fri 28/02/2020

TV arts

Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the latest in the BBC’s often-excellent, always-forensic Classic Albums series. “I agree, I agree, it sounds great,” says Orzabal. He...

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Best of 2019: TV

As symbolic moments go, the arrival of Martin Scorsese's new gangster epic The Irishman on Netflix took some beating. It exemplified the adage that "TV is the new cinema", and at the same time perhaps suggested a new and less digestible adage,...

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Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen, BBC Two review - hiding in plain sight?

This charming BBC Two hagiography – which may be a contradiction in terms – opened on a montage of praise, with just a hint of irony for the hugely successful actor Hugh Grant. He was born in Hammersmith Hospital, although neither he nor his father...

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Best of 2017: TV

Young people will laugh incredulously when you tell them that once upon a time, there was only one television channel in Britain. Now we've lost count, and as even the Queen pointed out in her Christmas broadcast, many of her subjects would now be...

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Queen: Rock the World, BBC Four review - we won't rock you

Forty years ago Whispering Bob Harris made a documentary about Queen. He eavesdropped on them as they recorded the album News of the World and then followed them around America on tour. The film was never broadcast but the footage was exhumed for...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Broadcast - calling out around the world

As Sky’s Head of Drama Anne Mensah puts it, her ambition is to “stay local but look global”. This might serve as a motto for television in its entirety, as technology swallows the planet and TV is increasingly shaped by coalitions of international...

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Melvyn Bragg on TV, BBC Two review – too many talking heads, too little action

Presumably it seemed like a good idea at the time. Broadcasting juggernaut Lord Bragg would undertake a sweeping survey of the way that television has transformed our lives and reflected British society in the last 70-odd years, soaring over dramas...

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10 Questions for The Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland

Formed in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneered groundbreaking innovation in music making, using anything and everything to create new textures and tones to satisfy eager TV producers looking for otherwordly...

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The Face of Britain by Simon Schama, BBC Two

This was the fifth and last in a series of hour-long programmes amounting to a vivid, varied and extraordinarily lively history of Britain. Although ostensibly a history of portraiture, the images have been hooks for Simon Schama, that most...

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DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Orson Welles was commissioned by ITV in 1955 to make a 26-part series of travelogues. Always in search of money to fund his independent projects, he was initially enthused by the plan - though predictably he didn’t see it through. Only six episodes...

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Imagine... Anselm Kiefer, BBC One

Anselm Kiefer reminds me a bit of someone I once worked for. Totally unpredictable, and possessed of a formidable intelligence and creativity, his mental leaps can be bewilderingly hard to follow, leading occasionally to truly breathtaking results,...

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South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2014

Poor David Bowie. He didn't win a Grammy for his album The Next Day, and he didn't win a South Bank Sky Arts Award today either. That honour went to Arctic Monkeys and their fifth album AM, as Melvyn Bragg hosted the ceremony at London's Dorchester...

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