tue 24/11/2020

America

Leap of Faith review – Alexandre O. Philippe examines ‘The Exorcist’

“Films are about the mystery of fate or the mystery of faith,” proclaims director William Friedkin in Alexandre O. Philippe’s latest documentary, Leap of Faith. At 84 years old, Friedkin proves himself to be a master of storytelling, not only behind...

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Extract: 'On Loneliness' by Fatimah Asghar, from 'The Good Immigrant USA'

The infamous border wall. Prolonged detention. Children in cages. Even as Biden's election promises a sea change in Trump's devastatingly hardline immigration policy, immigrants, both first- and second-generation, face a spectrum of prejudice,...

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The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major obstacle to a production of The Seven Deadly Sins. How else is the opera’s protagonist to be seen to visit seven American cities...

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Billie review – new documentary captures the rebel

Listen to "The Blues are Brewin", "You Better Go Now", or even "I’ll be Seeing You", and you can hear the hurt reverberate in every note Billie Holiday sang. Her voice rang with the wisdom of experience – perhaps too much experience. She lived a...

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Words on Bathroom Walls review - well-meaning but glib

Adam (Charlie Plummer) is being tested for glaucoma at the start of Words on Bathroom Walls, the director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of Julia Walton's 2017 Young Adult novel. In fact, the indrawn teenager is suffering from schizophrenia and will...

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The Queen's Gambit, Netflix review - chess prodigy's story makes brilliant television

It’s surprising, perhaps, that the dramatic potential of chess hasn’t been more widely exploited. There was a nail-biting tournament in From Russia with Love, while the knight’s chequerboard struggle with Death was the centrepiece of Ingmar Bergman’...

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Classical CDs Weekly: US Election Special

 A New Century The Cleveland Orchestra/Franz Welser-Möst (Cleveland Orchestra)Have we reached peak box set? This debut release from the Cleveland Orchestra’s own label ups the stakes considerably, an exquisitely designed and engineered...

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The Witches review – new take lacks magic

 A long shadow looms over Robert Zemeckis’ new take on Roald Dahl’s classic 1980s book The Witches, starring Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway and newcomer Jahzir Bruno. That shadow is cast by Nicholas Roeg’s strange and terrifying 1990 adaptation...

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Shirley review - hothouse art film about American horror writer

Shirley is one of those films that the mood you’re in when you watch it will dictate whether you think it’s a great psychological horror movie or overheated and pretentious. Go to the cinema wanting to be plunged into a fever dream of gothic...

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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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One Man and His Shoes review - beautifully crafted, fast-paced documentary

“Black people, since the beginning of time, have always made things cool. Jazz, rock ’n’ roll… pick anything from a cultural standpoint and we have always been the arbitrators of cool,” says sports journalist Jamele Hill. “And it was really no...

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Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins review - a fitting tribute to a political hellraiser

It’s a brave film distributor who releases a documentary about an American journalist in the UK at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic, so first salute goes to Eve Gabereau at Modern Films for giving Raise Hell a...

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