fri 24/01/2020

Hitler

Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre

Read Erich Kästner’s 1928 novel about young Emil Tischbein and the Berlin boys he enlists to catch a thief, and you’ll come away feeling warm if slightly incredulous at the strong moral compass of all the kids and most of the adults. Gerhard...

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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Duchess Theatre

Arturo Ui, king of the Chicago cabbage trade, is Brecht’s Richard III. Egad, he even speaks in iambic pentameters, with a fair few nods at Shakespeare, though a certain cowlick and moustache locate him firmly at the centre of the 20th century...

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Company of Heroes 2

Fusing the intensity of first-person shooters like the Call of Duty series with top-down strategy games doesn't immediately seem a good fit. First-person shooters work because you respond viscerally to bullets flying past your face and the fear of...

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Unreported World: Vlad's Army, Channel 4

The next time you find yourself mumbling unkind words about the apathetic youth of today, or else deriding the muddle-headed protests of twonkish Charlie Gilmour types, stop and think about the Nashi. A right-wing Russian youth organisation...

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The Man Who Crossed Hitler, BBC Two

Out of the blue, in the middle of the midsummer slump, came this unusual and original one-off play (I say "play" because it would convert naturally to the stage). Finding a new angle from which to explore Hitler and the Nazis might seem impossible,...

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The Emperor of Atlantis, Arcola Theatre

Composer Viktor Ullmann's one talent was pastiche

We critics often find ourselves "embarrassed by historical facts", as Craig Raine once put it. Raine was trying to explain why so many people still value Wilfred Owen's poetry - to him, the most overrated corpus of the 20th century. "[Owen's]...

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Sarah's Key

History rears its harrowing head in Sarah's Key, a sometimes galumphing film that lingers in the mind not least because of the terrible tale it has to tell. Reminding us that the atrocities of the Holocaust weren't any one country's exclusive...

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DVD: Speer and Hitler: The Devil's Architect

Albert Speer was Hitler’s most high-ranking war minister, but just how much was he complicit in Nazi atrocities? Thirty years after his death, and 16 after Gitta Sereny’s controversial biography, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, Speer remains a...

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Perspectives: Hugh Laurie Down by the River, ITV1/ Operation Crossbow, BBC Two

America has been very good to Hugh Laurie. His starring role as Dr Gregory House has shot him to the top of the earnings tree in US television, while comprehensively demolishing existing preconceptions of him as the blissfully idiotic Bertie Wooster...

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The Damnation of Faust, English National Opera

Anything goes in the wacky world of Berlioz’s Faust story. It’s a heaven and hell of a lot better than Gounod’s, but it isn’t an opera, it isn’t an oratorio and it certainly isn’t the gospel according to Goethe. So Terry Gilliam, ENO’s latest wild-...

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DVD: The King's Speech

It just worked. The rave reactions from critics and audiences, and the hail of Baftas, Oscars and Golden Globes which showered down on it, made it clear that The King's Speech wasn't just any old movie, but a rare moment in cinema history. It cost...

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Upstairs Downstairs, BBC One

Thirty-five years after Rose Buck took what she thought was her final nostalgic stroll through the empty rooms of 165 Eaton Place in Belgravia, where she had served the Bellamy family for four decades, Jean Marsh has brought Rose back home in the...

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