The obervser   05th august   cover

Sommaire

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The big picture (1 mn)

The glamour of Manhattan is a distant dream in Evelyn Hofer’s evocative shot of 1960 s New York Poised in a state of perfect equilibrium, the young man with the bike is going nowhere. To explain hi...


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Tap to tip a busker? I’d sooner sue the lot of ’em (5 mn)

The fact that buskers and street performers at this year’s Edinburgh fringe are accepting contactless payments will have raised a few smiles. In just the same way the performers’ pavement-blocking ...


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Photography: The grid (1 mn)

A rainbow runs through it in artist Daniel Mercadante’s magical photo series After moving back to Connecticut from sunny California, artist Daniel Mercadante wanted to bring warmth and colour to t...


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Q&A with Jason Reynolds writer, 34 (4 mn)

The American author on his gut response to the murder of his friend as a teenager, how to get young people reading, and the value of crochet Jason Reynolds , a 34-year-old from Washington DC , didn...


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‘Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. We’re a post-truth species’ (16 mn)

In his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, turns his attention to the problems we face today. In the extract below, he arg...


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Q&A: Yuval Noah Harari (6 mn)

Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian who has written two bestsellers : Sapiens , which examined the course of early human history, and Homo Deus , which speculated on where we might be headin...


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How my psycho killer was brought to terrifying life (11 mn)

When not being the Observer’s dance critic, Luke Jennings was writing self-published thrillers about a pair of mutually obsessed women. Little did he imagine they would lead him to team up with Fle...


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Orson Welles, painter? (11 mn)

Rarely seen artworks by the great director feature in a fi lm by documentarist and diehard fan Mark Cousins, who talks about discovering a different side to Citizen Welles (Cover) This oil painting...


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‘He had age spots on his face. His waning vitality could be used to my advantage’ (8 mn)

Ottessa Moshfegh photographed in New York last week for the Observer New Review. As a 17-year-old student about to go to college, American novelist Ottessa Moshfegh approached a famous male writer...


Interview Ottessa Moshfegh (4 mn)

‘We get to tell the stories we want, and i wanted to tell one in which i wasn’t a victim’ This is a fascinating piece. What sparked you to write it now, 20 years after the event? I’ve always wante...


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The search for a super banana (10 mn)

A fruit bowl favourite and a staple food to millions, the banana is under threat from a formidable foe, reports Nic Fleming Some suggest the banana is on the brink of extinction. Panama disease, al...


Magical thinking about machine learning won’t bring the reality of ai any closer (3 mn)

‘Any sufficiently advanced technology,” wrote the sci-fi eminence grise Arthur C Clarke , “is indistinguishable from magic.” This quotation, endlessly recycled by tech boosters, is possibly the mos...


What i’m reading (1 mn)

John Naughton’s recommendations Peter Thiel speaks The billionaire entrepreneur may be a pain, but he’s an interesting one – a recent interview in Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche shows why. Share, co...


How do I get the best from Alexa? (5 mn)

Samuel Gibbs looks at the interesting, crafty and creative hacks, apps and bits of kit you can use with your Amazon Echo and its avatar Smart speakers are taking over British homes. A recent UK Gov...


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A dancehall sing-song for the summer (5 mn)

‘The right set at the right time’: Santi White, AKA Santigold. Santigold I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions (Downtown) Ten years after her debut, this eclectic artist returns with a mixtape of...


Album reviews (4 mn)

Mac Miller Swimming (Parlophone) Since his emergence in 2007, Pennsylvania rapper/singer Mac Miller ’s four studio albums have all made it into the top fi ve of the US charts . In the UK, however, ...


Music : One to watch (1 mn)

Yonaka An assured new EP leaves you in little doubt about this Brighton four-piece who plan to be ‘seriously big’ Mods beware: the rockers are resurgent in Brighton. Youthful quartet Yonaka (singe...


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Film of the week : Desperate housewife (4 mn)

‘Stinging emotional candour’: Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper in The Escape. Vertigo Releasing The Escape (101 mins, 15) Directed by Dominic Savage; starring Gemma Arterton, Dominic Cooper, Fran...


Critics films (4 mn)

Ant-Man and the Wasp ( 118 mins, 12 A ) Directed by Peyton Reed ; starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña A bug-heavy title notwithstanding, the main selling point of this lik able bu...


Critics film : Streaming (3 mn)

Let Locarno come to you Film festival coverage can often be of less interest to casual readers than it is to the reporters and critics churning it out: it can be frustrating to read detailed apprai...


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Critics Theatre (4 mn)

Life lessons with cocktails A 50s-obsessed couple fi nd the veneer on their marriage cracking in Laura Wade’s delicious new play. And Mark Rylance makes Iago his own Home , I’m Darling Dorfman, ...


