fri 25/05/2018

China

Formosa, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Sadler’s Wells review - perfect in every detail

Whatever you do in the next couple of days, be sure to grab a ticket for this wonderfully atmospheric production. A glorious fusion of athletic dance, creative visuals and intoxicating sound, the piece pays tribute to the island of Taiwan, named...

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Sutra, Sadler’s Wells review – a masterpiece 10 years on

Sutra is back, 10 years after its premier at Sadler’s Wells. This is, in fact, the fourth time it has returned to London and such is the amazing popularity of this beguiling show that, in the past decade, it has been performed more than 200 times in...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Bruno Maçães: The Dawn of Eurasia review - middle of nowhere

Part travelogue and part broad analysis of the current and future challenges facing the EU, the premise of Bruno Maçães’s new book The Dawn of Eurasia is to “use travel to provide an injection of reality of political, economic and historical...

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Human Flow review - two hours of human misery

Soaring over an expanse of blue sea, a white bird traverses the screen diagonally. Gliding unhindered through the air, it is the embodiment of freedom; by contrast, the movement of people down below is constrained by border crossings and passport...

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Chris Patten: First Confession - A Sort of Memoir review - remembrances of government and power

It’s 25 years since Chris Patten lost his seat as Conservative MP for Bath. The 1992 election was called by an embattled prime minister, bruised by the Maastricht Treaty (remember “the bastards”?). Neil Kinnock had been expected to win, Labour ahead...

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Sunday Book: Yiyun Li - Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life

Yiyun Li’s fiction comes garlanded in praise from authors and journals that don’t ladle it out carelessly, so it feels almost churlish to cavil over a memoir written during the course of two years while the author battled serious mental health...

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DVD: The Spring River Flows East

There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’s melodrama dates its 14-year timespan – events unroll from 1931 to the end of the war in 1945 – with reference to the...

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The Great Wall

The Great Wall is David Icke’s worst nightmare. David Icke (if you weren’t there in the 1980s) was a BBC snooker presenter. After ingesting a brain-rotting anti-elixir, he transmogrified into a doolally conspiracy theorist in a turquoise shell suit...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Black Society Trilogy

Mixing up your yakuzas and your triads can be a bloody business, as Takashi Miike’s films show in the goriest detail. The title of the earliest work in his “Black Society” trilogy, Shinjuku Triad Society from 1995, says it all – a Chinese...

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DVD: The Music of Strangers

A welcome antidote to the mood of a time which seems hell-bent on closing borders and building walls, The Music of Strangers is about a unique musical collective that breaks through division and reaffirms the potential of culture to unite. Subtitled...

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DVD: Around China With a Movie Camera

It’s comforting to reflect that some of the anonymous children seen in Around China With a Movie Camera – a DVD culled from films spanning 1900-48 held in the BFI National Archive – must live on today. If only the means existed to identify...

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