November 24, 2022

My father’s films changed how British cinema saw the poor. Today, they repay a second look

With films such as 1960’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Karel Reisz was a pioneer in reshaping perceptions of ordinary Britons. I think there’s still lots to learn from themTwenty years ago on Friday my father, the film-maker Karel Reisz, died at the age of 76. Along with Lindsay Anderson and Tony Richardson, he was a leading figure of the British new wave. Unlike Anderson, who cultivated an outspokenly cantankerous persona, he disliked being interviewed about his work and was never really a public figure. Yet, rather like Ken Loach today, his films were widely admired for compassionately exploring the parts of British society that most earlier directors had ignored. At a time of economic turmoil and intense disillusion with politics, they remain urgently relevant.Born into a middle-class Jewish family in Czechoslovakia, my father escaped to Britain on a kindertransport at the age of 12 (both my paternal grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz). Though he rapidly assimilated into British life at a Quaker boarding school, then Cambridge and the RAF, he always retained the ability to examine this country with a sharp outsider’s eye. Over and above their technical skill, his films remain resonant for their joyful and curious engagement with people from backgrounds utterly unlike his own. I reserve a special contempt for those such as Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and now Suella Braverman who are themselves of immigrant stock but seem to take pleasure in excluding (and often demonising) others. Continue reading...
November 23, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 273 of the invasion

G7 nears a Russian oil price cap; Ukraine setting up ‘invincibility centres’ with heat and power for winterSee all our Ukraine coverageThe Group of Seven nations are set to soon announce the price cap on Russian oil exports and the coalition will probably adjust the level a few times a year rather than monthly, a senior US Treasury official said on Tuesday. The G7, including the United States, along with the EU and Australia are slated to implement the price cap on sea-borne exports of Russian oil on 5 December, as part of sanctions intended to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.Ukrainians needing basic services if Russia knocks out power stations and other facilities this winter can turn to special “invincibility centres,” president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday. Thousands of centres spread across the country will offer electricity, heat, water, internet service, mobile phone connections and a pharmacy, free of charge and around the clock. “If massive Russian strikes happen again and it’s clear power will not be restored for hours, the ‘invincibility centres’ will go into action with all key services,” Zelenskiy said.Ukrainians are likely to live with blackouts at least until the end of March, the head of a major energy provider said, as the government started free evacuations for people in Kherson to other regions.Kyiv will summon the Hungarian ambassador to protest that prime minister Viktor Orbán went to a football match wearing a scarf depicting some Ukrainian territory as part of Hungary, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Ukrainian media showed images of Orbán meeting a Hungarian footballer wearing a scarf which the outlet Ukrainska Pravda said depicted a map of “Greater Hungary” including territory that is now part of the neighbouring states of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine.Russia’s Gazprom has threatened to cut its gas flows to Europe via Ukraine as early as next week. In a statement, the Russian state-owned energy giant said some gas flows being kept in Ukraine were actually meant for Moldova, and accused Kyiv of obstructing the delivery of 52.52m cubic metres from transiting to Moldova.In Crimea, Russian air defences were activated and two drone attacks were repelled on Tuesday, including one targeting a power station near Sevastopol, the regional governor said. Sevastopol is the home port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Russian-installed Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev called for calm and said no damage had been caused.The Polish president spoke to a hoax caller pretending to be France’s Emmanuel Macron on the night that a missile hit a village near the Ukrainian border, his office has admitted. “Emmanuel, believe me, I am extra careful,” Duda tells the caller in a recording of the call posted on the internet. “I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.”Additional reporting Reuters and Associated Press Continue reading...
November 12, 2022

When Pelé met Banks: ‘Incredible – a move that required two geniuses’

In an extract from a new book, Brazil players reminisce about the game against England at the World Cup and that saveAt last, on 7 June 1970, the champions, both old and new, met. After all the hype, hysteria and hyperbole in the heat of Mexico’s high-altitude Guadalajara, Brazil, the 1958 and 1962 World Cup winners, and England, the defending champions, were out to play a match that promised to stir the soul and marvel the mind.The world, once again, fawned over the Brazilians. In their opening match, they had outclassed Czechoslovakia 4-1, reviving memories of some of the magic that had been lost since the finals in 1966. Brazil, despite conceding an 11th-minute goal, had crushed their opponents. Carlos Alberto Torres, the right-back and captain, recalled: “It was a key moment. The first game always is. In the beginning, we were nervous as a team, but when Czechoslovakia scored the team woke up. It was a trigger to start playing the game we had envisaged and wanted to play.” Continue reading...
November 5, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war live: Kherson looted ahead of expected battle for city; Russian conscripts receiving ‘little or no training’

Russian troops taking vehicles, art and even religious artefacts from Kherson; UK says Russia struggling to train new recruitsAbout 500 power generators have been sent to Ukraine by 17 EU countries to help with the energy problems caused by Russian attacks.Counties including Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, Germany and Spain sent the pieces of kit through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Continue reading...
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