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Botched effort

ENO’s Siegfried is not a disaster, but the margin isn’t as large as one might wish. Seeing it hot on the heels of Opera North’s Cos

Weirdness in Washington

They don’t make ’em like The Manchurian Candidate of 1962 any more. That weird, creepy, paranoid thriller of the Cold War flopped at first, was given retrospective topicality by the assassination of President Kennedy, and became a cult. Though it is, like Citizen Kane, a brilliant film rather than a profound or serious one, those

Poetic eye

It is not Robert Frank’s fault, but one might think from the hype — ‘arguably the world’s greatest living photographer’, etc. — that he had invented documentary photography. When Humphrey Spender, who did for Mass Observation and Picture Post in the 1930s and 1940s what Frank did for social documentation in the 1950s, was similarly

The great divide

Watching North and South (BBC1, Sunday), I reflected how much life had changed in Mrs Gaskell’s location. Some years ago I was doing What the Papers Say in Milton — sorry, Manchester — and during a delay I overheard the crew talking about restaurants in the wealthy commuter towns that fringe the city. One of

On the trail of Herzog

At 8.30 a.m. on a crisp autumn Sunday a group of 20 huddled on King’s Cross station’s platform nine and three-quarters — empty but for a smattering of camera-toting Japanese Harry Potter enthusiasts — ready to embark on a journey inspired by the iconoclastic German film-maker Werner Herzog. In the harsh midwinter of 1974, Herzog

Museum without a soul

Roger Kimball on how Yoshio Taniguchi has transformed New York’s Museum of Modern Art We are told that our individualist art has touched its limit, and its expression can go no further. That’s often been said; but if it cannot go further, it may still go elsewhere.André Malraux, The Voices of Silence ‘An institution,’ said