Observer review 9 30

Sommaire

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The big picture (1 mn)

Untitled IV (Balloons), 2005 by Anne Hardy Anne Hardy’s photograph invites us to make up stories. What has kicked off here? An end-of-term physics department knees-up? An unfinished experiment int...


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Agenda : On my radar (3 mn)

The writer and critic Geoff Dyer was born in Cheltenham in 1958 and educated at Oxford University. Over the past 32 years, he has published four novels as well as non fiction works on topics inclu...


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This Churchill fetish is not Boris’s finest hour (5 mn)

What do you do if you think you’re like James Bond? You’re convinced of it. “I’m so handsome and strong and brave and ruthless and intelligent and good at sex – I’m sort of amazing,” you say to you...


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Agenda : The grid (1 mn)

The bonds of identical twins are captured in powerful portraits Detroit-born, London-based photographer Peter Zelewski built a career in street photography before turning his attention to twin...


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Rachel Whiteread (5 mn)

‘Some people are still scared of contemporary art’: Rachel Whiteread. Vicki Couchman/ Camera Press As her new sculpture is unveiled in a Yorkshire forest, the artist talks of the first world war, ...


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Cover story (18 mn)

‘I always look for a trace of humanity in a character’ Preparing to return to the British stage in the controversial Cyprus Avenue, Stephen Rea reveals deep-rooted passions as he talks about Brexi...


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Film : When pop stars play pop stars (7 mn)

As Lady Gaga’s silver-screen version of (almost) herself in A Star Is Born reaches cinemas, Simran Hans looks back at other reinventions, from Whitney as Rachel to Beyoncé as Deena Dreamgirls 2006...


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Photography : A people’s parade on the streets of San Francisco (6 mn)

When a spirit of protest took hold of the Golden Gate city in 1981, Janet Delaney was there to capture it. Today, as her images are collected in a book – and with civil liberties once again under f...


Books : Shakespeare in the age of Trump – the play’s still the thing (8 mn)

In his new book, Peter Conrad explains how the Bard’s plays are the perfect mirror for our times – and why politicians should be careful which quotes they use out of context Next time you go to a S...


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Graphic novels : ‘I wish my book weren’t so relevant. it’s disturbing to see words favoured by the Nazis being used again...’ (18 mn)

An image of the Berlin Wall from Jason Lutes’s 600-page novel Berlin, which took him more than two decades to complete. As nationalism and antisemitism rise again, several new graphic novels tackl...


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Science & Tech, Ideas, analysis, gadgets and beyond : So is it nature not nurture, after all? (12 mn)

In a new book likely to rekindle fierce controversy, psychologist Robert Plomin argues that genes largely shape our personalities. He tells Andrew Anthony why the latest science is too compelling ...


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Dating apps : WLTM.. a colourblind dating app (6 mn)

Composite by Bryan Mayes; Getty Images We don’t condone racism in real life, so why is it OK for online swipers to block whole ethnic groups? By Chris Stokel-Walker Sinakhone Keodara reached his b...


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Opinion : The networker (3 mn)

Exit Instagram’s founders – thwarted by Zuckerberg Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom at Instagram’s offices in San Francisco. NYT/eyevine Last week, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of...


The five : Restoring mobility (1 mn)

Technological advances and surgical breakthroughs offering new hope to those with reduced or no mobility 1) Epidural stimulation This week, two paraplegic patients were able to take steps again af...


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Critics, Art : Between life and the edge of death (7 mn)

Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 by Naeem Mohaiemen. Photograph by Dimitris Parthimos Forensic Architecture’s meticulous investigations in model form at Tate Britain. Photograph by Peter Nicholls/ Reuters ...


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Critics , Film (4 mn)

Film of the week Stockholm syndrome with a twist Christian Slater, Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce in Björn Runge’s ‘elegantly melancholy’ The Wife. Allstar Glenn Close is superb as a long-suffer...


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And the rest (4 mn)

Skate Kitchen (106 mins, 15) Directed by Crystal Moselle; Rachelle Vinberg, Nina Moran, Ardelia Lovelace, Jaden Smith In its opening scenes, the first narrative feature from The Wolfpack director...


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Critics : Film , Documentaries : In pursuit of the walking cure (4 mn)

Evelyn by Orlando von Einsiedel: a very British study of one family coming to terms with grief. This year’s London film festival offers tales of hiking therapy and a holiday resort with more staff...


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Critics : Classical, Re-enter the dragon... (4 mn)

Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre at Covent Garden. Photograph by Bill Cooper Das Rheingold/Die Walküre Royal Opera House, London WC2; in rep until 26/28 Oct La Tragédie de Carmen Asylum, ...


Home listening (1 mn)

Classical music on CD, on air and online Antonio Salieri has had a renaissance as a composer famous for being not quite as good as Mozart. Partly as a result of Peter Shaffer ’s Amadeus, his grand ...


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Seduction, ruin and Egyptian whispers (6 mn)

‘Poignant and familiar and finally devastating’: Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as Antony and Cleopatra at the Olivier. Antony and Cleopatra Olivier, London SE1; until 19 Jan Touching the Void...


