wed 23/01/2019

1950s

Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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Stan and Ollie review - a worthy double act

Stan & Ollie unfolds mostly during Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s 1953 British concert tour, when the boys were on their last legs as a comedy act – Hardy was physically spent – but still showing flashes of their old genius. The lure of the tour...

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The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four review - genius of song and dance

The movie musical: money making or true art – or both? This was a programme to sing along to, in the company of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. In this second instalment of Neil Brand’s brilliant three-part history, he...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Invention for Destruction

Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (Vynález zkázy) was, for many years, his best-known film in the West, dubbed into English three years after its 1958 premiere as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne by an enterprising Hollywood producer. Both...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jazz on a Summer's Day

When Jazz on a Summer's Day was first seen in American cinemas in March 1960, it showed that seeing popular music live could be a leisure activity akin to watching high-end sports. Indeed, director Bert Stern intercut the musical performances he...

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Imagine... Becoming Cary Grant, BBC One review - contemplative portrait of a star

Mark Kidel has made a beautiful, ethereal film projecting his version of Cary Grant and as such it’s destined to be picked over by the actor’s legions of fans, each of whom will have a different version. But what would the man himself have thought...

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The Rake's Progress, British Youth Opera review - perfect poise in slippery Stravinsky

So it's been sellouts for half-baked if well-cast productions of The Rake's Progress and now Britten's Paul Bunyan at Wilton's Music Hall, while British Youth Opera's classy Stravinsky in the admittedly larger Peacock Theatre, several hundred yards...

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Cold War review - a gorgeous and mesmerising romance

Can we ever really know the passion that brought our parents together? By the time we are old enough to hear the story of how they first met, that lovers’ narrative has frayed in the telling and faded in the daily light of domestic familiarity. But...

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The King review - the myth behind the man

The most famous face in musical history, and perhaps the instigator of modern culture as we know it; he truly was the King. But for a documentary focused on such an icon, The King touches very little on Elvis Presley the man. This is not another...

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Vanessa, Glyndebourne review - blowsy histrionics and a great finale

"Sounds like an opera by Handel," said a friend when I told him that I was going to see Vanessa at Glyndebourne. Possible – the name first appeared in print as "invented" by Jonathan Swift in 1723 – had Handel not stuck to mythological and Biblical...

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Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The students are mostly girls between fifteen and sixteen and...

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Home, I'm Darling, National Theatre review - Katherine Parkinson in career-best form

Add Katherine Parkinson to the top rank of theatre performers in a town where talent abounds. As Judy, the retro-minded housewife at the bruisingly comic heart of Laura Wade's National Theatre/Theatre Clwyd collaboration Home, I'm Darling, ...

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