mon 20/08/2018

university

La Vie Parisienne, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire review - vintage champagne in a new bottle

Don’t you just love that new concert hall smell? The main hall at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is so new that as soon as you walk in you get the scent of fresh woodwork; so new, in fact, that it won’t even be officially opened until next...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy memoir will be irresistible. It is almost a day-by-day account of 15 years of the...

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Elif Batuman: The Idiot review - memories of student life and travels meander

University, anyone? Student days? If you were ever an undergraduate, who does not remember the simultaneous sense of dislocation and excitement, the feeling of the familiar combined with a heady awareness that we might fall off a cliff,...

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Sunday Book: Jean Hanff Korelitz - The Devil and Webster

Naomi Roth, president of Webster College, Massachusetts, has come a long way since readers first made her acquaintance in Korelitz’s second novel The Sabbathday River (1999). There, Roth was a well-meaning Vista (community service) volunteer...

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Maggie's Plan

Rebecca Miller’s fiction and her previous films’ manifestly ambitious visual style and narrative structures led to high expectations from Maggie’s Plan. As a movie, it may appeal to audiences craving the kinds of films that Woody Allen, Noah...

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The Man Who Knew Infinity

The extraordinary workings of an unusual mind are reduced to TV-movie proportions in The Man Who Knew Infinity, the latest and least re-telling of the too-short life of the self-taught Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose tale has...

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At Berkeley

Ever since his 1967 breakthrough film Titticut Follies, an unsparing look at a Massachusetts prison for the criminally insane, Frederick Wiseman has been turning his dispassionate observational camera on the workings of institutions ranging from the...

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Pitch Perfect

Cinemagoers with an aversion to musicals need not fear, as in Pitch Perfect most of the singing is in a sane context, rather than its characters breaking into lavish routines in the street. After the fun but exhaustingly naff Rock of Ages, this...

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Liberal Arts

Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio should see an uptick in admissions on the back of Liberal Arts. The wan cross-generational love story was shot on the invitingly leafy grounds of a campus whose alumni over time have included E L Doctorow, Paul Newman...

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Wonderland: Young, Bright and on the Right, BBC Two

In the debating chambers and committee rooms of the Conservative Associations of Oxford and Cambridge lurk the Children of Cameron. The current cabinet is to a large extent an Oxbridge Old Boys club and succeeding generations are already being...

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Fresh Meat, Series 1, Channel 4

So Fresh Meat approaches the conclusion of season one and, against my expectations, I’ve become a devoted fan. When it was announced that Peep Show creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain were launching a new sitcom, based around a Manchester student...

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Emmy the Great, Pleasance, Edinburgh

“Are there any freshers in the audience?" asked Emma-Lee Moss halfway through last night’s set. Two voices raised a muted cheer. Whatever else your average 18-year-old might have been doing, cut loose from the apron strings for the first time in the...

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