mon 23/05/2022

21st century

Cornelia Parker, Tate Britain review – divine intelligence

Cornelia Parker’s early installations are as fresh and as thought provoking as when they were made. Her Tate Britain retrospective opens with Thirty Pieces of Silver (pictured below left: Detail). It’s more than 30 years since she ran over a...

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Album: Mavis Staples and Levon Helm - Carry Me Home

There is so much gospel out there that it’s not easy to stand out above the crowd. Mavis Staples, with a distinctive voice that has delivered a gritty contralto for many decades, never stops. This new release, a set of songs that were recorded in...

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The Misfortune of the English, Orange Tree Theatre review - don't fret, boys, it's only death

“We all make history, one way or another.” But some of us make more history than others, and a group of 27 English schoolboys who got lost in Southern Germany in 1936 haven’t made much, unfortunately. Scottish playwright Pamela Carter has brushed...

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Esfahani, CBSO, Morlot, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - ghostly enchantments

Bent Sørensen has christened his new harpsichord concerto Sei Anime: “six souls”. The six concise movements, written for Mahan Esfahani and a chamber-sized orchestra, are modelled, apparently, on the dance movements of a Bach keyboard suite. But as...

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Album: Fontaines DC – Skinty Fia

Incanting, declaiming, and growling, as if actual singing might prettify the Fontaines DC’s post-punk dirges, Grian Chatten has never sounded more aggrieved than he does on the Irish combo’s third album. Disarmingly, he also sounds younger on Skinty...

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Morbius review – not so super

Following the much-maligned Venom (2018) and Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), the third film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe stars Jared Leto as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr Michael Morbius. Suffering from a rare blood condition that threatens...

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Hodges, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - four UK premieres, from random to abundant

Kudos, first, to Edward Gardner for mastering a rainbow programme of 21st century works in his first season as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor. Three Americans and a Berlin-based Brit, two women composers and two men, one of...

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The Worst Person in the World review - confusion becomes her

Some British TV viewers who were in junior school in the mid-1960s will recall the imported Australian kids’ show The Magic Boomerang. When the adolescent hero, a sheep farm kid, threw the eponymous piece of wood, he stopped time and was able to...

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Marianne Eloise: Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking review - bargaining with the devil

No mental health condition has become quite as kitsch as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Its tacky shorthands – the hand washing, the germaphobia, the clean freaks – have made their way into everything, from Buzzfeed listicles to The Big Bang Theory...

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River review – gorgeous visuals and a timely message: so what’s not to like?

I would suggest watching River on the largest possible screen, so you can bask in the breathtaking beauty of the visuals. Directed by the Australian Jennifer Peedom, who won awards for Mountain and Sherpa, the documentary celebrates the magnificence...

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Albums of the Year 2021: PinkPantheress - to hell with it

In 2021 TikTok became the most visited website in the entire world. Spending too much time on TikTok is probably bad for all sorts of geopolitical, ethical and spiritual reasons. But if you want to understand how we listen to and discover music in...

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Titane review - love under the bonnet

The restrictiveness of conventional gender identities explains the extreme body horror of Titane, in which a pregnant rookie firefighter frequently invoked as Jesus bleeds car oil from her vagina and from the stigmatic splits in her swollen belly....

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