sat 17/02/2018

Africa

Black Panther review - more meh than marvellous

Black Panther arrives with all the critics displaying superhero-sized goodwill for its very existence. It’s a big budget mainstream Marvel movie that not only features a nearly all-black cast, but it also has an African-American writer director (...

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Makala review - capturing human spirit on film

We follow Kabwita Kasongo on his morning routine, lingering over the shoulder as he treks through the village. A pastel sunrise greets vast landscapes, the morning breeze visible for miles around. He heads to a tree at the edge of a mountain, and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature premiered at last year’s Directors' Fortnight in Cannes, and immediately marked the Lusaka-born, Wales-raised director down as a figure to watch. Putting her film into any category is more challenging, though, with...

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Big Cats, BBC One review - how cats conquered the world

Accepted wisdom seemed to be that in the animal world rats and cockroaches were the most adaptable and the most widely geographically distributed, followed by those pesky humans. But think again: the premise in this new three-part series is that the...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Bob Dylan - Trouble No More

“Passion! You gotta have passion!” I still feel the full force of Tricky’s conviction, as I was filming him in 1997, for my film Naked and Famous. He’s right: music works better than words when expressing the deepest emotions.This year has been a...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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Human Flow review - two hours of human misery

Soaring over an expanse of blue sea, a white bird traverses the screen diagonally. Gliding unhindered through the air, it is the embodiment of freedom; by contrast, the movement of people down below is constrained by border crossings and passport...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Breathe review - heroic but airbrushed struggle against disability

It’s a challenge to review this film without resorting to adjectives like “plucky” and “well-meaning”, and its mainstream comfiness made it a strangely cautious choice for the opening night of the recent London Film Festival. Breathe is not only...

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WOMAD 2017, Charlton Park review 2 - utopian globalist festival dances through the rain

Arriving on Thursday for the opening act Orchestra Baobab’s instantly recognisable mellifluous tones spreading out from the main stage over the Wiltshire countryside, it was clear that a high standard had been set for the rest of WOMAD. Whether it's...

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WOMAD 2017, Charlton Park review - multicultural nirvana transcends mud-bath conditions

Now in its 35 year, Womad is embedded into British festival culture, flying the flags of a musical multiculturalism that is about breaking down barriers and building new relationships. It’s not something you want to lose.Aside from pleasurable...

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Teju Cole: Blind Spot review - haunting hybrid of words and images

As a photographer, Teju Cole has a penchant for the scuffed and distressed surfaces, materials and tools that form rectilinear patterns on construction sites. Opposite a shot of scaffolding, ladders and shadows – all favourite motifs – on the island...

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