sat 25/05/2024

Holland

Occupied City review - unquiet Nazi crimes

“I feel as if I am live reporting from a shipwreck,” Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus wrote en route to his concentration camp murder. Steve McQueen’s four-hour reverie on Amsterdam’s Nazi occupation teases out the scars of that arbitrary,...

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Shabu review - documentary-drama about youngsters in Rotterdam

This loose-limbed movie follows Shabu, a 14-year-old boy who is growing up on the public housing estate known as the Peperklip (Paperclip) in Rotterdam. It’s the summer holidays and he’d like to hang out with his girlfriend and his mates, but first...

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Song from Far Away, Hampstead Theatre review - gentle monologue from a man grappling with grief

Lucky Will Young: the production of the Simon Stephens monologue Song from Far Away that he is delivering at the Hampstead Theatre is directed by Kirk Jameson, not Ivo van Hove.The modish Dutch director of the initial UK staging, seen at the Young...

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A different angle on the Anne Frank story in 'A Small Light'

The Diary of Anne Frank became a Broadway play and has formed the basis of a lengthy catalogue of films and TV series, but the name of Miep Gies is rather less well-known. Yet without Gies the Anne Frank story might never have reached the wider...

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Album: Amber Arcades - Barefoot On Diamond Road

In this context, what’s named “diamond road” is a metaphor for staying on course rather than, as the lyrics of the song “Diamond Road” put it, letting yourself go or sprawling all over the floor. Follow this route and life won’t be a mess.Barefoot...

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Van der Valk, Series 2 Finale, ITV review - sleaze, corruption and skulduggery in Amsterdam

Despite the jarring effect of having British actors speaking colloquial English while purporting to be Dutch policemen working in Amsterdam, the second series of ITV’s Van der Valk arrived at its third and final episode feeling as if it had reached...

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Age of Rage, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Barbican review - shattering assault on all the senses

Hunger for the gruesome horrors and euphoric highs of Greek tragedy seems to be stronger than ever. Yet when it comes to epic sequences, nothing in recent decades has quite had the impact of Peter Hall’s Aeschylus Oresteia at the National Theatre or...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Dick Raaijmakers aka Kid Baltan, and Tom Dissevelt

In 1957, popular music was given a jolt when the first electronic pop record was recorded. “Song of the Second Moon” was created and composed by the Dutch musician Dick Raaijmakers who was working at NatLab, the research laboratory of the...

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Blu-ray: One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

The fourth feature made by writer-director partners Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing is not as celebrated as the six consecutive masterworks with which they followed it. It’s nonetheless a remarkably atmospheric...

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Judith van Driel of the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam: 'the more we played Brahms, the more freedom we found'

In every life there are moments of great significance. Experiences that stick with us and define our own personal story.Growing up as a young violinist, one of those defining moments for me was the first time I played a piece by Johannes Brahms. It...

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'Everyone who played for him always gave their very best': remembering Bernard Haitink (1929-2021)

Few musicians get to stage-manage a dignified departure from the world. Among his last compositions, Richard Strauss set a poem by Eichendorff depicting an old couple looking into the sunset and asking “is this perhaps death?”, and towards the end...

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The Blood Pact, All 4 review - a (tax) inspector falls

In Klem (meaning "clamp"’), we find ourselves in the calm, ordered and ordinary world of Amsterdam-Zuid. There are parents’ evenings to be attended, school plays to be watched. The area’s many pretty parks are just perfect for the early morning jog...

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