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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Project Nim’, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’

8 September 2011
Project Nim 
directed by James Marsh.
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Rise of the Planet of the Apes 
directed by Rupert Wyatt.
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... is presumably an accident of distribution. That the two works, James Marsh’s Project Nim and Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, should resemble each other so closely begins to look like a message or a clue, a movieworld sign that we actually are rethinking our relation to other animals. You’ll see how eerie this notion is when I say ...

On the Blower

Peter Clarke: The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt

18 February 1999
The Journals of Woodrow WyattVolume I 
edited by Sarah Curtis.
Macmillan, 748 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 333 74166 8
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... never be exposed to public scrutiny. This was hardly why, in 1985, the former Labour MP Woodrow Wyatt began his diary. Sir Woodrow, having then served for nearly a decade as chairman of the Horserace Totalisator Board, had yet to reach his apotheosis with the life peerage that validated his sobriquet, Lord Toad of Tote Hall. Confidant of Margaret ...

Going Flat Out, National Front and All

Ian Hamilton: Watch your mouth!

14 December 2000
Diaries: Into Politics 
by Alan Clark.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £20, October 2000, 0 297 64402 5
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The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists 
edited by Irene Taylor and Alan Taylor.
Canongate, 684 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 86241 920 4
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The Journals of Woodrow Wyatt. Vol. III: From Major to Blair 
edited by Sarah Curtis.
Macmillan, 823 pp., £25, November 2000, 9780333774069
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... of a good guide than a good read: it points us to things that we would like to follow up. Woodrow Wyatt is well-represented in The Assassin’s Cloak. He has almost as many entries as Alan Clark, with whom he is sometimes – as a diarist – compared. Certainly, Wyatt rivals Clark in self-importance, but he lacks Clark’s ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?

5 February 2004
The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... of Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, we could say that Rupert Murdoch is not so much a man, or a cultural force, as a portrait of the modern world. He is the way we live now; he is the media magnate we deserve. It is almost impossible to say a single conclusive, summing-up thing about him. The range of his interests ...

Cod on Ice

Andy Beckett: The BBC

10 July 2003
Panorama: Fifty Years of Pride And Paranoia 
by Richard Lindley.
Politico’s, 404 pp., £18.99, September 2002, 1 902301 80 3
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The Harder Path: The Autobiography 
by John Birt.
Time Warner, 532 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 316 86019 0
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... BBC’s usual conventions of ‘impartial’ news reporting – and treated like stars. Woodrow Wyatt was the first. When he was hired in 1955, he had already been a successful print journalist and a Labour junior minister, and had an opinion of himself to match. To look at, he was well-fed rather than youthful and dashing, but the architects of Panorama ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Windsor Girls School on 22 June

4 July 1985
... far behind? Talk of intellectuals who serve governments brings me quite naturally to Sir Woodrow Wyatt, who has been serving this government pretty consistently in the columns of Sunday newspapers over the last six years. The reviews of Sir Woodrow’s latest book, Confessions of an Optimist,* have been suitably dreadful, though he did find quite a good one ...

Lucky Lad

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Harold Evans

17 December 2009
My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times – An Autobiography 
by Harold Evans.
Little, Brown, 515 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 1 4087 0203 1
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... on the war reversed: a warning of how little editorial independence can mean in practice, as Rupert Murdoch would be the first to agree. Then they went sharply downmarket, to keep company with the rampant Mail. By 1930, the two had merged as the News Chronicle, and by 1960 that sad survivor was itself folded, ironically enough, into the Mail. There was ...
10 October 1991
ThePoems of Browning. Vol. I: 1826-1840 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin.
Longman, 797 pp., £60, April 1991, 0 582 48100 7
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ThePoems of Browning. Vol. II: 1841-1846 
edited by John Woolford and Daniel Karlin .
Longman, 581 pp., £50, April 1991, 9780582063990
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... than ‘sharpened’. If this is ‘the best Victorian verse’, it is verse that disregards Wyatt and Campion and Pope before it as certainly as, after it, it disregards Pound and the young Eliot. Such blank verse – the unrhymed, relentlessly regular pentameter – can be squeezed out like toothpaste, ignoring the audibie shape of any one verse-line ...

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