mon 24/06/2024

Cold War

Annie Jacobsen: Nuclear War: A Scenario review - on the inconceivable

"[A]n unimaginably beautiful day": this was how Kikue Shiota described the morning of the 6th of August, 1945, in Hiroshima. The day was soon to change, unimaginably, as the city was blitzed by the airburst of the first atomic bomb, nicknamed Little...

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Rock 'N' Roll, Hampstead Theatre review - exciting music, uneven staging

There is a song by Syd Barrett, founder member of Pink Floyd, called “Golden Hair”. It’s on his album The Madcap Laughs, released in 1970, a couple of years after he left the band, and every time I hear it I feel like I’m falling in love again. It...

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Slow Horses, Series 2, Apple TV+ review - Mick Herron’s spies make a welcome return

Apple TV+ is using the arrival of season two of Slow Horses to offer a generous three-month free trial to its streamer service. Ample time to catch up with season one and watch it multiple times before all of season two is available at the end...

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Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

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Deutschland 89, Channel 4 review - the Wall comes down, what next?

Joerg and Anna Winger’s gripping drama of East Germany, a loose portrait set over the final decade of that country’s existence, has reached its culmination, and this first episode of Deutschland 89 landed us right in the unpredictable maelstrom of...

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Tenet review - a heady delight

Go back over Christopher Nolan’s films and count the clocks. He has an obsession that would give a horologist a run for his money. Time is a continual motif of his body of work and it finds its zenith in his latest work Tenet. Beneath the...

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Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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The Fall of the Berlin Wall with John Simpson, BBC Four review – the future we’ve left behind

John Simpson remains the BBC’s longest serving foreign correspondent. Here, he returns to the biggest moment of his career. This personalised retelling of the collapse of the Berlin wall encompasses fond remembrance, factual detail and the...

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Summer of Rockets, BBC Two review - pride and prejudice in 1950s Britain

Hallelujah! At last the BBC have commissioned a Stephen Poliakoff series that makes you want to come back for episode two (and hopefully all six), thanks to a powerful cast making the most of some perceptively-written roles.His most recent efforts,...

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Chernobyl, Sky Atlantic review - a glimpse of Armageddon

“I take it the safety test was a failure,” remarked Viktor Bryukhanov, director of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power station. You could say that again. The catastrophic explosions at the Vladimir I Lenin plant on 26 April 1986, caused by a safety...

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Blu-ray: One, Two, Three

Billy Wilder’s co-writing collaboration with IAL Diamond encompassed comedy masterpieces such as Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, Irma La Douce, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and several others, and One, Two, Three (1961) is just as polished a...

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Q&A special: The making of Local Hero

Local Hero, released in 1983, has been adapted into a musical, with a book by playwright David Greig and more songs from the soundtrack's original composer Mark Knopfler. After its premiere at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh, it will arrive at the Old...

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