mon 23/05/2022

Norway

The Innocents review - they're just playing

The Innocents made a splash at Cannes in 2021 and it’s easy to see why. The Norwegian supernatural thriller, deftly written and directed by Eskil Vogt (who co-wrote The Worst Person In the World), explores the murky time in childhood...

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Wild Men review - Danish-Norwegian black comedy

There are films that, after seeing the trailer, I very much expect to love. But when the actual movie is disappointing, I find writing the review makes me just a little bit sad. Unfortunately, Wild Men is one of those movies. Billed as a...

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The Worst Person in the World review - confusion becomes her

Some British TV viewers who were in junior school in the mid-1960s will recall the imported Australian kids’ show The Magic Boomerang. When the adolescent hero, a sheep farm kid, threw the eponymous piece of wood, he stopped time and was able to...

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Album: Maridalen - Bortenfor

At first, Bortenfor comes across as an all-instrumental extended mood piece. A breathy saxophone and trumpet mesh over a gently see-sawing double bass. Clusters of piano notes occasionally intersperse themselves into the undulating textures. A pedal...

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When We Dead Awaken, The Norwegian Ibsen Company, Coronet Theatre review - living death, dying life

In Ibsen's last and shortest play, further cut here, four people nominally climb a mountain, but actually seem to be crossing waste land towards the land of Samuel Beckett. It’s an amazing play in which reality is symbolic and symbols are real,...

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Rachlin, Oslo PO, Mäkelä, Oslo Konserthus/Perianes, LPO, Berman, RFH review - the best-laid plans…

The headline was never going to be snappy, but “Klaus Mäkelä conducts…” as a start would have pulled it all together. A trip to Oslo last week was not wasted: he did indeed take charge of one of his two main orchestras, in a typically offbeat...

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Lise Davidsen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Barbican review - perfect Grieg, impressive Strauss and Wagner

After a too-much-too-soon debut disc, Lisa Davidsen has just rolled out the gold on CD with her great fellow Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes in songs by their compatriot Grieg. The visuals last night, in the first concert of a Barbican mini-residency,...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Frida Hyvönen - Dream Of Independence

Frida Hyvönen’s UK profile isn’t as high as it is in her home country Sweden. Over here, what she gets up to is less apparent than the activities of some of her more heavily marketed fellow Swedes. Hence Dream Of Independence coming as a surprise,...

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Hedvig Mollestad, National Jazz Scene, Oslo review - watch out, there’s a storm about

The opening moments don’t suggest what’s coming. A solo flute is followed by a few spoken phrases from a treated voice. What’s being said? It’s impossible to work it out. Is it a warning? An electric guitar’s strings are stroked with a cello bow....

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Album: Electric Eye - Horizons

Bergen’s Electric Eye’s pithy description of themselves is “psych-space-drone-rock from Norway.” They also say they “play droned out psych-rock inspired by the blues, India and the ever-more expanding universe.” Horizons is their fourth studio album...

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Album: The Eivind Aarset 4-Tet - Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey

Phantasmagoria, or A Different Kind of Journey instantly sets its controls for an excursion into the interstellar void between gaseous and solid objects. Opening cut “Intoxication” begins with lightly pulsing bass and a keyboard texture. Shimmering...

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The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

It’s perhaps unfortunate that The North Water arrives on BBC Two only a few months after The Terror, since it’s impossible to avoid the parallels between them. They’re set only a few years apart (1859 for The North Water, 1845 for The Terror), both...

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