sat 26/09/2020

Berlin

Max Raabe, Palast-Orchester, Cadogan Hall review - escapism with irony

Escapism sometimes feels not just useful but necessary. To be carried back, for an evening, to the world of the 1920s/1930s dance band, with foxtrots, pasodobles, crisp starched collars and secco endings, of slick hair and even slicker arrangements...

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Berlinale 2020: Never Rarely Sometimes Always review - raw and unflinching abortion drama hits home

Back in 2017, writer-director Eliza Hittman won over audiences with her beautiful coming-of-age drama Beach Rats. Her latest film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, is a more quietly devastating drama, shifting the focus away from sexual...

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Berlinale 2020: Berlin Alexanderplatz review - a contemporary twist on a classic

Burhan Qurbani isn’t the first director to bring Alfred Döblin’s seminal 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to the screen. First, there was the Weimar Republic era adaptation that Döblin himself worked on. Fifty years later, Rainer Werner...

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Berlinale 2020: My Salinger Year review - 70th edition of the festival opens in style

There’s an undeniable romance to mid-Nineties New York. Absent of the chirp of mobile phones, or the swirl of social media, it comes across as a more halcyon age, closer to the Forties than the Noughties. It makes the perfect setting for Berlin...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Bruckner, Notice Recordings

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 Igor Levit (Sony)“Beethoven paid no attention at all to the conventions of his own time In fact, he only ever wrote music for the future.” One strength of Igor Levit’s magnificent traversal of Beethoven’s piano...

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Robert Henke CBM 8032, Barbican - a vision of possibilities from 40 years ago

Robert Henke is to techno fans as Leo Fender and Les Paul are to rock lovers. The Ableton Live software which he co-created is every bit as influential as any guitar they built, and probably more used. However, of course, being just a piece of code...

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CD: Function - Existenz

There couldn't be much that's more techno than for a musician to have had a quarter-century career, only just be releasing his second solo album, and making it a quadruple. David Sumner aka Function is a true scene trouper: starting out in New York...

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8 Days, Sky Atlantic review - could armageddon really be this boring?

Beware the asteroid Horus! It’s 60km wide and it’s hurtling towards Earth at incalculable speed. Scientists say, with unfeasible precision, that the impact point will be La Rochelle in France, and it’s going to destroy all of western Europe.It’s...

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Tetzlaff, Nelsen, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - spider's webs and silk sheets

You can't expect a full house when the only work approaching a repertoire staple on your programme is Berg's Lulu Suite. Yet Esa-Pekka Salonen was able to serve up what must count as one of the most enthralling Philharmonia programmes ever at the...

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Bauhaus 100, BBC Four review - a well-made film about the makers

The Bauhaus school and its subsequent influence make an extraordinary story, and this film by Mat Whitecross, which has assembled a whole range of different voices and perspectives and woven them together, told it well.As a school, the Bauhaus...

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Blu-ray: People on Sunday

Weimar Germany produced some extraordinary cinema, with Pabst, Murnau, Fritz Lang and others creating a language that transformed the medium and is still a core reference today. People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag), a silent film made in 1929,...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bittersweet Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia kicked off their series of concerts devoted to the edgy culture of the Weimar Republic with a programme that featured three works (out of four) derived in some way from the musical stage. That included, as a...

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