This photograph, of the raising of the flag of the USSR over the Reichstag in Berlin after the Red Army took the building on 2nd May 1945, was shot by the soviet photo-journalist Yevgeny Khaldei. He used his Leica camera to capture the moment of triumph. Stalin himself had urged a flag to be mounted on the building, seen as a key symbol at the heart of the fascist beast, to indicate the victory of the Red Army in the Battle of Berlin.
“Who is the greatest Italian painter?”
“Leonardo da Vinci, Miss Brodie.”
“That is incorrect. The answer is Giotto, he is my favourite.”
Here is a list of the thirty greatest films of all time. They have been chosen using the precise critical method Miss Jean Brodie used to select Giotto, they are my favourites. I wrote out the film titles, listed them in chronological order and realised that they were made over a thirty year period. Thirty films in thirty years: why was the cinema of the sixties and seventies so good?
An exhibition opened in London this weekend featuring fifty artists showing work under the title What Marcel Duchamp taught me.*
Marcel Duchamp was a chess player who also turned his hand to cigar smoking. As a young man, between 1913 and 1917, he invented conceptual art and is regarded as the most influential artist of the twentieth century. However if art was for him a diversion, chess was a lifelong preoccupation.
Here is a photograph of a woman washing in a bathtub. Her big black boots are on a bathmat made dirty by them, and her clothes are discarded on a chair under her wristwatch. She is scrubbing her neck with a flannel and there is a framed photograph of Adolf Hitler on the lip of the tub. It was taken on the evening of 30th April1945 in the bathroom of Hitler’s residence in Munich, the night Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in their bunker in Berlin. Continue reading