thu 05/03/2015

Tom Birchenough

tom.birchenough

Tom Birchenough's picture
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

Dreamcatcher

We get the big city views of Chicago, the bright lights and the skyscrapers, a few times in Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher, but for the most part we’re planted firmly down at street level, in areas of...

Read more...

Appropriate Behaviour

There’s an engaging, indie sense of emotional flux in writer-director Desiree Akhavan’s feature debut Appropriate Behaviour, and a very funny script indeed behind it. Akhavan herself plays Shirin,...

Read more...

Hostages, BBC Four

Hostages certainly whips along. We’re straight into conflict from the very start of the first episode, except it soon transpires that the real action will be taking place elsewhere. And it’ll be...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Moscow: Remembering George Costakis

Russia’s national gallery, the Tretyakov, bears the name of its founder Pavel Tretyakov, the 19th-century merchant who bequeathed his huge collection of Russian art to the city of Moscow in 1892. His...

Read more...

The Romanians Are Coming, Channel 4

The Romanians Are Coming was the immigration story from the other side. Bustling along with the wry, sometimes desperate comedy (and themed music) of a Balkan film, its characters said things about...

Read more...

Maidan

I went into watching Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary Maidan with the highest hopes, and came out, more than two hours later, cold. For a film about a successful national liberation movement, that’s...

Read more...

Love Is All

Among contemporary British documentarists Kim Longinotto has surely travelled the furthest afield internationally – Iran, Japan, Africa – to find her subjects. Love Is All brings her resoundingly...

Read more...

Dancing in Jaffa

Your initial impressions of Hilla Medalia’s Dancing in Jaffa may be influenced by whether you go into it knowing anything about its central character, Pierre Dulaine. His is a name that needs no...

Read more...

Blu-ray: Bad Timing

With its combination of a Tom Waits lament and visuals tracking over art works by Viennese modernists like Klimt and Schiele, the opening of Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing stays in the memory – its...

Read more...

Touched by Auschwitz, BBC Two

There’s been a pronounced sense of finality at this year’s 70th anniversary commemoration of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz. No closure, of course, but an awareness that the ranks of survivors are...

Read more...

Holocaust: Night Will Fall, Channel 4

 More than once in André Singer’s documentary Holocaust: Night Will Fall – marking in advance the 70th anniversary, on 27th January, of the liberation of Auschwitz, having added that...

Read more...

Surviving the Holocaust - Freddie Knoller's War, BBC Two

First-hand testimonial is surely the building block of history. Whether it’s in the form of written diaries or the television memory, it allows us to go back to the very basics as we, the reader-...

Read more...

DVD: Southern District

A Bolivian upper-crust family comes to gradual pieces in Juan Carlos Valdivia’s 2009 Southern District (Zona Sur), which won best director and script prize in the World Cinema section at Sundance the...

Read more...

DVD: A Most Wanted Man

No one could have known it would be one of his final screen appearances – there’s another still to come in a further installment of Hunger Games – but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role in Anton Corbijn’s...

Read more...

Rich, Russian and Living in London, BBC Two

If the idea of the BBC putting together a “Super Rich” season came as a surprise in itself, the fact that wealthy Russians would be appearing in it can’t have shocked anyone, and Rich, Russian and...

Read more...

The Green Ray

French actress Marie Rivière had a specially close relationship with director Eric Rohmer. After seeing his work for the first time in the early 1970s, Rivière expressed her admiration in a letter,...

Read more...

latest in today

Banished, BBC Two

Jimmy McGovern's colonial convict drama grips from the off

Dreamcatcher

Kim Longinotto's latest is a lacerating documentary of Chicago's...

Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Kings Place

Norwegian improvising vocalist travels through hit songs via the subconscio...

Game, Almeida Theatre

Mike Bartlett’s new play about the housing crisis shoots from the hip

CD: Fairport Convention - Myths & Heroes

Old school folk-rockers prove they can withstand the test of time

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now

Spectres, The Lexington

Unhinged assault on the eardrums from the Bristol four-piece

Inventing Impressionism, National Gallery

A fresh take: the commercial story behind the success of an avant-garde mov...

CD: Jimmy Somerville - Homage

Infectious disco tribute from a man who knows the genre inside-out

Still Alice

Julianne Moore's Oscar-winning turn lifts largely pedestrian film