wed 28/09/2016

Tom Birchenough

tom.birchenough

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Bio
Tom has been based largely in Moscow since 1991, from where he has written for a range of publications. He has contributed to Variety since 1993, and was for many years the film critic for the main English-language publication in Russia, The Moscow Times. He has been associate producer on a number of television documentaries on Russian subjects.

Articles by Tom Birchenough

Little Men

American director Ira Sachs is becoming a master at telling the small stories of life, giving them a resonance that speaks beyond the immediate context in which they unfold. That context, for his...

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The Clan

Latin America has learnt from harsh experience just what the legacy of dictatorship involves, when the structure itself may have been dismantled but the psychology that it engendered remains. It’s a...

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Captain Fantastic

If you’re expecting family drama, the opening of Captain Fantastic will surprise. We’re following a hunter, greased-up so he’s invisible in the woods, stalking a deer. There’s an edginess to the...

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Things to Come

One of the many astonishing things in Mia Hansen-Løve’s fifth film is watching Isabelle Huppert hold back tears. In one scene they smear almost involuntarily down her face, in another she transforms...

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Victoria, ITV

From the schoolroom straight to the throne: it was a rapid rise for 18-year-old Victoria, and managing as monarch wasn’t helped when everyone around you had their own agenda and was raring to act on...

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Almost Holy

Tough love doesn’t get much tougher. Ukrainian priest Gennadiy Mokhnenko has spent two decades trying to keep children off the streets, and away from drugs, in his hometown Mariupol, using...

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DVD: The Shop on the High Street

There will surely be no end to the debate as to how any work of art can approach treating the Holocaust, and its depiction in cinema, with the great immediacy of that form, has always been especially...

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Valley of Love

There are memorable appearances from two great actors playing close to the top of their game in Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love, but they’re almost upstaged by something else. Nothing human –...

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Bobby Sands: 66 Days

There’s much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary Bobby Sands: 66 Days than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA...

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Summertime

Set at the beginning of the 1970s, Catherine Corsini’s Summertime (La belle saison) is a story of love in a political climate, one in which the post-1968 assertions of a changing society have infused...

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Weiner

Weiner is the story of a rapid ride from comeback to meltdown. It’s an enthralling journey to witness, even if you sometimes feel like averting your eyes. What can be more inexorable than a political...

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Notes on Blindness

Notes on Blindness is an extraordinary film that wears its original genius lightly. The debut full-length documentary from directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney, it may seem complicated in its...

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DVD: Battle for Sevastopol

The latest in a long tradition of Russian Second World War films, Sergei Mokritsky’s Battle for Sevastopol itself emerged out of conflict. Initiated as a "status" joint project between Russia and...

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Going Going Gone, BBC Four

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of challenge he’d faced with Sarah Palin or some of his previous targets. Doors...

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Ivan’s Childhood

The 30th anniversary of the death of Andrei Tarkovsky – the great Russian director died just before the end of 1986, on December 29, in Paris – will surely guarantee that his remarkable body of work...

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DVD: Mysterious Object at Noon

“By their beginnings, you shall know them” is a useful motto for cinematic rediscovery. Rather than predicting how a director’s creative path may develop in the future, you go in the opposite...

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