The observer 07 10

Sommaire

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The big picture (1 mn)

Dancers enjoy a moment of escapism in postwar Tokyo in Takeyoshi Tanuma’s 1949 photograph This picture, of dancers on top of the Asakusa theatre, was taken in 1949, after the collapse of the milita...


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On my radar, Kurt Vile (3 mn)

Born in Pennsylvania in 1980 , Kurt Vile co-founded the War on Drugs with Adam Granduciel in 2005. He played guitar with them until 2008, when he released his debut solo album Constant Hitmaker . H...


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Don’t drag Abba into the PM’s dead cat dance (5 mn)

The only available room in Birmingham last Tuesday night was an Airbnb on Edward Street . Usually the Birmingham tourist board are giving them away free, with incentivising jars of Bovril and vouch...


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The grid (1 mn)

The late Jon Daniel celebrates his heroes in vivid poster colours London artist and designer Jon Daniel, who died in 2017, made an indelible mark with his powerful , political work and he is being...


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Q&A Damien Chazelle (5 mn)

The La La Land director on his new film about the 1969 moon landing, that infamous Oscars mix-up, and finding time for a honeymoon Damien Chazelle, 33 , was born in Providence, Rhode Island . He r...


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Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, Whistleblowing and me (16 mn)

Chelsea Manning photographed at the ICA, London last Monday for the New Review. Portrait by David Vintiner Seen as both hero and traitor, the trans US army analyst turned data activist is many th...


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Photography : Windows on our world (6 mn)

Civilisation, a new photography exhibition and accompanying book, is an ambitious attempt to document the way we live now What does the 21 st century look like? What are the resonant images of a c...


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Has the Booker lost its mojo? (13 mn)

From Selina Scott’s famous gaffe to John Banville’s disdainful acceptance speech in 2005, the Booker prize was always in the news. But a creeping sense of bad decision making and anger at the incl...


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Film : ‘A titan of film criticism whose kindness knew no bounds’ (9 mn)

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J Fox in Back to the Future III. Sportsphoto Ltd/ Allstar Philip French at London’s Cinema Museum, 2008, and, below left, in cowboy costume aged four. Richard Saker ...


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Music : Not the only one – how Yoko helped create john’s imagine (6 mn)

Picture : John and Yoko shooting the film Imagine in New York, September 1971. Iain MacMillan © Yoko Ono Lennon A new book about the making of John Lennon’s 1971 solo album restores Yoko Ono to h...


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Could this be the key to longer life? (10 mn)

As time passes, the number of damaged , ‘senescent’ cells in our bodies increases . These are responsible for many of the effects of ageing – and scientists are now working to eliminate them. By Z...


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Opinion : Bird-brained computers stand in the way of the voice search revolution (4 mn)

Photo : Who’s a clever boy then? Buddy the parrot, left, mimicked its owner’s voice and ordered a consignment of gift boxes using an Amazon Echo. SWNS Type “What is the future of search?” into Goog...


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Space exploration : The first steps to the moon, 50 years on (2 mn)

This week marks half a century since the launch of Apollo 7. Images from that mission and those that followed still have the power to astonish Photo : The lunar panorama, taken during the Apollo ...


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Awards, The five : Women the Nobel missed (1 mn)

For half a century, pioneering female physicists have been overlooked by the greatest prize in science, despite leaving a stellar legacy Last week , Donna Strickland was awarded the 2018 Nobel pri...


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Cat Power : A wandering star shines her own weird way (5 mn)

‘A veteran otherworldly talent’: Chan Marshall, AKA Cat Power. Photograph by Dean Chalkley for the Observer Cat Power Wanderer (Domino) After her record label rejected her album, singer-songwrit...


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Album reviews (4 mn)

Lil Wayne Tha Carter V (Young Money ) The most anticipated hip-hop album of the autumn – Kanye West’s Yandhi – did not appear on schedule. Another long-awaited set did, though: Lil Wayne ’s Tha...


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One to watch (1 mn)

Black Honey Mixing pretty with gritty, this Brighton four-piece is the aural equivalent of a lurid California road trip Wearing a sequin jumpsuit and a tie-dye tassel jacket, Black Honey front wo...


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Critics, Film : Film of the week : A double act to leave you starstruck (4 mn)

‘Paths crossed, rather than entwined’: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. Warner Bros Pictures Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga brilliantly evoke the music industry’s highs and lows A S...


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Critics Film : And the rest (4 mn)

Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs in Blindspotting Blindspotting (95 mins, 15 ) Directed by Carlos López Estrada ; Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar With the crackling anger and punchy humo...


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Critics, Film, Streaming : That was the weep that was (4 mn)

Judy Garland in the ‘definitive’ 1954 version of A Star Is Born. Kobal/REX/Shutterstock From Garland to Streisand, immerse yourself in the early versions of the epic tearjerker A Star Is Born “I ...


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Critics, Theatre : Master of farce and ferocity (3 mn)

‘A terrible truth’: Paapa Essiedu and Kate O’Flynn in Ashes to Ashes, part of the Pinter at the Pinter season. Photograph by Marc Brenner A double helping of short Pinter plays delivers the playwr...


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Critics, Classical : Salome with teen spirit (6 mn)

‘A bored, gym-fit teenager’: Allison Cook, centre, as Salome at the London Coliseum. Tristram Kenton Blood and guts meet Beyoncé and a kinky Santa in a wild production of Strauss’s 1905 classic. A...


