mon 16/09/2019

literature

Ben Okri, Brighton Festival 2019 review - adventures in writing

If there’s one thing to learn from Ben Okri in this evening of conversation at Brighton Festival between the Famished Road writer and author Colin Grant it’s how to “upwake”.The phrase, coined in his new (11th) novel The Freedom Artist – a post-...

Read more...

Tolkien review - biopic charms but never wows

Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien follows the same formula of many literary biopics, with a tick-box plot of loves, friendships and hardships that forged the writing career of one the 20th Century’s greatest fantasy writers.We open at the...

Read more...

Suede, Brighton Dome review - Brett Anderson gives it full frontman chutzpah

Suede finish “Sabotage”. It’s a mid-paced, elegant number set off by swirling, circling central guitar. Frontman Brett Anderson hangs from his microphone stand on the left apron of the stage to deliver it, with the lights down low. Afterwards he...

Read more...

Connolly, Drake, Berrington, Wigmore Hall review – between the acts

Vary the stale format of the vocal recital and all sorts of new doors open for performers and listeners alike. The only downside, as became clear at the Wigmore Hall last night, is that the audience may hear less of a stellar soloist than they...

Read more...

Can You Ever Forgive Me? review - no page unturned in a comedy about literary forgery

What is it with all these new films based on biographies? Vice, Green Book, The Mule, Stan & Ollie, Colette… and that’s before we even get to the royal romps queening up our screens. At least Can You Ever Forgive Me? brings a lifestory...

Read more...

The Daughter-in-Law, Arcola Theatre review - searing simplicity

There’s a stark power to Jack Gamble’s production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law, which has transferred to the Arcola’smain stage after an acclaimed opening run in the venue’s downstairs studio last May. It still plays with a concentrated...

Read more...

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

You had to keep your eyes skinned. Was that Iris Murdoch or AS Byatt, Kingsley Amis or John Banville, Margaret Atwood or Val McDermid – maybe, even, Joanna Lumley? Tables as far as the eye can see, dressed with white tablecloths and crowded with...

Read more...

Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif is a widower and an academic who, since writing a book on curiosity cabinets a decade ago, has quietly sunk into a kind of irrelevance. Both have...

Read more...

Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible revenge. The bodies of murdered men, united in their...

Read more...

DVD: Mary Shelley

This should have been the perfect match. Saudi-born director Haifaa al-Mansour earned real acclaim for her 2012 debut film Wadjda, whose 12-year-old central character had to break the conventions of a restrictive society to realise her dream –...

Read more...

Blu-ray: A Gentle Creature

“To our enormous suffering!” There are many macabre vodka toasts, accompanied by some appropriately gruelling visuals, in A Gentle Creature, but that one surely best captures the beyond-nihilist mood of Sergei Loznitsa’s 2017 Cannes competition...

Read more...

DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics of poets. The activity of writing is most often, after all, anything but cinematic, unless its moments of creativity are forced, while the “myth” of the poet all too easily becomes...

Read more...
Subscribe to literature