Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God (2021) is an autobiographical drama about growing up in Naples. The title refers to the history of soccer. The movie references a visit by Federico Fellini to Naples to shoot his next film. Fellini is alleged to have expressed that the only use for movies, is a distraction from reality because “reality is lousy”.
The Centre Will Not Hold (2017), produced by the late Joan Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, is an interview documentary that can be watched time and again. Joan Didion’s wisdom always inspires. Writer and art critic Hilton Als says, “The weirdness of America got into her bones and came out on the other side of a typewriter”.
Monocle’s Chiara Rimella is the source of my 2022 commitments. On Christmas Eve she shared that “Ultimately, it’s the things that meant the most to us that will stick. And if there’s one lesson that we should have learnt in 2021, it’s to embrace the things that really matter to us – and not to fret about the rest.”
Palimpsest is a (hard to say) word that I have learnt from art reviews. It is commonly defined as “a manuscript in which later writing has been superimposed on earlier (effaced) writing. In other words, a palimpsest is a multi-layered record.
Matthew Crawford’s “The Case for Working With Your Hands, or why office work is bad for us and fixing things feels good”, while published back in 2010, is even more relevant now, eleven years on. If you’ve ever wondered why doing the laundry at your holiday spot makes you happy, read this book. In reviewing the writing, Jeremy Williams says, “Crawford’s point is that ‘manual labour’ has been devalued in an age of information.
Paolo Staccioli is a sculptor and ceramicist living in Scandicci, on the outskirts of Florence. I visited his studio last month, a treasured experience that I hope to share with visitors to Casa di Simonetta.
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