thu 14/12/2017

America

The Twilight Zone, Almeida Theatre review - from hokum to humanity

Director Richard Jones watched all 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone as research for this Almeida production. I've never seen a single one, to the amazement of the American fan on the tube home who saw me reading the programme and, having grown up...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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The Melting Pot, Finborough Theatre review - entertaining morals

Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence and injustice and in thrall to its own bloody past. America, on the other hand, represents a visionary project that will “melt...

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DVD: The Work

“Doing work” is the phrase that inmates of California’s New Folsom Prison have adopted to describe the group psychotherapy sessions that have been run there for more than 15 years now. Given that Folsom is a Level-4 penitentiary, in which murder is...

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The Farthest: Voyager's Interstellar Journey, BBC Four review - awe-inspiring and life-affirming space odyssey

Long before Barack Obama spoke about the audacity of hope, the Voyager mission left the Earth driven by something else: the audacity of curiosity. What do the outer planets look like? What are they comprised of? And what’s beyond that?Storyville:...

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Love, Cecil review - poignant, inspiring, and very sad

It’s shameful to admit it, but it’s perhaps rather surprising that a film about a fashion photographer and designer should end up being so profoundly moving and inspiring. Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s deft biopic about Cecil Beaton starts off dancing...

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Margaret Cho, Hen & Chickens Bristol review - sex and drugs, no holds barred

Margaret Cho takes no prisoners: if you don’t like good honest filth or feel uncomfortable around matters of feminism, sex and race, then this Korean-American comic is not for you. Cho was voted among the top 50 comics of all time by Rolling Stone...

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Wonder review - sweet and smart but sometimes also schmaltzy

Genuine emotion does battle with gerrymandered feeling in Wonder, which at least proves that the young star of Room, Jacob Tremblay, is no one-film wonder himself. Playing a pre-teen Brooklynite who yearns to be seen as more than the facial...

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CD: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Visitor

Not since the 1960s has there been so much global shit to protest about! The Sixties, of course, gave us the protest song – and how well the best of them have worn. “Masters of War” and “With God On Our Side” are timeless classics. “Give Peace a...

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Suburbicon review - George Clooney's jarring pastiche of the American dream

If you’re hoping for an incisive look at Fifties American suburbia in this unappealing film, directed and co-written by George Clooney, you’ll be disappointed. It’s hardly worthy of the director of Good Night, and Good Luck, also set in the Fifties...

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Singcircle, Barbican review - veteran ensemble bids farewell with Stockhausen

STIMMUNG is always an event. Stockhausen’s score calls for a ritual as much as a performance, with six singers sitting around a spherical light on a low table, the audience voyeurs at some intimate but unexplained rite. Singcircle has been...

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Tina Brown: The Vanity Fair Diaries 1983-1992 review - portrait of an era of glitz and excess

Tina Brown’s first Christmas issue of Vanity Fair in 1984 had this to say about “the sulky, Elvisy” Donald Trump: “…he’s a brass act. And he owns his own football team. And he thinks he should negotiate arms control agreements with the Soviet Union...

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