sat 21/04/2018

1970s

Law and Order, BBC Four review - not a fair cop

In the late 1970s the British establishment sustained a bloody nose. Roland Huntford published his debunking of Captain Scott and Anthony Blunt was outed as the Fourth Man, while the Old Etonian Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe was tried for...

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Bernstein's MASS, RFH review - polymorphousness in excelsis

Live exposure to centenary composer Leonard Bernstein's anything-goes monsterpiece of 1971, as with Britten's War Requiem of the previous decade, probably shouldn't happen more than once every ten years, if only because each performance has to be...

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Wonderstruck review - beautifully designed but emotionally unengaging

What is it about Brian Selznick’s ornate illustrated fictions that leads good directors to make bad films? Turning The Invention of Hugo Cabret into Hugo was a near disaster for Scorsese, and now comes Todd Haynes’s stifling...

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Blu-ray: Derek Jarman Collection, Vol One 1972-1986

This BFI boxset of Derek Jarman films from the first phase of his career, brilliantly curated by William Fowler, is an exemplary package: a treasure trove of extras accompanies his first six features, here presented in re-mastered form, and a...

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Matthew Sweet: Operation Chaos review - paranoia and insanity in the Cold War

In 2017 the documentary series The Vietnam War told the story, from soup to nuts, of America’s misadventure in south-east Asia. It now seems the comprehensive history may have missed some nuts out. Not that anyone would question the sanity of a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Robert Kirby

The similarity is intentional. The cover design of When the Day is Done – The Orchestrations of Robert Kirby nods explicitly to that of Nick Drake’s debut album Five Leaves Left. That wasn’t just the first record by the singer-songwriter, it was...

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Harold and Maude, Charing Cross Theatre review - Sheila Hancock serene in thin production

The practice of mining the rich seam of popular movies to turn them into stage plays or musicals seemingly never grows tired in theatreland. And sometimes it produces a gem but all too often it’s just a cynical ploy to attract ticket sales by piggy-...

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Blu-ray: Orchestra Rehearsal

Made for Italian state television in 1978, Fellini’s Orchestral Rehearsal is full of clichés. Some of them do ring true: brass players and percussionists are often a mischievous, rowdy bunch. As for the others… I’d best stop there, lest I annoy any...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Voyager Golden Record

What is music? When pondering archive releases, compilations and reissues the question doesn’t come up. Knowledge of context and history means there’s never a need to muse on this fundamental issue. A package, say, dedicated to Northern Soul says...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Chris Hillman

In 1976, when his first solo album Slippin’ Away was released, Chris Hillman could look back on being a founder member of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, two of America’s most important bands. He had also played alongside former members...

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DVD/Blu-ray: When the Wind Blows

Adapted by Raymond Briggs from his best-selling graphic novel, When the Wind Blows was released in 1986 and stands up so well that you’re inclined to forgive its flaws: namely David Bowie’s leaden theme song and an abundance of fairly flat black...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: To the Outside of Everything

Now that the 40th anniversaries of 1976 and 1977 as the years which birthed punk rock have themselves become history, surveyors of rock’s rich tapestry will inevitably turn to what came next. The year 1978 and what followed punk are easy targets and...

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