Mark Millar appears to be the typical Spectator reader until you discover – as Peter Hoskin did when he interviewed him for this week’s magazine – that he ‘spends most of his time on bizarre world in distant corners of the multiverse… surrounded by assassins dipped in blood’.
Why? Because he’s a comic-book writer – and a comic-book writer who Hollywood loves. The first film adaptation of his work, Kick-Ass, made $100 million at the box office, and its sequel Kick-Ass 2 – which comes out in July and the trailer to which is below – is expected to do just as well. Not bad for a man whose first experience of shame was losing an inter-school debating competition to Michael Gove.
Another Brit has been stealing the limelight in Hollywood: Benedict Cumberbatch, who does a mean job playing the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness. Did the rest of the film match Cumberbatch’s slick acting? Almost, says David Blackburn in this week’s film review; but, even though it didn’t, it was still enjoyable.
There was a time, says Marcus Berkmann, when disco music was ‘too black… too gay… and insufficiently rock’. Now dance music has taken over the world; but, somewhere along the way, it lost its soul. With their new single, Daft Punk have tried to revive dance music’s soul. Have they managed it? Here’s what Marcus Berkmann thinks – or you can decide for yourself; their new single’s below.
What would you miss most if you lost your hearing? For Kate Chisholm it would be birdsong, which is ‘so much part of the fabric of life it’s no surprise it’s always featured strongly on radio.’ A nightingale featured in the first ‘live’ outside radio broadcast, and Radio 4’s new Tweet of the Day series has continued the theme. Here’s a clip from the Swift episode (one of my favourite birds):
Radio might still be popular – but is TV making us unable to absorb ‘anything that isn’t partly or primarily visual’? That’s the only excuse Michael Tanner can think of for staging Handel’s oratorio, Joshua, as Opera North has done. Here’s the director, Charles Edwards, talking about why he decided to do just that – and the challenges it involved.