sun 19/11/2017

Catholicism

Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain - Reconquest, BBC Four

The second instalment of this three-part series on the history of Spain (from the BBC in collaboration with the Open University) told a tale that is probably still relatively unfamiliar in the Anglophone world. That’s despite the fact that one of...

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The Heresy of Love, Shakespeare's Globe

Helen Edmundson’s The Heresy of Love may be set in 17th century Mexico and follow the conflict between strict religion and personal development, but its theme of a woman denied her voice by a surrounding male hierarchy retains real contemporary...

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MacMillan's St Luke Passion, King's College Chapel

The St Luke Passion I heard last night was my second sung Passion of the day. The first was in a parish church as a central part of the liturgy of the day on Good Friday: nothing too fancy, as befits an amateur choir, the words of St John as set by...

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theartsdesk in Bilbao: Niki de Saint Phalle at the Guggenheim Museum

This is work that wears its heart on its sleeve. That’s what gets you in the end in this big retrospective of the work of Niki de Saint Phalle. The French-American artist, who died aged 71 in 2002, is probably best known for two very different...

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Rubens and His Legacy, Royal Academy

What does it mean to be a great artist? Is it enough for your work to be admired, studied, emulated and quoted by contemporaries and subsequent generations, or is the value of art judged by a more complex set of criteria? By considering the extent...

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Rubens: An Extra Large Story, BBC Two

The ebullient presenter, writer and director Waldemar Januszczak opens his enthusiastic and proselytising hour-long film on Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) by reading out a series of disparaging quotes from other artists. William Blake thought...

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Giovanni Battista Moroni, Royal Academy

Written in the 16th century, Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists continues to underpin our understanding of the Renaissance, and its author is blamed, often with some justification, for a multitude of art historical anomalies. But there can be...

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DVD: In the Name of

Gay cinema in Poland is emerging slowly, for understandable reasons, which makes Malgoska Szumowska’s accomplished, if somewhat traditional drama In the Name of something of a ground-breaker. Not least because its story is centred around the country...

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Tommy Tiernan, Soho Theatre

In Irish mythology, a stray sod is an enchanted piece of grass that, if stepped on, leaves a person feeling disorientated and lost, even in familiar surroundings. Although there's no reference to this in Tommy Tiernan's new show, Stray Sod,...

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Paradise: Faith

What goes on in some homes would scare the sturdiest horse. Take Anna (Maria Hofstatter), whose daily routine might strike some serial killers as pathological. Semi-naked self-flagellation and circuiting the house on bleeding knees is the least of...

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Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene, Sky Arts 1

Early on in Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene, John le Carré remembers Greene telling him that childhood provides “the bank balance of the writer”. Greene remained in credit on that inspiration front throughout his life, even while he...

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City of London Sinfonia, Layton, Southwark Cathedral

"You know that I am as sincere in my faith, without any messianic screamings, as I am in my Parisian sexuality," declared Francis Poulenc, who died 50 years ago this January at one with his God and his cheerful, not exclusively but mainly gay,...

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