Just a few years ago, painting was old hat. The Turner prize never went to a painter. Saatchi didn't pay top dollar for paintings. Painters, even very good ones such as Freud and Patrick Caulfield, were relegated to the second tier. Unless of course the paintings were produced by spin machine or manufactured by impoverished art students in an East End factory, painting just wasn't cutting-edge. I'm not decrying the importance of the YBAs as a phenomenon of their time - Rachel Whiteread, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin will, in time, rise in reputation against Damien and their auction prices will equalise. But like the post-punk age, we've all been hanging about waiting to see what will follow the age of the YBAs and Saatchi, and the answer may well be ... painting. Certainly if Hockney's exhibition at the RA is anything to go by. Worth a trip up to London for, and worth £29.95 for the softback catalogue.
Spielberg's Warhorse is worth waiting for the DVD release if, like me, you prefer to weep in private. The thought of being stuck in a cinema full of the openly lachrymose is really quite an unpleasant prospect. The moral message - good overcomes evil, love conquers all - is one I wholeheartedly support. It's a theme that also runs through every film made by the Disney studios, some of which are dreadfully crass in artistic terms, yet worthy still if they manage to win a single convert from the cinematic world of violent death and human degradation.
Both Hockney and Spielberg, each in their own way, scores a small victory for Good.