wed 26/01/2022

satire

The 4th Country, Park Theatre review – sympathetic and intriguing

History is a prison. Often, you can’t escape. It imprints its mark on people, environments and language. And nowhere is this more true that in Northern Ireland, where the history of conflict between the Republican Catholic community and the Loyalist...

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The Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol: A Victorian Gutter, Southbank Centre review - cult band get inside Scrooge's head

Charles Dickens and Martyn Jacques is a marriage made in heaven (well, hell I suppose): the Victorian novelist touring the rookeries of Clerkenwell the better to fire his imagination and, 150 years or so later, the post-punk maestro mining London's...

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Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review - viral venom in Bucharest

Though sexual hypocrisy in modern-day Romania is the ostensible target of Bad Lack Banging or Loony Porn – a satirical drama that enfolds a scattershot polemic – Radu Jude’s tenth film is broadly concerned with the nation’s all-enveloping post-...

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Wole Soyinka: Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth review – sprawling satire of modern-day Nigeria

Eight-years passed between the publication of Wole Soyinka’s debut novel, The Interpreters (1965), and his second, Season of Anomy (1973). A lot happened in the interim. One of Nigeria’s most resilient critics of corruption and...

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The Nest review – intriguing, off-kilter family drama

The Nest is a peculiar animal, hard to nail down, parts family drama and social satire, but with a creepy sense of suspense rippling under the surface that threatens to bust the plot wide open. The fact that it’s written and directed by...

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Black Bear review - unexpected knotty treat

We’ve all experienced the “fast food film” – enjoyable while we watch it, but realise afterwards it was an empty thrill with little nutritional value. Much rarer is the film that can only be truly appreciated once the credits roll. Black Bear, with...

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The Importance of Being Earnest online review - Oscar Wilde updated for the Nando's generation

Oscar Wilde's fabulous play satirised Victorian England and contained a shedload of quotable quips. Now Yasmeen Khan has written an updated and uprooted version, set in the North of England, which takes aim at any number of class and ethnic...

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Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words

“The crocus of hope is, er, poking through the frost.” When he uttered that dodgy metaphor back in February, Boris Johnson probably didn’t predict that it would become the opening number of the third edition of Living Newspaper, the Royal Court’s...

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Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive film, told from a determinedly female perspective but with a wisdom...

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Berlinale 2021: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review – cheeky, timely and very provocative

The Romanian director Radu Jude invariably serves spicy satire that challenges his compatriots to face historical crimes and present failings. The latest is an erudite and daft, raunchy and knockabout, endlessly provocative film that, for sake of...

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Andrey Kurkov: Grey Bees review - light Ukrainian odyssey, with bite

This time, the Ukrainian author of Death and the Penguin, known for his brilliantly dark humour, has written a modern-day odyssey, with a return that is ambiguously hopeful. Grey Bees follows a year in the life of Sergey Sergeyich, a retired...

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Blu-ray: Ivansxtc

“Every cliché about Hollywood is true,” director Bernard Rose remarked in 2018, at the screening Q&A of the restored version of his 1999 Ivansxtc that appears as an extra on this Arrow release – and, post-#MeToo, the film’s satire of that milieu...

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