sun 24/10/2021

Chicago

Candyman review - Nia DaCosta's clever sequel to the 1992 slasher movie

Anaphylactic shock, anyone? Candyman, both the 1992 original, directed by British director Bernard Rose and based on a story by Clive Barker, and its stylish, sharp sequel by Nia DaCosta, co-written and produced by Jordan Peele, features an awful...

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Classical CDs: Soviet symphonies, popular classics and percussion

 Louise Farrenc; Symphonies 1&3 Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey (Erato)Louise Farrenc’s music is good as you’d expect from a precocious talent who’d studied piano with Hummel and composition with Reicha. Born in 1804, Farrenc’s...

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Saint Frances review - relatable and honest

“I’m for sure getting rid of it,” 34-year-old Bridget (cool, understated Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the script; she was creatively inspired by Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird) tells her younger, casual boyfriend Jace (an endearing Max Lipchitz) when...

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Bette Howland: Blue in Chicago review – the city on trial, with the writer as witness

You feel at times, while reading the collection Blue in Chicago, that Bette Howland might have missed her vocation. In another life, Howland – until recently almost completely lost to literary history – could have made a name for herself as a...

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Dangerous Lies, Netflix review - slick silliness

When not dipping into its bottomless debts to write Scorsese blank cheques, Netflix tends to favour old-school TV movie potboilers such as this slick, silly thriller, in which young couple Katie (Camila Mendes) and Adam (Jessie T Usher) have their...

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Can You Keep A Secret? review - a bumpy ride

Featherweight is one thing, brainless is another. Can You Keep A Secret?, the romcom adapted by screenwriter Peter Hutchings from the 2003 novel by Sophie Kinsella, uneasily straddles the two until a conclusion that goes off the rails...

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CD: Califone - Echo Mine

Inevitably expectations were high, given that this Chicago experimental rock band are one of my favourite groups of the 21st century, and this is their first album for seven years. And at first it’s hard to know what to make of Echo Mine. There are...

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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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Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre review - hard times, hot tunes

It’s too darn hot, BoJo is in Downing Street, and we’re all going to Brexit hell – so we might as well sing the blues. Or at least take a night off from the apocalypse to enjoy a virtuoso company singing them for us in this rousing revival of...

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CD: Daniel Knox - Chasescene

Genuine authorship in popular music often manifests as eccentricity. Commercially driven musical entertainment thrives on treading familiar paths, tweaking well-established genres, often rooted in the various traditions of African-American styles...

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Widows review - feminist crime pays

Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to Oscar-winning director has been deceptively smooth. The chasm between Bobby Sands’ emaciated martyrdom in his feature debut, Hunger (2008), and a star-packed heist film seems still greater. His radical...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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