fri 26/08/2016

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

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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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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Six of the best: Film

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Six of the best: Theatre

Lee Hall's miraculous 'Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour' lead...

Julieta

Almodóvar's moving portrait of a mother's grief, adapted from Ali...

Soulful Islamic passion: the Najmuddin Saifuddin group

It can be dangerous to sing Qawwali - the greatest group of recent times is...

CD: Warhaus - We Fucked a Flame Into Being

Belgian singer stylishly realises ten tracks of doomed torch pop

They Drink It in the Congo, Almeida Theatre

New drama about the Congo is absorbing, but too long, too messy and too com...

theartsdesk at the Rosendal Festival: Schubert above a fjord

A half-Norwegian voyage around 1828 from Leif Ove Andsnes and friends

CD: Morgan Delt - Phase Zero

A muzzy, Sixties-influenced trip to inner space