thu 24/05/2018

politics

A Very English Scandal, BBC One review - making a drama out of a crisis

There was a time when Hugh Grant was viewed as a thespian one-trick pony, a floppy-haired fop dithering in a state of perpetual romantic confusion. But things have changed. He was excellent in Florence Foster Jenkins, hilariously self-parodic in...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Post

Spielberg’s prequel to All the President’s Men was filmed at speed, and aimed squarely at the press-hating Trump, not the late Tricky Dick. This contemporary intent is already fading. What remains is the director’s second return, after Munich, to...

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Effigies of Wickedness, Gate Theatre review - this sleek cabaret conceals desolation behind a smile

The show’s subtitle – “Songs banned by the Nazis” – is a catchy one, and somewhere under the confetti, the stilettos, the extravagant nudity, the sequins and even shinier repartee that are wrapped around Effigies of Wickedness like a mink coat on...

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The Last Poets, Brighton Festival review - black power sets the night alight

The venom with which Abiodun Oyewole spits “America is a terrorist”, the key repeated line to “Rain of Terror”, has startling power. The piece is an unashamed diatribe against his nation. Beside him his partner Umar Bin Hassan rhythmically hisses...

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Michel Hazanavicius: 'Losing himself is how he found himself'

French director Michel Hazanavicius made a name for himself with his OSS 117 spy spoofs, Nest of Spies (2006) and Lost in Rio (2009), set in the Fifties and Sixties respectively and starring Jean Dujardin as a somewhat idiotic...

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CD: Ry Cooder - The Prodigal Son

Ry Cooder is not only one of the greatest American guitarists of his time, a virtuoso who uses his technical mastery to make music with extraordinary soul, but he also has his heart firmly in the right place. On this new album, a close collaboration...

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Homeland, Series 7 Finale, Channel 4 review - Russian roulette

In a manner uncannily reminiscent of last year’s Season 6, this latest edition of Homeland spent at least half the series trying to get warmed up for the dash to the tape over the final furlongs. Viewers finding themselves slipping into a catatonic...

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Brighton Festival 2018 Preview

This weekend sees the Brighton Festival 2018 kick off. Anyone visiting the city on Saturday 5 May would find this hard to miss as the famous Children’s Parade makes its way around the streets, a joyous dash of colour and creativity. This year’s...

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John Gray: Seven Types of Atheism review - to believe, or not to believe

To suggest an absence is to imply a presence. Philosophers, novelists, dictators, politicians – as well as almost every “ism” you can think of – take the stage in this absorbing, precisely and elegantly written study of various kinds of atheism. All...

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theartsdesk in Ramallah - the music biz turns its sights on Palestine

Maen, a member of the rap collective Sa’aleek, was working one night in their small makeshift studio in the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah. He dozed off, only to find the studio door had been concreted over and he was trapped. It took fellow...

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Occupied, series 2, Sky Atlantic review - political conflicts looking all too actual

Eight months have passed since the Russians invaded Norway in the first season of Jo Nesbo’s neo-Cold War thriller. Real-life events have only made Occupied seem more relevant. Like Conrad’s novel Under Western Eyes, it dramatises the clash between...

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Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation, BBC One review - ‘He was a cool guy and everybody loved him’

When doctors told Doreen Lawrence her son had died she thought, "That’s not true." Spending time with his body in the hospital, aside from a cut on his cheek, it seemed to her he was sleeping. The death of a child will always be strange, and in the...

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