26 Recommends

I saw Be Natural at the weekend along with a Q&A and recommend it unreservedly.

It’s the remarkable story of Alice Guy-Blaché, a pioneer of cinema and the first person to use film to tell stories. She was creative and innovative – fully understanding the possibilities of the new medium ahead of anyone else. Many of the things we understand about cinematic storytelling she did first and influenced, among others, Hitchcock and Eisenstein. She was director, producer, editor, and also set up one of the first film studios in the US.

This film is about rediscovering Alice and her legacy so that it is not forgotten (again).

– Mark Noad


I would recommend the ‘smacks you between the eyes’ sensation: A boy, a mole, a fox and a horse but I have a feeling someone else might have beaten me to it. [Editor’s note: they haven’t]

So, instead, I have something much less jolly to recommend but no less thought-provoking:

Living with Dying by Margaret McCartney, discusses the ‘desire to fight death’ at all costs. What kind of death do we want? What is the right amount of medicine? We’re terrified to talk about the first and use the second badly. Open conversations around death ‘could also make living better’.

As William Morris said ‘the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life’. Reading is another way to do this by delving into places we would not otherwise visit. Both of these books have transported me brilliantly.

– Jessica Swales


I was lucky enough to catch Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition at the Tate Modern just before it finished earlier this month. A truly thoughtful, honest, joyful insight into the artist’s work and mind – and so much more than the Instagram snaps which you might have seen. But here’s one of mine anyway…

– Sophie Gordon

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