sun 24/09/2017

Iceland

DVD/Blu-ray: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Oh dear. I thought that this was going to be one of those exciting fantasy films that livened up TV on weekend afternoons in my childhood, and that there would be kitschy special effects and ludicrous dialogue. But no, it's not 20,00 Leagues under...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Ólafur Arnalds

We’ve been here before. Not to exactly the same territory, but to a neighbouring space in the same time frame. Last year, theartsdesk looked at a reissue of 2007’s Room to Expand, the first widely available album by the minimalist pianist Hauschka....

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DVD/Blu-ray: American Gods

Neil Gaiman understood the country where he’d landed as an immigrant in the Nineties by writing American Gods. His first substantial novel after his crowning comics achievement, The Sandman, mined an idea of infinite plenitude: if every immigrant...

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Sunday Book: Yrsa Sigurdardóttir - The Legacy

Anyone who's followed Yrsa's earlier novels, many of them featuring down-to-earth attorney Thora Gudmundsdóttir as heroine, will value her superb evocation of very distinct and haunting parts of Iceland - the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Heimaey island,...

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Sunday Book: Neil Gaiman - Norse Mythology

Odin the All-Father, “lord of the slain, the gallows god”, has two ravens that “perch on his shoulders and whisper into his ears” as he wanders in disguise around the world. They are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory. Over many centuries, the...

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Case, Channel 4

Another night, another woman battered/strangled/raped/murdered. On Sunday a pregnant woman was brutally slapped about by her husband in Call the Midwife, while Emily Watson’s character in Apple Tree Yard was the victim of a punishment rape. And so...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2016

On the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2016, Polly Jean Harvey and her band are ranged in a line just inside the edge of the stage constructed inside Valshöllin, a sports hall south of Reykjavík’s city centre. The festival’s five days have climaxed...

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Björk, Royal Albert Hall

I'll be straight: I wasn't sure what to expect at this show, because I've never been a Björk fanatic as such. I loved – and saw live – The Sugarcubes as a teenager, I've raved to her Nineties Debut and Post era tracks, and I've enjoyed plenty...

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CD: Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée

Despite culminating with “Orphic Hymn”, a musical setting of Ovid’s text, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Orphée is not a literal interpretation of the Orpheus myth. Instead, the album uses retellings of the story – quoting the press release – to inspire “a...

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Björk Digital, Somerset House

Australia and Japan were first to host Björk Digital, but it lands at London’s Somerset House with fresh, never-before-seen work. The immersive virtual reality exhibition collates several digital- and film-based works born from Björk's critically...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Nocturnes for Midsummer

After a grey start, there was a spectacular sunset around midnight on the second of my two days in Reykjavik. It's what brings one of Iceland's most brilliant younger-generation talents, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (and yes, he's worked with Björk),...

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Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

A Nordic noir that began in a blazing fish factory was bound to have lots of red herrings. Trapped, however, did not cheat and eventually revealed not only who set the fire but who was the father of Maggi, the ginger cutie waiting ever so...

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