mon 11/12/2017

documentary

The best TV to watch this week

Sick of the early onset of Christmas? Just watch television instead (though preferably not the news). Try these out for size?Sunday 10 DecemberBlue Planet II, BBC One - 7th and final episode of David Attenborough's epic of the oceans, with...

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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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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...

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The Farthest: Voyager's Interstellar Journey, BBC Four review - awe-inspiring and life-affirming space odyssey

Long before Barack Obama spoke about the audacity of hope, the Voyager mission left the Earth driven by something else: the audacity of curiosity. What do the outer planets look like? What are they comprised of? And what’s beyond that?Storyville:...

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Love, Cecil review - poignant, inspiring, and very sad

It’s shameful to admit it, but it’s perhaps rather surprising that a film about a fashion photographer and designer should end up being so profoundly moving and inspiring. Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s deft biopic about Cecil Beaton starts off dancing...

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DVD: Dispossession - The Great Social Housing Swindle

In the week that the police announced the final Grenfell Tower fire death toll, this is a timely release. Paul Sng’s 82-minute documentary, narrated by the actress Maxine Peake, is a serious investigation into the state of social housing in the UK,...

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Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

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Trump: An American Dream/Angry, White and American, Channel 4 review - a timely look at Trump and the causes of Trump

There are, as I’m sure many of you are aware, four key stages of political change. Denial, anger, acceptance and, finally, documentary film-making. Now that the Donald has been ensconced in the White House for over a year, Channel 4’s, Trump: An...

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theartsdesk at the Viennale: shunning the 'illusion machine'

The Viennale is one of the best film festivals in the world and an indispensable part of Vienna’s cultural life. Yet this year’s edition was launched amid trying times. For one thing, whatever sanity-altering toxin is affecting voters the world over...

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Ferrari: Race to Immortality review - death and glory in 1950s motor racing

And so the mini-boom in motor racing movies continues, this time with a look back at the history of Ferrari and the intense on-track battles of the 1950s, a decade in which the Scuderia won four of its 15 Formula One World Drivers Championships. In...

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66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

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