fri 28/01/2022

America

America in Crisis, Saatchi Gallery review - a country in jeopardy

America in Crisis revisits an exhibition staged in 1969 soon after Richard Nixon was elected President. Pictures taken by 18 Magnum photographers including Elliott Erwitt and Mary Ellen Mark cast a critical eye over American society and capture many...

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Blu-ray: Champion

Champion (1949), one of many boxing films of the 1930s and 1940s, made a sculpture – and a star – of Kirk Douglas. In one of the few non-fight scenes, Douglas, as middleweight Midge Kelly, agrees to pose for an artist (Lola Albright), but quickly...

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Album: Eels - Extreme Witchcraft

Mr. E’s music examines hellish depths, but always climbs back towards the light. Electro-Shock Blues (1998) was soon redeemed by “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues”, and a trilogy of sometimes feral, wracked albums ended with Tomorrow Morning (2010). As the...

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Nightmare Alley review - a dazzling trip through a heart of darkness

Director Guillermo del Toro has described Nightmare Alley as “a straight, really dark story”, lacking the supernatural elements in his previous films such as Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water. Nonetheless, Nightmare Alley still feels like a...

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Album: Lady London - Lady Like: The Boss Tape

Virtual “mixtapes” are not proper albums. Their purpose is often to whet the appetite. Nowhere is this more so than in US hip hop and right now Lady London’s new teaser is much-vaunted.Off the back of a couple of hot tunes that woke her peers to her...

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Don't Look Up, Netflix review - hitting most targets in high style

Most dystopian satires are located in a nightmarish future, but their scripts build on the worst of our world today. Adam McKay's Don’t Look Up is different: this is now, and the notion of a comet hurtling towards the assured destruction of planet...

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The Humans review - staring headlong into the abyss

A small film that packs a significant wallop, The Humans snuck into view at the very end of 2021 to cast a despairing shadow that extends well beyond the Thanksgiving day during which it takes place. Adapted from the much-traveled Tony-winning play...

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Album: Pistol Annies - Hell of a Holiday

“It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was sober, especially my spouse.” So runs the giggly spoken word opening line of “Harlan County Coal”, the third song on Hell of a Holiday by American country trio Pistol...

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Album: Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Barn

Neil Young’s ornery spontaneity has resulted in a remarkable number of mediocre songs. His sketchy 21st century has conjured audacious sonic conceits – the jazzy sparseness of Peace Trail, or the plastic-sounding live album Earth, both 2016 –...

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Album: DJ Harrison - Tales From the Old Dominion

The Californian label Stones Throw has long specialised in inseparably folding together the most profound and most wilfully foolish Black American music. And that is truer than ever on these 17 tracks from Virginian singer / songwriter / producer /...

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The Power of the Dog review - of rawhide and roses

The archetypal fascinating male in Jane Campion’s films – whether his allure for a woman owes to his earthy virility or emotional sensitivity, his animal appeal or his soul – has a malign other.That’s true of The Piano (1993), In the Cut (2003) and...

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Stephen Sondheim in memoriam - he gave us more to see

It seemed impossible and yet, the other evening, while idly flicking through emails, I learned the unimaginable: Stephen Sondheim, age 91, had passed away. And very quickly by all accounts, given that he was reported to have enjoyed a Thanksgiving...

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