mon 24/01/2022

1990s

Music Reissues Weekly: Looking back at 2021

The archive release which had the greatest impact, and still does, was Linda Smith’s Till Another Time 1988-1996. After it turned up, the reaction to a first play was instant. How could this have escaped attention? The compilation opened the door on...

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The Matrix Resurrections review - reboot or remix?

Back in 1999, The Matrix offered something revolutionary. With a heady brew of William Gibson-influenced cyberpunk, Platonic philosophy and Prada, it proved that blockbusters could be both smart and action-packed. Remember those days? Two...

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The Holiness of Sex: Leonard Cohen's Biblical Theology

On hearing that I had recently written a book about Leonard Cohen, someone asked me why I thought Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature rather than Cohen. Not being a Nobel prize adjudicator I couldn’t answer the question but I did...

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Blu-ray: Naked

Naked (1993), the fifth and finest feature film written and directed by Mike Leigh, remains a searing, eerily prescient look at Britain on the verge of a social and economic breakdown.Maybe even a verbal breakdown, too, for Leigh, unlike any...

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The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Lyric Hammersmith review - matchless revival of a contemporary classic

“You can’t kick a cow in Leenane without some bastard holding a grudge for 20 years,” sighs Pato Dooley (Adam Best) prophetically; he has already started making his escape from that particular Galway village, doing lonely stints on London building...

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Manic Street Preachers, Brighton Dome review - solid gig occasionally explodes to another level

There is a three song segment midway through Manic Street Preachers’ set which suddenly ramps everything up. For this brief while, the performance and response in the sold-out, nigh-on-2000-capacity venue, elevates the concert from another decent...

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Blu-ray: The Lighthouse (Mayak)

Mariya Saakyan’s 2006 debut feature is bookended by grainy footage of what looks like a fire-ravaged diary, the distressed, crumbling scraps of paper torn and charred. The missing pages and unfinished sentences spill over into what follows, Saakyan...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space; Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World

Looking for answers to what qualifies an album for a makeover and its attendant return to record shop racks can cause heads to spin. Multiple variables are at play but, still, it merits pondering. Market factors come into consideration, including...

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Blu-ray: Deep Cover

Bill Duke’s 1992 thriller Deep Cover receives the Criterion restoration treatment, and certainly the neon noir lighting looks luscious and fresh. It’s a shame the screenplay, the directing, and most of the acting hasn’t stood the test of time. ...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Leslie Winer - When I Hit You, You’ll Feel It

When I Hit You - You’ll Feel It opens with “When I Was Walt Whitman”. A French-language answer-phone message is abruptly cut off by a massive-sounding percussive pulse over which a borderline menacing voice enigmatically murmurs words which are hard...

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Our Ladies review - five go wild in Edinburgh

It’s often the company one keeps that makes a journey worthwhile, not the destination. That’s as true for the five ebullient Fort William schoolgirls making their first trip to Edinburgh in Our Ladies as it is for the film’s audience. These Highland...

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Album: Willow - Lately I Feel Everything

Willow Smith has done more during her life than the average 20-year-old. The daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, she bounced off her childhood appearance in her father’s film I Am Legend to a No 2 UK hit with “Whip My Hair” a decade ago,...

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