wed 15/08/2018

credit crunch

CD: Slaves - Acts of Fear And Love

When Kentish hardcore punk two-piece, Slaves emerged with their debut album, Are You Satisfied?, they caused quite a stir with lairy tunes of austerity Britain like “The Hunter”, “Sockets” and the magnificent “Hey”. Since the heady days of 2015,...

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The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre review - an acting tour de force

There's surprising and then there's The Lehman Trilogy, the National Theatre premiere in which a long-established director surprises his audience and, in the process, surpasses himself. The talent in question is Sam Mendes, who a quarter-century or...

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Hell or High Water

Having recently seen Chris Pine reprising his role as the headstrong but heroic Captain James T Kirk in the latest Star Trek, it's a revelation to find him in this gritty tale of crime, punishment, righted wrongs and moral ambiguity. To his credit,...

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The Banker's Guide to the Art Market, BBC Four

This programme was not ironic, humorous or in any way lighthearted. I’m fairly sure of that, but worry that perhaps I’ve missed the joke.  A withering take-down or a meaty exposé of the corruption and excess of the extremely wealthy would have...

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Arts festivals the size of the Venice Biennale are inevitably patchy. The appointed directors are hardly ever given enough time to curate and fill absolutely vast volumes of space. They can exhort the many national and individual participants to...

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Grayson Perry: All Man, Channel 4

You are a massive cock. A gigantic tool. You are a monumental prick. Grayson Perry did not mince his message as he concluded his portrait of modern maleness with a tour of the City of London. At the end of each programme he has presented the...

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The Big Short

Although terms like "collateralised debt obligations" and "credit default swaps" were much bandied-about after the banking crash of 2008, they still make sense to almost nobody except bond traders and arbitragers. However, director Adam McKay has...

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If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, Royal Court Theatre

Is this the most poetic title in London theatre today? Anders Lustgarten’s new play joins a ragged march of work, from David Hare’s The Power of Yes (2009) to Clare Duffy’s Money: The Gameshow (currently at the Bush Theatre), which attempts to...

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You Can Still Make a Killing, Southwark Playhouse

Banking and the financial world may have gone into free-fall, but there are still killings to be made. Particularly personal ones. Nicholas Pierpan’s You Can Still Make a Killing is a morality tale for our time, a revenge tragedy without corpses,...

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Killing Them Softly

Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction saw Harvey Keitel play Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe, a snappily attired, coolly menacing clean-up guy, brought in to mop up blood and brains and save Jules and Vincent’s bacon. In Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly...

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Margin Call

Margin Call, a smart, taut and brutally frank portrait of the money game, asks a lot of its audience. A movie about traders as, if not quite good guys, then at least rounded guys? It’s not a trick Oliver Stone ever managed to pull off, and he tried...

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Ian Hislop: When Bankers Were Good, BBC Two

There were those who laughed and those who spat outrage when Lloyd Blankfein, chairman of Goldman Sachs, said in a press interview that he was simply “doing God’s work”. Although Blankfein did have the insight to add that if he slit his wrists...

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