‘Art Decades': Pauline Boty, and More

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Art Decades is a new print magazine featuring a variety of perspectives on everything from film to music to fashion, and beyond, from a large number of writers from all over the world. I’m delighted that my article, ‘Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman’, is featured in the second issue.

Created by Kelley and Jeremy Richey (who runs the Moon in the Gutter blog), Art Decades also includes a cover story on The Raveonettes; an interview with Mary Woronov, and a profile of Cannon Films’ Menahem Golan; tributes to Lou Reed and Joy Division; art by Jeanie Laub, and photography by Whitley Brandenburg and Dylan Staley.

It’s a beautiful magazine, and I’m proud to be a part of it. Buy now from Amazon UK for £9.33; on Amazon US; or direct via Paypal, from the Art Decades website. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in memory of actress Marie Dubois.

2014: A Year On Film

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My favourite film of 2014 was James Gray’s The Immigrant. Despite its stellar cast, it was woefully under-promoted and wasn’t even released in Britain. Marion Cotillard is luminous – almost Garboesque – as a young Polish woman who lands on Ellis Island in 1921. Almost a century later, Eva’s struggle is lived every day by millions like her.

And my favourite television show this year was True Detective.

Best Books of 2014

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This year has been all about Elena Ferrante and her Neapolitan novels for me. Autumn reaped a rich harvest in fiction, and there have also been some fine reissues.  Continue reading

2014: A Year in Music

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My favourite album this year was Lana Del Rey’s dark, brooding Ultraviolence, and my song of the summer was ‘West Coast’.

A close second was Lykke Li’s epic tearjerker, I Never Learn. You can watch her incredible Glastonbury performance here.

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I also enjoyed Samantha Crain’s Kid Face; Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness; Small Town Heroes, by Hurray for the Riff Raff; and First Aid Kit’s Stay Gold.

Looking forward to 2015 – the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna, will launch her new album, Rebel Heart, in March. A six-track EP, including lead single ‘Living for Love’, was released on i-Tunes this morning.

Remembering Mandy Rice-Davies

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Mandy Rice-Davies, photographed by Bryan Wharton, 1986.

Photo by Bryan Wharton, 1986. (National Portrait Gallery, London)

My life has been one long descent into respectability.

I woke up this morning to the news that Marilyn Foreman – better known as Mandy Rice-Davies, whose very name still conjures bittersweet memories of the Profumo Affair, more than half a century later – died last night after a short battle with cancer. I am shocked and sad – she was so full of energy and wit that I thought nothing would stop her. I never knew her personally but she was a huge part of my creative life. And as a woman, her refusal to be cowed by sexual hypocrisy was incredibly inspiring.

Peter Stanford has written an excellent obituary for The Guardian, and you can read some of my own Mandy-related posts here.

‘Wicked Baby’ on Kindle

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I’m proud to announce that Wicked Baby, my 2004 novella about the events of the Profumo Affair, is now available to download via Kindle. This new edition includes an afterword, and five articles about the scandal’s lasting impact on society and popular culture, two of which are previously unpublished. The ebook is available on Amazon worldwide, and will set you back around £2.24, or $3.02 in the US. You can read the first three chapters before purchasing. So to all you e-readers, have at it – and if you like it, please add a quick review and rating on Amazon! More details later…

Preview or buy now in the UK

USA

Australia

Canada

France

Germany

… and many more!

Lauren Bacall 1924-2014

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Lauren Bacall

This article is also published at Immortal Marilyn

Hawksian Women: Marilyn and Lauren Bacall

“And to begin with, to me, a legend is something that is not on the earth, that is dead…legends are built and evolve in the past. They’re not the present. I don’t like categories either…You are what you are, everyone is an individual.” - Lauren Bacall, 2005  Continue reading

Refugee Radio Times

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Refugee Radio Times

Refugee Radio is a Brighton-based human rights charity. Their projects include a weekly radio show, live events and media training, as well as mentoring, a post-traumatic resilience panel, and a cookery group. Refugee Radio Times, a new book, was compiled by Stephen Silverwood, the charity’s chief executive, and Lorna Stephenson, who also edits a monthly newsletter of the same name. The book includes personal testimonies from refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants, alongside journalism and analysis by human rights campaigners. Continue reading

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