Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Book reviews: Scarcity, The Gods Of Guilt, The Young And Prodigious TS Spivet

BOOK_scarcity.jpgScarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much
Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir (Penguin)

The authors have a "big idea", another in the newly popular field of behavioural economics. The nudgers and freaks are joined by the lackies - those who live with scarcity.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Film review: A Most Wanted Man (15)

FILM_wantedman480a.jpgA Most Wanted Man
(15) 122mins

Director Anton Corbijn's sombre spy film is dressed in graffitied concrete, kebab shop neon and cold steel blue.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Spiral Notebook: The line of least resistance

Tower Hamlets charity Real has a strong chance of claiming the disabled services contract that was initially won by out-of-towners Pohwer.

Art: How Turner squared up to the oblong tendency

ART_turnerTate142.jpgLate Turner: Painting Set Free
Tate Britain

For the longest time pictures were brick-shaped. Photographs in an album and portraits on the wall were often pre-figured to the Golden Ratio, that pleasing aspect that had mathematical as well as aesthetic qualities.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Art: Clare Woods on her commission for London's river services


Cranky and Idler may sound like sneaky nicknames for your deadwood colleagues but in the hands of artist Clare Woods, they are shimmering takes on the River Thames.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Film review: Lucy (15)



(15) 89mins

Nothing in Lucy feels particularly new. It doesn't require a great deal of brain capacity to spot the references - 2001, Limitless, The Matrix, Inception.

Film review: The Rover (15)



The Rover
(15) 108mins

Guy Pearce is mad, bored and has nothing to lose. Well, he has one thing to lose and that's his car (not the Rover of the title, sadly). When the dusty Aussie emerges from a roadside bar and sees criminals making off with his wheels, he finds a purpose that makes him less bored but more mad.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Spiral Notebook: This is not a cute cat meme

SN_cat.jpgThe hutia of the Caribbean; the Guadaloupe storm petrel; the Stephens Island wren - you can't see any of these creatures in the wild.

They are extinct, victims of an imported predator that has created unparalleled damage to indigenous populations - the cat.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Book reviews: Feral, by George Monbiot; The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith


George Monbiot

"Shifting baseline syndrome" is a curse of the re-wilding movement, one of a list of foes that also includes sheep, Scottish landowners and stupid EU diktats.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Film review: God's Pocket (15)



God's Pocket
(15) 88mins

The work of Philip Seymour Hoffman has always been compelling and watchable.