sun 21/10/2018

history

Simon Sebag Montefiore: Written in History review - epistolary high points

Humdinger! This is a totally brilliant idea for an amazing anthology, although the subtitle “Letters that Changed the World” is slightly misleading. All or any of these letters might substantially or subtly change your view of grandees of all sorts...

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Black 47 review - a gripping and unusual drama

Even for those with only a passing acquaintance with Irish history, the Famine – or the Great Hunger – looms large, when British indifference to the failed potato crop in large parts of Ireland resulted in the deaths or emigration of nearly a...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Iceman

Much has been made of Iceman’s characters speaking the ancient Rhaetic dialect, unsubtitled, but that’s never a problem: Felix Randau’s no-frills revenge thriller doesn’t need any words. The juiciest bits of dialogue are the various grunts and...

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Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif is a widower and an academic who, since writing a book on curiosity cabinets a decade ago, has quietly sunk into a kind of irrelevance. Both have...

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Eyam, Shakespeare's Globe review - plague drama, dark and loose

The end-of-season contemporary writing slot at the Globe must be a proposal as full of promise for playwrights as it is perhaps intimidating. There’s the sheer scale of the space and the chance to write for a large cast; a historical subject seems...

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Jeanie O'Hare: 'The play taught me how European we really are'

I admit it took me a while to give myself permission to do this project. We English are very squeamish about altering Shakespeare. Our cousins in Germany thrive on radical undoings of our scared son, but we cross our arms and say no. I started...

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Underground Railroad Game, Soho Theatre review - scratching the American wound

Underground Railroad Game is scabrous theatre – in every sense. To start with, Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R Sheppard’s two-hander is as down and dirty as anything you’ll find on the London stage at the moment, with one sex scene that’s belly laugh-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Redoubtable

For viewers challenged by the work of French auteur classic Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Hazanavicius’ Redoubtable catches the moment when Godard himself began to be challenged by Godard. The irony, a considerable one, is that Godard was rejecting...

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Yuval Noah Harari: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century review - a sceptic's optimism?

The bestseller Sapiens (2011, first published in English in 2014) by the hitherto little-known Israeli academic Yuval Noah Harari has sold enormously well, and justly so: recommended by Bill Gates no less, it has become a worldwide publishing...

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P.E.Caquet: The Bell of Treason review - the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia

It was 80 years ago next month that Neville Chamberlain returned with the good news of peace in our time. The Munich Agreement was greeted as a triumph for the appeasers. The price Britain had to pay was a minor stain on its conscience: the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: It Happened Here

Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo’s It Happened Here surely deserves the acclaim often accorded it as “the most ambitious amateur film ever made”, and the rich supporting extras on this BFI dual-format release make clear why. Best of all is a 65-...

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Blu-ray: Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters

So much of Japan can be lost in translation, and yet the West is fascinated by a culture that articulates the possibilities of belief and being in such a different mode than our own. Paul Schrader’s now classic 1985 film on the writer and actor...

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