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“The Deuce”, a skilful drama on the evolution of the sex trade

CANDY, a prostitute, invites a sex-show director to lunch. Misreading her intentions, he offers her a job participating in live sex scenes, where punters pay $40 to ogle naked bodies in flagrante delicto. Candy has a different proposition: she wants to be behind the camera. The director is reluctant—he has …

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Sloane Stephens shows you don’t have to be aggressive to win a major

IN A US Open women’s singles event full of upsets and surprises, the most unexpected outcome of them all was the success of the American contingent. For the first time in 36 years, all four of the semi-finalists hailed from the host country. And in a departure from the results …

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Pierre Bergé was one half of an extraordinary fashion duo

PIERRE BERGÉ, Yves Saint Laurent’s one-time lover and lifelong business partner, was Diaghilev to YSL’s brilliant Stravinsky. A hard, demanding man, small of stature and in possession of a filthy temper, he was, to some, quite terrifying. Yet he was also a bold and successful businessman, a noted collector, a …

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Cricket’s future belongs to all-star Twenty20 clubs, not countries

CRICKETING aficionados had expected a record-shattering deal, and they were right. On September 4th the Indian Premier League (IPL), a domestic tournament which uses the abridged Twenty20 (T20) format, announced that it had signed a five-year contract worth $2.55bn for its worldwide broadcasting and digital rights. The $510m yearly fee …

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Is the Apple Watch now mightier than the bat?

AMONG the many traditions that players and coaches in North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) have kept alive since the sport’s origins in the 19th century, perhaps the most devious is sign-stealing. Teammates routinely need to communicate on the field, above all so that catchers can tell pitchers what type …

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“Call Me By Your Name” is a work of beauty

ART and beauty are inexorable; Pablo Picasso said that art exists to embellish, polish and “[wash] away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. Luca Guadagnino is one of cinema’s most aesthetically-minded directors; his films often probe the concept of beauty and its role in human relationships. His last …

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Why Stephen King’s novels still resonate

STEPHEN KING is practically an industry unto himself. The author, who will celebrate his 70th birthday this year, has exceptional creative fecundity: he has written more than 60 novels and hundreds of short stories. While his oeuvre has been mined for adaptation since 1976—when the film “Carrie” was released—this year …

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“A Legacy of Spies”: John le Carré’s latest, maybe last, venture

A Legacy of Spies. By John le Carré. Penguin Viking. 264 pages. $28 and £20. SO GEORGE SMILEY is back at last. That, at any rate, is the marketing come-on for John le Carré’s 24th novel, two decades after the wily old spymaster is generally reckoned to have crept into …

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Why companies don’t want you to take their brand names in vain

WHAT else could you call a photocopier? If you answer “a Xerox machine”, you are one of the many people for whom the brand name and the generic item are one and the same. Like many brands that have gone generic, xerox is often lower-case and used as a verb. …

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A former England cricket captain explores the question of “form”

On Form. By Mike Brearley. Little, Brown; 416 pages; £20. DURING the Australian cricket team’s tour of England in 1981, Ian Botham and Bob Willis were both hopelessly out of form when the third Test match began. They couldn’t do a thing right. Yet both eventually produced extraordinary performances that …

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