thu 30/03/2017

Turkey

'My father Sabahattin Ali is being rediscovered'

I was 11 years old when my father was killed. A body was found near the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. According to authorities it belonged to my father even though the corpse was decomposed beyond recognition. My mother and his mother were not...

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DVD: The Music of Strangers

A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers is about a unique musical collective that breaks through division and reaffirms the potential of culture to unite. Subtitled...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Idil Biret at 75

Has any living pianist had a richer or more charmed life than Idil Biret? As a child prodigy she studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Alfred Cortot, and both there and in Germany with Wilhelm Kempff. At the age of four she was reproducing Bach...

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theartsdesk at the D-Marin Festival: Turkish poetry in music, Bach at sunrise

Istanbul six weeks before the failed coup, the south-west coast of Turkey six weeks after: what's the difference? None that I could see; once past the Turkish Airlines flights, with literature and screen full of the "People's Victory", there was no...

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theartsdesk at the Istanbul Music Festival: classics alla Turca

Flashback to 1981, when the Bolshoy Ballet danced Swan Lake Act Two to a tinny Melodiya recording in Istanbul's Open-Air Theatre (seats were cheap for Interrailing students). Turkey was friends with the Soviet Union then. It hadn't been in the 1950s...

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Mustang

Teenage girls in the West who routinely abuse their parents for imposing midnight curfews, cancelling suspicious sleepovers, and insisting bra straps be concealed should hope that they are not suddenly dragged along to see Mustang. The...

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Theeb

The epic and the intimate combine impressively in Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar’s debut feature Theeb. The epic is there is the scale of the stunning desert landscapes that are the backdrop – though the desert itself almost feels like a...

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Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Glyndebourne

What a difference seven years can make to a budding genius. Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (1775) has only patches of brilliance, and last year’s Glyndebourne production, despite musical excellence, failed them all. This time an experienced director...

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I Wish to Die Singing, Finborough Theatre

Agitprop is a term that seems to have dropped out of use. It has too many negative connotations; it smacks of political rant. Yet artistic director Neil McPherson, whose small and feisty Finborough Theatre at Earls Court receives no public funding...

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The Water Diviner

Russell Crowe, who has played more than his fair share of rugged action heroes, makes his directorial debut with The Water Diviner, a film in which he plays, you’ve guessed it, a rugged action hero. He is Joshua Connor, a farmer living in the...

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Winter Sleep

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu), is a monumental film. Not merely in its scale – though at 196 minutes, it certainly clocks in on that front – but in its emotional heft. It’s like...

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LFF 2014: Winter Sleep

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner is an epic chamber piece by a contemporary great. From the moment a stone suddenly smashes the car window of landlord Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), physical threat darkens the corners of the remote Anatolian...

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