California

LA used to be fun – dope has just made it dull

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Los Angeles was once full of fun and vigour. Legalising dope has made it dull

Alice Waters shows the Prince of Wales around her ‘Edible Schoolyard’ garden in California

America’s celebrity chef par excellence, Coming to My Senses reviewed

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Though Alice Waters is not a household name here, that is precisely what she is in America — the best-known…

Czesław Miłosz in Paris in 2001

Czeslaw Milosz’s highly acclaimed poetry does little for Craig Raine

1 July 2017 9:00 am

Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality wryly depicts Goethe preparing for immortality — neatly laying out his life in Dichtung und Warheit…

Hippies gave us wonderful things, but they left an evil legacy too

10 June 2017 9:00 am

There’s an incredibly addictive old iPhone game called Doodle God where you effectively invent civilisation from scratch by combining basic…

American beauty: ‘Standard Station’, 1966, by Ed Ruscha

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream

11 March 2017 9:00 am

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream, by Stephen Bayley

‘Ossie Wearing a Fairisle Sweater’, 1970, by David Hockney

Colour, heat and sex: David Hockney at Tate Britain reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

No Californian could have painted Hockney’s pools. No La-La Land artist, raised on sun and orange juice, would have done…

Is Jonathan Lethem telling a story or just playing games?

28 January 2017 9:00 am

In backgammon, a blot is a single checker, sitting alone and unprotected. This is a sly title for this sly…

Tippi Hedren in a publicity still for The Birds

Tippi Hedren gives nothing away

31 December 2016 9:00 am

‘The Birds is coming’ screamed the posters for Tippi Hedren’s only famous film. Well, the cats is coming in her…

Pumpkins and Trumpkins: autumn in California

5 November 2016 9:00 am

The mood in California was apologetic. Most people we met seemed embarrassed that their country’s dirty laundry was being aired…

Herzog leaves us as anxious and uncertain as we are thrilled: Lo and Behold reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

As a documentary-maker, Werner Herzog is a master of tone. His widely parodied voiceovers — breathy, raspy, ominous — are…

Is this LA?: Dilapidated deco in Downtown

The heart of Los Angeles feels like somewhere else entirely

9 April 2016 9:00 am

There’s a certain kind of Englishman who falls hard for Los Angeles. Men such as Graham Nash, who swapped the…

Julia Garner and Lily Tomlin in ‘Grandma’

Grandma: a feminist comedy that punches magnificently above its weight

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Apologies if you were expecting a review of Star Wars here, but Disney is not allowing critics access prior to…

When flower power turned sour

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Aldous Huxley reported his first psychedelic experience in The Doors of Perception (1954), a bewitching little volume that soon became…

Portrait of the week

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Home Tom Hayes, aged 35, a former City trader who rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while…

Whole worlds are conjured up in a few strokes: Watercolour at the Fitzwilliam Museum reviewed

1 August 2015 9:00 am

I learnt to splash about in watercolour at my grandmother’s knee. Or rather, sitting beside her crouched over a pad…

Richard Diebenkorn at the Royal Academy reviewed: among the best visual evocations of LA there are

21 March 2015 9:00 am

It is true that, like wine, certain artists don’t travel. Richard Diebenkorn, subject of the spring exhibition in the Royal…

Bing and Bob on the Road to Singapore. One had talent; the other tried harder

Did anyone ever really love Bob Hope?

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Why does everything these days have to be a superlative? Why must writers scream for our attention, yelling that the…

The sheer stupidity of artificial intelligence

5 July 2014 9:00 am

Believers in omnipotent machine intelligence are reshaping the world to fit their fantasies

Elliot Rodger and the Hollywood ending

31 May 2014 9:00 am

I’ve found myself strangely drawn to the videos made by the 22-year-old assassin Elliot Rodger just before he went on…

Warning: upspeak can wreck your career

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Upspeak can damage your career prospects

To 'Flufftail' from 'Pinkpaws': The Animals is only good for celebrity-spotting

21 September 2013 9:00 am

The correspondence between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy is good for celebrity-spotting but too cloyingly self-absorbed to be of wider interest, says D. J. Taylor