sat 20/12/2014

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: The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

There’s a wonderful drollery to Guillaume Nicloux’s wry and eccentric comedy The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (L‘Enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq) which is quintessentially Gallic. Three years...

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Photographer Rena Effendi: 'Images of dislocation'

Photographer Rena Effendi’s current exhibition, "Zones of Silence", at London's Mosaic Rooms includes work from four of her recent series, and it’s hard not to see a link between them – displacement...

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Olive Kitteridge, Sky Atlantic

Some of the best films this year have been the longest. The one most likely to be remembered is Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, at a modest enough 165 minutes, followed soon after by Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s...

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The Circle

Remembering the early years of social and sexual liberation in Swiss gay life, Stefan Haupt’s drama-documentary The Circle (Der Kreis) has rich affection for its subject. In particular, that’s the...

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The Green Prince

Finding a clear narrative among the deadly uncertainties of the long-lasting stand-off between Israel and Palestine is a challenge. Israeli documentarist Nadav Schirman, drawing on a real-life story...

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The Grandmaster

Hong Kong master Wong Kar Wai has ventured into new territory with The Grandmaster. Many years in the making, his new film is a remarkable portrayal of martial-arts traditions, specifically the story...

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3 Winters, National Theatre

The single spacious room that is the central location of Tena Štivičić’s 3 Winters has seen plenty of ghosts. It’s part of an old Zagreb mansion, and through the course of the play witnesses the...

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Imagine... Colm Tóibín: His Mother's Son, BBC One

Watching this edition of Imagine… on Colm Tóibín, it was impossible not to be reminded of Graham Greene’s dictum about childhood being the bank balance of the writer. The key event in Tóibín’s...

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Eastern Boys

Eastern Boys is a disturbing film. Robin Campillo’s second feature as director catches the often aggressive world of immigrant grifters in Paris – they’re a gang of young men largely from the former...

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Stations of the Cross

There is ice at the heart of German director’s Dietrich Brueggemann’s Stations of the Cross (Kreuzweg). Winner of this year’s Berlinale Silver Bear for best script – the director wrote the film in...

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Concerning Violence

In Concerning Violence Göran Hugo Olsson has created an almanac documentary drawing on material from Swedish television archives, filmed by a number of directors in Africa, largely in the 1970s. It’s...

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DVD: Ida

Pawel Pawlikowski took a leap into the unknown with Ida. The reasons for advance box office scepticism were clear: the film was black and white, made in an old-fashioned ratio, in Polish (until then...

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Winter Sleep

This year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep (Kiş Uykusu), is a monumental film. Not merely in its scale – though at 196 minutes, it certainly clocks in on...

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Leviathan

It’s fascinating to catch the moment when an already great film director moves onwards and upwards, to another level. Russia’s Andrei Zvyagintsev has been collecting major festival prizes for more...

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Leviathan: Attacking Putin's Russia From Inside the Whale

When Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan opens in Russia early next year it won’t be in the director’s cut. Given new legislation effective from this past July, it will be against the law to include the...

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The Overnighters

In The Overnighters documentarist Jesse Moss found his story and pursued it with remarkable empathy, all in the best traditions of the genre. He persuaded both sides in this tale of (quiet)...

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DVD: The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

Little comes as expected in Guillaume Nicloux’s wry, eccentric French comed...

Serial Finale: Cul-de-Sacs and Curveballs

The gripping podcast ended on an inconclusive note, but the human drama was...

Big Eyes

Tim Burton's latest leaves you, well, wide-eyed

Un Ballo in Maschera, Royal Opera

Shining moments and star voices in mostly drab Verdi

Game of Thrones Episode 1: Iron From Ice

Lashings of intrigue but poor pacing mars this pilot episode

We Made It: Factum Arte

Recreating a facsimile of Tutankhamun’s tomb and a painting by Veronese is...