tue 26/09/2017

1980s

Basquiat: Boom for Real, Barbican review - the myth explored

Beautiful, shy, charming and talented, Jean-Michel Basquiat was a shining star who streaked across the New York skyline for a few brief years in the early 1980s before a heroin overdose claimed his life at the age of only 27. I’ve introduced...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

A decade after his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, won the 1978 Palme d’Or at Cannes, Italian director Ermanno Olmi took Venice’s 1988 Golden Lion for The Legend of the Holy Drinker (La leggenda del santo bevitore). Festival victories aside,...

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The March on Russia, Orange Tree Theatre review – vividly funny amid the bleakness

The late David Storey spoke movingly, elsewhere on The Arts Desk, of his sense of overwhelming powerlessness at the challenge of accepting his father’s death. “I was quite racked by his death, and what death had become as an abstraction - in other...

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The Psychedelic Furs, Concorde 2, Brighton review - classy new wave pop ruined by bad sound

This is, in many ways, an underwhelming evening, but the fault does not primarily lie with The Psychedelic Furs. Things start well with support act Lene Lovich who gives a lively performance, in a black’n’red ensemble with striped sleeves and a...

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IT review - killer clown is kids' stuff

Stephen King’s IT attempted ultimate terror, cutting far deeper than a killer clown. It idealised childhood friendships and their adult honouring even as one of those kids was forced to eat shit by sadistic bullies, and their idyllic small-town of...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Beautiful Laundrette

This rerelease of Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette comes as part of the wider BFI programme marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and its presence in that strand, as one of the foremost works of its time...

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American Made review - Tom Cruise flies again

How funny are gun-running, drug-smuggling and money-laundering? It depends who’s doing them. In American Made none other than Tom Cruise gets behind the controls of a twin-engine plane and flies back to the 1980s, a sepia-tinted yesteryear when all...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Blancmange

The Some Bizzare Album was released in January 1981. Compiled by DJ Stevo, it featured twelve unsigned acts he felt represented a fresh way of approaching pop – one enabled by the availability of synthesisers and rhythm machines. Stevo was playing...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Noise Reduction System

Last year, the arrival of Close to the Noise Floor compelled theartsdesk’s Reissue CDs Weekly to conclude that it was “hugely important and utterly delightful”. A four-CD set, it was a thrilling, first-time overview of the UK’s early indie-synth...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 31: Psychic TV, Kendrick Lamar, Brian Eno, Stan Getz and more

August is often a quiet month on the release front but theartsdesk on Vinyl came across a host of music deserving of attention. Now that even Sony, one of the biggest record companies in the world, are starting to press their own vinyl again, it’s...

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Coming Clean, King's Head Theatre / Twilight Song, Park Theatre reviews - gay-themed first and last plays falter

Like his smash-hit My Night With Reg, Kevin Elyot's first and last plays have a role to play in the history of gay theatre, but do they work? Emphatically not in the case of Twilight Song (★★), completed – one is tempted to say, sketched – shortly...

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Road, Royal Court review - poetry amidst the pain

Who'd have guessed that the London theatre scene at present would be so devoted to the numinous? Hard on the heels of Girl from the North Country, which locates moments of transcendence in hard-scrabble Depression-era lives, along comes John Tiffany...

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