wed 18/10/2017

1980s

Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, RFH review - a visit from the gentle ghost of Boulez

The Royal Festival Hall rather belied its name for a visit to London on Saturday of France’s premier new-music ensemble. It can’t be helped that the more intimate space of the Queen Elizabeth Hall next door is presently closed for renovation, but...

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Snowfall, BBC Two review - blizzard hits South Central

An American TV show about drugs and drug dealers? How frightfully novel. At least The Deuce (showing now on Sky Atlantic) is about pornography instead.Anyhow Snowfall has been created by John Singleton, of Boyz n the Hood fame, and whisks us back to...

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The Glass Castle review - Woody steals the film by a wide margin

People who live in glass castles might be wary of throwing stones. That clearly was not the case with American magazine journalist Jeannette Walls, who made of her often harrowing childhood a best-selling memoir that has found its inevitable way to...

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The Reagan Show review - engaging but frustrating

The Reagan administration produced as much video content as the previous five administrations combined. That’s the claim early on in The Reagan Show, an engaging but ultimately frustrating documentary compiled entirely from archive footage by co-...

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CD: The Blow Monkeys - The Wild River

It was this album's good fortune to arrive on a miserable rainy afternoon. At other times my first impressions might be a bit harsher about its comfortable, retro dad-grooves and easily flowing sax solos, but instead I let it wrap me like a blanket...

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Basquiat: Boom for Real, Barbican review - the myth explored

Beautiful, shy, charming and talented, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a shining star who streaked across the New York skyline for a few brief years in the early 1980s before a heroin overdose claimed his life at the age of only 27. I’ve introduced...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

A decade after his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, won the 1978 Palme d’Or at Cannes, Italian director Ermanno Olmi took Venice’s 1988 Golden Lion for The Legend of the Holy Drinker (La leggenda del santo bevitore). Festival victories aside,...

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The March on Russia, Orange Tree Theatre review – vividly funny amid the bleakness

The late David Storey spoke movingly, elsewhere on The Arts Desk, of his sense of overwhelming powerlessness at the challenge of accepting his father’s death. “I was quite racked by his death, and what death had become as an abstraction - in other...

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The Psychedelic Furs, Concorde 2, Brighton review - classy new wave pop ruined by bad sound

This is, in many ways, an underwhelming evening, but the fault does not primarily lie with The Psychedelic Furs. Things start well with support act Lene Lovich who gives a lively performance, in a black’n’red ensemble with striped sleeves and a...

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IT review - killer clown is kids' stuff

Stephen King’s IT attempted ultimate terror, cutting far deeper than a killer clown. It idealised childhood friendships and their adult honouring even as one of those kids was forced to eat shit by sadistic bullies, and their idyllic small-town of...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Beautiful Laundrette

This rerelease of Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette comes as part of the wider BFI programme marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and its presence in that strand, as one of the foremost works of its time...

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American Made review - Tom Cruise flies again

How funny are gun-running, drug-smuggling and money-laundering? It depends who’s doing them. In American Made none other than Tom Cruise gets behind the controls of a twin-engine plane and flies back to the 1980s, a sepia-tinted yesteryear when all...

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