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Short (1 mn)

Rebus: Long Shadows Birmingham Rep; until Sat, and touring In one of Ian Rankin’s Rebus stories, the curmudgeonly Edinburgh detective visits the Lyceum to watch Twelfth Night. He leaves with the ...


Q&A : ‘I want to take the audience on a trip’, Leo butler (2 mn)

Leo Butler was born in Sheffield in 1974 . His plays have included Boy at the Almeida , London, and Lucky Dog and Faces in the Crowd at the Royal Court . His latest , All You Need Is LSD , is being...


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Critics, Architecture : Curtain up on a reborn West Country classic (6 mn)

Denise Scott Brown: Wayward Eye Betts Project, London EC1; until 20 Oct Haworth Tompkins’s clever redesign of the Bristol Old Vic makes a virtue of its past – and injects some drama into the foy...


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Dance : Diary of a somebody (2 mn)

‘At once ecstatic and immobilised’: Elizabeth DeMent in 17 c at the Old Vic. Photograph by Manuel Harlan 17c Old Vic, London SE 1 Pepys’s long-suffering wife Bess takes centre stage in this labo...


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A kind man in Kim country (6 mn)

‘The Nicest Man on Telly in the Nastiest Place in the World’: Michael Palin in North Korea. ITN Productions Michael Palin turned 75 in North Korea, Becky Sharp won the battle of Waterloo, and Netf...


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Audio, Podcasts & radio : Falling in love again (4 mn)

Kaitlin Prest, creator of The Shadows: ‘sweet and very funny’. Photograph by Chris McIntosh The Shadows kaitlinprest.org 15 Minute Drama: Get Garter Radio 4 Some things in life are not for me. St...


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Critics, Pop, Artist of the week : Mitski’s out on a limb (9 mn)

‘A fine line in millennial angst’: Mitski at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Photograph by Sophia Evans for the Observer The Japanese-American singer-songwriter gives a conceptual art performance and full...


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One to watch (1 mn)

Ider The synthesiserpop duo combine introspective lyrics with gorgeous vocal harmonies and memorable melodies “I’m trying to enjoy myself, love myself/ Who the fuck is myself?” is a very Ider lyr...


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Critics : The week ahead (2 mn)

Our cultural highlights Film Columbus It’s taken since Sundance 2017 for this serenely gorgeous debut by KoreanAmerican supercut sensation Kogonada to reach UK screens: like a dreamier, midwest-...


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Books, Biography : The importance of looking at the facts (5 mn)

‘The story of his fall continues to hold and haunt’: Oscar Wilde. Rex/Shutterstock Matthew Sturgis uses new letters and a libel trial transcript to give a fuller picture of Oscar Wilde’s dazzling ...


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Books, Autobiography : The honest truth... (3 mn)

Lily Allen’s memoir is candid and amusing, if lacking in self-awareness, My Thoughts Exactly Lily Allen Blink Publishing, £20 , pp352 If you know your pop music, you’ll know that Lily Allen’s late...


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Books, Fiction : In the steps of a wandering wraith (4 mn)

Sarah Perry: ‘able to inhabit any number of different guises’. English Heritage Sarah Perry confronts humanity at its worst in this extraordinary reworking of a 19th century gothic novel, Melmot...


Fiction : Object lessons in midlife romance (2 mn)

In the City of Love’s Sleep Lavinia Greenlaw Faber, £14.99, pp336 The title reads like a bad translation – it has too many nouns – and what does it actually mean? But once past this obstacle, one ...


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Books, Photography : Across 110th Street before the civil rights years (3 mn)

Boy walking between cars, 1952. © The Estate of Roy DeCarava 2018. Courtesy David Zwirner Joe and Julia singing, 1953. © The Estate of Roy DeCarava 2018. Courtesy David Zwirner Man sitting on sto...


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Books, History : Matters of ice and death (4 mn)

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 Arctic expedition. The Granger Collection/Alamy Michael Palin’s vivid memoir of HMS Erebus and its polar expeditions is lively and dilig...


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Books : Dara Ó Briain ‘Who do i write for? the curious’ (5 mn)

‘There are comics who make an art form of being surly and distant’: Dara Ó Briain. Photograph by Richard Saker for the Observer It’s tricky knowing where to pitch a science book for children – eit...


In brief (1 mn)

Winter Ali Smith Penguin, £8.99, pp336 (paperback) After the Booker-shortlisted Autumn , Ali Smith quickly returned to her quartet of responses to our fractured, chaotic world with Winter. Brexi...


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Books, History : Human tales behind the horror (4 mn)

US troops move South Vietnamese suspects across a stream, 1966. Bettmann Archive A masterly study of the Vietnam war unearths fresh testimonies to a bloody conflict Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-...


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Books, Poetry book of the month : Raw revelations and intimacies (3 mn)

‘Her scrutiny of love, sex and sorrow will speak to anyone who has suffered a broken heart’: Kate Tempest. Alex Lane for the Observer Kate Tempest’s selfexposing collection of poems, ballads and l...


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Book clinic (1 mn)

A weekly series answering readers’ questions Q: Most of the British novels I’ve read are about middle- or upperclass people . Do you have any recommendations for British novels about (and ideally ...