tue 24/11/2020

tv

Arena - Fela Kuti: Father of Afrobeat, BBC Two review - the music that never dies

Tim Cumming

There have been Felabrations, stage musicals, bands featuring his sons Seun and Femi that have continued the legacy. There has been the slew of re-releases from his massive catalogue, and a number of films, including Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela, and the 1982 classic, Music is the Weapon. In his afterlife, the legendary Fela Kuti and his music feels more alive than ever.

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The Good Lord Bird, Sky Atlantic review - picaresque account of the myth of John Brown

Adam Sweeting

On the face of it, this new Sky Atlantic series sounded as though it might be a grave and sombre slice of American history, telling the story of the anti-slavery crusader John Brown and how his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia helped push America into the Civil War.

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Offended by Irvine Welsh, Sky Arts review - are we seeing the end of free speech?

Adam Sweeting

Do we have a right not be offended? It's a question that’s growing bigger and uglier, thanks to the censorious “cancel culture” which has become such a disfiguring aspect of social media.

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Small Axe: Mangrove, BBC One review - explosive start to five films about racial injustice

Demetrios Matheou

With the Black Lives Matter movement spurred this year by another wave of police brutality against African Americans, Steve McQueen’s blisteringly powerful, viscerally topical drama reminds us of the UK’s own torrid r

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The Crown, Season 4, Netflix review - royalty rocked by personal and political turbulence

Adam Sweeting

Pre-release excitement about the fourth coming of The Crown (Netflix) has centred on Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Princess Diana, still big box-office 23 years after her death.

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David Crosby: Remember My Name, Sky Arts review - a rock icon looks in the mirror

Liz Thomson

Rock documentaries are so often disappointing, the result less a portrait than a whitewash.

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His Dark Materials, Series 2, BBC One review – upping the ante whilst retaining the magic

Joseph Walsh

The first series of the BBC and HBO’s fantasy adventure His Dark Materials felt even more timely than when author Phillip Pullman first published Northern Lights twenty-five-years ago.

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The Queen's Gambit, Netflix review - chess prodigy's story makes brilliant television

Adam Sweeting

It’s surprising, perhaps, that the dramatic potential of chess hasn’t been more widely exploited. There was a nail-biting tournament in From Russia with Love, while the knight’s chequerboard struggle with Death was the centrepiece of Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

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Harlots, BBC Two review – sublime, ridiculous, and always entertaining

Laura De Lisle

Back to Georgian brothels, now – at least, for those of us who don’t have a Hulu subscription. The BBC’s airing of the second series of Harlots over the summer felt strangely timely. Barely an episode in and an angry crowd was hammering at the local judge’s door, demanding justice after the needless death of one of the city’s poorest residents.

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The Same Sky, More4 review - Cold War thriller from both sides of the Berlin wall

Markie Robson-Scott

“Make contact with the left eye - it is a direct pathway to the emotions. Then make yourself scarce so that the desire in her can grow.” This fine flirting advice comes from a Stasi officer to his students, preparing them for a honey-trap mission to seduce West Berlin intelligence officers.

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