tue 07/04/2020

black culture

Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am review - a fitting tribute to a masterful storyteller

When the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison died last year, it was a chance to celebrate the remarkable life of a storyteller who shook the literary establishment. Her work, including her debut novel The Bluest Eye, broke radical new...

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Album: Shabaka & the Ancestors - We are Sent Here by History

Londoner Shabaka Hutchings's other main groups, The Comet Is Coming and Sons Of Kemet, are pretty modernist. They incorporate dub, post-rock, post punk and rhythm patterns that recall London pirate radio sounds into the playing of his ensembles,...

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The Photograph review - star-powered romance mostly simmers, sometimes soars

The Photograph, from writer-director Stella Meghie, tells twin tales. The first is all flashback and follows Christine (Chanté Adams, pictured below with Y'lan Noel), a young photographer balancing love and ambition. The second follows...

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Pass Over, Kiln Theatre review - fierce critique of racist brutality

The Black Lives Matter movement is such an important international protest that it is odd how few contemporary plays even mention it. Since the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been around since 2013, following the acquittal of George Zimmerman who...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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Fairview, Young Vic review - questioning the assumptions of race

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview comes to the Young Vic with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama under its belt, and a reputation for putting audiences on their mettle through a build-up of theatrical surprises that culminate in a denouement about...

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Is this Jimi Hendrix’s greatest posthumous release? Producer Eddie Kramer talks about a legendary live album

This week, one of the finest gems in the entire Hendrix catalogue finally sees the light of day in its full unedited glory – Songs for Groovy Children comprises all four sets from the Band of Gypsys New Year’s Eve 1969-70 residency at the Fillmore...

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco review - gentle gentrification blues

San Francisco has rarely looked more unattainably golden than in Joe Talbot’s Sundance prize-winning gentrification parable. Jimmie (Jimmie Fails) once belonged inside the city’s Californian Dream, symbolised for him by the grand Victorian-style...

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Shuck 'n' Jive, Soho Theatre review - a mixed bag, lots of promise

Shuck 'n' Jive is an hour-long two-hander about writing a play about being black in a white industry. The industry? Theatre. Performance. The stage.Simone (played by Olivia Onyehara), an opera singer, is from Lincolnshire. Cassi (played by Tanisha...

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The Last Tree review - young, angry, and black in '90s UK

Putting a radical spin on a fish-out-of-water story, The Last Tree explores troubling aspects of the African diaspora experience in an England riddled with xenophobia and black-on-black racism. Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical second feature is...

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Romesh Ranganathan, Brighton Dome review - transgressive, edgy and very likeable

One question springs immediately to mind on hearing that Romesh Ranganathan’s new stand-up show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, is touring: how does he find the time? Ranganathan has overtaken Jack Whitehall as Britain’s most media ubiquitous comic, with a...

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