Leaf Collecting is now five years old. Many thanks to all its readers.
Here are a few cultural highlights from its writer’s year.
One new film : Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin was certainly not flawless but did draw a great performance from Simon Russell Beale as the secret police chief Beria.
Older films: Stage Door was especially striking during its first quarter, with 12 young actresses, and with scarcely a man in sight, exchanging fast, witty dialogue in a model which we might copy more often today, while the J.B. Priestley-scripted Last Holiday had an interesting left-wing slant on Britain just after the Second World War.
TV: certainly Broken, but another fine drama was Decline and Fall – an accomplished adaptation of an Evelyn Waugh novel on BBC1 on Friday night? Almost made you think we were back in the 1980s! Also The Mash Report, freshly and reliably mocking the tropes of old and new media as well as politicians around the globe.
Radio: Jeremy Bowen’s Our Man in the Middle East, the Radio 1 Vintage three-day pop-up channel – an imaginative way to mark the 50 years of the station – and the always enlightening and instructive Late Junction.
Music: the Scottish musician Gerry Cinnamon’s influences are very clear, but it is still striking to see what individual success can still be achieved without mainstream media support, with just moderate skills in playing, composition and singing but added to persistent application and a hard-earned stage confidence.