Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
‘A lot of people think they know how to sharpen pencils, but… they don’t.’ Such is the view of David Rees, an artisan pencil-sharpener who’s sharpened some 1,500 No 2 pencils for paying customers. With deadpan humour and shrewd insight, Rees talks the audience through a step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect pencil point, while giving a brief history of the modern pencil and pencil-sharpening tools. Using the undeniably charismatic Rees as his subject, Kenneth Price’s film is a light reflection on the inherent value of care and precision. It’s also a biting send-up of the plethora of portraits proliferating in our artisan-obsessed times.
Director: Kenneth Price
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Love and friendship
When drawing your muse hundreds of times becomes an exercise in love
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues
In Rwanda, Sébastien finds traces of personal history in the wake of national tragedy
Dance and theatre
Leaf through Shakespeare’s First Folio for a riveting journey into theatre history
Modern architecture should embrace – not ignore or repel – the nonhuman world
Nations and empires
The strange tale of how mangoes became hallowed objects in Maoist China