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London, United Kingdom




Sharp, critical discussion of the week's cultural events




Final Portrait, Against, The State, Nicole Krauss, Vermeer

Final Portrait; Stanley Tucci's film about Giacometti tries to show the tortured creative process of a genius Ben Wishaw plays an aerospace billionaire who sets out to change the world in Against at London's Almeida Theatre. Can money overcome violence? Peter Kosminsky's drama, The State on Channel 4, attempts to understand why young British people might join Islamic State The plot of Nicole Krauss's latest novel Forest Dark seems to mirror her own life - down to a writer character called...

Duration: 00:45:59

Atomic Blonde, A Ghost Story, Jonathan Dee, This Is Human, Quacks

Charlize Theron stars as an MI6 spy in Berlin just before the fall of the wall. In Atomic Blonde she shows that she's quite capable of doing anything a male spy could do; with lots of seducing, fighting and killing Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara play a married couple in A Ghost Story. After he is killed, he haunts his old locations wearing a white bed sheet with eye holes cut out. Jonathan Dee's novel The Locals is the follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize nominated The Privileges. A New York...

Duration: 00:47:07

Land of Mine, Mosquitoes, Bernard MacLaverty, Matisse In The Studio, Trust Me

Danish/German co-production Land of Mine is a film about a group of German POWs who - once the Nazi occupation of Denmark ended - were made to clear mines on the coastal beaches Mosquitoes, starring Olivia Coman and Olivia Williams, is the latest play by Lucy Kirkwood at The Dorfman at London's National's Theatre. It interweaves family relations, particle physics and sexting Bernard MacLaverty's first novel for a decade and a half is Midwinter Break - a long-married couple escape to...

Duration: 00:46:37

Saturday Review

Tom Sutcliffe and guests review a gorgeous selection of this week's art

Duration: 00:45:18

Dunkirk, Much Ado at London's Globe, Sarah Winman, Rose Finn-Kelcey at Modern Art Oxford, Against The Law

Christopher Nolan's film Dunkirk dramatises the many acts of heroism and horror of the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers during World War 2 from French beaches. Many critics are talking about Oscars, will our reviewers agree? The newest production of Much Ado About Nothing at London's Globe Theatre sets the story during the armed struggles of the Mexican Revolution. Sarah Winman's novel Tin Man is a love story between two boys and a woman who changes their love and their...

Duration: 00:46:55

The Beguiled, Joshua Cohen, Soul of a Nation, A Tale of Two Cities, Ozark

Sophia Coppola's film The Beguiled is set during the American Civil War when a wounded Yankee soldier is rescued by the last few staff and pupils at a largely abandoned school for young women in the deep south. Can hospitality overcome suspicion? And who has the upper hand? Moving Kings, Joshua Cohen's new novel, is set in New York and Israel Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern explores art in the age of Black Power. Work by African American artists exploring and celebrating black identity...

Duration: 00:45:19

Committee, Terrence Malick, Neel Mukherjee, Frieze Sculpture, Gay Britannia radio drama

Committee is a new musical that's opened at London's Donmar Warehouse. Based on the parliamentary investigation into Kids Company. It might seem like an unorthodox source of inspiration , but so were London Road and Jerry Springer Terrence Malick's latest film Song To Song has polarised critics; will our reviewers s be beguiled or bewildered? State of Freedom by award winning author Neel Mukherjee is a novel which explores the interweaving of five stories and five lives via an initially...

Duration: 00:46:25

Alone In Berlin, Ink, Christopher Wilson, White Cube, Earl Slick and Lied

Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson in a film adaptation of Hans Fallada's novel Alone In Berlin - based on a true story of small scale wartime heroism. Ink - a play about Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of The Sun in 1969 and the grubby world of redtop journalism.Opening at London's Almeida Theatre. Christopher Wilson's novel; Zoo, a comedy set in Stalin's dying days, about a boy who inadvertently becomes the food taster for The Man of Iron Dreamers Awake is a new exhibition at White Cube...

Duration: 00:47:32

Baby Driver, Gloria, Crimes of the Father, Germany at Tate Liverpool, Gypsy

Edgar Wright's film Baby Driver is a high-octane thriller about a getaway driver who has to do "one last job" before he can get out of a life of crime. It has a fantastic soundtrack, but is that enough? Gloria at The Hampstead Theatre is a play by Pulitzer-nominated American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. It's comic drama about ambition, office warfare and hierarchies Thomas Keneally's latest novel Crimes Of The Father deals with a fictionalised sex abuse case against the Catholic...

Duration: 00:47:02

Barbershop Chronicles, Slack Bay, Amanda Craig, Sidney Nolan, GLOW

Inua Ellam's play Barbershop Chronicles has opened at London's National Theatre. It's about the intimate and almost-sacred masculine world of black barber shops around the world. French film Slack Bay is a comedy about a series of mysterious seaside murders. Starring Juliette Binoche, it mixes professional actors with complete novices and slapstick comedy with cannibalism and gender-fluid relationships Amanda Craig's latest novel The Lie Of the Land tells the story of a London couple who...

