mon 11/12/2017

class system

The Passing of the Third Floor Back, Finborough Theatre review - the better nature of Jerome K Jerome

Even by the standards of theatrical archaeology that the Finborough has made its own, The Passing of the Third Floor Back is a curiosity. Jerome K Jerome’s 1908 play was a long-running hit in the West End – with Johnston Forbes-Robertson, one of the...

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Happy End review - grimly compelling but to what end?

No movie that folds Toby Jones of all people into a Gallic entourage headed by Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the two as formidable as one might wish, is going to be without interest. Nor is it likely that the ever-severe Austrian...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L’albero deli zoccoli) is a glorious fresco that reveals, over the course of an unhurried three hours and with a pronounced documentary element that virtually...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Rita, Sue and Bob Too

Memory plays funny tricks; Alan Clarke’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too is fondly remembered as a cheeky 80s sex comedy. It’s not. There’s a fair bit of sex, and the laughs do come thick and fast, but the film leaves the bitterest of aftertastes. And, viewed...

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Jam review – obsession and resentment in the classroom

When TV drama tackles Britain’s class divide, the go-to working-class type is the northerner: gritty, blunt of vowel and partial to a deep-fried Mars bar. The first and perhaps only pleasant surprise in Matt Parvin’s debut play Jam, produced by the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Lino Brocka - Two Films

With some re-releases, the fascination is not only discovering the work of a director, but also the environment and context in which he or she worked. This immaculate BFI restoration of two films by the Filipino master Lino Brocka (1939-1991) is a...

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Decline and Fall review - 'a riotously successful adaptation'

Like many first novels, Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall has a strong whiff of autobiography. It is a revenge comedy in which Waugh – like Kingsley Amis after him in Lucky Jim – transmutes his miserable experiences of teaching in Wales into savage...

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Suzi Ruffell, Soho Theatre

Suzi Ruffell tells it straight: she's working-class and proud, but some people might think she's "common", which is the show's title. She has devised a quick quiz for us to check if we're working-class ourselves, and among the amusing tell-tale...

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John Berger: the critic as artist

It’s hardly the lot of an art critic to be loved and admired, still less to speak to an audience that might reasonably be called “the public”. And how many will find their ideas still current 40 years on? All of these things can be said for John...

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Half A Sixpence, Chichester Festival Theatre

Watching Cameron Mackintosh’s joyful revision of this Sixties musical, it’s possible to believe for a moment that all the world needs now is love sweet love and a shit-ton of banjos. With a new book by Downton Abbey behemoth Julian Fellowes, new...

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The Violators

British filmmaking does gritty suburban dramas better than anywhere. Stories stripped of superficial action, from Ken Loach’s early work through to more recent stand-out films like Tyrannosaur. The Violators offers a new voice producing a superb...

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Normal for Norfolk, BBC Two

In 2014 the Channel 4 series Confessions looked at the changing face of the old professions. In the programme about doctors, one GP remembered the standard practice of deploying acronyms on patient notes that looked like arcane medical terminology...

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