mon 21/04/2014

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

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

We see the harshness of everyday life in Danis Tanović’s An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker first in its snowy, subsistence landscapes, as hero Nazif goes out to the forest to bring in whatever...

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Celluloid Man: Preserving the heritage of Indian cinema

This April is proving the kindest month for cinephiles. Hot on the heels of Mark Cousins’ engrossing A Story of Children and Film comes another documentary about cinema of captivating, encyclopaedic...

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The Crimson Field, BBC One

The BBC is going to reap a rich harvest from The Crimson Field. Sarah Phelps’s drama impresses for a whole number of reasons that will score with viewers: there's the closed community and class...

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A Story of Children and Film

Every cinephile is going to have a personal perspective on Mark Cousins’ A Story of Children and Film, an engrossing, affectionate, and frequently revelatory look over how aspects of childhood, and...

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Kim Philby: His Most Intimate Betrayal, BBC Two

History may be written by the winners, but its verdict is surely still out on Kim Philby. The presenter of Kim Philby: His Most Intimate Betrayal, Ben Macintyre, acknowledged that Philby is “the most...

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Tom at the Farm

Claustrophobia and a sense of huge space combine in Quebecois Xavier Dolan’s Tom at the Farm. It’s an adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard’s stage play, and the former element must have worked...

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Storyville: Which Way Is the Frontline From Here?, BBC Four

The title of Sebastian Junger’s documentary comes from a casual remark made as a group of journalists set off towards conflict in the outskirts of the Libyan town of Misrata: it may sound like a...

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Arena: Whatever Happened to Spitting Image? BBC Four

“You can never embarrass politicians by giving them publicity.” Michael Heseltine’s verdict on Spitting Image – he claimed, of course, he never watched it – was surely one of the truer things said in...

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I Was There, BBC Two

We have already seen a lot of World War I on television this year, and clearly we’re going to be getting a great deal more before it's out. Whether it’s a “celebration” season, or the diametrical...

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The Rocket

Ten-year-old Ahlo is the energetic, cheeky, joyous centre of Kim Mordaunt’s drama The Rocket (Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo, main picture), which follows him through a series of challenges towards a...

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DVD: Starlet

“Only connect!” might be the unexpected motto for this Hollywood Hills story – hard to call it a drama – from writer-director Sean Baker (Prince of Broadway). Because the worlds coming into contact...

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The Edwardian Grand Designer, Channel 4

Britain’s last castle, Drogo, may be only just over a century old, but repair work is going on in a big way – it’s currently the National Trust’s largest-scale restoration project. That provided the...

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The Brits Who Built the Modern World, BBC Four / The Man Who Fought the Planners, BBC Four

There really was astonishing talent on display in The Brits Who Built the Modern World (*****), as full a television panorama of the work of the five architects whose careers were under examination...

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Stranger by the Lake

The lakeside beach that is the only scene of action in Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake is a concentrated crucible of desires. The sense of languid summer and the limpid beauty of the lake...

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Berlinale 2014: The Winners

The Chinese thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice by director Diao Yinan won the Golden Bear at the closing ceremony of the Berlinale last night, as well as picking up the best actor prize for its star Liao...

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Berlinale 2014: The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, Yves Saint Laurent, La belle et le bête

You couldn’t imagine The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (****) coming out of anywhere except France. Three years ago the enfant terrible of French literature vanished for some days from a book tour...

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