thu 02/04/2020

politics

Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Channel 4 review - inside the mind of a man without a face

Director Nick Green’s new three-parter follows on the heels of his A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad and comparisons are sure to be made between his two subjects. Though the finer degrees of political power-play – and the sheer quantity of...

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Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story, BBC Two review - disruptive political maverick eludes pigeonholing

This patchwork of interviews and comments from male journalists and politicians interspersed with clips from television news and films, from The Godfather to The Avengers, was a zig-zag narrative of Dominic Cummings’s unique career as a political...

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10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Normally we'd put a descriptor - "cellist", "film maker", "techno producer" for example - in the title of this interview, but for Irina Nalis there isn't space. Like, "10 Questions for psychologist, ministerial adviser, festival founder,...

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Album: Shabaka & the Ancestors - We are Sent Here by History

Londoner Shabaka Hutchings's other main groups, The Comet Is Coming and Sons Of Kemet, are pretty modernist. They incorporate dub, post-rock, post punk and rhythm patterns that recall London pirate radio sounds into the playing of his ensembles,...

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Escape from Pretoria review - fun but facile prison-break drama

Based on the book by former political prisoner Tim Jenkin, Escape from Pretoria is an intermittently engaging jailbreak tale set in South Africa’s apartheid regime in the 1970s, as well as further evidence of Daniel Radcliffe’s determination to run...

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Ahir Shah, West End Centre, Aldershot review - a millennial's existential angst

Ahir Shah has delivered some very good comedy by performing as a man who knows he is right about everything – that's what a political degree from Cambridge can do for you. But now the comic, rightly lauded for his previous polemicist shows with two...

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Berlinale 2020: Berlin Alexanderplatz review - a contemporary twist on a classic

Burhan Qurbani isn’t the first director to bring Alfred Döblin’s seminal 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to the screen. First, there was the Weimar Republic era adaptation that Döblin himself worked on. Fifty years later, Rainer Werner...

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Les vêpres siciliennes, Welsh National Opera review - spectacular, silly, but some great music

It’s not hard to see why The Sicilian Vespers has struggled since its surprisingly successful opening run at the Paris Opéra in 1855. Verdi had composed it reluctantly, despised the librettist, Eugène Scribe, who he regarded as a well-named cynical...

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The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre review - a chilling surveillance state thriller

With counter-terrorism an urgent concern – and specifically how best to find, track and use the data of suspected threats, without sacrificing our privacy and civil liberties – it’s excellent timing for a meaty drama about the surveillance state....

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Richard Jewell review - a portrait of duty and dignity in this true-life tale

Since Play Misty For Me in 1971, Clint Eastwood has been tearing up the American myth with a body of muscular, often melancholic work. He continues this theme with Richard Jewell, the story of a security guard falsely accused of the 1996 Atalanta...

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Matt Forde, Soho Theatre review - Brexit and beyond

Matt Forde sets out his stall in Brexit: Pursued by a Bear from the first line: “We meet in diabolical circumstances.” These aren't good times, he says, with two major leaders in the Western world whose relationship with the truth is merely that of...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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