Duration: 00:45:02

Raphael, My Cousin Rachel, Common, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Riviera

My Cousin Rachel is an atmospheric adaptation for the big screen of Daphne Du Maurier's novel starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin and directed by Notting Hill director Roger Michell. Like her most famous novel "Rebecca" the narrative revolves around a large private estate in Cornwall and a powerful woman whose life is an enigma. Arundhati Roy was the first Indian woman writer to win the Booker Prize, which she won in 1997 for her novel The God of Small Things, and which sold over 8...

Duration: 00:48:05

Wonder Woman, Persuasion, Lucienne Day/Barbara Brown, Adam Thorpe, Ackley Bridge

The long- awaited Wonder Woman blockbuster movie has arrived amongst us mere mortals - prepare to be overwhelmed, puny mortals. A stage adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion has opened at The Manchester Royal Exchange. It's taken an unconventional approach and includes silver swimwear and a foam party - is this a step too far for a classic text or a bold new interpretation? The work of designers Lucienne Day and Barbara Brown can be seen at The Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. Their...

Duration: 00:47:14

Woyzeck, The Other Side of Hope, Handmaid's Tale, Elif Batuman, California exhibition

John Boyega plays the title role in Woyzeck; an updating of a 19th century German play about a man driven mad by circumstances. How well has the Star Wars actor adapted to the stage? And has Jack Thorne - who adapted Harry Potter for the theatre - made the play relevant for today's audience? Finnish film director Aki Kaurasmaki's latest film is The Other Side of Hope - told in his trademark low key, quiet manner, it deals with a refugee arriving in Helsinki. There's a new TV version of The...

Duration: 00:45:22

Life of Galileo, Colossal, Jimmy McGovern, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Thresholds at Somerset House

Joe Wright directs Brecht's Life of Galileo at The Young Vic, reimagining it with a Chemical Brothers rave soundtrack... In science fiction black comedy Colossal, Anne Hathaway plays a woman coping with alcoholism whose alter ego just happens to be a giant space monster. It's a kaiju movie Jimmy McGovern's newest TV offering is Broken which stars Sean Bean as an inner city priest coping with escalating personal and parish pressures. Lucy Hughes-Hallett's novel Peculiar Ground deals with...

Duration: 00:46:55

Salome, Frantz, Anything's Possible, Giacometti, 3 Girls

Yaël Farber's Salome at NT tries to retell a biblical story many of us half-know. Has she been misrepresented and misunderstood and is she more than the scheming woman who arranged the decapitation of John The Baptist? Francois Ozon's bilingual film Frantz is a tale of love and lies in France and Germany shortly after the First World War. If telling the truth is too painful, can it be okay to lie? Anything is Possible is a new novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout....

Duration: 00:46:03

Angels In America, The Ferryman, Harmonium, Laurent Binet, Eric Gill

A revival of Tony Kushner's epic play about the US AIDS epidemic Angels In America is being staged at London's National Theatre. It's nearly 8 hours long (in two parts); is it still pertinent and is it worth sitting through? Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem was an enormous theatrical success and his latest The Ferryman has just opened at London's Royal Court Theatre. Set during The Troubles in Northern Ireland it deals with one family's unavoidable and unwilling involvement The family at the...

Duration: 00:47:43

Lady Macbeth, Obsession, See What I Have Done, Whitechapel Gallery, Griefcast

British film Lady Macbeth has been much praised for the central perfomance by Florence Pugh as the intelligent complicated 19th century woman sold into marriage and realising that her soul is being stifled. Ivo Van Hove's prodiuction of Obsession - an adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice stars Jude Law. It should be theatrical gold... Sarah Schmidt's debut novel See What I Have Done deals with the still-unsolved Lizzie Borden case from 1892: "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her...

Duration: 00:46:34


Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy star in in Their Finest; a new film about the vital role of movies in Britain during The War. A revival of Christopher Hampton's 1970 play The Philanthropist has opened in London. It features a glittering array of actors best known for their TV work. How well do their skills transfer to the stage? Lisa McInerny won The Bailey's Prize 's for her first novel The Glorious Heresies. Her latest, The Blood Miracles, continues that story with same characters many years...

Duration: 00:46:22

The Handmaiden, White Tears, Guards at the Taj, Born to Kill, Game Changers

South Korean film director Park Chan-Wook's latest film "The Handmaiden" is based on Welsh writer Sarah Waters' hit 2002 novel Fingersmith about a lesbian love affair in Victorian England transported to 1930s Korea. Award winning British writer Hari Kunzru's fifth novel, White Tears, is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues. American Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv...

Duration: 00:47:16

Consent, A Quiet Passion, Jon McGregor, Tate St Ives, Car Share and Bucket

Nina Raine's new play Consent at London's National Theatre explores the tricky intertwining of modern relationships and legal niceties The life of American poet Emily Dickinson is dramatised in Terence Davies' new film A Quiet Passion. Does enough happen to make it dramatically interesting? Jon McGregor's newest novel Reservoir 13 looks at a community exploring the loss of one family, as life goes on for everyone else Tate St Ives is reopening after many months of closure for development....

Duration: 00:45:56

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