mon 16/10/2017

documentary

Lucy Worsley's Nights at the Opera, BBC Two review - there's anti-elitism, and there's infantilism

The first thing to say about Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera (BBC Two) is that it is laser-aimed at those who have not enjoyed many nights at the opera. Enjoyed in the sense of attended; also, probably, in the sense of enjoyed. Anyone who is a...

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The best TV to watch this week

Bored with the great outdoors? So curl up in front of the telly with slippers, spaniel, chardonnay etc. We sift the schedules for you.Saturday 14 OctoberLucy Worsley's Nights at the Opera, BBC Two – the all-purpose historian hosts a populist’s guide...

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Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution, BBC Two review - words stronger than pictures 100 years on

It’s getting to that time of the century. A hundred years ago to the month, if not quite the day, the Winter Palace was stormed, and the Russian Revolution came to pass. To commemorate the communists’ accession, Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution...

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Nile Rodgers: How to Make It in the Music Business, BBC Four review - good times had by all

One New Year’s Eve in the 1970s, hot young session musicians Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were assured by Grace Jones that they could penetrate the inner sanctum of Studio 54 by dropping her name at the door. A doorman thought otherwise and...

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On the Road review - engrossing music documentary with a sly B-side

Michael Winterbottom has always been a mercurial director, moving swiftly between genres, fiction and documentary, keeping us on our toes. But with On the Road it’s time to mark the tiniest of trends.24 Hour Party People is one of the best films...

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The Reagan Show review - engaging but frustrating

The Reagan administration produced as much video content as the previous five administrations combined. That’s the claim early on in The Reagan Show, an engaging but ultimately frustrating documentary compiled entirely from archive footage by co-...

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Billion Dollar Deals That Changed Your World, BBC Two review - Big Pharma gets a diagnosis: it’s sick

“What if the way people understand the world is wrong? What if it isn’t politicians that shape the way people live their day-to-day lives, but secret business deals?” This is the question at the heart – and at the start – of Jacques Peretti’s...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Broadcast - calling out around the world

As Sky’s Head of Drama Anne Mensah puts it, her ambition is to “stay local but look global”. This might serve as a motto for television in its entirety, as technology swallows the planet and TV is increasingly shaped by coalitions of international...

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Oslo, National Theatre review - informative, gripping and moving

Documentary theatre has a poor reputation. It’s boring in form, boring to look at (all those middle-aged men in suits), and usually only tells you what you already know. It’s journalism without the immediacy of the news. But there are other ways of...

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Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum, BBC Four review - moving pictures

Magnum was founded just after the war in 1947 as a co-operative that ensured both the quality of its members, and their clout in dealing with the media world. Its longevity is testimony to its success. The original founders were war-hardened photo...

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DVD: Every Picture Tells a Story

James Scott’s filmography is wide-ranging, including the 1982 short film A Shocking Accident, based on the Graham Greene story, which won an Academy Award the following year, and other works on social questions. But these documentaries, several...

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Educating Greater Manchester, Channel 4 review - a study of hope, humanity and heart

Cast your minds back, if you will, to 2011. Remember Jamie Oliver’s Celebrity Fight School? I think that was the title… in any case, it was an astonishing vanity project which seemed to suggest that the reason so many kids were being failed by...

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