thu 21/06/2018

documentary

City of Ghosts review - chilling but inspiring report on Syria's citizen journalists

Raqqa was once a prosperous if little-known town in northern Syria. Since 2014, however, it has served as the de facto capital of ISIS’s self-styled caliphate, and as such has been physically decimated, its population subjected to increasingly...

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Studio 54 review - boogie wonderland

You need to be of a certain age to recall the sheer ubiquity of Studio 54. For a few years in the late 1970s, even the sterner British newspapers were routinely stuffed with stories of who was there and what went on within the hallowed citadel (if...

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McQueen review - the dark brilliance of Alexander McQueen

Lee Alexander McQueen said that he pulled the horrors out of his soul and put them on the catwalk. Eight years after his death, and three years after the record-breaking Savage Beauty retrospectives at the Metropolitan Museum and the V&A, his...

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Africa: A Journey Into Music, BBC Four review - too little, too late?

BBC Four is the TV music equivalent of those oldsters music mags like Q and Mojo. Have there been five, or is it six, documentaries about Queen on the channel? You can sense the commissioners feeling with this new series they have now done...

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Hip Hop Evolution, Sky Arts review - foundations of a revolution

Comprehensively charting hip hop’s rise from the underground to the mainstream is no mean feat, but that’s exactly what Canadian MC Shad aims to do over four hour-long episodes. Originally shown in the US in 2016, and available in full on Netflix,...

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Manchester: The Night of the Bomb, BBC Two review - devastating account of the lottery of terror

“I thought she maybe had superpowers to go that high.” Emilia Senior, 12, watched her sister Eve, 15, thrown into the air by the force of the explosion. When Eve came to earth her own perception had tilted on its axis: “I saw my legs on fire,” she...

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Filmworker review - a life dedicated to Stanley Kubrick

What would have happened to Leon Vitali if as a schoolboy he had gone to see that other 1968 hit sci-fi movie, Barbarella rather than Kubrick’s 2001? It’s impossible to imagine that a life devoted to the oeuvre of Roger Vadim would have merited a...

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DVD: The Ice King

Director James Erskine found a fascinating subject in the life of ice-skating legend John Curry and has fashioned it into an absolutely compelling 90-minute documentary. Curry was only 45 when he died of AIDS in 1994, but his professional career, in...

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Syria: The World's War, BBC Two review - anatomy of a conflict, brilliantly told

This was not a film that left you with much respect for the wisdom of politicians, but perhaps its truest line came from John Kerry, when he called the ongoing – seven years, and counting – Syrian conflict “an insult to the humanity of this planet...

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Nothing Like a Dame review - actresses undimmed by time

If only there were more: that's a first response to Nothing Like a Dame, Roger Michell's affectionate yet clear-eyed portrait of four of Britain's finest actresses, all now in their 80s. As the camera circles around Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan...

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DVD/Blu-ray: They Came to a City

Ealing Studios veteran Basil Dearden may have directed it, but 1944’s They Came to a City is mostly a JB Priestley film, an engaging blend of the mundane and the metaphysical. The work’s stage origins are clear; apart from the newly-written prologue...

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The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts know him by a different title: Crazy Fakhir, a man who rides the edge of his luck, constantly in imminent danger. Yet to him,...

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