tue 22/05/2018

America

The Handmaid's Tale, Series 2, Channel 4 review - it's not getting any better for Offred

Not the least startling element of Bishop Michael Curry’s house-rockin’ sermon at the royal nuptials was his quotation from the old spiritual “There is a balm in Gilead”. Evidently the Bishop was not referring to the endlessly looping nightmare that...

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CD: Gretchen Peters - Dancing with the Beast

Gretchen Peters arrived in Nashville in the late eighties from Bronxville, New York, where she was born, and Boulder, Colorado, where she grew up. Within a decade she was writing songs for some of the biggest names in country music, among them...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Post

Spielberg’s prequel to All the President’s Men was filmed at speed, and aimed squarely at the press-hating Trump, not the late Tricky Dick. This contemporary intent is already fading. What remains is the director’s second return, after Munich, to...

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Red, Wyndham's Theatre - Mark Rothko drama paints a vivid picture

The band’s back together. Alfred Molina plays Rothko for the third time in Michael Grandage’s revisiting of John Logan’s richly textured two-hander, first seen at the Donmar in 2009 and then bypassing the West End for Broadway. Another excellent...

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CD: Ray LaMontagne - Part of the Light

Ray LaMontagne is a versatile artist who for years has been navigating the territory between hard rock and contemporary folk. His voice can be soft and gentle and yet also filled on occasion with something close to aggression. He has a firm grasp of...

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Unbound: A Festival of New Works, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco review - ballet invests in its future

You have to hand it to the Americans: they think big. Where the Royal Ballet or ENB might put on three or four new works in the course of a season – because commissions are wildly expensive and a box office risk – San Francisco Ballet has just...

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Anon review - adventures in cyber-noir

Though set in a futuristic (although not by much) world in which information technology has almost taken over the human psyche, Anon still relies on a crumpled whisky-drinking gumshoe for its protagonist. In this case, the relict of Sam Spade and...

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Homeland, Series 7 Finale, Channel 4 review - Russian roulette

In a manner uncannily reminiscent of last year’s Season 6, this latest edition of Homeland spent at least half the series trying to get warmed up for the dash to the tape over the final furlongs. Viewers finding themselves slipping into a catatonic...

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Building the Wall, Park Theatre review - the nature of nightmare

Writer Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall imagines modern America in the not-too-distant future. The date is 22nd November 2019 and following an attack on Times Square in which 17 people were killed, martial law has been imposed. Demands for...

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Lean on Pete review - a different kind of road trip

British director Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete is a heartfelt and surprisingly stark affair. Based on the novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin, the film follows a young boy and his stolen horse across America. Despite its simple premise, Haigh and...

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Andrew Haigh: 'In the end you have to be able to make the decisions' - interview

Very early in his career, Andrew Haigh worked as an assistant editor on such Ridley Scott blockbusters as Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. He didn't actually meet Scott in person until years later, when the eminent director had no recollection of him...

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Jeff Beck: Still on the Run, BBC Four review - a legend without portfolio

As Aerosmith’s guitarist Joe Perry put it, “there’s a certain amount of fuck you-ness in everything Jeff does.” Perhaps it’s this which has allowed Jeff Beck to achieve the rare feat of surviving into his seventies as what you might describe as a...

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