wed 29/06/2022

prostitution

Tangerine

American director Sean Baker is an adept at exploring different Los Angeles worlds that we don’t often see portrayed in standard Hollywood fare. His much-acclaimed Starlet, from 2012, took us into the city’s porn industry (in an entirely non-...

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From Darkness, BBC One

This is the first of two new TV series this week to feature a female police officer investigating the discovery of long-buried skeletons (the other one is Thursday's Unforgotten on ITV). The two shows are different in tone, but still reminiscent of...

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Eastern Boys

Eastern Boys is a disturbing film. Robin Campillo’s second feature as director catches the often aggressive world of immigrant grifters in Paris – they’re a gang of young men largely from the former Soviet Union – and their interaction with the...

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Love for Sale - Rupert Everett's guide to the oldest profession

Anybody who has read Rupert Everett's book Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins will be well aware of his fascination with sex and prostitution, so it's no surprise to find him very much in his element as writer and presenter of the two-part Channel 4...

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Ripper Street, Series 2 Finale, BBC One

Though greeted ambivalently when it made its debut at the end of 2012, Ripper Street has looked increasingly like TV's undervalued secret weapon as it has surged purposefully through this second series. Maybe the title was misjudged, suggesting it...

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Pipe Dream, Union Theatre

Rodgers and Steinbeck: sound unlikely? Well, self-proclaimed “family show” man Hammerstein may have baulked at words like "whorehouse" when he created a play for music out of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. But by 1955 the R&H duo...

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La Traviata, English National Opera

How’s a good time girl to bare her beautiful soul when a director seems bent on cutting her down to puppet size? It doesn't bother me that Peter Konwitschny shears Verdi’s already concise score by about 20 minutes to shoehorn it into a one-act drama...

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Elles

Remember when the movies used to celebrate sex, be it Julie Christie diving under the table to service Warren Beatty in Shampoo or Kathleen Turner selling the sizzle in Body Heat? No longer. These days, celluloid sex is a soulless, dispiriting...

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A new opera about sex trafficking

The oldest profession is at the heart of one of the most popular operas in the canon. But the price put on a woman's sexuality will not be quite so glamorously portrayed in a new opera as it is in La Traviata. Ensemble 10/10, the contemporary music...

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House of Tolerance

In his previous films, the French director Bernardo Bonello has demonstrated a non-judgemental affinity for pornographers, prostitutes, and other transgressors. In his latest, House of Tolerance (House of Pleasures in the US), his sympathy is...

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Shame

When it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, Steve McQueen’s second film, Shame, got rave reviews from male critics. Michael Fassbender (who played Bobby Sands in McQueen’s splendid debut feature, Hunger) is brilliant as Brandon...

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Manon, Royal Ballet

Manon is the planet around which a series of moons orbit, locked in place by her gravitational pull. There is Des Grieux, who gives up his seminary studies for nights of pleasure; there is her brother Lescaut, who translates her into cash; and there...

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