tue 20/11/2018

politics

Peterloo review - Mike Leigh's angry historical drama

Considering how the UK prides itself on having created the "Mother of Parliaments" and its citizens having once chopped off a king's head for thwarting its will, remarkably little is taught in our schools about one of the seminal events on the way...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Blood of Hussain

Jamil Dehlavi is a filmmaker whose work straddles two worlds. His native Pakistan is certainly the key element in the two early films on this BFI dual-format release – it follows on from the director’s August South Bank retrospective, the first...

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LFF 2018: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs review - Wild West tales, and Redford and Jackman

The “portmanteau” form of film-making is almost guaranteed to deliver patchy results, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen brothers’ six-pack of tall tales from the Old West (screened at London Film Festival), can’t quite avoid this age-old...

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I'm Not Running, National Theatre review - puzzling political drama

Whatever you might think about Brexit, the dreaded B word, the current climate certainly seems to be reinvigorating both feminist playwrights and political playwrights. So welcome back, David Hare, the go-to dramatist for any artistic director...

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Simon Sebag Montefiore: Written in History review - epistolary high points

Humdinger! This is a totally brilliant idea for an amazing anthology, although the subtitle “Letters that Changed the World” is slightly misleading. All or any of these letters might substantially or subtly change your view of grandees of all sorts...

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Tehran Taboo review - transgressive animation

For all the bleakness of its subject matter, there’s considerable exhilaration to Ali Soozandeh’s animation feature Tehran Taboo. That’s due, in part, to the film’s breaking of many of the official “rules” of Iranian society, the myths of the...

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Oceania, Royal Academy review - magnificent encounters

In the video, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner smiles shyly before beginning. As she speaks, her voice gains conviction, momentum, power. Her poem tells of the Marshall Islands inhabitants, a “proud people toasted dark brown”, and a constellation of islands...

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Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. review - not your average popstar

Why is M.I.A. such a problematic pop star? Why can't she just shut up and release a hit? Tellingly, this is the very question the singer poses at the start of Matangi/Maya/M.I.A - a question she's been asked throughout her career, from interviewers...

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I object, British Museum review - censorship, accidental?

It’s the nature of satire to reflect what it mocks, so as you’d expect from a British Museum exhibition curated by Ian Hislop, I object is a curiously establishment take on material anti-establishmentarianism from BC something-or-other right up to...

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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...

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CD: IDLES - Joy as an Act of Resistance

IDLES' debut album, Brutalism, exploded onto the UK post-punk scene last year, lauded by the music press (myself included) for its lyrical blend of charm, fury, and politics, and musically, for just being a refreshingly original and catchy punk...

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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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