fri 05/03/2021

Los Angeles

Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry, Apple TV+ review - sprawling account of the singer's rise to superstardom

The Billie Eilish story is a paradigm of pop music and marketing, 2020s-style. Eilish’s instinctive talent became evident when she was barely into her teens, and she flourished with the support of a close-knit and musical family. But the club-gigs-...

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Blu-ray: Visual Acoustics

One of the world’s leading architectural photographers, Julius Shulman was the subject of a show at London’s Photographers’ Gallery this autumn, “Altered States of America”. That title surely alluded to the visual modernism that changed the face of...

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Album: The Struts - Strange Days

Making sourdough, PE with Joe Wicks, writing a novel… none of that for Derby’s finest purveyors of unapologetically retro rock. Instead, the Struts decided to make the most of lockdown by recording a new album – all piling into producer Jon Levine’s...

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Kajillionaire review - quirks, strangeness and charm from Miranda July

Old Dolio, the oddly named central character played, wonderfully, by Evan Rachel Wood in Miranda July’s third feature film, learned to forge signatures before she could write. “In fact that’s how she learned to write,” says her father Robert (the...

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Blu-ray: This Gun for Hire

The 1942 thriller This Gun for Hire, which opened five months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was closely adapted from Graham Greene’s 1936 novel A Gun for Sale by Albert Maltz and W.R. Burnett and directed for Paramount by...

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Blu-ray: Safety Last!

Comparing Harold Lloyd with Keaton and Chaplin is difficult. Though the input he brought to his films was crucial, Lloyd didn’t write or direct, and there’s much discussion as to whether he was a genuine comedian or a straight actor playing the part...

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She Dies Tomorrow review - intimations of mortality

Watching the semi-satirical psychological horror film She’ll Die Tomorrow conjures the last lines of TS Eliot’s "The Hollow Men": “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.” Writer-director Amy Seimetz’s second feature doesn’t...

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Album: Katy Perry - Smile

Katy Perry occupies an odd position. By some measure the biggest pop star in the world over the last decade, with streams in the billions, she’s always been an awkward mix of old-school razzle-dazzle showbiz hucksterism, knowing sass and awkward...

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Spree review - a wild ride through social media madness

Allergic to that word “influencer”? Afraid that social media is the death of civilisation as we’ve known it? Then this movie may be for you.Despite its overt absurdity and compulsive over-the-topness, director Eugene Wobble Palace Kotlyarenko has...

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Laurel Canyon, Sky Documentaries review - musical bliss in lotus land

It was Alison Ellwood who directed 2013’s History of the Eagles, and now she’s at the helm of this new two-parter on Sky Documentaries, telling the story of the Los Angeles music scene from the mid-Sixties to the early Seventies. The musicians’...

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Album: Sparks - A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip

Apparently a freaky, brilliant novelty in 1974, Sparks have proved eternally invincible: the synthpop duo template, glam and disco avatars, chasing the pop grail across the globe as their latest mode hit the local chart mark. Lightly worn resilience...

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Perry Mason, Sky Atlantic review - low life and hard times in Depression-era LA

Rather like David Suchet’s Poirot, the world will always think of Raymond Burr as the doughty defence lawyer Perry Mason, whom he played in nine TV series and 26 TV movies between 1957 and 1993. But Burr’s Mason existed before the age of the prequel...

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