SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Will Gore

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August 23, 2018
I think Fake or Fortune? (BBC One, Sundays) could be the best television show ever made. It’s certainly better than The Wire and definitely on a par with The Sopranos – and I’m only half joking. Fiona Bruce and art dealer Philip Mould are brought a painting by a member of the public, purported to
July 26, 2018
How can the Church deal with claims of apparitions in an increasingly secular, disbelieving world? That is one of the questions at the heart of L’Apparition, a new film from French director Xavier Giannoli. Set in the present day, the action begins with the death of a war photographer in Syria. His journalistic partner, Jacques,
July 05, 2018
Italian police announced this month that they were reopening an investigation into the theft of a painting by Caravaggio. In October 1969, the Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence was cut from its frame, where it hung in the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily. This stunning example of Caravaggio’s late period –
June 14, 2018
Lionel Messi, Argentina The greatest player of his generation is a committed Catholic. He has met Pope Francis and in 2016 the Holy Father said that his compatriot (Messi, not Maradona) was the greatest footballer of all time. In Russia, the hopes of Argentina rest yet again on Messi’s shoulders. The nation only scraped through
June 13, 2018
Lionel Messi and Javier Hernandez will be among the Catholic footballers representing their countries in Russia this month
May 31, 2018
Plenty has been spoken and written about Philip Roth since his death last week at the age of 85. Much of it has been about his frank treatment of sex. Unsurprisingly, his breakthrough novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, has been the one most referenced. I suspect it’s safe to say that, due to this obsession with sex,
May 17, 2018
Is cinema becoming more Christian? It’s easy to dismiss that one as a Qwtain (a question to which the answer is no) straight off the bat, what with the cinematic universe being so dominated by superheroes and Star Wars. Yet, from the Cannes Film Festival to your local multiplex, it appears there is a growing
April 12, 2018
The BBC is currently airing its latest Agatha Christie adaptation, a new version of Ordeal by Innocence. Two episodes down, one to go. It was meant to be televised at Christmas time, but after one of the leading cast members, Ed Westwick, was accused of sexual assault, he was dropped from the production and re-shoots
April 05, 2018
Annihilation, the new film from Alex Garland, (author of The Beach, writer-director of Ex-Machina) has been dumped on Netflix by Paramount rather than being released cinemas (in all territories except America, Canada and China), reportedly on the grounds that they feared it was “too intellectual” to be a box-office hit. It’s a bizarrely timid move
March 29, 2018
In these depressing times, overstuffed with arguments about Trump, Brexit and, latterly, Facebook, we have to grab crumbs of comfort wherever we find them. And there have been plenty of crumbs, both of the real and metaphorically soothing kind, provided in recent weeks by The Great Celebrity Bake Off. This run of special episodes in
March 22, 2018
The Funeral Murders, broadcast on BBC Two earlier this week, made for grim, compulsive viewing. Film-maker Vanessa Engle pieced together the events that took place in Belfast and abroad in March 1988 – an appallingly savage burst of violence, even by the bloodthirsty standards of the Troubles. After the killing of three members of the
March 15, 2018
Who would have thought that Alan Partridge would turn out to be a prophet? When, in all his tragic desperation, he pitched “Youth hostelling with Chris Eubank” to the director of programming at the BBC, little did we know that this ludicrous little joke would turn out to be an accurate prediction of the kind
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