Dean Sewell’s boxes of black and white film capturing Moscow in the mid-1990s had laid untouched for a quarter of a century. When he finally developed them, it was like ‘reaching into the deep recesses of your brain’Get our weekend culture and lifestyle emailAs renewed tensions between Ukraine and Russia began to stir late last year, Sydney photographer Dean Sewell began to recall the year he spent living in the newly dismantled USSR more than a quarter of a century earlier.The multiple international award-winning photographer knew he had dozens of rolls of black and white film he had shot in and around Moscow in the mid-1990s, but he had never had the chance to develop them. Continue reading…

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  1. Although Bad Actors meanders a bit, it is still almost as compelling a read as Slow Horses. Mind you, that’s not surprising: on Amazon, Mick Herron is described as “The John Le Carré of our generation” and it’s all to do with bad actors and slow horses. Who would have thought le Carré might be associated with “any generation”! In terms of acclaimed spy novels, Herron’s Slough House series has definitely made him Top Of The Pops in terms of anti-Bond writers. For Len Deighton devotees that ends a long and victorious reign at number one.

    Raw noir espionage of the Slough House quality is rare, whether or not with occasional splashes of sardonic hilarity. Gary Oldman’s performance in Slow Horses has given the Slough House series the leg up the charts it deserved. Will Jackson Lamb become the next Bond? It would be a rich paradox if he became an established anti-Bond brand ambassador. Maybe Lamb should change his name to Happy Jack or Pinball Wizard or even Harry Jack. After all, Harry worked for Palmer as might Edward Burlington for Bill Fairclough in another noir but factual spy series, The Burlington Files.

    Of course, espionage aficionados should know that both The Slough House and Burlington Files series were rejected by risk averse publishers who didn’t think espionage existed unless it was fictional and created by Ian Fleming or David Cornwell. However, they probably didn’t know that Fairclough once drummed with Keith Moon in their generation in the seventies.

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