sat 10/04/2021

Rome

Mary Beard's Ultimate Rome: Empire without Limit, BBC Two

The world of antiquity, from Greece to Rome, is both so familiar and so unknown. So it was more than welcome when the immensely knowledgable Professor Mary Beard – the role of the academic, she announced, is to make everything less simple –...

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The Story of Scottish Art, BBC Four

“Finding the Light”, the second episode of this four-part series, took us to the period when Scottish intellectuals led the world in innovative and revolutionary thinking, Edinburgh’s neo-classical architecture in the leafy streets of the New Town...

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Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemisia, BBC Four

For his latest journey Michael Palin, actor, writer, novelist, comedian, Python, traveller, has gone beyond geography in search of the visual arts with his characteristic enthusiasm, eclectic curiosity, and sense of discovery.With his usual...

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Spectre

The title sequence of Bond number 24 is a bit of a nightmare, with Sam Smith's mawkishly insipid theme song playing over a queasy title sequence featuring a hideous giant octopus, but the traditional opening mini-movie is an explosive chain reaction...

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The Celts: Blood, Iron, and Sacrifice, BBC Two

Not a ray of sunshine illuminated the landscapes that were explored in this stormy programme, the first of a three-part history of the Celts. It aimed not only to show the latest investigations into the Bronze and Iron Age tribes who inhabited...

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DVD: L'Eclisse

Antonioni’s celebrated trio of films, L’Aventura, La Notte and L’Eclisse, established the Italian director as a major and influential force in world cinema. All three of the works deal with the failure that resides at the heart of human relationship...

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Pasolini

It’s somehow unsettling that, while the physical resemblance between Willem Dafoe and Italian writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini is remarkable to the point of being almost uncanny, Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini almost consciously avoids elucidating...

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The TV series on which Guy Ritchie has based his new spy-buddies movie first appeared on the small screen (in black and white) in 1964, when Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin welcomed us into their secret lair in New York and introduced themselves as...

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Hard to Be a God

Don’t on any account be late for the first couple of minutes of the woolly mammoth that is Russian director Alexei German’s last film, Hard to Be a God, since the opening narrative voiceover gives a rare suggestion of explanatory background to a...

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The Rape of Lucretia, Glyndebourne

Britten’s first chamber opera is very much a Glyndebourne piece; its world premiere in the old festival theatre in July 1946 was also the festival’s inaugural post-war production. It brought into being the English Opera Group, and led soon...

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DVD: Roberto Rossellini - The War Trilogy

Filming in bombed locations around Italy and Germany, the immediate evocation of wartime and post-war moral zeros, ordinary Italian locals and American GIs playing themselves alongside professional actors: all these assets would be enough to make...

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Proms Chamber Music 7: Benjamin Grosvenor/Prom 60: Driver, RPO, Dutoit

After the enervating excesses of Salome and Elektra at the weekend, the abundance of notes at the Proms continued in a piano recital and an orchestral showstopper, but this time with built-in air conditioning. After all, both 22-year-old Benjamin...

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