tue 19/03/2019

race issues

If Beale Street Could Talk review - love defies racism in James Baldwin adaptation

Films that show a young couple’s love deepening are rare because without personal conflict there’s no narrative progression. They're especially rare in the current mainstream American cinema since romantic dramas are commercially risky, though LGBTQ...

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Green Book review - is this Oscar hopeful too good to be true?

With five nominations, Green Book is cruising optimistically towards Oscar night, but it’s not all plain sailing for director Peter Farrelly’s mixed-race fairy tale about a posh black musician and his thuggish Italian minder. The film is being...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe had already established herself as pop’s next great innovator with The ArchAndroid and Electric Ladyland, two albums full of earworms, high production and retro-futuristic lyrics. This all-too-brief musical career seemed in jeopardy...

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The Long Song, BBC One, series finale review - a stirring adaptation

There was a ruthless logic to the scheduling of The Long Song (BBC One). Broadcast over three consecutive nights, this fleet-footed adaptation of Andrea Levy’s novel set during the era of abolition in 19th-century Jamaica swiftly gathered momentum...

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Caroline, or Change, Playhouse Theatre review - Sharon D Clarke is superlative

With the politics of hate alive and well both sides of the Atlantic, this seems a good time to revive Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's 2003 musical, which is set in Civil Rights-era Louisiana. This production was first seen at Chichester Minerva...

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Nine Night, Trafalgar Studios review - hilarity and heartbreak

This is Natasha Gordon’s first play, and in it she has created an entire world. A world of grief and laughter, conflict and closeness. A world that is very specifically located within Britain's Jamaican community, yet one whose themes of loss and...

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The Hate U Give review - American teen drama takes on Black Lives Matter

Starr Carter is 16 years old and her life straddles two very different worlds, the posh prep school she goes to with its privileged white students and the troubled black neighbourhood she lives in with her family. And like its heroine, The Hate U...

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Porgy and Bess, English National Opera review - strength in depth on Catfish Row

After exhausting years of financial and artistic crisis-management at the Coliseum, English National Opera urgently needed an ironclad, feelgood success. This season’s opener, a somewhat idiosyncratic take on Strauss’s Salome, was unlikely to fit...

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Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A covers a wide variety of games that are spearheading the gaming world at the moment. It takes a closer look at eight of the most innovative and different games that have changed the world of gaming in the last five...

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Poet in da Corner, Royal Court review - mind-blowing energy plus plus plus

There was once a time when grime music was very angry, and very threatening, but that seems a long time ago now. Today, Dizzee Rascal is less a herald of riot and revolt, and more of a national treasure, exuding charm from every pore, even if his...

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Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. review - not your average popstar

Why is M.I.A. such a problematic pop star? Why can't she just shut up and release a hit? Tellingly, this is the very question the singer poses at the start of Matangi/Maya/M.I.A - a question she's been asked throughout her career, from interviewers...

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The Outsider, Print Room at the Coronet review - power in restraint

As the Syrian conflict enters its final convulsions, renewing memories of how the Sykes-Picot agreement – between an Englishman and a Frenchman – would cause more than a century of political resentment in the Arab world, The Outsider seems...

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