The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Sally Potter's latest coming-of-age drama takes cinematic pretentiousness to new heights.
How the star-studded and predominantly US cast delivered Potter's ridiculous dialogue with straight faces is a tribute to their formidable acting abilities.
Set in 1962 London, it tells the story of Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (newcomer Alice Englert), who have been best friends practically since they were born - the day the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
On the brink of adulthood Ginger, obsessed with the cold war and nuclear annihilation, embraces the anti-nuclear protest movement while Rosa adopts the sexual revolution.
She embarks on an affair with Ginger's irresponsible father Roland (Alessandro Nivola), thus destroying their lifelong friendship.
Though based in the '60s the film merely captures the look rather than the mood of the era. The deadly shadow of Hiroshima and impending nuclear apocalypse as the girls' own world implodes is painfully contrived, as are the bohemian philosophical musings of Ginger's father.
Fanning - 13 when the film was made - gives a truly impressive performance, though Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening, Oliver Platt and Timothy Spall are somewhat wasted.
Why Potter could not have cast British actors in the main roles is somewhat baffling and a little less pseudo-intellectual babble and more of the teenage angst Potter captures so well wouldn't have gone amiss either.