tue 19/01/2021

21st century

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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Raven Leilani: Luster - portrait of the artist as a black millennial woman

One of the finer episodes in Raven Leilani’s startling debut (which contains an embarrassment of fine episodes) comes about halfway through, when Edie, our young, struggling black narrator, starts working as a rider for a “popular in-app delivery...

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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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Courttia Newland: A River Called Time review - an ethereality check

It is near impossible to imagine what the world would look like today if slavery and colonialism had never existed, let alone to write a book on the subject. Courttia Newland sets himself this daunting task in his latest novel, A River Called Time....

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Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, Royal Court online review – the news, but better

Edition 2 of Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, an experimental new piece of online theatre from the Royal Court, doesn’t mess around. Within minutes, a cry of "Tory scum" is echoing around the Jerwood Theatre – the refrain of an anarchic...

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The Woman Who Ran review - toxic male alert

The dramatic developments in The Woman Who Ran, the 24th film written and directed by Hong Sang-soo since 1996, are mild to say the least. The worst that befalls the protagonist, a romantically puzzled thirtysomething Seoul florist called Gam-hee (...

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Book extract: Fat by Hanne Blank

"Ugh, I just feel so fat today," the woman near me in the locker room says to her friend as they get dressed after their workout. I look over – discreetly, as one does – to catch a glimpse of the grimacing side of her face as she zips up a pair of...

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Blu-ray: Polytechnique

The French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve is best known for mainstream films like Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049, stylishly expressive in their harnessing of alienating terrains, notably deserts and plains. Their claustrophobic...

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Collective review - waging war on corruption

It was around the time of the 14th century Black Death that the word “corruption” – from the Latin corruptus, the past participle of corrumpere, “to mar, bribe, destroy” – was first associated with putrefaction. Moral corruption becomes inextricably...

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David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet review - is the end nigh?

At 93-years-old and with a career that spans nearly 60 years, David Attenborough has spent a lifetime transporting audiences from the comfort of their sofas to the dazzling, often bewildering, majesty of the natural world. Now, he offers what he...

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Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope of life's tragicomedy

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry collection Personals, and since, he has composed little circular poems, similar (in style though not sentiment) to the posies you sometimes find inscribed on the inside of rings. He...

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Album: Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension

Sufjan Stevens is an artist of remarkable ambition. His 80-minute long new album, with 15 beautiful and poetic songs, belongs to a long line of pop experimentation that runs through from The Beatles and George Martin’s Stg Pepper’s Lonely Hearts...

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