thu 09/04/2020

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Nick Hasted
Thursday, 09 April 2020
“They say we all have a beast locked up inside of us,” a character observes early in this Korean crime movie. Monsters are certainly chewing at the moral fibre of police captains...
Aleks Sierz
Thursday, 09 April 2020
She’s an ordinary young woman, and she really doesn’t know what to think. After all, things are way out of control. She knows that the natural world is pretty fucked, and that...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 09 April 2020
ZZ Top always seemed like a Texan version of Status Quo. It turns out, from watching this entertaining but hardly revelatory documentary, that is kind of what they are. Directed...
Jasper Rees
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
John Prine, who has died at the age of 73 from a Covid 19-related illness, was one of the great American folk poets. Having spent his early adulthood pounding the sidewalks as a...
Matt Wolf
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, this is one of the many eerily apposite remarks to be found in...
Joe Boyd
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number of overdubs made possible by ProTools, is my idea of...
David Nice
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine...
Sarah Collins
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When Amer Deghayes departed for Syria in a truck leaving from Birmingham, a worker from a youth arts organisation in...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
When the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany was liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division...
Adam Sweeting
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Director Oleg Stepchenko’s follow-up to his 2014 yarn Forbidden Kingdom swaps the latter’s Transylvania for a fantastical...
Nick Hasted
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Their debut’s title was a disillusioned shrug, and for most of the 19 years since Is This It, The Strokes have continued...
Matt Wolf
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
One of the most blistering stage performances in recent memory gets a renewed lease on life with the streaming of the 2019...
Joe Muggs
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
The Colors studio in Berlin has quietly created one of the biggest new brands in music from filming back-to-basics...
Aleks Sierz
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
Artemisia Gentileschi has definitely had a hard time. Although she was an outstanding Renaissance painter in the style of...
Thomas H Green
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
For the duration of this C19 Lockdown, rather than the usual sprawling monthly epic, theartsdesk on Vinyl will be presented...
Graham Rickson
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
These three films come from Buster Keaton’s mid-1920s purple patch, the high spots of which prompted critic Roger Ebert to...
Adam Sweeting
Monday, 06 April 2020
While not the most headline-catching show on Netflix, Ozark has been steadily accruing critical accolades (including a...
David Nice
Monday, 06 April 2020
Necessity has certainly been the mother of invention over the past  three weeks, and orchestras especially, left in the...
Marianka Swain
Monday, 06 April 2020
The latest in Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage programme – an impressively assembled online offering to keep audiences...

★★★★ COLORS, YOUTUBE The normally slickly branded music channel adapts to circumstances

★★★ RUMPELSTILTSKIN, SADLERS WELLS An engaging yarn for young audiences

THEARTSDESK ON VINYL LOCKDOWN SPECIAL 1 Stay-at-home music for stay-at-home times



★★★★ CAMARON: THE FILM, NETFLIX Story of an influential, passionate cantaor

HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS Zeitgeist-sensitive Eighties Brit-combo

disc of the day

Album: The Strokes - The New Abnormal

New York rock saviours swagger into middle-age


Return to Belsen, ITV review - Jonathan Dimbleby retraces his father's journey to a nightmare world

Are the terrible lessons of the Holocaust in danger of being forgotten?

Ozark, Series 3 review, Netflix - money-laundering saga hits new heights

A superb cast and powerful writing are making this show a classic


The Beast review - bad cop blues

Corrupt Korean detectives duel familiarly over a serial killer

The Iron Mask review - preposterous multi-national fantasy

Oleg Stepchenko's film is a weird mix of Chinese folklore, bogus history and atrocious dubbing

Blu-ray: Buster Keaton - Three Films, Vol. 2

Technical brilliance and belly laughs: three features from a great director at his peak

new music

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Netflix review - riffs, drugs and rodeos

Documentary on Texan rockers never really gets under the hood but is still passingly enjoyable

Remembering John Prine, one of the great American singer-songwriters

A tribute to the blue-collar folk poet, who has died at the age of 73

Joe Boyd's Recording Heaven

The legendary producer on the making of Damir Imamović’s album Singer of Tales


Classical Music/Opera direct to home 5 - orchestral manoeuvres in the light

Filleted Bach, Beethoven and Ravel, complete anthemic Sibelius

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

Weighty piano sonatas from Germany and Russia, plus a disc of string duets


The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

Big, bold approach to time-travelling Stravinsky misses out on nuance

The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

Strongly-cast revival keeps the ambiguities of Henry James's ghost story in play

Le nozze di Figaro, Garsington Opera, OperaVision review - natural comedy, musical sublimity

Durable period setting enshrines perfect characterisations. Plus a Handel special


Gators, Tramp Productions online review – the glittering dark
Gloriously surreal monologue about everyday anxieties in extraordinary circumstances
Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play about the miners
Beth Steel award-winner makes for muscular, eerily apposite fare


Rumpelstiltskin, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - spins an engaging yarn for young audiences

balletLORENT provides a sunnier take on the the Brothers Grimm

Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Attempt to revive the spirit of Isadora Duncan is of academic interest, little more


Blu-ray: Buster Keaton - Three Films, Vol. 2

Technical brilliance and belly laughs: three features from a great director at his peak

Lazy Susan, Soho Theatre On Demand review - sketch duo's ingeniously plotted show

Freya Parker and Celeste Dring examine male behaviour


Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Challenge The Authority in this 'Mad Max on mushrooms' renegade romp

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to Celebrate Brighton Festival!

An eclectic line-up spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, comedy, literature and spoken word could be yours with boutique hotel and exquisite meals included

World War Z review - bloodthirsty fun with the zombie apocalypse

Chainsawing the brain-eaters as you battle against the tide of the undead

visual arts

10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Multidisciplinary thinking at a multidisciplinary festival in a time of crisis

Among the Trees, Hayward Gallery review - a mixture of euphoria and dismay

Our complex relationship with trees explored to powerful effect


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