thu 05/08/2021

India

Blu-ray: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love & War

What we don’t learn about filmmaker Harry Birrell is as tantalising as what is actually revealed during the course of Matt Pinder’s beguiling 90-minute documentary. We hear that Birrell was born in Paisley to a father he never met, who had been...

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Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had founded a radical, egalitarian Christian community in...

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Milestone review - parable of an aging trucker

Watching Milestone, a new Netflix original directed by Ivan Ayr, I was reminded of the films of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. This story about an aging truck driver facing redundancy whilst grieving for his wife attempts the still...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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The Serpent, BBC One review - tracking down the hippie-trail murderer

“They’re only rich assholes. They don’t merit your concern,” serial killer and psychopath Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet, Heal the Living), aka rich French gem-dealer Alain Gautier, tells his girlfriend Marie-Andrée in The Serpent as...

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Album: Ammar 808 - Global Control/ Invisible Invasion

Ammar 808, named after the 1980s Roland drum machine TR-808 is the vehicle for Tunisian producer Sofyann Ben Youssef. He has been exploring, notably in Maghreb United (2018), a rich vein of resonance between the music of North Africa and electronic...

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Sāvitri, Lauderdale House review - death and life in a Highgate garden

In seach of Orpheus, and following a route from the Hades of (thankfully) masked beings on the underground to Archway, then up to a windy, grassy plateau just below Highgate village, this wandering critic encountered another myth about the power of...

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Blu-ray: The Apu Trilogy

Over the years, the legend of The Apu Trilogy has been much-repeated. Now widely considered India’s greatest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray was little more than a small-time commercial artist when, failing to find a sponsor for his script, he assembled...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 5: A solo show for the ages, Ibsen refreshed, and yet more frolicsome cats

No one can accuse the gods of streaming of failing to cast a wide net. That's even more so with an array of streaming opportunities over the next week that ranges from Off West End Ibsen given a second chance to shine to an online encounter with,...

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Aditi Mittal, Soho Theatre On Demand review - cows, mothers and fempowerment

“There are places in India where it's safer to be a cow than a woman” is a seemingly innocuous statement, but for Indian comic Aditi Mittal it was a dangerous one to make in a comedy show. It led to her arrest after a man complained that it was...

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Drawing the Line, Hampstead Theatre online review - modern history becomes dark farce

This week’s gem from the Hampstead’s vaults is Howard Brenton’s political drama from 2013, telling the extraordinary, stranger-than-fiction story of Cyril Radcliffe and his 1947 mission: to arrange the Partition of India in just five weeks. A tale...

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Oliver Craske: Indian Sun, The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar review - a master receives masterly treatment

Ravi Shankar was one of the giants of 20th century music. A musician, composer and teacher, he had an extraordinarily fruitful career that spanned nine decades and reached the entire world. He did more to build a bridge between the music and...

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