sun 23/06/2024

China

Red Eye, ITV review - Anglo-Chinese relations tested in junk-food thriller

Aircraft hijacking is a ghoulishly popular theme in films and TV, but Red Eye brings a slightly different twist to the perils of air travel. This time, North China Air’s Flight 357, from London to Beijing, hasn’t been hijacked, but it has become the...

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3 Body Problem, Netflix review - life, the universe and everything (and a bit more)

From Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and DB Weiss, in cahoots with Alexander Woo, 3 Body Problem is Netflix’s daring attempt to dramatise Liu Cixin’s novel The Three-Body Problem. A mind-bending sci-fi epic spanning multiple decades, while...

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The Last Year of Darkness review - a loving portrait of a Chengdu gay bar

Yihao is a disaffected 20 year old living in Chengdu, capital of Sichaun Province. A thriving centre for business and commerce, Chengdu looks like any other modern city. You could mistake it for downtown Chicago except that, apart from the Walmart...

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Blu-ray: Blackhat

The Boxing Day release of Michael Mann’s first feature in eight years, Ferrari, finally follows up Blackhat, a Chris Hemsworth-starring cyber-thriller dismissed on its 2015 release in a manner he hadn’t experienced since The Keep (1983). This two-...

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Marina Abramović, Royal Academy review - young performers stand in for the absent artist

One of the most cherished memories of my 40 plus years as an art critic is of easing my way between Marina Abramović and her partner Ulay. They were standing either side of a doorway at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, leaving just enough room for...

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Joy Ride review - pioneering horniness

This Seth Rogen-produced, Family Guy writers-co-scripted gross-out comedy with four Chinese-American women fully lives up and down to its description. With Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim as debuting director, it’s also another demographically...

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Ai Weiwei: Making Sense, Design Museum review - a deep sense of loss permeates this show

Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei has created an extremely beautiful installation at the Design Museum in which the disparate elements play their part in creating a powerful overall message. On one level the exhibition is about design, but it also...

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Turandot, Royal Opera review - spectacle and sound wow in this significant revival

Nearly 40 years old, Andrei Serban’s Royal Opera Turandot feels like a gilded relic (I felt like a relic myself on learning that my writer neighbour wasn’t born when I saw Gwyneth Jones as the ice princess in 1984). Yet so too, outwardly, did...

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Blu-ray: Flowers of Shanghai

Rounding out a decade of personal success – beginning with his Cannes Jury Prize-winning The Puppetmaster (1993), followed by a best director award for Good Men, Good Women (1995) – the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien...

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Chinese Arts Now Festival review - comedy of the diaspora

Chinese Arts Now was founded in 2005 and aims to produce and present work that explores Chinese themes, stories and art forms in the UK. Its annual festival includes a comedy night (presented in conjunction with Soho Theatre), and this year three...

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76 Days review - disturbing record of the initial outbreak of Covid-19

It is probable that no other document gets closer to the direct experience of frontline workers and victims of Covid-19 than the documentary 76 Days. It is also true that the film is not very enjoyable. Nor, sadly, does it feel especially unique....

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Blu-ray: Goodbye, Dragon Inn

In his exclusive half-hour-plus interview for distributor Second Run, the affable Tsai Ming-Liang makes a striking admission: “I make very uncommercial films.” Viewers of the extra will most likely have just finished Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Bú sàn) (...

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