fri 10/04/2020

Afghanistan

Prince Harry: Frontline Afghanistan, BBC Three

The television channels have been making documentaries about our boys, and indeed girls, in Afghanistan for the best part of a decade. We’re used by now to the imagery, which mainly consists of dust, joshing, weaponry and boredom. Prince Harry:...

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Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty could have easily gone by the name of the Danish thriller from last year, The Hunt, it’s so furiously single-minded. As it is, the film's striking title is a military term for half-past midnight - the timing of the Navy SEAL raid...

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Our War: Into the Hornet's Nest, BBC Three

It is a Hollywood truism that any film that begins with amateur footage of happy, smiling people ends in tears. Our War was no exception: fit young men messed about in the sun and somersaulted into the Med. However, their R&R was soon over and...

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Mixed Media, Haunch of Venison

Group shows can be strained: the rubric can be so narrow that it has to be stretched to accommodate the artists at hand. That is one reason why Haunch of Venison's new show, Mixed Media, is so pleasing: it features contemporary sculpture with an...

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Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan, Tate Modern

Two superb exhibitions at Tate Modern bring into public view the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Italian conceptualist Alighiero Boetti; their work is not in any way connected except that, with their singular voices, each deserves much...

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Channel 4 has high hopes for Homeland

If you don't fancy any more masters-and-servants dramas on a Sunday evening, you can thank Channel 4 for bringing the excellent Homeland to its Sunday roster. Kicking off tonight, it arrives in the UK basking in Golden Globe glory, having picked up...

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Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan, Channel 5

As if by way of riposte to Birdsong’s ever-so-pensive treatment of late, last night’s Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan brought warfare back to the 21st century with an uncompromising thump. In Episode 1: Deadly Underfoot, Chris Terrill joined Lima...

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Wreckers

There's quite a bit to admire in DR Hood's debut feature. There's the cast for a start, headed by nascent superstar  Benedict Cumberbatch alongside Brit-dram It-girl Claire Foy. Beguiling, too, is the piece's setting in the fenlands of East...

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My Summer Reading: Writer William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple wrote his highly acclaimed bestseller In Xanadu, an account of his journey to the ruins of Kubla Khan's stately pleasure dome, when he was 22. In 1989 he moved to Delhi where he lived for six years researching and writing his...

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Harry's Arctic Heroes, BBC One

Prince Harry turns out to be a natural in front of the camera, whatever the weather

Does anyone else ever feel a mite sorry for the North Pole? It always takes second billing to its more famous namesake, and you can see why. The South Pole belongs to a continental land mass. Antarctica has penguins, historic huts, and chaps going...

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The Wonder of Weeds, BBC Four/ Afghanistan: War without End?, BBC Two

Continuing BBC Four's trend of creating surprisingly watchable programmes out of dowdy and unpromising ideas, this survey of the plants gardeners love to hate was a mine of information and offered plenty of food for thought. And for that matter,...

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Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From the War in Afghanistan, Tate Modern

A ferris wheel in Afghanistan: 'Simon Norfolk's colours are heightened, and there is a sense of disquieting stillness'

How easy is it to stage a dialogue between two artists when they are, in fact, separated by over a century? And is it really an artistic conversation that takes place or merely an imposition of values by the living over the dead? This pertinent...

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