Novelist Howard Jacobson is sat behind us at The Curzon in Soho to watch The Secret in Their Eyes. The last time Jacobson was this close he was sucking a cigar at The Chelsea Arts Club about twenty years ago. I stood in for him at the Hay Literature Festival last year. I'll bet he's read Milan Kundra's The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
The trailer to Mike Leigh's new film Another Year looks good. But Secrets in Their Eyes is the best 129 minutes of film you'll experience this year. The single shot that introduces the beautiful game is awesome, mesmerizing and a master stroke in storytelling . Awesome! Afterwards in the balmy london night on Shaftebury Avenue I bump into Antonia the producer of the live BBC Radio five show at The Hay Festival on which Peter Florence asked if I'd stand in for Howard Jacobson the following day.
From Jacobson to Leigh Manchester's influence is deep in British culture far and beyond the, at times, parochial and limited references of the capitals metropolitans – love them as I do. I still haven't touched a cigarette. Le Journaliste says it's like having a new boyfriend. Not sure how I should take that, really. I know it's a compliment but it feels like an insult. Should I punch myself in the face for taking my girlfriend from me?