wed 29/06/2016

New York

DVD: Heart of a Dog

The language of documentary is shot through with conventions. Rare is the occasion when a film-maker breaks the rules and throws the genre wide open. It takes a versatile artist like Laurie Anderson to free the medium from genre and invent a whole...

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Paul Simon Introduces 'Stranger to Stranger'

Perhaps as a hopeful harbinger for Paul Simon's new album Stranger to Stranger, Disturbed recently topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their flabbergasting version of Simon's 1965 song "The Sound of Silence". However, while...

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Money Monster

This is one of those films where it really is better not to have seen the trailer first. Much of the pleasure is in the narrative twists and the developing characters, and the publicity gives too much away. Nevertheless, Money Monster is an...

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Billions, Sky Atlantic

The pre-title sequence – in which a middle-aged man without any trousers lies trussed up on the floor – immediately tells us that we are not to take Billions too seriously. A woman in thigh-high leather boots with killer heels towers over him....

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Florence Foster Jenkins

The Florence Foster Jenkins industry reaches newly giddy heights with Stephen Frears's film of the same name, which cleverly casts a great talent - who else but Meryl Streep? - as the cheerfully self-deluded American soprano. The subject already of...

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Demolition

How would you behave if your wife was killed in a random car accident? In Demolition, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Davis, a wealthy banker, is almost relieved – he can ditch his job, his house, nearly everything of his old life, and shack up with a total...

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CD: Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings on Earth

Relentless is the word. The second studio album from post-punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down starts as it means to finish. It opens with a hard, pulsing bass guitar which sets the scene for “Dot to Dot”, a persistent chant suggesting Sufi adepts with a...

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Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

“Look at the pictures”, yells apoplectic Senator Jesse Helms as he brandishes a clutch of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, “a known homosexual who died of AIDS”. It's 1989 and Senator Helms is doing his level best to close down an exhibition of...

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Guys and Dolls, Phoenix Theatre

It’s all change once more for Gordon Greenberg’s slick, protean revival, which began life at Chichester back in 2014, as three new leads join the show’s transfer from the Savoy to the Phoenix. If not a revelatory version of this 1950 masterwork, it’...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: James Chance aka James White

According to the May 1979 issue of the New York art-paper East Village Eye, James White “is treated [everywhere] with awe and the special consideration lacking in most people's lives.” The adoration was boundless. White is “the star, the proof of...

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DVD: Carol

I hope Todd Haynes isn't consumed with bitterness about the way Carol was ignored at the Oscars – mind you, a world where the dreary Spotlight can get Best Film probably isn't one he misses much – but the discerning filmgoer can be in little doubt...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Pure Hell, Rexy

The variables which help records attain cult status are usually permutations of obscurity, patronage, rarity and perceived or received notions of greatness. This fluid formula can make an album the acme of grooviness, even if barely anyone cared or...

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