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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Dark Knight’

14 August 2008
The Dark Knight 
directed by Christopher Nolan.
July 2008
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... play of that name. Galileo wasn’t thinking of superheroes, of course, but Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, the writers of The Dark Knight, the new Batman movie, are certainly thinking along Galileo’s lines. What is Gotham City to do without a hero, since organised crime is always, it seems, far too much for the official institutions of law ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Dunkirk’

16 August 2017
... Christopher Nolan​ ’s Dunkirk is worth watching for its final sequence alone. The three stories being told throughout the film intersect rapidly, and no easy solution or reflection results. A young man walks into a newspaper office in Weymouth and hands over a school photograph, pointing out one boy. A Spitfire prepares to land on a French beach, gliding, its propeller still, because it has run out of fuel ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Prestige’

14 December 2006
ThePrestige 
directed by Christopher Nolan.
October 2006
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... In Christopher Nolan’s movies men are always losing their minds: to revenge and an old phobia in Batman Begins; to a clinical condition in Insomnia; to the vagaries of a crippled short-term memory in Memento. The hero of this last film can drive a car and kill people, remember how his dead wife looked and what she said; but he doesn’t know where he is at any given moment, or why he is there, or what he said a few minutes before ...

It wasn’t a dream

Ned Beauman: Christopher Priest

10 October 2013
The Adjacent 
by Christopher Priest.
Gollancz, 432 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 575 10536 2
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... of the shortlist for last year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel, Christopher Priest wrote on his blog that part of the award’s purpose is to prove to ‘the larger world’ that science fiction ‘is a progressive, modern literature, with diversity and ambition and ability, and not the pool of generic rehashing that the many ...

Smash the Screen

Hal Foster: ‘Duty Free Art’

5 April 2018
Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War 
by Hito Steyerl.
Verso, 256 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 1 78663 243 2
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... of salient information from internet noise through ‘deep dreaming’ (she riffs on the Christopher Nolan movie from 2010). Further, Steyerl urges us to marshal these skills in a new mode of interventionist interpretation, but it isn’t clear at what level it is to be conducted: ‘pattern recognition’ suggests it should occur on the noisy ...
17 October 1996
Sleaze: Politicians, Private Interests and Public Reaction 
edited by F.F. Ridley and Alan Doig.
Oxford, 222 pp., £10.99, April 1996, 0 19 922273 8
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Changing Trains: The Autobiography of Steven Norris 
Hutchinson, 273 pp., £16.99, October 1996, 0 09 180212 1Show More
The Quango Debate 
edited by F.F. Ridley and David Wilson.
Oxford, 188 pp., £10.99, September 1995, 9780199222384
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... all – his pay went up to £312,000. Slough Estates’ remuneration committee was chaired by Sir Christopher Harding, chairman of BET, whose own remuneration committee brought him up to £540,000. Sir Christopher is now chairman of the remuneration committee at GEC, which recently decided on a remuneration package for a ...

Where will the judges sit?

Stephen Sedley: What will happen to the Law Lords?

16 September 1999
The House of Lords: Its Parliamentary and Judicial Roles 
edited by Brice Dickson and Paul Carmichael.
Hart, 258 pp., £30, December 1998, 1 84113 020 6
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Constitutional Futures: A History of the Next Ten Years 
edited by Robert Hazell.
Oxford, 263 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 0 19 829801 3
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The Law and Parliament 
edited by Dawn Olivier and Gavin Drewry.
Butterworth, 219 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 406 98092 6
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Crown Powers: Subject and Citizens 
by Christopher Vincenzi.
Pinter, 343 pp., £47.50, April 1998, 1 85567 454 8
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... habits. In that short time the landscape has been changed not only by a general election but by Nolan. Some years ago I sat in embarrassment at an international conference on constitutional law and listened to an Italian professor saying: ‘The British Parliament makes rules to suit itself and tolerates politicians who break them. In Italy it would no ...

Seeing Things Flat

Jenny Turner: Tom McCarthy’s ‘C’

9 September 2010

by Tom McCarthy.
Cape, 310 pp., £16.99, August 2010, 978 0 224 09020 9
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... fashion for baroque narratological cleverness in fiction, like the films of Charlie Kaufman and Christopher Nolan, the novels of David Mitchell, the television of Steven Moffat and his teams on Sherlock and Doctor Who. There are differences between cleverness and intellect. McCarthy has many things he’s trying to do in his novels, none of which have ...

The Other Half

Robert Melville

4 July 1985
Kenneth Clark: A Biography 
by Meryle Secrest.
Weidenfeld, 310 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 9780297783985
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... him as a man, rather than as an art historian of unequalled readability, from Sidney and Cynthia Nolan, who went quite frequently to Saltwood Castle. On the cover of the recent paperback of Clark’s autobiographical Another Part of the Wood* there is a photograph of him as a little boy young enough to be in a frock, which was probably among the photographs ...

The Irresistible Itch

Colin Kidd: Vandals in Bow Ties

3 December 2009
Personal Responsibility: Why It Matters 
by Alexander Brown.
Continuum, 214 pp., £12.99, September 2009, 978 1 84706 399 1
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... compass of – at the very least – several politicians. John Major commissioned a law lord, Lord Nolan, to look at standards in public life. Although the Nolan Committee found no evidence of any growth in corruption in the British political system, it identified seven principles of public life that politicians were ...
9 March 1995
... for the Channel Tunnel rail link station to be sited in Ebbs-fleet in Kent. Dame Angela told the Nolan Committee that she had never sidled up to anyone in the Commons lobby and asked a question on behalf of the firm’s clients, ‘I am not that sort of person. I cannot bring myself to ask people favours,’ she reportedly told the ...

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