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Critics Classical (4 mn)

Women on the verge of a collective breakthrough Swap’ra gala Opera Holland Park, London W8 Le Cid Dorset Opera, Bryanston school, Blandford Forum Opera galas rarely merit reviews; all those artist...


Home listening (1 mn)

Classical music on CD, on air and online As a conductor, Leonard Bernstein had a warm involvement with Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia , and as a result became the organi...


Aaron Pierre: ‘I’ve been taking notes from mark Rylance since day one, really’ (3 mn)

Aaron Pierre was born in 1994 in south London. He trained in classical theatre in Toronto before studying at Lamda. He has starred in Sky series Britannia and in the Superman prequel, Krypton , whi...


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Critics Television (5 mn)

Ed gets to grips with Trump’s good ol’ boys Ed Balls bonded with the people who placed their faith in Trump, while Debbie Horsfi eld’s new drama was... familiar Travels in Trumpland With Ed Balls ...


Podcasts & radio (5 mn)

Top marks to Lauren and Daniella Whatever Happened To...? Radio 4 Nigel Farage LBC Today Radio 4 Because I’m a queen of the circuitous route (a therapist once accused me of taking the stairs in...


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Soaring ambition or heights of folly? (8 mn)

British cities are under pressure to build higher. Campaigners say new blocks will ruin historic skylines, while councils and developers promise to add glamour to urban centres. Is the only way up...


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Game of the month - To the power of eight (4 mn)

Octopath Traveller - Switch; Nintendo; Square Enix/ Acquire Complex adult themes and picture-book aesthetics battle it out in Nintendo’s latest role-playing game If films allow us to observe the l...


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One giant leap for mankind (4 mn)

Mark Wallinger: The Human Figure in Space Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; until 7 October Mark Wallinger’s ingenious images and fi lms of people trying to fl y or stay airborne give a humorous twist t...


The week ahead - Our cultural highlights (1 mn)

Film The Heiresses Older female characters have been under-served by the recent boom in LGBT cinema – a gap that Paraguayan director Marcelo Martinessi’s debut, a Berlin fi lm festival highlight, ...


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Books - Confessions of a self-saboteur (2 mn)

He defied death, drugs and detention. Now MC5 legend Wayne Kramer has written an equally full-on memoir, writes Kitty Empire The MC5 were never a famous band, merely a legendary one. The Clash wrot...


Books - Genes are more complicated than you think – pass it on (5 mn)

Two fascinating new studies of heredity expose bizarre anomalies – and popular myths – in our often simplistic understanding of how genes work, writes Robin McKie She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The P...


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Books - Solace of the unwritten word (4 mn)

Haunted by the book she may never write, Sarah Manguso has instead set down just the best bits, says Kate Kellaway Ongoingness: The End of a Diary Sarah Manguso Picador, £10, pp96 300 Arguments ...


In brief (1 mn)

The Possible World Liese O’Halloran Schwarz Hutchinson, £12.99, pp368 Before becoming a doctor nearly 30 years ago , Liese O’Halloran Schwarz wrote a novel, Near Canaan , at medical school . Th i...


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Books - One trump tweet and millions die (6 mn)

North Korea nukes the US in this chilling near-future novel by a man in the know, writes Julian Borger The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States Jeff...


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Books - Where an offi cer is rarely a gentleman (3 mn)

An insider’s story of working at Strangeways reveals the profound fl aws of our prison system, writes Erwin James Strangeways: A Prison Officer’s Story Neil Samworth Sidgwick & Jackson, £14.99, ...


Browse a bookshop... (1 mn)

A weekly look at what’s selling around the country, by Anita Sethi Broadhursts of Southport, Merseyside “We’re the oldest independent bookshop in the north- west, started in 1920 by Charles Broad...


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Books - Alan garner ‘I let the voice settle and listened’ (5 mn)

The acclaimed children’s author talks to Alex Preston about his latest book, a memoir about his wartime upbringing in rural Cheshire Alan Garner’s glittering career started nearly six decades ago w...


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Books - In love with the counter culture (5 mn)

This deadpan Japanese tale of an oddball shop assistant possesses a strange beauty, writes Julie Myerson Convenience Store Woman Sayaka Murata (translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori) Grove Atlantic...


Books - A thieving sociopath in the literary trade (2 mn)

A Ladder to the Sky John Boyne Doubleday , £14.99, pp368 As Picasso is once supposed to have said : good artists copy; great artists steal . It ’s a motto by which Maurice Swift , the sociopathic ...


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Books - Window on a world elsewhere (4 mn)

Nick Laird’s acute eye and shades of meaning make these poems a gift to read, writes Kate Kellaway Feel Free Nick Laird Faber, £14.99, pp75 Feel Free is an ambiguous title. You could be taking ...