Culture House Daily

In defence of Mahan Esfahani

26 May 2017 12:30

Seven years ago I ripped the CD off the front of a music magazine and found myself in the thick…

Books Podcast: Martin Luther, Catholic dissident

25 May 2017 12:23

In this week’s Books Podcast, we honour the five hundredth anniversary of the nailing of that business with the 95 Theses, the church…

There’s a reason why Isis targets gigs: music is the enemy of fundamentalism

23 May 2017 15:48

Until last night Ariana Grande’s fans, predominantly tweens and teens, were more preoccupied with the concept of friendship than the…

Impeccable filmmaking from Michael Haneke: Happy End reviewed

23 May 2017 13:19

The title is ironic. The end is not happy for Michael Haneke’s bourgeois French family, whose hamper of festering secrets the…

Amusing, waspish take-down of Jean-Luc Godard: Redoubtable reviewed

22 May 2017 11:24

Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum was: ‘all you need for a movie is a girl and a gun’. In Redoubtable, French…

Coffee, mist and brilliance: Sky Atlantic’s new series of Twin Peaks reviewed

22 May 2017 10:41

So much coffee. Just like in the original, the characters in the new series of Twin Peaks get through so…

Spectator competition winners: The joy of bad translations (‘For tiptop consummation, finger choice dish and place on kinky table…’)

20 May 2017 10:45

The request for a set of instructions for an everyday device that have been badly translated into English was prompted…

Books Podcast: The art of losing control

18 May 2017 14:01

Is Enlightenment rationalism overrated? Do we spend too much time thinking and not enough time letting our conscious thoughts scatter…

Spectator competition winners: Donald Trump’s obituary for Planet Earth

13 May 2017 10:30

The invitation to submit an obituary for planet Earth drew a smallish but varied and heartfelt entry. The usual culprits…

Why do the British have such terrible taste in voices?

12 May 2017 12:58

When it comes to voices, the words of the apocryphal Times headline come to mind: ‘Fog in the Channel; Continent cut…

Books Podcast: The lost stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

11 May 2017 14:02

Following the publication of a new collection of the lost short stories of F Scott Fitzgerald (I’d Die For You…

Emma Watson is right: film awards should be ‘gender neutral’

8 May 2017 14:14

Emma Watson isn’t, you might say, to everyone’s taste, given that her feminism – she can hardly get up in…

Books Podcast: Taking Hamlet around the world

8 May 2017 13:59

This week’s Books Podcast turns to perhaps the greatest work of the greatest writer in English history. Yup: it’s Hamlet…

Spectator competition winners: acrostic sonnets on The Spectator

6 May 2017 10:01

The latest competition asked for an acrostic sonnet in which the first letters of each line spell AT THE SPECTATOR.…

Spectator competition winners: rude limericks by well-known writers

2 May 2017 14:15

Leafing through Vern L. Bullough’s Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia, I discovered that Tennyson wrote rude limericks as an antidote to…

There’s still hope for photography: Sony World Photo Awards reviewed

28 April 2017 17:57

Much has been said about the endless photographic mediocrity of the digital age. The infinite glossy ads, the stream of…

Books Podcast: How freakin’ zeitgeist are you?

27 April 2017 13:39

In this week’s Books Podcast, I meet the poet Murray Lachlan Young. In the 1990s, Murray became notorious: the first…

Spectator competition winners: Was Thomas Hardy a stalker?

23 April 2017 12:23

The call for letters from a fictional character to his, hers or its creator complaining about their portrayal brought in…

Books podcast: The British boarding school

21 April 2017 10:46

“The happiest days of your life?” This week in the Books Podcast I ask the authors of two recent books…

The BBC’s adaptation of Decline and Fall was near-perfect

15 April 2017 19:54

A politician once told me ‘You should try to remember to try to encourage us when we get things right…

Spectator competition winners: being dumped Alan Bennett-style

15 April 2017 11:00

The latest challenge was to submit a Dear John letter, in prose or verse, in the style of a well-known…

Edward Enninful’s first act should be to purge British Vogue of Sloaney sloths

13 April 2017 17:21

As far as I am concerned, British Vogue under its outgoing editor was complacent, borderline racist and lacked taste, therefore the benchmark for what…

Books Podcast: Rob Newman’s Neuropolis

13 April 2017 11:31

My guest in this week’s Spectator Books Podcast is Rob Newman. Listeners of a certain age (ie mine) will remember…

Listen: Pulitzer Prize winner Hisham Matar discusses The Return

11 April 2017 10:50

Back in October, I spoke to Hisham Matar — who has just won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography — about his book The…

Fashion is about change – and British Vogue’s first male editor is exactly that

10 April 2017 13:51

After months of speculation, Alexandra Shulman’s successor at British Vogue has finally been announced. And in what may come as a shock…