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Alfred Dreyfus is being erased all over again

In London to promote a book, I received an invitation to a secret screening of An Officer and a Spy, Roman Polanski’s new film about the Dreyfus affair. I boarded public transportation to a clandestine destination, somewhere in England, to view what recalled for me the samizdat literature once produced in Communist eastern Europe. I


Redneck twaddle: Young Vic’s Fairview reviewed

Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury won last year’s Pulitzer Prize. It deserves additional awards for promoting racial disharmony and entrenching false, divisive and outdated stereotypes. The title is a pun. ‘Fair’ means ‘white’ and ‘view’ means ‘world outlook’ or ‘prejudice’. Really it ought to be called Honky Bias. The script declares its fascination with antique


Did everyone in punk sell out?

For many people of a certain age (full disclosure: mine), punk has been a weirdly persistent presence. These days, we may not often be tempted to sit down with a glass of wine and an album by the Cortinas, Chelsea or Eater. We may even have belatedly realised that the most revolutionary record of 1977


Why did David Bomberg disappear?

David Bomberg was only 23 when his first solo exhibition opened in July 1914 at the Chenil Gallery in Chelsea. ‘I am searching for an Intenser expression,’ the brash young painter wrote in the introduction to the catalogue. ‘I hate… the Fat Man of the Renaissance.’ As if to advertise his radical intentions, the first


Gripping, immersive and powerful: 1917 reviewed

Sam Mendes’s 1917 is the first world war drama that this week won the Golden Globe for best film and also best director and there is no arguing with that, ha ha. In fact there has been plenty of arguing with that. Some critics say that it feels like a videogame. ‘Turns one of the