushkin, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From Pasternak’s novel to David Lean’s film of Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak told an interviewer from abroad in 1960 that  I wanted to record the past and to honor in Doctor Zhivago the beautiful and sensitive aspects of the Russia of those years. There will be no return of those days, … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, Current Affairs, Film, Russia | Tagged

Art, Wealth and Contemporary London: On a Film by Joanna Hogg

Exhibition is a fierce exposé of art and wealth in contemporary London. It’s the third film by British photographer turned director Joanna Hogg and it might be described as puzzling, minimalist and arthouse by turns. Hogg works repeatedly, like the … Continue reading

Posted in Art History, Britain Today, Film, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , ,