mon 21/01/2019

politics

Brexit: The Uncivil War, Channel 4 review - Benedict Cumberbatch gets the best tunes

One day this all will be over. Give it half a century. In 50 years' time, there will be documentaries in which today’s young, by then old, will explain to generations yet unborn exactly how and why Britain went round the twist in 2016. Much as we...

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RBG review - a compelling, restrained insight

Very few could have predicted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg becoming a cultural icon, least of all herself. A quiet, studious, first-generation American girl who broke down boundaries, not with force, but with a reasoned reproach and a calm demeanour...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Helena Hauff - Qualm

The cliché of hard times making for good culture is a distinctly dodgy, even dangerous, one. But there's no doubting at all that the era of Trump, Brexit and all the rest has added an urgency particularly to underground culture, which is leading...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Farai - Rebirth

It’s been an odd year for albums. The one I’ve listened to most is Stop Lying, a mini-album by Raf Rundel, an artist best known as one half of DJ-producer outfit 2 Bears. It’s a genially cynical album, laced with love, dipping into all manner of...

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DVD: The Workshop

Laurent Cantet’s The Workshop (L’Atelier) is something of a puzzle. There’s a fair deal that recalls his marvellous 2009 Palme d’Or winner The Class, including a young, unprofessional cast playing with considerable accomplishment, but the magic isn’...

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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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