mon 18/10/2021

1940s

Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic

We’re in an agreeable drawing room with an author, Charles Condomine, who is looking forward to having a bit of fun with a local spiritualist, Madame Arcati, whom he has invited over for an evening séance. But once a conversation with his wife, Ruth...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mr Klein

Joseph Losey’s career covered a great deal of ground, and several continents. From The Boy with the Green Hair, a noirish sci-fi film from 1948, through to his richly psychological collaborations with Harold Pinter, The Servant (1963), Accident (...

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The Champion of Auschwitz review - Polish movie based on a boxer's memoir

It’s a little hard to tell if this film was really intended for an international release, given that its heart is so set on making Polish movie-goers proud of their countrymen. The Champion of Auschwitz recounts the true story of Tadeusz "Teddy...

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Once Upon A Time In Nazi Occupied Tunisia, Almeida Theatre review - flawed theatre but a great experiment

An ageing Nazi, stuffed into a slightly too tight white linen suit, sits at the opposite end of the dining table to a young Jewish woman. Between them is a dish of chicken stew that we, just moments beforehand, have seen her lace with poison.The...

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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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