thu 01/10/2020

1950s

The Devil All The Time review – a test of faith in a Southern Gothic tradition

There’s no denying the Faulknerian ambition to the construction of Anthony Campos’ latest feature Devil All the Time. It’s a brooding, blood-soaked Semi-Southern Gothic drama spanning two generations through a plot that wrestles with the nature of...

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Album: Allison Neale - Quietly There

Seattle-born Allison Neale’s alto saxophone sound is instantly appealing. Her playing has the light wispy, airy quality from the "cool", "West Coast" school of Paul Desmond. One day last year, she spent just six hours (10am-5pm minus an hour for...

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Blu-ray: Story of a Love Affair

The tortuous drama of James M Cain’s 1940’s thriller The Postman Always Rings Twice has inspired many films: the slow-burning mix of erotic desire, temptation, murder and guilt was ideally suited to American film noir, so it’s in some ways...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dennis Herrold

It’s been a long strange trip for Dennis Herrold. The Virginia-born rocker’s sole single, December 1957’s “Hip Hip Baby” / “Make With the Lovin’”, was a full-bore rockabilly two-sider. Yet it made no waves despite being reviewed glowingly by music...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: John Lee Hooker - Documenting The Sensation Recordings 1948-1952

John Lee Hooker’s recording career began on Friday 3 September 1948. He’d attracted the attention of the Kiev-born Bernard Besman, who was in Detroit after his family moved there in 1926 following five years in London’s East End. By the 1940s Besman...

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The Vast of Night review - perfectly paranoid

The Vast of Night’s premise scarcely guarantees originality. Non-science-fiction buffs scoping Amazon’s film listings will probably move on quickly when they learn it’s about two late-'50s teenagers discovering that an alien space craft is...

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Blu-ray: The Apu Trilogy

Over the years, the legend of The Apu Trilogy has been much-repeated. Now widely considered India’s greatest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray was little more than a small-time commercial artist when, failing to find a sponsor for his script, he assembled...

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Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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DVD/Blu-ray: Beat the Devil

Humphrey Bogart. John Huston. Gina Lollobrigida. Peter Lorre. Truman Capote! What could possibly go wrong? There’s the screenplay for starters: Capote gets top billing, and I’d long understood that he and Huston together wrote 1953's Beat the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Last Holiday

There’s a scarily prescient scene at the start of Henry Cass’s 1950 black comedy Last Holiday, a village surgery’s waiting room crammed with coughers and wheezers. Poor George Bird (Alec Guinness) is a tad under the weather too, but being mistakenly...

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CD: James Taylor, American Standard - a trip down memory lane

“Fire and Rain”. Who doesn’t recall James Taylor’s first number one 50 years ago! Born in Carolina and a “graduate” of the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene, Sweet Baby James has given the world some enduring songs and been part of some of music’s...

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The Visit, National Theatre review - star turn bolsters baggy rewrite

Lesley Manville’s thrilling career ascent continues apace with The Visit, which marks American playwright Tony Kushner’s return to the National Theatre following the acclaimed Angels in America revival nearly three...

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