thu 05/08/2021

1940s

Shadow Kingdom: The Early Songs of Bob Dylan review - noir settings for classic numbers

What is the Shadow Kingdom and how do you gain access to it? In Bob Dylan’s case, it may be found in the film noir classics of his birth – 1941’s The Maltese Falcon onward – and it’s those noir settings, artfully condensed and reduced to a signature...

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South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre review - gloriously revived and also refreshed

We’ve come to learn what socially distanced means but, 72 years ago, the distance that concerned Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers was that between racial groups in the United States. With a catalogue of hits behind them, they turned to ...

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Tove review - tasteful portrait of the Moomins creator

Even for this reviewer, who was brought up on Tove Jansson’s quirky children’s books (and is the owner of some 50 different Moomin coffee cups), it’s a stretch to recommend dropping everything to go and see Tove in the cinema. There’s nothing wrong...

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The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Nancy Mitford's 1945 literary sensation looks poised to be the TV talking point of the season, assuming the first episode of The Pursuit of Love sustains its utterly infectious energy through two hours still to come. Adapted and directed by the...

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Lewis, Hallé, Thórarinsdóttir online review - serenity and spice

For the newest performance of their part-postponed “Winter Season” on film, the Hallé return to their rehearsal and performance centre in Ancoats, and with the help of piano soloist-director Paul Lewis and guest leader-director Eva Thórarinsdóttir...

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Blu-ray: Marlene Dietrich at Universal 1940-1942

Her glory years as the muse of Josef von Sternberg long gone, Marlene Dietrich had been labelled “box-office poison” and was sulking on the French Riviera when the producer Joe Pasternak summoned her back to Hollywood to star opposite James Stewart...

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Into the Darkness review - disappointingly soapy Danish WWII drama

Can a film be both too long and too short? If so, Into the Darkness definitely fits the bill. Anders Refn’s long-nurtured family epic follows Karl Skov (Jesper Christensen, more famous as a Bond villain), a self-made Danish industrialist...

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Holy Sonnets/The Heart's Assurance/A Charm of Lullabies, English Touring Opera online review - darkest hours

“Death, be not proud, though some have called thee/ Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.” John Donne’s Holy Sonnets may summon all his art of wit and paradox to mock that might and dread; still, we sense the abject terror behind the formal...

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Romances on British Poetry / The Poet's Echo, English Touring Opera online review - Britten and Shostakovich in a double mirror

A darkened stage; a pool of light; a solitary figure. And then, flooding the whole thing with meaning, music – even it’s just a soft chord on a piano. It’s no secret to any opera goer that even the barest outlines of a staging can magnify the...

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Black Narcissus, BBC One review - a haunting in the Himalayas

It’s dangerous territory, remaking a classic British film as a TV mini-series. In 1947 when Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger created Black Narcissus, a heady adaptation of Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel, they never set foot in the Himalayas....

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Shirley review - hothouse art film about American horror writer

Shirley is one of those films that the mood you’re in when you watch it will dictate whether you think it’s a great psychological horror movie or overheated and pretentious. Go to the cinema wanting to be plunged into a fever dream of gothic...

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor? Written and directed by the team behind Channel 4’s...

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