This morning's edition of Radio 4's Broadcasting House chose to mark the death of Charlton Heston with a montage of scenes from his three most iconic films: The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959) and Planet Of The Apes (1967). These were huge films in every sense, made during the golden age of Hollywood and Charlton Heston was a monolithic presence at their centre -- competing in chariot races, or parting the Red Sea, or cursing humanity in front of what's left of the Statue of Liberty.


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Excuse me for hijacking my own film blog to write about TV, but the first episode of Series 4 of the rebooted Doctor Who, "Partners In Crime", has just aired on BBC1.


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Damien Love pays tribute to two icons of Hollywood's Golden Age: Richard Widmark and Jules Dassin.


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In one of those strange coincidences, I happened to buy a new DVD player the other week, and the film I chose to christen it with was The English Patient. It’s one of my favourite films, an unashamedly epic romance played out across the burning sands of Cairo, a self-conscious throwback to the kind of Technicolor splendour you associate with David Lean’s movies.


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Neil Young, like Dylan, has a lot to live up to. Most obviously, he has to contend with his own reputation, and the expectations of his audience: two things which are not entirely compatible.


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We were chatting the other day in the office about music documentaries, on the back of a forthcoming doc celebrating Arthur Lee and Love. The consensus we reached was that, often, music docs seem not to utilize the same language as other documentaries, or even movies, do; the results often frustrating affairs, often borderline inept in their rather simplistic "point and shoot" technique.

Which brings me, in a rather windy way, to Bruce Weber’s 1988 doc on Chet Baker, Let’s Get Lost, that’s due a theatrical re-release in the UK in June, and a DVD release shortly after.


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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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Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...