fri 12/08/2022

Iraq War

The Guest

Dan Stevens puts Downton behind him to become a CIA-built killing machine laying low in a New Mexico small town, in Adam Wingard’s bonkers new thriller. He looks all the better for it. Aristocratic English charm translates into Southern civility as...

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Eldorado, Arcola Theatre

There is something forensic about Marius von Mayenburg's examination of human nature in this 2004 play, written when he was in his early 30s and the Iraq war still on the television news. Eldorado, a money-making project to rebuild some of the...

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Out of the Furnace

After his outsized triumph as conman Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle, Christian Bale is gaunt and stringy again (Jennifer Lawrence will be happy to hear) in this minor-keyed, intensely atmospheric story of two brothers in an America that time...

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Spades, Roundhouse

You don’t so much watch a Robert Lepage show as surrender to it, and his latest project sees Canada’s most innovative theatre-maker in full assault. It’s hard to think of another director whose response to the Iraq War would involve an Elvis...

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Cleanskin

Hats off to independent British writer/producer/director Hadi Hajaig, who has doggedly piloted his thriller Cleanskin to the screen and picked up distribution support from Warner Bros in the process. Hajaig was never going to be splashing around in...

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The Comic Strip Presents: The Hunt for Tony Blair, Channel 4

As this rampant return to our screens repeatedly underlined, one of the great joys of watching The Comic Strip throughout its 30-year frenzy of frantic - if intermittent - silliness has been never knowing what precise manifestation of oddness lurks...

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Kill List

Ben Wheatley’s debut Down Terrace, about a Brighton crime family whose bickering resembles Abigail’s Party, then Macbeth, had almost no budget and was literally home-made. Many critics still realised that it was one of the best and most original...

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The Devil's Double

There are biopics and there are biopics. The process by which an actor is made up to look like the character he has been cast to play gets an intriguing twist in The Devil’s Double. Latif Yahia, who was often confused with Uday Hussein when they...

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Loyalty, Hampstead Theatre

Can journalists write good plays? Sarah Helm has been a Washington correspondent for The Independent during the first Gulf War in 1990, reported from Baghdad in the mid-1990s, and was based in Jerusalem for three years. So her debut play about the...

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Tactical Questioning, Tricycle Theatre

Verbatim theatre has been the flavour of political theatre for the past two decades, and no theatre has done more to promote this style of public witnessing than the Tricycle in Kilburn, north London. Its artistic director, Nicolas Kent, has created...

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Route Irish

Route Irish isn’t the St Patrick's Day parade along Fifth Avenue in New York, but the “most dangerous road in the world”, from Baghdad airport to the relative safety of the heavily fortified Green Zone. With impressively opportunistic timing, Route...

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Fair Game

News junkies and connoisseurs of Iraq war conspiracies may be familiar with the true story of CIA agent Valerie Plame, which is earnestly converted to celluloid here by director Doug Liman. Part of Plame's work was infiltrating Saddam Hussein's...

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