fri 05/03/2021

20th century

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

Joseph Andras wastes no time. “Not a proud and forthright rain, no. A stingy rain. Mean. Playing dirty.” This is how his debut novel kicks off, and it’s a fitting start for his retelling of the arrest, torture, one-day trial and subsequent execution...

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Blu-ray: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) is Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s dark 1970s satire on state corruption. The...

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Francis Spufford: Light Perpetual review - time regained

On 25 November 1944, a German V2 rocket struck the Woolworths store in New Cross at Saturday lunchtime. It killed 168 people. Francis Spufford’s second novel begins with this “hairline crack” in existence; a mere nanosecond of high-explosive...

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Blu-ray/DVD : The Tin Drum

Volker Schlöndorff’s brilliant adaptation of Günter Grass’s 1959 novel The Tin Drum hasn’t aged one bit: just as the book and film’s main character Oskar Matzerath decides that it’s better not to grow old, the film’s phenomenal zest feels as fresh...

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Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several respects and features poet laureate Simon Armitage reading both his the...

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Mark Fisher: Postcapitalist Desire - The Final Lectures review - imagining the alternative

Postcapitalist Desire: The Final Lectures is a collection of transcripts, recording weekly group lectures delivered by Mark Fisher to his students at Goldsmiths, University of London during the 2016/17 academic year. These lectures provide the...

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Williams, Hallé, Elder online review - big results from small forces

The second of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts-on-film is scarcely less ground-breaking than the first. But this time we are in the orchestra’s second home, the former church now extended to be Hallé St Peter’s in the regenerated part of...

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Hillbilly Elegy review - misery in the heartland

Published in June 2016, J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy became a best-seller around the time of that November’s presidential election as people sought to understand why working class whites in the American heartland supported Donald Trump en...

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Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

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Bluebeard's Castle, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's online review - slow-burning magnificence

Poulenc’s La voix humaine comes close, but Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle has to be the perfect lockdown opera, this heady tale of two mismatched souls stuck in a confined space (admittedly an enormous one) alarmingly pertinent. Simon Rattle’s London...

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Julia Bullock, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bewitching dreamscapes

Nobody would wish it this way, but orchestras playing on a stage specially built-up for distancing to a handful of invitees have never sounded better in the Royal Festival Hall. The Philharmonia’s outgoing principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is a...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the cavernous auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall pitted against a fairly...

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