tue 07/07/2020

21st century

The Opera Story: Episodes review - whimsical takes on lockdown life

The Opera Story is an enterprising set-up based in London and founded with a mission to commission and stage new operas by early career composers. They have so far produced three full-scale pieces, the earliest from 2017, performed in a reclaimed...

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Album: Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

Girl-wonder Phoebe Bridgers is one of the brightest stars to come out of the ever-renewing pool of creative talent that bubbles away in Southern California. Her new album, following the release last year of the brillant Better Oblivion Community...

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Book extract: Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo translated by Charlotte Coombe

Holiday heart, instead of sentimental love discovered on vacation, describes a faltering organ, overloaded from excess consumption: a heart at risk. In Margarita Garcia Robayo’s brilliantly observant, often sardonically pitched novel, the heart...

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3. As it...

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Moyra Davey: Index Cards review – fragments of the artist

Moyra Davey’s biographical note, included in Fitzcarraldo Editions’ copy of Index Cards, describes “a New York-based artist whose work comprises the fields of photography, film and writing.” It is a useful aperture into the Toronto-born artist’s...

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Women Make Film: Part Two review - two steps forward, one step back

The second half of Mark Cousins’ documentary on films by women filmmakers starts with religion; it ends with song and dance. This is a second seven-hour journey through cinema. It reconfirms Women Make Film as a remarkable feat of excavation and...

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Single: Bob Dylan - Murder Most Foul

A combination of chopped-up newsreel and fever dream, “Murder Most Foul” is Bob Dylan’s most striking piece of work in years. This is the author of “Desolation Row” populating a 17-minute song with a lifetime of remembered cultural fragments,...

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Album: Sufjan Stevens &. Lowell Brams - Aporia

Sufjan Stevens is an immensely creative musician – a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer. His work ranges from sophisticated dreamy pop that has influenced many, not least Bon Iver to grandiose and sometimes disturbing soundscapes. He...

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I and You, Hampstead Theatre review - now streaming online, this YA play is oddly pertinent

The way that theatres and other arts institutions have leapt into action over the past week, providing a wealth of material online and new ways to connect with audiences, has been truly inspirational. Yesterday, the Hampstead Theatre re-released on...

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Nathalie Léger: The White Dress review – masterfully introverted

Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress brings personal and public tragedy together in a narrative as absorbingly melancholic as its subject is shocking. The story described by Léger’s narrator – a scarcely fictional version of herself – is of the...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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Dark Waters review - an ominous drama with plenty of backbone, but not enough flesh

Watching Dark Waters, the latest film from director Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven), I kept thinking — what’s the opposite of a love letter? The film is based on the work of Rob Bilott, a real-life lawyer who uncovered a corruption scandal so...

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