thu 14/12/2017

politics

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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CD: Morrissey - Low in High School

Morrissey inspires some pretty fierce adulation, but there surely can’t be a fan on the planet who loves Morrissey quite as much as Morrissey does. This is the man who was reported, lest we forget, to have insisted that his memoirs be published as a...

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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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Red Star Over Russia, Tate Modern review – fascinating history in a nutshell

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Tate Modern exhibition features an installation made in 1985 of a Moscow bedsit, its walls lined with political posters. There’s a gaping hole in the ceiling made when the occupant apparently catapulted himself through the...

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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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Inspector George Gently, BBC One review - power, corruption and lies in his last-ever case

And now the end is near… and so Inspector George Gently faces his final case. Deemed too political to be broadcast in its original slot in May – 10 days before the General Election – Gently and the New Age was postponed until 8.30pm last...

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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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Priests/Downtown Boys, Deaf Institute, Manchester review - lively political punk-fest

Both Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys, and Washington D.C.’s Priests sit at the centre of today’s feminist punk scene. As stated in a recent Downtown Boys press release, they oppose “the prison-industrial complex, racism, queerphobia, capitalism,...

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Niall Ferguson: The Square and the Tower review - of groups and power

The controversial historian Niall Ferguson is the author of some dozen books, including substantial narratives of the Rothschild dynasty, a history of money, and a study of Henry Kissinger up to and including the Vietnam war. His new one has the...

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Labour of Love, Noël Coward Theatre, review - Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig labour in vain

Prolific playwright James Graham aspires to be nothing if not timely. His latest, a play about the Labour Party, was originally due to open during the week of that party’s conference, when our ears were once again ringing to the chant of “Oh, Jeremy...

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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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