sat 23/01/2021

America

Album: Eminem - Music To Be Murdered By Side B

Becoming a has-been is Eminem’s main raw material now, the rocket-fuel for his rhetorical flights. He was a folk-devil 20 years ago, then a prescription drug-zombied recluse, then a huge comeback pop star. Extending that third act has been hobbled...

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Servant, Apple TV+ review - shocks, shivers and black humour in missing-baby saga

The oeuvre of M Night Shyalaman has tended to veer between unsettling creepiness and sometimes hilarious misfires, but, working as Executive Producer with screenwriter Tony Basgallop, he’s hit the spot with this unnerving series for Apple TV +. Just...

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One Night in Miami review - black history come alive

In 1964, Cassius Clay, NFL superstar Jim Nathaniel Brown, soul legend Sam Cooke and political firebrand Malcolm X gathered for one night in a dingy room at the Hampton Motel. It was a meeting that became a symbol of hope for black Americans. A photo...

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Pieces of a Woman review - a home birth ends in tragedy

This is not a film to watch if you’re pregnant. One of the first scenes, a 24-minute continuous take of a home birth that ends in tragedy, is extraordinarily powerful and painful to watch – almost unbearable sometimes – and Vanessa Kirby as...

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Albums of the Year 2020: Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

Music has been a solace during a year when we’ve both retreated into our private spaces and reached out more feverishly than ever on social media.There’s been very little live music: I’ve almost obsessively trawled YouTube for the best old footage:...

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Albums of the Year 2020: Drive-By Truckers - The Unraveling

When satire becomes redundant, all that’s left is to tell it like it is. Drive-By Truckers released The Unraveling in January 2020, but Covid couldn’t dim the relevancy and glowering power of its requiem for Trump-trampled American hopes.Patterson...

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Blu-ray: Visual Acoustics

One of the world’s leading architectural photographers, Julius Shulman was the subject of a show at London’s Photographers’ Gallery this autumn, “Altered States of America”. That title surely alluded to the visual modernism that changed the face of...

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom review - keeping things theatrical

There was always bound to be a hint of melancholy watching George Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Try as you might to focus on the film, you can never quite shake the fact that you’re watching the final performance of Chadwick Boseman, whose life...

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Wonder Woman 1984 review - be careful what you wish for

After months of watching movies on computer screens, how delightful to have a press screening at the Waterloo IMAX cinema, albeit under Covid restrictions. Not so delightful was the realisation that Wonder Woman 1984 is crying out for some editing...

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Blu-ray: The New World

Terrence Malick completists might consider this Blu-ray of The New World the dream version. Criterion's three-disc release contains the three different cuts of Malick's 2005 opus, which critics either believe is an incomparable masterpiece...

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I'm Your Woman review - what's happening, indeed?

"What's happening?", or so Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) asks time and again in I'm Your Woman, voicing the very question posed by an audience. Bewilderment would seem to be a constant state of being in director and co-writer Julia Hart's film, which...

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American Utopia review - the new age of the concert movie

American Utopia is not your average Spike Lee joint. He has teamed up with David Byrne of Talking Heads to make a concert movie based on Byrne’s lauded Broadway show of the same name, which opened in October 2019 in a limited run. After the success...

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