Oliver Clasper

In Bob Dylan's 2004 memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, the American musician wrote about his frustration at being labelled a saviour, a leader and a prophet.

Brandon Ho, aka Ghost Style, became a leading light of Hong Kong's music scene by way of punk and metal in the US, writes Oliver Clasper.

American author Bret Easton Ellis, who began writing Less Than Zero during his sophomore year at college in Vermont, has said the debut novel is autobiographical and "reads like teen diaries or journal entries - lots of stuff about the bands I liked, the beach, clubs, driving around, doing drugs, partying".


Alongside author Pramoedya Ananta Toer and filmmaker Garin Nugroho, musician Iwan Fals is one of the most influential Indonesian artists of the post-war era. And much like the late writer, Fals is a dedicated social activist whose lyrics and music exist not just to entertain, but also raise awareness.

Music producer Nicolas Jaar didn't feel the need to collaborate until he met multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. The happy result of their union was a trippy electronic blues-rock opus, writes Oliver Clasper.

Moody indie-pop trio Daughter are growing in confidence and looking forward to their first Asian foray, writes Oliver Clasper.

Some early films from the Bond franchise are better off consigned to the movie guidebooks, along with the pinching of women's bottoms on live television and racist jokes in stand-up comedy routines.

Director Robin Herford talks to Oliver Clasper about haunted theatres, working with small budgets, and how atmosphere is the key to a successful ghost story.

For a duo who named their sixth studio album after one of man's ugliest afflictions, the Eurythmics come across as disarmingly friendly - and not the least bit vengeful.

Salman Rushdie's fantastical tale of a young man born at the precise moment of India's independence is part magic realism, part historical fiction.

An early pioneer of the Jamaican sound system culture and a studio engineer par excellence, Osbourne Ruddock - widely known and revered as King Tubby - was in his time without equal when it came to the manipulation of sonic elements.

Poor Charles Arrowby. The former doyen of the London theatre scene and ladies' man about town is desperate to get away from it all. He retreats to the coast, where the glistening waters are both lover and mythical beast, a place of dreams and nightmares.

It's doubtful a film like this would get made today. Almost three decades on and the world is a vastly different place.

As a region, Asia may be known for its wide variety of music, from the commercial pop of South Korea and Hong Kong to the various indie scenes and the ubiquitous karaoke rooms in Cambodia and Thailand.

Around the time a black South African revolutionary was facing a lengthy spell in jail, a young American musician was engaging in his own form of protest.

If, for the sake of argument, green can be used as a synonym for beautiful (like Mother Nature herself), then it's as good a word to describe Brian Eno's music as any.

Leonard Cohen, a bashful septuagenarian singer-songwriter from Montreal, is the kind of man that many men want to be, and many women want to be with.

The Cars, blending traditional rock with pop sensibilities, appeared on the American music scene in the late 1970s with an eponymous debut album regarded in many quarters as a bona fide classic.

Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing is one of eight 63rd Berlin International Film Festival winners screening at the 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival. 

This revered American novel is part morality tale, part adventure story set on the turbulent Atlantic and taking place, for the most part, aboard the whaling ship Pequod. It follows the hunt for the titular leviathan by the doomed and mysterious Captain Ahab.

During the bleak, Reagan-dominated 1980s, a group of young, mostly black men living in Detroit went to work on a new breed of machines.

The post-apocalyptic Australian action film Mad Max - if nothing else - is the vehicle that introduced Mel Gibson to the world.

Picture this: a young writer, musician, film director - whatever - comes virtually out of nowhere to produce a work of staggering, unrivalled genius. It blows people's minds and almost everything else is rendered inconsequential. For the creator of said art, their life changes overnight. They lose their sense of self and go from a modest and clear-headed artist to a conceited and confused celebrity, unable to see what comes next or how to replicate their early success. Paradoxically, they may be lucky enough to succumb to an early death through drugs or suicide, remaining forever idolised - but most don't. Most grow older and their art gets worse.

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