fri 22/03/2019

England

Ray & Liz review - beautifully shot portrait of poverty

Ray’s world has shrunk to a single room in a council flat. His life consists of drinking home-brew, smoking, gazing out of the window, listening to Radio 4 and sinking into an alcohol-induced stupour. There’s no need ever to leave his bedroom...

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Blu-ray: Derek Jarman Collection, Vol Two 1987-1994

Derek Jarman has always been described as irreverent, but, paradoxically, he is treated today with unreserved and probably excessive reverence. In the church of the avant-garde, and it’s perhaps not completely out of order to suggest that such an...

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Old Boys review - short but not especially sweet

How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English schoolboy revamp of Cyrano de Bergerac that flags just when it most...

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Keith? A Comedy, Arcola Theatre review - Molière mined for Brexit-era laughs

Breathe in the love and breathe out the bullshit. After the Arcola Theatre's founder and artistic director Mehmet Ergen read Keith? A Comedy, a wild spin on the quasi-ubiquitous (these days, anyway) Tartuffe by the critic and writer Patrick Marmion...

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Lau, Cheese & Grain, Frome review - the dangerous charm of electronica

Back in 2017, The Foo Fighters did a surprise pre-Glastonbury gig at Frome’s Cheese & Grain, a rather soulless shed near the equally soulless Westway Shopping Centre. So much for Frome being the heart of a new alternative Britain, almost a...

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Richard J Evans: Eric Hobsbawm - A Life in History review - mesmerisingly readable

This is an astonishing book: in its breadth, depth and detail and also in its almost palpable, and sometimes unpalatable, admiration of its subject, the controversial, long-lived Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012). But if you want to...

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The Kid Who Would Be King review - a timeless charmer

The Arthurian legend’s tight fit as a Brexit allegory perhaps proves how timeless it is as, buried and bound in the earth by Merlin, Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) senses the land above is “lost and leaderless”, and ripe for her apocalyptic return.This...

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DVD: Tides

Tides tells of fortysomething angst and camaraderie, though “tells” might be an exaggeration. In a concerted attempt to make a film with minimal incidents and structure, first-time feature director Tupac Felber made a likeable observational piece,...

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Don McCullin, Tate Britain review - beastliness made beautiful

I interviewed Don McCullin in 1983 and the encounter felt like peering into a deep well of darkness. The previous year he’d been in Beirut photographing the atrocities carried out by people on both sides of the civil war and his impeccably composed...

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Trevor Nunn: 'I'm amazed by Harley Granville Barker's prescience and extraordinary modernity'

So here we are with another edition of IQ, and the subject this week is theatre. Question one: which actor originated several leading roles in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, including Marchbanks in Candida, Dubedat in The Doctor's Dilemma, and...

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All Is True review - all's well doesn't end well in limp Shakespeare biopic

All may be true but not much is of interest in this Kenneth Branagh-directed film that casts an actor long-steeped in the Bard as a gardening-minded Shakespeare glimpsed in (lushly filmed) retirement. Seemingly conceived in order to persuade...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the leading writers on landscape in the English language, continuing a literary tradition that contains...

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