fri 12/02/2016

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

DVD: 99 Homes

The opening scene of Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes plunges us into the darker depths of American society, post-2008 financial crisis. We’re in the world of home repossessions, and the blood spattered...

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DVD: Tangerines

Georgian director Zaza Urushadze’s Tangerines made the shortlist of five for last year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar category (it didn't win). It was nominated from Georgia, but could equally well have...

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The Rolling Stone, Orange Tree Theatre

I’m still pondering the title of Chris Urch’s new play. On the surface it’s clear enough: The Rolling Stone is a weekly newspaper in Uganda that has been notorious for pursuing that country’s anti-...

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Lost in Karastan

Ah, the fascination of faraway countries of which we know nothing. And of dictators, always a species of interest to filmmakers, because you rarely have to make anything up – Chaplin, of course,...

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P’yongyang, Finborough Theatre

Every incarnation of totalitarianism has its own specific mythology, which exists in different forms as it is believed at home and “translated” abroad (or not, in both cases). North Korea surely...

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A War

Tobias Lindholm is something of a specialist in exploring the fate of enclosed groups under stress, charting how the dynamics of behaviour between men develop in crisis. I say men, though the Danish...

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War and Peace, BBC One

So, Andrew Davies has bitten off the big one. It may have come as a surprise to some that the master of adapting the British classics for television hadn’t read Tolstoy’s classic-to-end-all-classics...

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DVD: The Czechoslovak New Wave - A Collection, Vol. 2

Distributor Second Run’s second collection of the Czech New Wave (strictly speaking, Czechoslovak, although the three films included here are from the Czech side of the movement) reminds us what an...

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The Bridge, Series 3 Finale, BBC Four

Was it just my bewilderment, or were there even more criss-crossing narratives than usual in this third series of The Bridge? As in, unusually expanded levels of human traffic, in various forms of...

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A Christmas Carol, Noël Coward Theatre

Is Jim Broadbent Britain’s best-loved actor? The slate of screen roles he’s accumulated over the years – this Christmas Carol is his return to theatre after a decade away – has surely given him a...

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Hector

It would take a brave soul to mention Peter Mullan and “national treasure” in the same breath. To start with, he’d be more than clear which nation has his allegiance, and then suggest, in the...

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Around the World in 80 Days, St James Theatre

One of the joys about this stage adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days is the contrast between its phlegmatic hero Phileas Fogg, who deals with everything in terms of precision and...

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The Lesson

Young Bulgarian writer-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov have made a tight, bleak, suspenseful drama in The Lesson (Urok), driven by a commanding, unforgiving performance from actress...

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Capital, BBC One

If the title wasn’t already occupied, television-wise, the BBC might have titled Capital “The Street”. It’s got the high soar-aways over urban geography that recall the soaps, but here they spread...

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DVD: Murder in the Cathedral

The real achievement of this remarkable DVD release from the BFI is the fact that it brings the name of George Hoellering back to our attention as a director. His 1951 adaption of TS Eliot’s verse...

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Flowering Cherry, Finborough Theatre

In the world of dramatic rediscoveries, half a century may not count as a long time. Slightly more, in fact, with Robert Bolt’s first performed play Flowering Cherry, which premiered in 1957 with...

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