fri 25/05/2018

Sweden

The Bridge, BBC Two, series 4 review - Scandi saga is darker than ever

In the 1990s, which brought us Morse, Fitz and Jane Tennison, an idea took root that all television detectives must be mavericks. They needed to be moody, dysfunctional, addictive, a bit of an unsolved riddle. These British sleuths were all...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Touch

The touch is not always light here. Swathes of clunking, cliché-ridden English dialogue threaten to make the star-crossed lovers look ridiculous, and one of them (Elliott Gould) can be a wooden actor at times. But Ingmar Bergman's first major film...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Opera on film's most magical offering, better by some way than Joseph Losey's cinematically tricksy Don Giovanni, at last makes it to Region 2 in this BFI dual-format release. I've watched Ingmar Bergman's sublime response to Mozart many times, and...

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CD: Jenny Wilson - Exorcism

Exorcism begins with a track titled “Rapin’”. Its lyrics tell of a late night walk home during which the drunk protagonist is sexually assaulted. “Did you pick me because there’s no one else around?” asks Jenny Wilson in an account of her own...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lūcija Garūta, Dag Wirén, Ruby Hughes

 Lūcija Garūta: Music for Piano Reinis Zariņš (piano), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala (LMIC/SKANI)The Latvian composer Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977) reached maturity in the early days of Latvian independence, a supremely talented...

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Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, BBC One review - emotional nomad with a fragile gift for joy

Ever nursed an immoderate fondness for Ingrid Bergman? In Her Own Words, a bio-documentary released in the cinema then on DVD in 2016 and shown last night on BBC One as part of the Imagine... strand, was an entrancing, melancholy memoir in letters,...

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The Square review - stylish, brilliantly acted satire

One of the oldest pleasures of cinema is the opportunity it gives us to look at beautiful people in beautiful places, possibly having beautiful sex. Often audiences get exactly what they came for but sometimes it isn’t exactly straightforward. Take...

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Matthew Sweet: Operation Chaos review - paranoia and insanity in the Cold War

In 2017 the documentary series The Vietnam War told the story, from soup to nuts, of America’s misadventure in south-east Asia. It now seems the comprehensive history may have missed some nuts out. Not that anyone would question the sanity of a...

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Anna von Hausswolff: 'Forget about space and time, it's eternal and mysterious' - interview

Considering the coal-dark nature of her music, it was unsurprising Sweden's Anna von Hausswolff was dressed entirely in black while meeting up at London’s Rough Trade East shop to talk about her new album Dead Magic. Less foreseeable was her sunny...

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Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation

Could an epic cinematic masterpiece be turned successfully into a three-act play? Confession first: Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is my No. 1 film. On one level a slow-burn, pre-World-War-One family saga, on another a timeless human comedy...

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CD: Fever Ray - Plunge

This album has been about in virtual form since last autumn but now receives physical release. In more ways than one. Since theartsdesk didn’t review it back then, its reappearance on CD and vinyl gives us an excuse to now. After all, Swedish...

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Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders, More4 review - Swedish sleuth is a cold case

Sara Lund and Saga Norén have a lot to answer for. Their adventures in the murk of murder as they grapple with their own dysfunctional psychology entranced audiences who don’t speak a scrap of Danish or Swedish. The search has since gone on for...

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