thu 13/12/2018

Israel

The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, series finale review - Le Carré drama comes to the boil at last

Was The Little Drummer Girl commissioned by algorithm? Those who liked The Night Manager might reasonably have been supposed to enjoy another le Carré adaptation. The two dramas had DNA in common. Both steered away from the Cold War, and told of a...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, review - latest Le Carré just passes audition

When after six novels John Le Carré turned away from the Cold War, he turned towards another simmering post-war conflict, between Israel and Islam. The Little Drummer Girl was published in 1983, and filmed a year later with Diane Keaton and Klaus...

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Turner Prize 2018, Tate Britain review - a shortlist dominated by political issues

I’ve just spent four hours in the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain. The shortlisted artists all show films or videos, which means that you either stay for the duration or make the decision to walk away, which feels disrespectful. For unlike...

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Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century review - a sceptic's optimism?

The bestseller Sapiens (2011, first published in English in 2014) by the hitherto little-known Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari has sold enormously well, and justly so: recommended by Bill Gates no less, it has become a worldwide publishing...

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Returning to Haifa, Finborough Theatre review - a bumpy journey into the Arab-Israeli past

This year the state of Israel marks its 70th birthday. Which means it will also be the year Palestinians remember the Nakba, the catastrophe, the mass dispossession. With that in mind, the Public Theater in New York commissioned this adaptation of a...

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DVD: In Between

In Between didn’t get nearly enough attention on its cinema release in the UK last autumn, hampered perhaps by its nothingy title and a synopsis that can make it sound like it will be a worthy evening out when in fact it’s anything but. One of the...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal history of the birthplace of Jesus with a Christmas pudding. He carries not gold, frankincense and myrrh but this “dark cannonball” of spices, fruit and stodge as a festive gift to his girlfriend...

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'Their DNA is forever ingrained in the keys' - Roman Rabinovich on playing composers' own pianos

I was recently in the UK for some solo recitals and to make my debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. One of the highlights of the trip was playing a similar programme in two very different settings: first on some magnificent period...

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Oslo, National Theatre review - informative, gripping and moving

Documentary theatre has a poor reputation. It’s boring in form, boring to look at (all those middle-aged men in suits), and usually only tells you what you already know. It’s journalism without the immediacy of the news. But there are other ways of...

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CD: Red Axes - The Beach Goths

It’s telling that, on their 2014 debut LP, Ballad of the Ice, Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi covered Bauhaus’ epic proto-gothic ode “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. The 1979 single, with its incessant shuffle, dubbed-out tape delay and post-punk guitars, straddled...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The...

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Albums of the Year: Autarkic - Can You Pass the Knife?

2016 has been a big year for Tel Aviv’s burgeoning underground scene. Acts including Red Axes, Moscoman and Naduve have produced endlessly inventive music at an impressive pace and on a range of labels. Of these, Disco Halal, run by Chen Mosco and...

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