mon 19/02/2018

politics

Mick Herron: London Rules review - hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary

London Rules – explicitly cover your arse – is the fifth in the most remarkable and mesmerising series of novels, set mostly and explicitly in London, to have appeared in years. It is hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary, cynical and...

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The Final Year review - Greg Barker documents Obama's last year in office

"The Times They Are A-Changin'" has never sounded so menacing. The Brothers & Sisters’ gospel version accompanies the end credits of The Final Year documentary as we watch the stunned UN ambassador Samantha Power unpinning her son’s drawings...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal history of the birthplace of Jesus with a Christmas pudding. He carries not gold, frankincense and myrrh but this “dark cannonball” of spices, fruit and stodge as a festive gift to his girlfriend...

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The Jungle, Young Vic review - physically and emotionally challenging

Refugees, it is said, have no nationality – they are all individuals. This new docu-drama, deftly put together by theatre-makers Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, is a sombre account of a couple of recent years of the great European migration crisis,...

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DVD: Dispossession - The Great Social Housing Swindle

In the week that the police announced the final Grenfell Tower fire death toll, this is a timely release. Paul Sng’s 82-minute documentary, narrated by the actress Maxine Peake, is a serious investigation into the state of social housing in the UK,...

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CD: Morrissey - Low in High School

Morrissey inspires some pretty fierce adulation, but there surely can’t be a fan on the planet who loves Morrissey quite as much as Morrissey does. This is the man who was reported, lest we forget, to have insisted that his memoirs be published as a...

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Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

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Trump: An American Dream/Angry, White and American, Channel 4 review - a timely look at Trump and the causes of Trump

There are, as I’m sure many of you are aware, four key stages of political change. Denial, anger, acceptance and, finally, documentary film-making. Now that the Donald has been ensconced in the White House for over a year, Channel 4’s, Trump: An...

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Red Star Over Russia, Tate Modern review – fascinating history in a nutshell

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Tate Modern exhibition features an installation made in 1985 of a Moscow bedsit, its walls lined with political posters. There’s a gaping hole in the ceiling made when the occupant apparently catapulted himself through the...

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66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

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Inspector George Gently, BBC One review - power, corruption and lies in his last-ever case

And now the end is near… and so Inspector George Gently faces his final case. Deemed too political to be broadcast in its original slot in May – 10 days before the General Election – Gently and the New Age was postponed until 8.30pm last...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

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