wed 19/12/2018

1940s

Mrs Wilson, BBC One review - real-life secrets and lies

In which the titular Mrs Wilson is played by her real-life granddaughter Ruth Wilson, in an intriguing tale of subterfuge both personal and professional. The curtain rose over suburban west London in the 1960s, where Alison Wilson was married to...

Read more...

Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one

Getting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The looks at the audience nail it too, heavy-lidded and lashed but transfixing, charismatic, winning instant complicity....

Read more...

Overlord review - nightmares in Normandy

The trailer for Overlord promises havoc, horror, evil, madness, terror and rage, and to be fair it delivers on most of those. From the fantasy factory of producer JJ Abrams, it’s the ghastly story of an alternative D-Day, in which American...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Hitler's Hollywood

Apart from Leni Riefenstahl’s insidiously seductive celebrations of Nazism and the propaganda excesses of Veit Harlan’s Jud Süß (1940), the films that were made in Germany during the Hitler period have been air-brushed out of cinema history, almost...

Read more...

The Rake's Progress, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - supreme fluency from Eden to Bedlam

Lightness and gravity in perfect equilibrium have always graced Vladimir Jurowski's Stravinsky. From his first London Rake's Progress at English National Opera, proving that he could do the delicate and translucent after his Royal Opera debut...

Read more...

Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

Read more...

The Outsider, Print Room at the Coronet review - power in restraint

As the Syrian conflict enters its final convulsions, renewing memories of how the Sykes-Picot agreement – between an Englishman and a Frenchman – would cause more than a century of political resentment in the Arab world, The Outsider seems...

Read more...

Paul Bunyan, ENO, Wilton's Music Hall review - talent cabined and confined

It's Britten outside-in time for English National Opera. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, which played host earlier this year to an only partially convincing production of his 1950s masterpiece The Turn of the Screw, would have been the perfect...

Read more...

Cold War review - a gorgeous and mesmerising romance

Can we ever really know the passion that brought our parents together? By the time we are old enough to hear the story of how they first met, that lovers’ narrative has frayed in the telling and faded in the daily light of domestic familiarity. But...

Read more...

Prom 57, On the Town, LSO, Wilson review - symphonic dances and sassy vocals

1944 was one hell of a year for Bernstein the composer, with a perfect ballet and a near-perfect musical sharing a general theme of three sailors loose in New York, but nothing else, in their boisterous originality. Perhaps their only equal among...

Read more...

Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Aimard, SCO, Pintscher - psychedelic visions

There were two immediate casualties at Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s high-energy account of Messiaen’s monumental Des canyons aux étoiles… with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival.First was one of the strings in the...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: It Happened Here

Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo’s It Happened Here surely deserves the acclaim often accorded it as “the most ambitious amateur film ever made”, and the rich supporting extras on this BFI dual-format release make clear why. Best of all is a 65-...

Read more...
Subscribe to 1940s