tue 12/12/2017

California

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...

Read more...

DVD: The Work

“Doing work” is the phrase that inmates of California’s New Folsom Prison have adopted to describe the group psychotherapy sessions that have been run there for more than 15 years now. Given that Folsom is a Level-4 penitentiary, in which murder is...

Read more...

Blu-ray: The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man starts innocently with a young couple bantering on a small boat off the California coast. Before what looks like an atomic mushroom cloud wafts towards the unfortunate Scott Carey, lightly coating him in glittery fallout...

Read more...

Reissue CDs Weekly: FJ McMahon

Once heard, 1969’s Spirit of the Golden Juice is not forgotten. F. J. McMahon’s sole album is imbued with the heavy air of desolation. Its nine country tinged songs are also melodic and as good as those by Tim Hardin and Fred Neil, with whom McMahon...

Read more...

Tom of Finland review - engaging biopic of gay pioneer

Finnish director Dome Karukoski has made a sympathetic and quietly stylish biopic of Touko Laaksonen, the artist who did as much as anyone to define 20th century male gay visual culture. There’s a degree of irony in the fact that we know him by...

Read more...

GLOW, Netflix review - not quite comedy or drama

How much plotting went into GLOW? It has been gussied up by the people who brought you the jumbo Netflix hit Orange Is the New Black. Both shows are based on a true story and feature women of all ethnicities bitching and slapping in a contained...

Read more...

Michael Connelly: The Late Show review - mesmerising and believable characters

Readers have been committed fans since 1992, when the sometime crime reporter Michael Connelly turned novelist. Connelly’s best-known sequence has featured, over three decades now, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective Hieronymus Bosch...

Read more...

The Last Word film review - Shirley MacLaine's spit and vinegar remain intact

If you're going to cobble together an entirely pro forma film, it's not a bad idea to give Shirley MacLaine pride of place. At 83, this redoubtable pro is no more capable of falsehood now than she ever was. It means that, although individual moments...

Read more...

Summer of Love: How Hippies Changed the World review - the weird and wonderful roots of the Sixties counterculture

As the accompanying music reminded us, it's the time of the season for looking back in languor at the psychedelic daze that descended on America's West Coast in 1967. It was an era when one was enjoined, if going to San Francisco, to "be sure to...

Read more...

Unforgettable review - forgettable film

Within seconds – literally seconds – of Unforgettable it becomes apparent that this is the kind of film that in the late Eighties and Nineties used to be referred to as “straight to video”, a label that covered a plethora of trashy, sexist, by-the-...

Read more...

Big Little Lies, Sky Atlantic

It happened in Monterey, but we’re not entirely sure what yet. Adapted from the novel by Australian writer Liane Moriarty, with the action transplanted from a small town in Oz to the splendid oceanside scenery of Monterey, California, Big Little...

Read more...

20th Century Women

It would be easy to dismiss this sweet, wayward film as Michael Mills’s self-indulgent love letter to his mother, who raised him alone in California after his father moved out, but it’s subtler and more complex than that. This is an ensemble piece,...

Read more...
Subscribe to California