2020: A Year in Music

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. For music lovers, this was the year the stage went dark, and we sought comfort in our record collections. Then in April 2020, with the world in lockdown, Fiona Apple surprised us with Fetch the Bolt Cutters, her first album in eight years and perhaps, the wake-up call we all needed. Continue reading

Agency and Imagination in the Films of David Lynch

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A beautiful, dark-haired woman flees from a car wreck and wakes up in a stranger’s apartment, suffering from amnesia. When asked her name, she looks at an old movie poster on the wall, and focuses on its star: “Rita.” This pivotal moment from Mulholland Dr. (2001) adorns the cover of a new book about director David Lynch, as it was that film which sparked the interest of its two authors. Continue reading

Violets, Flamingos and Heroes in Autumn

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On New Year’s Eve, I wrote here of my fears over where the world is heading. Little did I know that only a few weeks later we would be facing up to a pandemic. 2020 has been a strange, lonesome year for many of us. Continue reading

All About ‘The Marilyn Report’

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Earlier this summer, my sister blog ES Updates celebrated its 10th birthday. Now I’m looking to the future with a new, fully-independent blog, The Marilyn Report. ES Updates will remain online, but if you’d like to continue hearing all the latest news about MM, please subscribe here. (This lovely photo of Marilyn was taken by Earl Theisen in 1947, shortly after she signed her first contract with Twentieth Century Fox.)

Madonna, Alan Parker and the Battle for Evita

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Sir Alan Parker was born in Matlock, Derbyshire in 1944, and grew up in Islington, North London. His father was a house painter, and his mother a dressmaker. After studying at grammar school he began work in advertising, hoping to meet girls. He loved to write, but other than taking an interest in photography, he had no plans to become a filmmaker. While working for an advertising agency in the 1960, he met David Puttnam and Alan Marshall, who would later produce his films. Continue reading