wed 23/05/2018

religion

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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Mary Magdalene review - potent, feminist revisionism

Mary Magdalene’s story hasn’t suddenly become the second greatest ever told, despite its radical expansion here. Garth Davis’s follow-up to Lion is, though, a profoundly thoughtful and convincing telling of the Christian main event. This Mary (...

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Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes. You get used to it - the frantic Google-mapping to locate the venue; the hike...

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DVD: Jupiter's Moons

There’s a terrific drive to Kornél Mundruczó’s Jupiter’s Moon, a cinematic powerhouse of both technique and ideas. The maverick Hungarian director’s film, which premiered in last year’s Cannes competition, may occasionally bewilder – such is the...

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Dialogues des Carmélites, Guildhall School review - calm and humane drama of faith

One question dominates any staging of Dialogues des Carmélites. How will the production team deal with the cruelty and tragedy in the 12th and last scene when all of the nuns, one by one, go through with their vow of martyrdom and calmly proceed to...

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DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, and immediately marked the Lusaka-born, Wales-raised director down as a figure to watch. Putting her film into any category is more challenging, though, with...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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Nicholas Blincoe: Bethlehem - Biography of a Town review - too few wise men but remarkable women

Suitably enough, Nicholas Blincoe begins his personal history of the birthplace of Jesus with a Christmas pudding. He carries not gold, frankincense and myrrh but this “dark cannonball” of spices, fruit and stodge as a festive gift to his girlfriend...

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The Prince of Nothingwood review - come for the man, stay for the country

In the most unlikely of places, there is one of the world’s most prolific directors. He has produced over 110 films, he’s mobbed wherever he goes, and he inspired people through the darkest of civil wars; yet outside of Afghanistan, no-one knows the...

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Reza Aslan: God - A Human History review - on being 'sapiens', and believing

It is not just the season of holidays and holy days in the monotheistic religions; the art galleries and museums are busy reminding us of worlds beyond, with Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean in Oxford, and Living with Gods at the British Museum...

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DVD: The Ornithologist

While bird-lovers will certainly not be disappointed by Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’ new film, the ambitions of The Ornithologist stretch considerably beyond such avine fascinations. Its opening title, “Whoever approaches the Spirit will...

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The Exorcist, Phoenix Theatre review - see the movie

Although playwright John Pielmeier, who has written this stage adaptation of The Exorcist, reckons that “I adapted the novel, not the film,” the indelible images from William Friedkin’s 1973 movie were always bound to define an audience’s...

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