sat 08/08/2020

California

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Sky Atlantic review - the good, the bad and the unspeakable

American history of the 1930s and ‘40s suddenly seems to be all the rage on TV, cropping up in the reborn Perry Mason, Das Boot and now this new incarnation of Penny Dreadful (Sky Atlantic). The original was a blowsy Gothic mash-up of Dracula,...

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Album: HAIM - Women in Music Pt. III

If the title of their third album alludes to the lazy assumption of female-fronted as a musical genre, HAIM’s revenge is to try a little bit of everything, while never sounding anything less than themselves. Women in Music Pt. III elevates the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks - Orange Crate Art

Orange Crate Art makes most sense in the context of Van Dyke Parks’s solo career rather than that of Brian Wilson’s. For the former it was preceded by Tokyo Rose, an orchestrated set tackling the intersections of American-Japanese cultural and socio...

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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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Desiree Burch, Soho Theatre On Demand review - fantastical storytelling

You may have seen Desiree Burch, a Californian now living in London, on The Mash Report on BBC One. She's an engaging and energetic storyteller and Desiree's Coming Early, her 2019 Edinburgh Fringe show directed by Sarah Chew, is a fantastical tale...

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Cuck review - tediously nihilistic

Deep from the heart of Trumpland comes Cuck, a deeply unpleasant film about a totally repellent character. Directed and co-written by Rob Lambert, the film opened simultaneously last autumn in the States with Joker, with which it shares an...

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Album: Huey Lewis and the News - Weather

Huey Lewis and the News were an unlikely mid-Eighties phenomenon. Their Sports album was a mega-success for a band already approaching early middle age. Their Fifties feel, given a contemporary polish and boosted by association with cinematic...

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Oscars 2020: a 'Parasite' love-in caps a night of firsts

The 92nd Academy Awards saved its surprises for a final stretch that saw Parasite make history as the first foreign language film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture, pipping to the post the presumptive favourite, the World War One drama 1917 (...

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Blu-ray: Night Tide

Dennis Hopper’s first starring role, in Night Tide from 1961, as a naïve but curious young sailor bewitched by a siren, offers a strange mirror to his role as the evil Frank Booth in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). If anything, he offers a preview...

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LFF 2019: Le Mans '66 review - Matt Damon, Christian Bale and the Ford Motor Company go to war

While recent motor racing movies have been built around superstar names like Ayrton Senna and James Hunt, the protagonists of Le Mans ’66 (shown at London Film Festival) will be barely recognisable to a wider audience. They are Carroll Shelby, the...

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CD: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

Don't let the presence of nerds' favourite Madlib on production duties fool you: this is a big bad bastard of a West Coast rap record. It's a cocaine-wholesaling, n-wording, gun-toting, dog-eat-dog-ing, murderous bastard of a rap record, in fact....

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Big Little Lies, Series 2, Sky Atlantic review - supercharged start for new season

When the first series of Sky Atlantic's Big Little Lies paraded across our screens in 2017, its shocking but satisfying ending looked like the perfect conclusion to a superb self-contained drama. Doh! Of course it wasn’t – it was just the first...

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