tue 01/12/2020

Canada

Possessor review - death by virtual reality

Many have struggled to bring a new slant to the horror genre, but writer-director Brandon Cronenberg has managed it with Possessor, his second full-length feature. Being the son of David Cronenberg, a pioneer of so-called “body horror”, obviously...

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The Lie review - icily intriguing until it isn't

Moral reckonings don't come much more serious than the one that propels The Lie, in which a family must deal with a murder perpetrated by their daughter. Will Jay (a weary-looking Peter Sarsgaard) and Rebecca (the wonderful Mireille Enos) hand...

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Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall – the many voices of humanity

How do they do it? Bach and Angela Hewitt, I mean, transfixing and focusing the audience in the Wigmore Hall – at home, too, hopefully, thanks to the livestreaming– through 13 and three-quarter fugues and four canons, all starting in the same key...

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Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope of life's tragicomedy

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry collection Personals, and since, he has composed little circular poems, similar (in style though not sentiment) to the posies you sometimes find inscribed on the inside of rings. He...

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Album: This Dream of You – Diana Krall

“Produced by Tommy LiPuma.” That phrase has appeared on just about every Diana Krall album since the summer of 1995, when the Cleveland-born mogul arrived at the GRP label – it would be his sixth and last music industry affiliation –...

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Matthias & Maxime review - psychology and romance make for cinematic gold

The emotional rawness of Xavier Dolan’s films reflects a rare humanity and empathy. For someone still only 31, the French-Canadian writer and director displays an uncanny sense of the passionate turmoil that animates his characters. The subtle...

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Album: Alanis Morissette - Such Pretty Forks in the Road

Alanis Morissette was relieved when fame’s comet swiftly fell to more manageable levels, having crashed into her full-force 25 years ago, when she was just 21. Selling 33 million copies of Jagged Little Pill means, though, that she remains on many...

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Guest of Honour review – the grip of guilt

A master at bringing neurotics to bilious life on screen, David Thewlis shines as a peevish, corrupt health inspector in Guest of Honour. There’s a perverse pleasure to be had in watching his character, health inspector Jim, a British expat in...

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Blu-Ray: Curling

Curling could be an enigmatic contemporary noir, but for the fact that it was made in the depths of winter in rural Quebec. Shades of brilliant white and murky grey predominate, as witnessed in an early sequence where Jean-François and his 12-year...

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Album: Purity Ring - Womb

Purity Ring, the Canadian duo, are purveyors of simple yet sophisticated dream pop. Corin Roddick makes synth tracks at one end of the country, while crystalline-voiced Megan James writes the lyrics and records the vocals thousands of miles away....

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Album: Basia Bulat - Are You In Love?

“No Control” feels like an instant pop classic. It opens with a brief introduction where layers of instrumentation are added in waves. There’s a restraint. Then, three-quarters of minute into what initially seems like a reflective mid-tempo ballad,...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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