wed 19/12/2018

literature

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

You had to keep your eyes skinned. Was that Iris Murdoch or AS Byatt, Kingsley Amis or John Banville, Margaret Atwood or Val McDermid – maybe, even, Joanna Lumley? Tables as far as the eye can see, dressed with white tablecloths and crowded with...

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Lavinia Greenlaw: In the City of Love’s Sleep review - curated lives

Iris is a museum conservator with a pair of pre-adolescent daughters and a failing marriage. Raif is a widower and an academic who, since writing a book on curiosity cabinets a decade ago, has quietly sunk into a kind of irrelevance. Both have...

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Olga Tokarczuk: Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead review - on vengeful nature

In a small town on the Polish-Czech border where the mobile signal wanders between countries’ operators and only three inhabitants stick it out through the winter, animals are wreaking a terrible revenge. The bodies of murdered men, united in their...

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DVD: Mary Shelley

This should have been the perfect match. Saudi-born director Haifaa al-Mansour earned real acclaim for her 2012 debut film Wadjda, whose 12-year-old central character had to break the conventions of a restrictive society to realise her dream –...

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Blu-ray: A Gentle Creature

“To our enormous suffering!” There are many macabre vodka toasts, accompanied by some appropriately gruelling visuals, in A Gentle Creature, but that one surely best captures the beyond-nihilist mood of Sergei Loznitsa’s 2017 Cannes competition...

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DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics of poets. The activity of writing is most often, after all, anything but cinematic, unless its moments of creativity are forced, while the “myth” of the poet all too easily becomes...

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Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The students are mostly girls between fifteen and sixteen and...

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Sarah Langford: In Your Defence review - messy lives

When Sarah Langford goes to work, she puts on warpaint and wig and acts. But she is not an actor. She defends those who might or might not be guilty of the crimes with with they’ve been charged, or she acts on behalf of those bringing prosecutions...

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The Town Hall Affair, The Wooster Group, Barbican review - electric anarchy

Iconoclasm, orgasms, and rampant rhetoric are all on irrepressible display in The Wooster Group’s recreation of the 1971 Manhattan debate that pitted Norman Mailer against some of the leading feminists of the day. The evening proved almost as...

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Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott: Swan Song review - Capote redux

Here you will find Babe Paley, Slim Keith, CZ Guest, Gloria Guinness, Lee Radziwill, Marella Agnelli, the stylish leaders of society, gorgeous, gilded, well-married ladies: the men they were with – billionaires, corporate and cultural leaders –...

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'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

The well-known portrait of New Zealand’s greatest writer, Katherine Mansfield, is exactly 100 years old on 17 June 2018 (main picture). It was painted by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice. At that time, Mansfield and Rice were both staying in...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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