sun 08/12/2019

Iceland

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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Björk, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review- Icelandic experimentalist reimagines live performance

Grimes, the Canadian art pop performer, made headlines last week when she predicted the end of musical performance as we know it on a podcast interview with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll. Live music, she said, would be “obsolete soon”, while...

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Translations, National Theatre review - stunning revival of poignant tragicomedy

At a point in history where – yet again – a few misplaced words from English politicians could wreak havoc with Irish lives, this is a welcome revival of Ian Rickson’s stunning production which first played here to rapturous reviews last year. Brian...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces of what came earlier and pointers towards what would come in Iceland’s music. The album was credited to Dip, a collaboration...

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The Planets, Series Finale, BBC Two review - ice cold on Neptune

As an aid to meditation, Professor Brian Cox’s latest series The Planets (BBC Two) could hardly be faulted. A majestic tour of the Solar System awash with computerised imagery, an eerie soundtrack and a travel budget the president of the United...

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San Francisco Ballet, Liang/Marston/Pita, Sadler's Wells - elemental, ethereal and kitschy, too

Sun, snow, and some unadorned silliness danced to the music of Björk: no one can accuse San Francisco of casting an insufficiently wide tonal (or climatic) net in this second of four programmes on view from San Francisco Ballet as part of their...

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Arctic review - The Martian on ice

This is the first feature film by Brazil-born director Joe Penna (previously best known for his hit YouTube channel MysteryGuitarMan), but you’d never have guessed. Clocking in at a crisp and chilly 98 minutes, Arctic is an immaculately controlled...

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10 Questions for Director Benedikt Erlingsson

Benedikt Erlingsson (b.1969) was already an established theatre director and actor in Iceland when he directed his debut film, Of Horses And Men, an uncategorisable blend of humour, romance and horror, set away from Reykjavik amongst stubbornly...

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Woman at War review – timely comedy-drama about an eco-warrior with a difference

What is it about Nordic women and the environment? Hot on the heels of the London visit by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg – the most inspiring climate change campaigner since Al Gore – comes this timely, singular, enormously enjoyable comedy-...

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CD: Vök - In the Dark

Although In the Dark comprises 11 tracks of outward-facing contemporary North European electronica-infused, dance-edged pop along the lines of “Faded”, the 2015 international hit helmed by Norwegian DJ/producer Alan Walker, an undercurrent implies a...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Under the Tree

If you’ve ever had an argument with a neighbour, watch Under the Tree and take notes. This mesmerising story of a dispute over a tree blocking the sun in a next-door garden is based, says Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, on an actual...

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Heartstone review - huge visuals, close-up performances

Icelandic writer-director Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson has made an impressive feature debut with this story of crossing the threshold from childhood to young adult experience. Heartstone acutely and empathetically catches the path from innocence to...

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