mon 18/06/2018

Catholicism

Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

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La forza del destino, Welsh National Opera review - rambling drama, fine music

David Pountney’s tenure at WNO has been an almost unqualified success, despite some eccentricities of repertoire and a certain obstinacy in the matter of new commissions. His own productions have included at least three of unforgettable quality. He...

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Gunpowder, BBC One review – death, horror, treason and a hint of farce

Much is being made of the fact that Kit Harington is not only playing the Gunpowder Plot mastermind Robert Catesby, but is genuinely descended from him (and his middle name is Catesby). However, despite its factual underpinnings and screenwriter...

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Broken, BBC One series finale review - Seán Bean's quiet immensity

The Catholic Church hasn’t enjoyed a good press on screen lately. Nuns punished Irishwomen for their pregnancies in Philomena. Priests interfered with altar boys in Spotlight. And in The Young Pope a Vatican fixated on conservatism and casuistry...

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Broken, BBC One review - things look bleak in McGovernville

This is Jimmy McGovern, so it’s no surprise to find ourselves up north and feeling grim. The prolific screenwriter’s latest drama series is located in what is described only as “a northern city” (though apparently it’s 60 miles from Sheffield, which...

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Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman, review - 'lugubrious'

Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman (BBC Four) is, says art critic Waldemar Januszczak, a film about a woman who probably never existed. "So why,” he asks, “are we so obsessed with her?” He delivers the answer in breathy, lugubrious tones as if...

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Silence

Audiences cannot fail to register the enormity of Martin Scorsese’s achievement in Silence. At 160 minutes, it hangs heavy over the film: adapted from the 1966 novel by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo, Silence has been close on three decades in...

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Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Sadler’s Wells

Booking a ticket for a show devised by Michael Keegan-Dolan has always required an act of faith, and this is no exception. ‘If I say this is a house, it’s a house,” says the evening’s laconic compere, Mikel Murfi, gesturing with his cigarette to...

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The Young Pope, Sky Atlantic

Having survived what you might call his boy-band years, Jude Law has emerged as a truly substantial actor, and his role here as Lenny Belardo, the newly-elected Pope Pius XIII, may prove to be a defining moment. Created by a multinational consortium...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Dekalog and Other TV Works

“Existential realism” is a term, contradictory though it might sound, that comes to mind when describing the work of the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. The films he made in the last five years of his life – The Double Life of Veronique...

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DVD: Spotlight

Journalism is not what it was and nor quite is the journalism movie. Spotlight is released as a home entertainment with a sticker on the packaging announcing its Oscars for best picture and best original screenplay. It is certainly a gripping story...

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Bruckner 8, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Last and most imposing of Bruckner’s completed symphonies, the Eighth invites and frequently receives architectural comparisons. Such talk of pillars and cathedrals could only be wide of the mark in the wake of this unconventional, beautifully...

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