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Fleet feet of flame (2 mn)

‘Coolly detached brilliance’: Delia Mathews and Mathias Dingman in Ignite. Photograph by Andrew Ross Birmingham Royal Ballet: Fire & Fury Birmingham Hippodrome David Bintley begins his final sea...


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Critics, Art : A beautiful mind game (6 mn)

‘A gentle flow of evolving dreams’: Pierre Huyghe’s UUmwelt. Courtesy of the artist & Serpentine Galleries; Kamitani Lab/Kyoto University and ATR Pierre Huyghe: UUmwelt Serpentine Gallery, Londo...


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Q&A ‘Midwest people have been really caricatured as lacking curiosity’ : Kogonada (3 mn)

Kogonada – the name is a pseudonym – is a South Korean writer-director. His debut feature, Columbus , is set in the Indiana town of the same name, known for its unusual wealth of modernist architec...


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Critics, Television : A real choker at the bottom of the ocean (6 mn)

Liz Bonnin’s documentary on the menace of plastic pollution was painful to watch, while Michael Mosley probed the power of placebos Photo : Liz Bonnin with walruses on the Norwegian archielago of...


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Audio, Podcasts & radio : What makes someone become a cult follower? (4 mn)

NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, on trial for sex trafficking. Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube Uncover: Escaping NXIVM CBC Radio The Anatomy of Loneliness BBC Radio 4 The Documentary: A Life Al...


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Critics, Architecture : A dubious history in the remaking? (8 mn)

‘An uncanny simulacrum’: Frankfurt’s Old Town – destroyed in the war then replaced by contemporary buildings – newly rebuilt in its original gothic style. EPA-EFE Two restoration projects in Germa...


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Critics, Games, Games of the month : Britain at full blast (4 mn)

Forza Horizon 4: ‘you’re never a few hundred yards from something extraordinary to do’. Forza Horizon 4 Playground Games, Microsoft, Xbox One, Pic Marvel’s Spider-Man Insomniac Games, Sony, PS4...


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Critics, The week ahead (2 mn)

Our cultural highlights Film Mandy Nicolas Cage (above) leaves the realm of straight-to-DVD potboilers for this dazzlingly strange, big-screen-filling midnight fever dream, in which he stars as ...


Books, World affairs : Mexico’s search for its ‘disappeared’ (6 mn)

A protest in Mexico City on the fourth anniversary of the atrocity. Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/ Getty This unwavering inquiry into the fate of 43 missing students is horrifying and brave, A Massacre in ...


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Fiction : A sprawling Gatsby for the Google age (3 mn)

Murakami’s homage to Scott Fitzgerald’s classic is undone by too many narrative threads Killing Commendatore Haruki Murakami Harvill Secker , £20 , pp674 In 2006 , Haruki Murakami fulfilled one ...


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Books, History : The spy who came in from the cold, saved by a nappy change and a packet of crisps (5 mn)

A Soviet miltary officer in Red Square in the 1980s. Photograph by David Turnley/Corbis The extraordinary story of the escape of MI6 agent Oleg Gordievsky from Moscow to Britain in 1985 makes grip...


In brief (1 mn)

The Indian Empire at War George Morton-Jack Little, Brown, £25, pp592 Th e role of the Indian army in the first world war has been largely ignored , which is why Morton-Jack’s second book, an abs...


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Books, Communities : We’re all in this together – or at least we should be (4 mn)

Residents clean up the streets in Englewood, Chicago, where abandoned lots have been turned into urban farms. Christian Science Monitor/ Getty A US sociologist is eloquent on the importance of cre...


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Books, Letters, : Dispatches from a bibulous bibliophile (3 mn)

‘Constantly trying to give up drinking’: David Batterham in his old shop in Notting Hill, January 2018. Photograph by Tom Miller A rakish bookseller’s wonderful letters to the artist Howard Hodgki...


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Books : Hector abad‘do not sink into rancour’ (5 mn)

‘Try to live better right now, in the present’: Hector Abad, photographed in Madrid last week by Denis Doyle for Observer New Review. The Colombian writer tells Joe Parkin Daniels about dealing wi...


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Books, Science and nature : What a piece of work is man (3 mn)

Social bonding has been a key factor in human evolution. Getty Images A crisp, witty appraisal of human nature makes a valuable addition to an often laboured genre The Book of Humans: The Story o...


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Fiction : Till espionage us do part (2 mn)

Berta Isla Javier Marías (translated by Margaret Jull Costa ) Hamish Hamilton, £18.99, pp54 4 After Michael Ondaatje ’s Booker longlisted Warlight and Kate Atkinson’s Transcription , Javier María...


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Books, Thrillers of the month : Missing girls and murder in Mayfair (3 mn)

London in the 1890s, the setting for Paraic O’Donnell’s ‘tremendous ’ The House on Vesper Sands. Niday Picture Library/ Alamy Tenacious detectives in Victorian London and strangers with secrets in...


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Book clinic (1 mn)

A weekly series answering readers’ questions Q: In which books might I explore and find consolation for deep family betrayal? Helen, 37, London Viv Groskop, journalist, stand up and author of Th...


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Television : The week’s highlights (13 mn)

Today Pick of the Day Doctor Who BBC One, 6.45pm Jodie Whittaker makes history by crashing to Earth as the first female incarnation of the Time Lord. Alongside new friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yas...