tue 07/04/2020

documentary

The Whalebone Box review - documentary through unreliable surrealism

The UK-wide lockdown has thrown the cinematic release schedule into chaos. Some films are postponed indefinitely, while others have opted for direct digital releases. It’s not ideal for anyone, but in a strange way it may play to The Whalebone Box’s...

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DVD: The Street

Zed Nelson brings enormous humanity to this portrait of the changing identity of Hackney’s Hoxton Street as gentrification impinges on its long-established community. Shops that have been there for decades vanish overnight, fancy new pavement cafes...

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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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Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Channel 4 review - inside the mind of a man without a face

Director Nick Green’s new three-parter follows on the heels of his A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad and comparisons are sure to be made between his two subjects. Though the finer degrees of political power-play – and the sheer quantity of...

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Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story, BBC Two review - disruptive political maverick eludes pigeonholing

This patchwork of interviews and comments from male journalists and politicians interspersed with clips from television news and films, from The Godfather to The Avengers, was a zig-zag narrative of Dominic Cummings’s unique career as a political...

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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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Hilary Mantel: Return to Wolf Hall, BBC Two review - the storyteller and the truth

Spectacular success couldn't have happened to a more interesting person, or a better writer. The pithy but imaginative prose in the third and final instalment of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, which as you may...

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Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Netflix review - thrilling documentary series wreaks havoc in the paddock

The 2020 Formula 1 season will commence in Melbourne next weekend... unless the race is cancelled because of the mounting coronavirus panic. Everyone will have to self-isolate and watch Netflix instead, so how fortunate that the ‘flix has delivered...

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Beauty Laid Bare, BBC One review - a facial peel for the cosmetics business

In this aptly-titled series (BBC One), four British 20-somethings visit the USA to investigate the inner workings of the beauty industry. Perhaps not surprisingly, they discover that it’s a hotbed of greed and exploitation.Their first stop was the...

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The Trip to Greece, Sky 1 review - jokes, jibes and indigestion in the footsteps of Odysseus

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan have been taking their bickering TV trips for a decade, beginning in the north of England in 2010 before working their way around Italy, Spain and now Greece (on Sky 1). They say this will be the last time, but believe...

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Midnight Family review - a thrilling documentary set in Mexico City

“It’s cool to see a car crash or a gunshot wound, it’s exciting.” Emergency medical technician Juan Ochoa, 17, loves his work, which is just as well because he doesn’t always get paid.Luke Lorentzen’s award-winning documentary (he directed, produced...

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How To Stay out of Jail, Channel 4 review – a bold rehabilitation programme from Durham police

With prison overcrowding reaching chronic proportions, police in County Durham have developed the Checkpoint programme to try to keep offenders out of jail with rehabilitation in the community. It’s like Felons Anonymous – candidates have to sign a...

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