I was fortunate to see his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs performed by the NY Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall a few years ago and it’s a piece of music I return to over and over. A profoundly moving soundtrack that features a Soprano part so overwhelming in its rawness and beauty that it leaves you totally spellbound.
One of the greatest and most important stand up comedians, social critics and authors. He was talking about racism, sexism and homophobia when no on else dared go there. One of his best routines, from 1972, "seven words you can never say on TV" is still as relevant and funny today as it was then. And a great quote: "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."
In this industry we never truly switch off, but it’s important to have separation, physically and mentally from it all. I moved my family out of Hackney a few years ago and bought a house by sea. It’s the best thing I ever did. There is a sense of total peace, perfect for creative thinking, when you are strolling beside the waves. I wholly recommend it.
The success of The Artist has renewed an interest in silent films but it is one of the true auteurs of the 1920s that gets my vote. A genius that could juxtapose death defying gags and stunts with an utterly ordinary screen persona. He could make ludicrously difficult tasks seem achievable and all peppered with brilliant comedy timing. His work is timeless. Check out Safety First from 1923.
An American short story writer and poet who possessed a unique minimalistic writing style and was able to create stories that are realistic and relatable. His book of short stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, is as close to perfection as any book I’ve read, with every word, in every sentence, packed with significance and emotion.
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