Now that Masterchef is over – oh, well done James, but rats, I still think it should have been Emily – normal service has been resumed on the blog. I’ve taken the opportunity to catch up on some DVDs, as well as finally getting round to seeing a fantastic Spanish horror film, The Orphanage.


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I’ve just got off the phone with BBC Radio Kent who, in the preamble to this Sunday’s Academy Awards, were asking me, among other things, for my thoughts on who might win in the Best Song category.


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Here's the second report from this year's Berlin Film Festival by our man in the lederhosen, Stephen Dalton...

It’s the end of a bitingly cold weekend here in Berlin, where the 2008 Berlinale Film Festival has just closed its doors for another year. Among the glittering gongs handed out at Saturday’s prize-giving ceremony was a special Silver Bear honouring Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood for his soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD. A fitting finale to a film festival where rock stars have hogged the headlines.


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There's a moment during CSNY: Déjà Vu, Neil Young's document of the supergroup's 2006 Freedom Of Speech tour, when one furious ticket holder outside the Philips Arena, Atlanta spits: "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young can suck my fucking dick!"


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Stephen Dalton brings you his first report from this year's Berlin Film Festival...

Guten Tag from the 2008 Berlin film festival, which is already shaping up to be more like a gathering of gold-plated Glastonbury headliners than movie makers and shakers. The ROLLING STONES have stopped the traffic, NEIL YOUNG has bashed George Bush and PATTI SMITH strummed her guitar during the press conference for her new film.


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The nominations are just in for the 2008 Oscars, so here’s my first impressions of what’s what in the major categories. It’s no great shock to see No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood leading the field (8 nominations a piece), but there’s certainly a few surprises…

Here, anyway, are the nominations in the main categories.


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I'd say the key moment in Cloverfield -- just the very monster movie the post-9/11 world has been crying out for -- occurs while a giant creature of unknown origin lays spectacular waste to New York City, and one of the characters screams: "I AM SEEING THIS SHIT RIGHT NOW!"


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Just as I started writing this blog, an email pinged into my inbox to let me know that Juno has now taken $60 million at the US box office and kept the Nic Cage blockbuster National Treasure 2 off the top spot.


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Watching TV over the Christmas and New Year period, chances are you might have caught Johnny Depp in a number of films. I'm pretty sure I spotted all three Pirates Of The Caribbean movies spread out across various terrestrial and satellite channels, plus the overlooked Secret Window and -- a personal favourite -- Finding Neverland, a very moving take on the relationship between author JM Barrie and the children who inspired him to write Peter Pan.

In a way, these films are emblematic of the Depp's dualistic approach to his movies. In Pirates, he's performing; in Window and Neverland, he's acting.


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It occurred to me, as I stumbled somewhat exhausted out of last night's screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's epic movie about oil, greed and murder, that both this film and The Assassination Of Jesse James seem to be a return to the kind of filmmaking not seen since Heaven's Gate.


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The Father, The Sun And The Holy Ghost… An interview with Hiss Golden Messenger


One bright Sunday morning, MC Taylor is driving through his patch of North Carolina, past New Hope Creek and the Eno River, over the Chatham County Line and the James Taylor Bridge in Chapel Hill, near the Haw River and the valley that he has meditated upon in song these past few years. Through...