There’s a Youtube clip of Ryuichi Sakamoto, dressed in black hunched over a piano playing the piece of music he is most famous for – “Forbidden Colours”, from the film Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence. It is, I guess, the idea of Sakamoto we’re most familiar with – the artist, his instrument of choice, the music he is playing both delicate and fluid.


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Without giving too much away here, one of the main characters in Wes Anderson’s new film works in a patisserie.


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Her

Spike Jonze's digital affair...


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George Clooney's latest film as both actor and director, The Monuments Men, opens in the UK later this week, so it seemed an appropriate moment to dig out this interview I conducted for the late Uncut DVD in New York with Clooney around the release of 2005's Good Night, And Good Luck and Syriana.


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Matthew McConaughey's career transformation continues apace...


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If you were looking for a unifying thread running through HBO’s excellent new series, True Detective, then it might well be to do with faith: those who have it, those who don’t and those who may well be exploiting it for their own ends.


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The new issue of Uncut arrives in UK shops this Friday – though subscribers should hopefully find their copies plonking through the letter box a day or two early. We celebrate 40 years of the Ramones with an extensive cover story by Peter Watts, who’s interviewed surviving band members as well as many of their co-conspirators, friends and peers. To compliment Peter’s terrific piece, we’ve compiled a list of the 50 Greatest American Punk Albums (plus singles and compilations), from the pivotal years of 1975 to 1983.


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There’s a story about Brendan Gleeson meeting unsuccessfully with a Hollywood agent to discuss furthering his acting career overseas. This was in the mid-Nineties, and until then Gleeson had largely worked in television, mostly in his native Ireland, with only a handful of minor film roles to his credit. Admittedly, Gleeson had come late to acting: he’d been a secondary school teacher in Dublin before taking up acting full time in 1991 and was now in his early forties.


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The Coens go folk...


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I interviewed T Bone Burnett as part of a piece on Inside Llewyn Davis, the new Coen Brothers film, which ran in the issue of Uncut on sale in December. What was originally meant to be a brisk 10 minute chat about working with the Coens and the film's soundtrack evolved into a much longer conversation, the bulk of which, inevitably, I couldn't work into the feature. So I thought I'd post it here for anyone interested in reading T Bone's thoughts on the evolution of folk music, the music he was listening to when he was growing up, and of course his experiences working with the Coens. Other topics under discussion included the American Civil War, George Clooney and Bob Dylan...


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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...