thu 21/09/2017

1950s

Neil Sedaka, Royal Albert Hall review - sparkly veteran defies the decades

As pretty much everything but a plague of locusts is visited upon this grim old world, an evening in the company of Neil Sedaka is the greatest of pick-me-ups. At the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, as his UK tour drew to a close, the capacity audience...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Love of a Woman

In Jean Grémillon's final fiction film The Love of a Woman, Marie Prieur (Micheline Presle) arrives on the Breton island of Ushant to replace the tiny settlement's aging Dr Morel (Robert Naly). While showing Marie her new digs and surgery, Mme Morel...

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Blu-ray: Terror in a Texas Town

Many of the best Westerns, that quintessentially American genre, are rooted in a Christian view of the world: the dark forces of Satan pitted against angels, saints and the figure of Christ the Redeemer. In Terror in a Texas Town, Joseph H Lewis's...

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Mr Gillie, Finborough Theatre review - theatrical buried treasure

Labels have their uses but they can also be a blight. The works of the Scottish playwright James Bridie – with their regional accents and domestic settings – bear many of the hallmarks of so-called Kitchen Sink drama but didn’t make the canon. Not...

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962. Throughout the 1950s, he’d repeatedly...

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La Strada, The Other Palace review - Fellini's tragicomedy becomes a noisy romp

Hitting the essence of a Fellini masterpiece in a different medium is no easy task. Try and reproduce his elusive brand of poetic melancholy and you'll fail; best to transfer the characters to a different medium, as the musical Sweet Charity did in...

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Billy Bragg: Roots, Radicals and Rockers review - riffing on skiffle, and more besides

Wow! An unconventional opening for a book review maybe, but ‘“wow!” nonetheless. Subtitled "How Skiffle Changed the World", this is an impressive work of popular scholarship by the singer, songwriter and social activist whose 40-year (and counting)...

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The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta formula hits a reef

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's single-sex Gilbert and Sullivan has worked a special magic on Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, HMS...

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McLaren review - illuminating portrait of New Zealand's racing ace

We’ve recently seen how Formula One heroes Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and James Hunt can become box office gold, in the form of Senna and Rush. Roger Donaldson’s profile of New Zealand race ace Bruce McLaren is more for enthusiasts than a wider public...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Madame de…

Initially, Madame de… feels as if it might wear out its welcome. What seems a wearisome exposition on how privileged people with too much time on their hands fill their hours with vacuity gradually turns into an incisive discourse on the power of...

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Blu-ray: My Life as a Dog

My Life as a Dog is a bittersweet coming-of-age yarn which took Sweden and the art cinema circuit by storm on its release in 1985. Anton Glanzelius plays Ingemar, the 12-year-old narrator with a pixie-faced charm; his mother has TB and is exhausted...

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DVD: Mario Lanza - The Best of Everything

Born Alfred Arnold Cocozza to immigrant working-class Italian parents in Philadelphia, Mario Lanza was lauded by the likes of Serge Koussevitsky and Arturo Toscanini, becoming a huge Hollywood star by the early 1950s. Lanza couldn’t read music, and...

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