sat 23/07/2016

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

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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Eisenstein in Guanajuato

This is an unashamed, fulsome, extravagant tribute from Peter Greenaway to his cinema idol. The British director – though that description is probably more point of origin these days than allegiance...

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In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Charing Cross Theatre

Was Tennessee Williams breaking rules, or breaking apart when he wrote this 1969 play? A bit of both, probably, and the two main characters of the rarely performed In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel face...

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Couple in a Hole

Traumatic obsession is hard to get right in film, to draw us as viewers into a situation far beyond our usual experience, make us believe in it, and fix us there. Sometimes it means pushing towards...

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Les Blancs, National Theatre

Lorraine Hansberry’s career as a playwright proved tragically short. A Raisin in the Sun is by some distance her best-known work, a key piece about the African American post-war experience. But she...

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Ran

Even by the varied experiences of transferring Shakespeare to another culture, with the attendant revelations that come when an original story is modified to match a world governed by very different...

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The Club

The Chilean director Pablo Larrain completed his loose trilogy about his country confronting the legacy of its Pinochet years four years ago with No. Striking a distinctly upbeat note after the two...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and...

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Marguerite

You may never have heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, although she has definitely earned a certain renown among music-lovers. For all the wrong reasons: the American soprano, who performed at private...

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DVD: Something Different/A Bagful of Fleas

The expectation that late means great is one embedded deeply in our culture: that the consummation of creative endeavour finds its peak towards life’s conclusion, with experience assimilated into a...

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Vivacious Italian soprano and first clarinet excel in Mozart and Mendelssoh...

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Long-lost republic come stunningly alive again

The BFG

Mark Rylance lends moments of the sublime to standard issue Spielberg

Strictly goes to the Proms

Canny brand synergy encourages fans to keep Promming

Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

DVD: The Witch

An ambitious, sparely told tale of 17th-century American terror

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now