wed 18/10/2017

World War Two

'The kaleidoscope of an entire lifetime of memories'

When director Bruce Guthrie first gave me the script for Man to Man by Manfred Karge, I was immediately mesmerised by the language, each of the 27 scenes leapt off the page. Some are a few short sentences, other pages long; every one a...

Read more...

Dunkirk review - old-fashioned filmmaking on the grandest scale

What is the Dunkirk spirit? It has been so thoroughly internalised by the national psyche that, 77 years on, it’s as much a brand, a meme or a slogan as the product of a historical fact: that at the start of World War Two 330,000 soldiers of the...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: The Sorrow and the Pity

All the accolades heaped onto this documentary in the near 50 years since it was made are wholly deserved. Over 251 minutes, Marcel Ophuls weaves together an extraordinary collection of interviews and archive to tell the story of France during the...

Read more...

Churchill review - Winston has smallness thrust upon him

He may often be voted Greatest Briton in the History of Everything, but are we approaching peak Winston? Scroll down Churchill’s IMDb entry and you’ll find that he’s been played by every Tom, Dick and Harry in all manner of cockamamie entertainments...

Read more...

CD: Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want?

Roger Waters described The Final Cut, the last Pink Floyd album he appeared on, as “a requiem for the post-war dream”. Funnily enough, he could say much the same for Is This the Life We Really Want?, his fourth solo album. (The answer the title...

Read more...

All Our Children review - shameful historical period horrifies anew

How do you tell a story as complex as the eugenics movement, which is pursued afresh in writer-director Stephen Unwin's new play All Our Children? Its idealistic origins lie in Britain with Francis Galton in 1883, before leading to forced...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This is an impeccably restored presentation of the 1945 feature-length documentary that was intended to be shown in German cinemas in order to counter any remaining support for Nazism. Backed by the British Ministry of Information, it was overseen...

Read more...

Their Finest review - undone by feeble female characterisation

Yet another excuse to snuggle down with some cosy wartime nostalgia, Their Finest is purportedly a tribute to women’s undervalued role in the British film industry. Unfortunately it comes over more blah than Blitz. Gemma Arterton plays Catrin Cole,...

Read more...

DVD: Slaughterhouse-Five

“I never saw anything like it,” declares Billy Pilgrim in wonderment. “It’s the Land of Oz.” He has just seen Dresden’s splendour from the train carriage into which he and other American prisoners of war are crammed en route to the city. They’ve...

Read more...

Love in Idleness, Menier Chocolate Factory

What's in a name? Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness is a reworking of his 1944 play Less Than Kind (never staged at the time, it was first produced just six years ago). It reached the London stage at the very end of the same year with the Lunts,...

Read more...

SS–GB, Series Finale, BBC One

In the end, SS-GB promised more than it could deliver, but it still left us with some memorable images (not least in the cleverly-crafted opening titles) and several excellent performances. The ending even dangled the faintest hint of a sequel,...

Read more...

DVD: The Spring River Flows East

There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’s melodrama dates its 14-year timespan – events unroll from 1931 to the end of the war in 1945 – with reference to the...

Read more...
Subscribe to World War Two