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Afloat with Static

Jenny Turner: Hey, Blondie!

9 December 2019
Face It 
by Debbie Harry.
HarperCollins, 352 pp., £20, October, 978 0 00 822942 9
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... As​ a child, DebbieHarry was always searching for ‘the perfect taste’. She couldn’t describe it, but knew she’d know it if she found it. ‘Sometimes, I got a hint of it in peanut butter. Other times … when I drank ...

At the Barbican

Saul Nelson: Jean-Michel Basquiat

4 January 2018
... thing that greets you at the Barbican is Tamra Davis’s 1985 footage of him painting and dancing, blown up on a huge screen – and for his knack for hanging out with all the right people (Haring! DebbieHarry! Burroughs! Madonna!). Pieces about him often adopt a breathy, tragic tone. ‘Did he have a chance?’ one reviewer of the Barbican show asked. ‘Did all those punk luminaries ever think to ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: ‘Hollywood Costume’

20 December 2012
... celebrated Hollywood designer (Raiders of the Lost Ark; Michael Jackson’s Thriller) and now a professor of design history at UCLA; the show consists of some pieces of her own, and many others from Debbie Reynolds’s collection, recently sold – she had pioneered salvaging costumes from studio wardrobes. Landis has set out the rooms to argue for the unsung importance of costume; the show puts ...

Why name a ship after a defeated race?

Thomas Laqueur: New Lives of the ‘Titanic’

24 January 2013
The Wreck of the ‘Titan’ 
by Morgan Robertson.
Hesperus, 85 pp., £8, March 2012, 978 1 84391 359 7
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Shadow of the ‘Titanic’ 
by Andrew Wilson.
Simon and Schuster, 392 pp., £8.99, March 2012, 978 1 84739 882 6
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‘Titanic’ 100th Anniversary Edition: A Night Remembered 
by Stephanie Barczewski.
Continuum, 350 pp., £15.99, December 2011, 978 1 4411 6169 7
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The Story of the Unsinkable ‘Titanic’: Day by Day Facsimile Reports 
by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton.
Transatlantic, 127 pp., £16.99, November 2011, 978 1 907176 83 8
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‘Titanic’ Lives: Migrants and Millionaires, Conmen and Crew 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Harper, 404 pp., £9.99, September 2012, 978 0 00 732166 7
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Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage 
by Hugh Brewster.
Robson, 338 pp., £20, March 2012, 978 1 84954 179 4
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‘Titanic’ Calling 
edited by Michael Hughes and Katherine Bosworth.
Bodleian, 163 pp., £14.99, April 2012, 978 1 85124 377 8
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... modern Titanic entertainment business. An earlier film, the 1953 Titanic, was really just an excuse for a redemptive father-son relationship made possible by impending death. It won an Academy Award. Debbie Reynolds was in a 1964 film version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, based loosely on the life of one of the most famous of the first-class survivors, which was nominated for six Oscars. With the ...

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