My essentials: Alfred Camilleri’s cultural picks

No 37 | Alfred Camilleri, 71, visual artist/ free verse writer

1. Book

I am always mostly after printed literature about the arts and cultural history, while the internet keeps me updated about the international art scene. Lately I have in hand ‘A Little History of The World’ by E.H. Gombrich, author of the international bestseller ‘The Story of Art’. A flowing account of man’s history, pleasantly illustrated with references to works of art. Apart from a well of knowledge, his gentle style proves the best way to explore and discover.

2. Film

Though I like the theatre atmosphere of the place I don’t often go to the cinema so when I’m in the mood of watching a film or have some time to spare I may search Netflix or YouTube. A recent case in point is Rossellini’s ‘Una Voce Umana’ – a second-time viewing. Anna Magnani’s naturalism and outstanding acting skills shine in this monologue. Produced in 1948, I believe the expression of social abandonment and isolation is even more real today.

3. Internet/TV

Internet is definitely today’s encyclopaedia, opening up an infinite panorama of information. Among the many sites I regularly use are Art Daily Newsletter, The Art Newspaper and various international gallery websites. But I still love to watch some TV. I usually follow RAI’s documentaries about Italy’s rich cultural heritage, some good musical performances and films based on biographies. BBC’s productions and documentaries are always an option.

4. Music

In my youth I was a great fan of the Bee Gees and their 60s and 70s hits and their dress style marked my youth. Now I enjoy every piece of good music from Italy’s top cantautori, to world music, to my favourite current band Coldplay, which I find produce a pleasant blend for the ears. I tend to hear the music first without watching the video. In this way I get a better taste of the sounds.

5. Place

I am really spoilt for choice where travelling is concerned. I loved Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan, Ireland and Wales and I wouldn’t mind going back especially visiting their marvellous museums and galleries. But I would also love to explore the rural villages where time seems to have stopped. I am fascinated by places which seem to have been immaculately conserved in their original state and yet still liveable.