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
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
Faust is Russian director Alexander Sokurov's final instalment in his series of films on power and leaders, following Moloch (Hitler), Taurus (Lenin) and The Sun (Emperor Hirohito).
Filmed on location in Spain and Iceland, where replicas of early 19th-century German cities were built, it's the story of the power struggles between Doctor Faust, a man thirsty for intellectual dominion, and the Devil himself.
This Sokurov adaptation of Goethe's Faust could turn audiences off from the opening shot, focusing on the doctor's cruel dismemberment of a dead body while he debates the location of the soul with his assistant.
Yet rapidly changing scenes and vibrant visuals set a unique tone and atmosphere in depicting an unpleasant reality.
This is no tender tour of the soul - the progression of mood and emotion is more akin to music than fiction.
Faust is another of Sokurov's political treatises on a world in which "unhappy people are dangerous" and, greedy for money, they kill.
It's an uncompromising film which reinforces the Russian director's reputation as being unafraid of authority and audience response.
As one of Sokurov's most perfectly realised films it deservedly won the Golden Lion at this year's Venice Film Festival.