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million euro march: a review

Best symbolic clothing: Blue beret with yellow stars, which had the merits of being visible to the helicopters that were counting the crowd, jauntily continental, and in the tradition of politically inflected headgear (the Hats and the Caps). Runner-up: Flag worn … Continue reading

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the international job

The Italian Job, now being re-released for its 50th anniversary, seems at first to be an ensemble drama like Ocean’s 11, with a diverse sample of loveable rogues rotating through scenes showcasing their specialisms and speech patterns. In fact, it … Continue reading

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Toutes choses sont dites déjà; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. — André Gide, Le Traité du Narcisse (The Treatise … Continue reading

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The vital difference between sport and theatre … is that sport is unwritten; it happens for real. No authorial brain devises it before it takes places. In the world of sport, if Konstantin shoots himself in the last minute of … Continue reading

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films on planes and off

When you’re in a straitjacket seat, can’t sleep, and the battery on your book device is fading, there is really not much to do but catch up on the contemporary cinema. (Spoilers ahead.) Widows – Sad, tragic Ocean’s Four. Slow-paced, except … Continue reading

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No draws in war

Previous post tagged chess A major element of fun in games, said Goffman (in the essay of that name) is that “the outcome or pay-off has a good chance of remaining unsettled until the end of play.” But what happens … Continue reading

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the changes

National Express waiting room, Heathrow, August 2017 Over the last several years, I’ve found it harder to read in the evenings. The cause is partly biological (and helped by reading glasses) but partly or even mainly social. The lights are actually going out. In … Continue reading

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“The 19th century was a strange century because the interior empires were beginning to decline, slowly but surely, while the exterior empires, the colonial empires, were still being constructed by the French, the British, the Dutch, the Belgians, throughout Africa … Continue reading

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progress

When I am not working I have the impression I know what to do.Once I start I am lost. The eye is very precise.You risk losing the expression.The head of an Egyptian in the Louvremissing its eyesbrings it out.I don’t … Continue reading

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museums: Fahrelnissa Zeid

Tapestry, carpet, stained glass window, mosaic, kaleidoscope are some of the metaphors that come to mind in viewing the work of the Ottoman-born artist Fahrelnissa Zeid. Her dominant tones were modulations of primary colors – tomato red, denim blue, Girl … Continue reading

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RIP the village voice

That one time I took a Sylvia Plachy picture. I read the Village Voice every week of the seven years I lived in New York. Every single week. If I was out of town, I bought it at the nearest … Continue reading

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Worldcon 75

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