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At the Movies

Christopher Tayler: ‘Four Lions’, 27 May 2010

Four Lions 
directed by Chris Morris.
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... London bombers, although that’s not not an issue, as because of the expectations trailing Chris Morris, the film’s director and co-writer. A radio and television auteur whose fans tend to be somewhat evangelistic, Morris became famous as the mastermind and frontman of a series of current affairs parodies, On the Hour ...

White Lie Number Ten

Nicholas Jose: Australia’s aboriginal sovereignty, 19 February 1998

Race Matters: Indigenous Australians and ‘Our’ Society 
edited by Gillian Cowlishaw and Barry Morris.
Aboriginal Studies Press, 295 pp., AUS $29.95, March 1998, 0 85575 294 7
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Aboriginal Sovereignty: Reflections on Race, State and Nation 
by Henry Reynolds.
Allen and Unwin, 221 pp., AUS $17.95, July 1996, 1 86373 969 6
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... Australia’s first Government House, built for Captain Arthur Phillip when he arrived with the first fleet of convicts and settlers in 1788, was demolished in 1846 to make way for the grander Neoclassical architecture that befitted a burgeoning colony. Today the site is the forecourt of the new Museum of Sydney, with the ghostly floor-plan of the original residence picked out in white on the granite flagstones ...

Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz Tells It, 7 March 2019

Who Is Michael Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... they levered their way in and started to ask for more – much more. The key figures were William Morris and Abe Lastfogel (who together formed the William Morris Agency), Phil Berg, Myron Selznick (who found Vivien Leigh for his brother David), Leland Hayward and, most significant, Lew Wasserman, Ovitz’s abiding model ...

Irrational Expectations

Barry Supple, 18 November 1982

The 1982 Budget 
edited by John Kay.
Blackwell, 147 pp., £10, July 1982, 0 631 13153 1
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Money and Inflation 
by Frank Hahn.
Blackwell, 116 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 631 12917 0
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Public Enterprise in Crisis: The Future of the Nationalised Industries 
by John Redwood.
Blackwell, 211 pp., £5.25, May 1982, 0 631 13053 5
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Controlling Public Industries 
by John Redwood and John Hatch.
Blackwell, 169 pp., £12, July 1982, 0 631 13078 0
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... comment by observing the more recent significance of the fine tuning of public borrowing, Nick Morris (much more decisively in the Keynesian tradition) reminds us that the PSBR is, after all, only a residual between two big and unpredictable numbers. (A sympathetic echo is struck in Controlling Public Industries, where Redwood and Hatch, while accepting ...

I live in my world

Barry Schwabsky: Willem de Kooning, 22 September 2016

Willem de Kooning Nonstop: Cherchez la femme 
by Rosalind Krauss.
Chicago, 154 pp., £22.50, March 2016, 978 0 226 26744 9
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... and post-minimalist sculptors of her own generation or slightly older – figures such as Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt and Richard Serra – and then with the promotion, through the journal October, which she co-founded in 1976, of a somewhat younger group of postmodern artists who substituted photographic imagery for painting, among them James Coleman, Louise ...

In Letchworth

Gillian Darley: Pevsner's Hertfordshire, 2 January 2020

... half of the 20th century. The plan (and many of the cottages) was the work of Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, who remained closely involved with the area. When George Bernard Shaw, who lived in the nearby village of Ayot St Lawrence, needed a garage, he asked Parker (his revolving writing hut was Shaw’s own work).Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead followed ...

Heaven’s Gate

Rosemary Hill, 8 September 1994

Pugin: A Gothic Passion 
edited by Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright.
Yale, 310 pp., £45, June 1994, 0 300 06014 9
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... genius. Gilbert Scott went, privately, to inspect Pugin’s church in Cheadle. When Charles Barry came to design the interiors of the Palace of West-minster he knew that he must go back to Pugin, who had drawn Barry’s competition entry. No one else understood Gothic well enough to manipulate it into the myriad new ...

