sat 06/03/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Demetrios Matheou
Saturday, 06 March 2021
Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive...
Tom Birchenough
Saturday, 06 March 2021
Joerg and Anna Winger’s gripping drama of East Germany, a loose portrait set over the final decade of that country’s existence, has reached its culmination, and this first episode...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 06 March 2021
There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a...
Thomas H Green
Saturday, 06 March 2021
The debut album by Australian-Ghanaian artist Genesis Owusu is so musically restless it’s exhilarating. What’s clear is this guy doesn’t want to be placed in a box, marked hip hop...
David Nice
Friday, 05 March 2021
In amongst the heavy-hearted duty of supporting orchestras by watching their concert streamings – not something I’d do by choice – there are two real joys here. One is the...
Veronica Lee
Friday, 05 March 2021
Eddie Murphy – one of the biggest stars of the 1980s – has taken his time in making a sequel to the enormously successful Coming to America, which was released in 1988. In that...
Saskia Baron
Friday, 05 March 2021
Can a film be both too long and too short? If so, Into the Darkness definitely fits the bill. Anders Refn’s long-...
Katie Colombus
Thursday, 04 March 2021
Best known for winning Sweden's version of Got Talent, at the tender age of 10, Zara Larsson is a shining example of a...
Jessica Duchen
Thursday, 04 March 2021
A word about grief. Many of us have learned a lot about it this past year; many knew about it before that. When someone we...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 04 March 2021
The Romanian director Radu Jude invariably serves spicy satire that challenges his compatriots to face historical crimes and...
Adam Sweeting
Thursday, 04 March 2021
Admittedly, Antarctic explorer Captain Scott was at the other end of the earth from the protagonists of The Terror (BBC Two...
Barney Harsent
Thursday, 04 March 2021
Over the course of seven albums and nearly two decades, Kings of Leon have gone from spiky, short bursts of adrenaline-...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 03 March 2021
A teen comedy with a thematic difference, Moxie has enough memorable moments to firmly establish comedian Amy Poehler as a...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 03 March 2021
Nice to find Bryan Cranston taking the lead in a TV series again (this is his first since Breaking Bad ended in 2013), and...
Marina Vaizey
Wednesday, 03 March 2021
Pioneering is an attractive adjective in this context, alerting the spectator to what has been, over the past half century,...
Lisa-Marie Ferla
Wednesday, 03 March 2021
Shortly after Arab Strap split up in 2006, Malcolm Middleton was quoted saying “I don’t think we should ever get back...
Boyd Tonkin
Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Beatrice Blackwood had lived in a clifftop village between surf and jungle on Bougainville Island, part of the Solomon...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 02 March 2021
Jindřich Polák ’s 1963 film Ikarie XB-1 (also available from distributor Second Run) still seems fresh, a cerebral, visually...
Robert Beale
Monday, 01 March 2021
Manchester Camerata’s performance with Jess Gillam at Chetham’s School of Music was filmed in private on 9 January (and the...
 

★★ COMING 2 AMERICA Disappointing sequel has its moments

★★★ DIE TOTE STADT,  KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN, OPERAVISION Korngold's impassioned opera doesn't ring all the bells

★★★★ THE TERROR, BBC TWO Nightmare in the Arctic wastes

★★★ ZARA LARSSON - POSTER GIRL Perfectly performed shiny disco-pop

★★★★ BERLINALE 2021: BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN Cheeky, timely, provocative 

disc of the day

Album: Genesis Owusu - Smiling With No Teeth

Debut by new talent from Australia is a charismatic and multiform ride

tv

Deutschland 89, Channel 4 review - the Wall comes down, what next?

Compulsive start to final series of the East German spy drama that's much more

The Terror, BBC Two review - nightmare in the Arctic wastes

Powerful cast in doomed search for the Northwest Passage

film

Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Céline Sciamma continues her startling run of perfect films, plus Daniel Bruhl’s black comedy ‘Next Door’ and the tricksy ‘A Cop Movie’ from Mexico

Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

Documentary portrait of a punk legend who struggled with fame

new music

Album: Genesis Owusu - Smiling With No Teeth

Debut by new talent from Australia is a charismatic and multiform ride

Album: Zara Larsson - Poster Girl

Perfectly performed shiny disco-pop

Album: Kings of Leon - When You See Yourself

The Nashville family four-piece's eighth album shines at times, but is frustratingly forgettable

classical

Two LSO concerts on Marquee TV review - vibrant triptyches

Oboist Juliana Koch has fellow players for audience in the highlight of more filmed events

Gillam, Manchester Camerata, Kuusisto, Stoller Hall online review - calm and exhilaration

Time stands still and enthusiasm cheers the spirits in a concert for the present

‘The Healing Power of Music’: composer Nigel Hess on great-aunt Myra’s wartime concerts

Parallels between lockdown solace and a great Dame's National Gallery events

opera

Die tote Stadt, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – when catharsis goes missing

Robert Carsen's production of Korngold's impassioned opera doesn't ring all the bells

Tony and the Young Artists, Royal Opera/Liebeslieder Waltzes, Blackheath Halls online review - love and joy

Much-needed platforms for talented youth to make its way in difficult times

Der Freischütz, Bavarian State Opera online review – marksmen as marketeers

Tcherniakov’s staging heightens the psychological drama, but his feminist angle falls flat

theatre

Typical, Soho Theatre online review - powerfully poetic and painful
Film version of 2019 monologue about institutional racism is brilliant
Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament review – choose-your-own whodunnit
Playful interactive show casts audience members as amateur detectives
Barnes' People, Original Theatre Company online review - intriguing quartet of monologues revived
Jemma Redgrave and Adrian Scarborough excel in Peter Barnes radio solos brought to screen

dance

Best of 2020: Dance

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

It's been a rough ride for the seasonal cash cow. Here's how ballet companies coped

The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's indictment of capitalism in a vibrant new production

Books

Frances Larson: Undreamed Shores review - journeys without maps

How the first female anthropologists found freedom far from home

Joseph Andras: Tomorrow They Won't Dare to Murder Us review - injustice and tenderness in the Algerian War

This thriller-ish debut revives the only European executed in the French-Algerian conflict

visual arts

Pioneering Women, Oxford Ceramics Gallery online review - domestic pleasures

A survey of female potters explores ancient ubiquity and the allure of pure form

Best of 2020: Visual Arts

Our critics reflect on their favourite exhibitions of 2020

latest comments

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