Any music fan will be able to tell you about “second album syndrome”. The dreaded follow-up to the successful debut. The same goes for films. Look no further than The Matrix Reloaded or Speed 2: Cruise Control. I rest my case. Whilst they didn’t have to handle karate-chopping Hugo Weavings or Willem Dafoe’s exploding golf clubs, messieurs Coogan and Brydon wanted to avoid their second culinary jaunt from being a “damp squib” after the success of their first film, The Trip (2010).
It is impressive that Woody Allen, at 78, is still able to produce a film a year like clockwork. Although his overriding pessimism may not be everyone’s cup of tea, he is undeniably a great of modern cinema. That a man of his prestige and renowned success still has the desire for new projects shows his devotion to the medium – he already has something up his sleeve for 2015 – but that doesn’t mean that he should feel obliged to do so on an annual basis.
A word of warning first of all. Do not go to see Chef on an empty stomach. Don’t go even if you are the slightest bit hungry. Really stuff yourself before you arrive at the cinema.
In February 2012, Bavarian authorities raided an apartment in Munich, wherein they found over 1,500 pieces of art stolen, or otherwise procured, by Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II. Nearly two years passed before this discovery was disclosed by authorities and it was not until last week that a small portion of the haul was revealed to be on display at a top-secret location somewhere in Austria. For more than fifty years Gurlitt’s son, Cornelius, now in his eighties, hoarded the enormous collection and sold a piece or two at a time when in need of money.