How to be Green

Mary Douglas, 13 September 1990

A Green Manifesto for the 1990s 
by Penny Kemp and Derek Wall.
Penguin, 212 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 14 013272 4
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Social Philosophy and Ecological Scarcity 
by Keekok Lee.
Routledge, 425 pp., £40, September 1989, 0 415 03220 2
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Mother Country 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Faber, 261 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15453 0
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Blueprint for a Green Economy 
by David Pearce, Anil Markandya and Edward Barbier.
Earthscan, 192 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 1 85383 066 6
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TheFate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers and Defenders of the Amazon 
by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn.
Verso, 366 pp., £16.95, November 1989, 0 86091 261 2
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Thinking Green: An Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing 
edited by Michael Allaby.
Barrie and Jenkins, 250 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 7126 3489 4
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... we will be less tempted to travel at all. The attractive vision explicitly recalls William Morris’s Utopia. With a good laugh at the well-known weaknesses of economic indicators, the authors call for new indicators of economic success and failure. Green policy will abolish unemployment, by allowing work-sharing. The Greens will restore pride in ...

Diary

James Meek: Bobos for Boris?, 26 April 2012

... lefty technocrats, Johnson went with the utopian socialists too. It was in the spirit of William Morris, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin that those family gaggles of Routemaster fans came out to bid the old version of the bus farewell, in the belief that efficiency and the bottom line aren’t enough, that the artefacts a ...

Bombes, Cribs and Colossi

R.O. Gandy, 26 May 1994

Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park 
edited by F.H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp.
Oxford, 321 pp., £17.95, August 1993, 0 19 820327 6
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... for enciphering the text setting which the Germans abandoned in April 1940.) Stuart Milner-Barry comments on the sad and mysterious fact that after the fall of France the Polish group was not brought to Bletchley. I have used the phrase ‘supposedly random’ because Jack Good emphasises here the difference between ‘random’ and ‘humanly ...

Those bastards, we’ve got to cut them back

Daniel S. Greenberg: Bush’s Scientists, 22 September 2005

The Republican War on Science 
by Chris Mooney.
Basic Books, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 0 465 04675 4
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... the use of sound science in the public policy area’. Behind the curtain, however, was Philip Morris, which in 1994 budgeted $500,000 for the coalition. That was the year that the so-called Republican Revolution, led by Newt Gingrich, gave the Republican Party full control of both houses of Congress for the first time in forty years. ‘Sound ...

Yearning for Polar Seas

James Hamilton-Paterson: North, 1 September 2005

The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule 
by Joanna Kavenna.
Viking, 334 pp., £16.99, February 2005, 0 670 91395 2
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The Idea of North 
by Peter Davidson.
Reaktion, 271 pp., £16.95, January 2005, 1 86189 230 6
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... can appear bleak and lifeless to an urban visitor, but there is abundant life even beneath snow. Barry Lopez, in his 1986 book Arctic Dreams, makes clear that, far from being a sterile desert of ice and snow, the Arctic remains a dynamic habitat for a few well-adapted species. Perhaps unfairly, I reread Arctic Dreams before reading Davidson and Kavenna so as ...

Fatal Non-Readers

Hilary Mantel: Marie-Antoinette, 30 September 1999

The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette 
by Chantal Thomas, translated by Julie Rose.
Zone, 255 pp., £17.95, June 1999, 0 942299 39 6
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... parties and public entertainments, she was more like a favourite than a queen: more like Du Barry, Louis XV’s mistress, the frequent target of lampoonists. She imposed her style on Versailles, and it was a style of contrived, artful, expensive simplicity, of model dairies and muslin; it was a charade of private life. Invited to the Petit Trianon to ...

On the Hilltop

Nicholas Penny: How the Getty spends its money, 4 January 2007

Guide to the Getty Villa 
by Kenneth Lapatin et al.
Getty, 131 pp., £8.50, June 2006, 0 89236 828 4
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History of the Art of Antiquity 
by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, translated by Harry Francis Mallgrave.
Getty, 431 pp., £45, March 2006, 0 89236 668 0
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The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing 
by T.J. Clark.
Yale, 260 pp., £20, August 2006, 0 300 11726 4
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... what has been achieved than surprised by the alleged misdemeanours of its recently departed boss, Barry Munitz, who resigned in February, agreeing to forego more than $2 million in severance pay and to return $250,000 to the Trust. It was a spectacularly extravagant decision to commission Richard Meier in 1984 to build a new Getty Center – including the ...

Cute, My Arse

Seamus Perry: Geoffrey Hill, 12 September 2019

The Book of Baruch by the Gnostic Justin 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 148 pp., £20, April 2019, 978 0 19 882952 2
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... television documentary about people living in the demi-monde of welfare payment dependency) or Barry Cryer at Eighty (an ‘all-star gala thrown to honour comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer’, aired on Radio 4 on Wednesday, 2 December 2015). I don’t suppose my students would get this most cryptic of the ...

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