fri 21/09/2018

Portugal

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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theartsdesk at the Setúbal Music Festival 2018: youth leads the way

"Get those creatures off the stage, or I won't answer for what I'll do". The exclamation of the Prima Donna in the backstage prologue of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, about to share her grand opera with lower forms of theatrical life, seems...

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CD: Dreamweapon - SOL

Dreamweapon’s second album, SOL, is a spaced-out trip of oceanic psychedelia that calls on the listener to pay full attention and sink into their potent motoric vibes. Free of any hippy-dippy fluffiness, Dreamweapon may be experts in laying down the...

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DVD: The Ornithologist

While bird-lovers will certainly not be disappointed by Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues’ new film, the ambitions of The Ornithologist stretch considerably beyond such avine fascinations. Its opening title, “Whoever approaches the Spirit will...

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WOMAD 2017, Charlton Park review - multicultural nirvana transcends mud-bath conditions

Now in its 35 year, Womad is embedded into British festival culture, flying the flags of a musical multiculturalism that is about breaking down barriers and building new relationships. It’s not something you want to lose.Aside from pleasurable...

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Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures you can let all your rage out'

“My mother has always been a bit of a mystery to me not only as an artist but also as a mum,” declares Nick Willing by way of introduction to his film for BBC Two on the painter Paula Rego, who turned 82 in January. What follows is as far removed...

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Lula Pena, Café Oto

Lula Pena is a Portuguese singer who takes fado (or "phado" as she calls it) into new directions and musical horizons. She is one of the most intense performers you are likely to hear and, with only three albums in the last 20 years, keeps a lowish...

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Ana Moura, Barbican

“If someone asked me what fado is,” says Ana Moura, in her introduction to “Lilac Wine”, “I would tell them that it means something like this song.” And with its notes of sadness, yearning and loss – fado means destiny or fate – this classic number...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Bitori, Space Echo

Since achieving international success in the final years of the 1980s, the late Cesária Évora has dominated much of globe’s perception of music from the Cape Verde (officially Cabo Verde). This fascinating pair of releases reveal other aspects which...

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Arabian Nights

Early in the first part of his sprawling metafictional docu-whatsit Arabian Nights, the director Miguel Gomes is reflected in a café window as he flees his crew for conceiving the absurdly overambitious project he’s set up. It was "the dumbest...

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Horse Money

Pedro Costa’s Horse Money begins with a silent montage of Jacob Riis’s grim photographs of late 19th-century Manhattan slum dwellers, some of them former slaves or their offspring. One photo shows a bowler-hatted young black man sitting athwart a...

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CD: 10.000 Russos - 10.000 Russos

There is something strange happening in mainland Europe at the moment. Perhaps this has been spurred on by a feeling that the old certainties of the past aren’t quite so solid, but a mind-expanding psychedelia with an eye for the dance-floor and...

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