tue 28/09/2021

Holocaust

DVD/Blu-ray: Mr Klein

Joseph Losey’s career covered a great deal of ground, and several continents. From The Boy with the Green Hair, a noirish sci-fi film from 1948, through to his richly psychological collaborations with Harold Pinter, The Servant (1963), Accident (...

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The Champion of Auschwitz review - Polish movie based on a boxer's memoir

It’s a little hard to tell if this film was really intended for an international release, given that its heart is so set on making Polish movie-goers proud of their countrymen. The Champion of Auschwitz recounts the true story of Tadeusz "Teddy...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Fifth Horseman is Fear

One of several 1960s Czech films which explicitly addresses the Holocaust, Zbyněk Brynych’s 1964 thriller The Fifth Horseman is Fear ( …a pátý jezdec je starch) wrong-foots us from the first frame. There’s Jiří Sternwald’s jagged, brittle score, and...

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Misha and the Wolves review - tricksy documentary about a child survivor

It has become so hard to find funding for non-fiction films that many documentary makers now feel compelled to sell their stories as racy detective yarns, larded with dramatic scores and sneakily obfuscating narratives. There’s a piece of deception...

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Blu-ray: The Pawnbroker

The shadow of the Holocaust and the horror of the camps haunts literature and the cinema: from The Reader to The Night Porter, from Schindler’s List to Son of Saul. For some, the subject was beyond authentic representation – and perhaps only a...

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Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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Persian Lessons review - confusing Holocaust drama

This is an odd film, made even odder by a caption near the beginning, which claims it is "inspired by true events" but doesn’t elaborate. Produced in Belarus, it’s a Holocaust drama based on a novella by the veteran East German screenwriter/director...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Bristol Old Vic/Kneehigh/Wise Children online review – ravishing vision of Chagall's early life

One of Marc Chagall’s last commissions was for a stained-glass window in Chichester Cathedral, which channelled his characteristically exuberant spirituality into a response to the verse from Psalm 150, “Let everything that has breath praise the...

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Blu-ray: The Painted Bird

Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird (Nabarvené ptáče in Czech) comes with a lot of baggage, a critics’ screening at the 2019 Venice Festival punctuated by mass walkouts but finishing with a ten-minute standing ovation. Then there’s the supposedly...

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Little Wars, Union Theatre online review - richly emotional, but formulaic

Feuds make good theatre. I mean, look at the furious 1970s spat between playwright Lillian Hellman and critic Mary McCarthy. Yikes. So far, I’ve counted three recent stage versions: in 2002 there was Nora Ephron’s Imaginary Friends, followed in 2014...

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Rose, Hope Mill Theatre online review - a performer at her peak

Solo plays and performances are, of necessity, the theatrical currency of the moment, whether across an entire season at the Bridge Theatre or last week at the Old Vic in the too briefly glimpsed Three Kings, starring a rarely-better Andrew Scott....

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'I loved being a dresser': Sir Ronald Harwood, Oscar-winning writer, dies at 85

Ronald Harwood, who has died at the age of 85, was best known for his play about tending to the needs of the larger-than-life actor-manager Donald Wolfit. The Dresser, adapted by Harwood, went on to become a great film success starring Tom Courtenay...

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