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Film

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Half of a Yellow Sun: only Freddie Forsyth and the Bodenesque tribalwear rescue this snoozefest

14 April 2014 15:52

I’m not one of those who automatically think the book’s better than the film. Efficiency is a good thing and if a film can successfully cram 500 pages into two… Continue reading

1 Comment
Former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Photo: Wally Santana/AP/Press Association Images

The Unknown Known: Errol Morris tries to trip up Donald Rumsfeld – and fails

20 March 2014 15:14

Before getting onto the film I should make a few disclaimers. There is a popular view that Donald Rumsfeld was a catastrophic US secretary of defence. I do not share… Continue reading

39 Comments
Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's 'Under the Skin' (2013). Photo: Film4/Filmnation Entertainment/Jw Films / The Kobal Collection

Under the Skin: one second of tits to every three minutes of glen

17 March 2014 10:22

‘I thought it was supposed to go on for another half hour!’ said a man in the foyer on the way out. ‘When the alien got burnt to death I thought thank… Continue reading

13 Comments
300-ROAE-11

It was all going so well till the fishnet tights. A Classicist reviews 300: Rise of an Empire…

13 March 2014 11:25

It is 490 BC and it is raining. Themistocles, the Athenian general, is at Marathon, preparing to shoot an arrow at the great Persian King Darius I. Xerxes, Darius’ son,… Continue reading

3 Comments
Derek Jarman's film 'Blue'

Derek Jarman: no characterisation, no narrative, no poetry – no good

10 March 2014 10:33

A week or two ago, author Philip Hoare wrote an article for the Independent, describing Derek Jarman as ‘a modern-day John Dee, the Elizabethan alchemist’, ‘an Edwardian Andy Warhol, a… Continue reading

16 Comments
Steve McQueen and the cast and crew of 12 Years a Slave accept the best picture award at the 2014 Oscars. Photo: John Shearer/Invision/PA Images

Politics trumps artistry at the Oscars — full list of winners

3 March 2014 7:37

There were two possibilities for the 86th Academy Awards, joked host Ellen DeGeneres, either ‘12 Years a Slave wins the best picture Oscar … [or] you’re all racists.’ Luckily for… Continue reading

24 Comments
Film-maker Alain Resnais. Photo: Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Film-maker who divided critics dies aged 91

2 March 2014 15:02

One of the greats of French cinema, Alain Resnais (1922 – 2014), has died. His early films, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year in Marienbad (1961), which experimented boldly… Continue reading

4 Comments
American director Spike Lee. Photo: Andy Kropa/AP/Press Association Images

Spike Lee’s love letter to Ukip

28 February 2014 7:30

Tell me: does this passage from American director Spike Lee’s recent rant against the gentrification of Brooklyn not sound like a press release from UKIP? ‘I’m for democracy and letting… Continue reading

26 Comments
BAFTA Film Awards 2014 - Press Room - London

Give Steve McQueen a Nobel prize not an Oscar

20 February 2014 7:30

Film critic Armond White has been booted out of the New York Film Critics Circle. Officially it was for heckling Twelve Years A Slave director Steve McQueen at a press… Continue reading

17 Comments
spec play

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

27 September 2013 17:51

When you hear the words ‘English art’, there are very few people who would immediately think of embroidery. As Dan Jones said when he was asked if he would like… Continue reading

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spectator play

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

23 August 2013 4:30

For many people, stories and story-telling formed the basis of their childhood. But there are others whose childhood is devoid of books, and it’s these children that Oxford’s new Story… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

3 August 2013 13:36

‘Shakespeare’s Globe’, as the theatre has been called since it was founded in 1997, is unusual for a theatre in that it makes a large annual profit, without receiving public… Continue reading

8 Comments
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuadorian Embassy on December 20, 2012. Image: Getty

Bradley Manning awaits sentence. Would the real Julian Assange please stand up?

31 July 2013 17:51

Bradley Manning’s relationship with Wikileaks has, inevitably, brought Julian Assange back into the papers. Viewed on the frontpage, Assange is egimatic. We know what he’s done; but we know little of… Continue reading

105 Comments
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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

27 July 2013 10:52

The Tate Britain has recently undergone a ‘sorely needed’ rehang, which Andrew Lambirth explores in this week’s Spectator.  As a ‘welcome return to the great tradition of the chronological hang’… Continue reading

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spec play

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

13 July 2013 9:44

Deborah Ross reviews two films for us this week. The first is Pacific Rim, a ‘giant monsters v. giant robots’ film, and to be perfectly honest, that’s about all she… Continue reading

1 Comment
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

Two film stars watch some tennis. World goes mad!

10 July 2013 10:41

The first Briton in 77 years won the Wimbledon championships on Sunday, but this is perhaps incidental; did you spot the real thing of note? That Bradley Cooper and Gerard… Continue reading

4 Comments
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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

21 June 2013 17:33

In this week’s lead feature in the Arts section, Tom Rosenthal explains just why he thinks the Lowry retrospective at Tate Britain is so long overdue. Lowry is one of… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

14 June 2013 18:01

Sir Alfred Munnings lived his life in true bohemian style, ‘carousing with gypsies and horse-trainers, living rough and constantly on the road’. Summer in February is based on his early… Continue reading

1 Comment
Arts Montage16

Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

17 May 2013 18:23

It feels like the only film anyone’s been talking about recently is The Great Gatsby. Given that even the release of the films’ multiple trailers created international news stories, it… Continue reading

3 Comments
A giant fresco of Charlie Chaplin. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Seriously eccentric – Chaplin & Company by Mave Fellowes

16 May 2013 14:19

Chaplin & Company is an alarming proposition for anyone with a low threshold for the cute and quirky. Its main character, Odeline Milk, is a mime artist. She is serious… Continue reading

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Arts Montage12 (2)

Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

26 April 2013 18:00

Perched at number 3 in The Times’ ‘30 Richest under 30’ list this week were Fawn and India Rose James, aged just 27 and 21 respectively and with an estimated… Continue reading

2 Comments
Arts Montage12

Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

19 April 2013 17:42

In a week where the news has been filled with stories about a certain ‘strong woman’, Kate Chisholm has found another strong woman to write about. In this week’s radio… Continue reading

0 Comments
Arts Montage9[1]

Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

12 April 2013 17:53

When Lara Pulver hit our screens brandishing a whip and wearing little more than a pair of high heels in the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes-influenced drama Sherlock, she became something of… Continue reading

0 Comments
Arts Montage7[2]

Spectator Play: Audio and video for what we’ve reviewed this week

5 April 2013 17:52

If you succumbed to Downton fever, then the BBC’s latest period-drama, The Village, might have attracted your attention. But if it was Downton Revisited that you were after, you might… Continue reading

5 Comments
Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Could Malcolm Tucker take on Alan Rusbridger?

28 February 2013 12:21

Sad news has broken. If the online speculation is true, it appears that casting agents for the upcoming Guardian movie have overlooked Daniel Radcliffe for the part of Alan Rusbridger.… Continue reading

4 Comments