tue 24/10/2017

Cold War

LFF 2017: The Shape of Water review – outsider s.f. and inter-species sex from del Toro

Fish out of water come in various guises in Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fable, shown at London Film Festival. The Shape of Water riffs on The Creature from the Black Lagoon with its amphibious man-god, captured in 1962 to be cattle-prodded and...

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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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John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies review - the master in twilight mood

Over his long career – 23 novels, memoirs, his painfully believable narratives adapted into extraordinary films (10 for the big screen) and for television – John le Carré has created a world that has gripped readers and viewers alike. He has...

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DVD: Culloden / The War Game

The most radical of the directors who forged a “cinema of resistance” at the BBC in the 1960s, Peter Watkins completed two groundbreaking docudramas there – Culloden (1964) and The War Game (1965) – before the suppression of the second prompted his...

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Miss Atomic Bomb, St James Theatre

As settings for musical comedy go, this one promised some boom for your buck. Las Vegas in the early 1950s was just emerging as a magnet not only for hedonists and gamblers, mobsters and showgirls, but also for the personnel of America’s Atomic...

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Churchill's Secret, ITV

When it comes to losing power, and powers failing, Michael Gambon has once again proved himself the ruler of choice. The actor who gave us his Lear when he was only just hitting his forties has had three decades of gurning and grouching to ready...

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The Propaganda Game

The set-up behind Spanish film-maker Álvaro Longoria’s intelligent documentary on North Korea is almost as bizarre and unlikely as the regime he’s attempting to probe.Having felt compelled for several years to make a film about the country, he’s...

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Deutschland 83, Series Finale, Channel 4

Martin Rauch-stroke-Moritz Stamm, the reluctant spy who by the end of the final, double episode of this eight-parter had achieved more than most in that profession, managed the ultimate last night: he came in from the cold. In a series whose refrain...

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Trumbo

Trumbo depicts the 13-year struggle by the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) to break the blacklist imposed on him and the other members of the Hollywood Ten in 1947. By continuing to get his scripts produced throughout the Fifties, Trumbo...

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London Spy, Series Finale, BBC Two

Well, they're saying this was the final episode, but these days you never know how long TV's ratings-hungry marketeers might eke a successful show out for. London Spy 2 would be a major ask, considering how this series somehow spun a bare minimum of...

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DVD: Red Army

The story of the Soviet Union’s ice hockey team's pivotal role in relations with North America is fascinating. Its players were not just sportsmen. They were also in the army and integral to their home country's portrayal of itself on the world...

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Bridge of Spies

Nostalgia for the good old days of mutually assured destruction? You’d have got long odds on such a thing on 9 November 1989, the day the Berlin Wall was breached. A quarter of a century on, the Americans and the Russians are entangled in a whole...

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