Dogman is one of the best Italian films of recent times, a modern day neo realist fable that bears comparison with the great work of Fellini, Rossellini, De Sica et al. Its main character, the dog groomer Marcello (Marcello Fonte), is a wonderful creation: loveable, vulnerable, seedy and comic all at the same time. Marcello also does a little low level drug dealing on the side, to earn extra money to spend on his teenage daughter.
David Gordon Green’s new addition to the Halloween “slasher” franchise, launched by John Carpenter 40 years ago, is a very creditable update of the grisly old series. It is considerably bolstered by the presence of Jamie Lee Curtis, playing the same character, Laurie Strode, as in the original film.
Blue Peter celebrates its 60th birthday today, marking a significant milestone for Britain’s longest-running children’s television show. More than 5,000 episodes have been broadcast, with its most notable hosts including John Noakes, Peter Purves, Janet Ellis and Anthea Turner. Blue Peter was devised by BBC producer John Hunter Blair, who had been asked by Owen Reed, the corporation’s head of children’s programming, to devise a show for five- to eight-year-olds.
Mired in trouble thanks to a series of avoidable but calamitous artistic misjudgements, English National Opera desperately needs a wise hand on the tiller. This show makes a splendid vehicle for the towering work which would probably have led to more, had Gershwin not died so tragically young. Gershwin’s characterisation may be at times crude, but here the action still feels properly mythical.
A report warned earlier this year that all of the state’s 20 Native American languages might cease to exist by the end of this century, if the state did not act. American policies, particularly in the six decades between the 1870s and 1930s, suppressed Native American languages and culture. It was only after years of activism by indigenous leaders that the Native American Languages Act was passed in 1990, which allowed for the preservation and protection of indigenous languages.
Alec Baldwin has been criticised on social media for claiming "black people love me" after his Saturday Night Live parody of Donald Trump. The actor discussed his amusing Saturday Night Live role as Donald Trump in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, in which he mused about what the portrayal has meant in real life. According to Baldwin, ever since he began doing the impression of the president in 2016, which has since won him an Emmy, “black people love me”.
David Hare's plays have kept up a continuous astringent argument with the Labour Party and what it stands for. Hare's last substantial work in this vein was Gethsemane (2008), in which he dramatised his bitter disillusion with New Labour and its dodgy fundraising and the pragmatic ditching of any Utopian vision. With I'm Not Running, Hare's 17th piece for the National, we were promised a play for the Corbyn era.
Jimmy Kimmel celebrated Christopher Columbus Day by asking people what their thoughts were on the explorer’s nomination to the Supreme Court. “There’s a lot going on in the country, so we decided to combine two of the big things going on right now,” Kimmel said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. According to the late-night host, people should know who Columbus is - as he’s the “third that we learn the most about in elementary school” after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Created for this company 40 years ago, Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling presents the steep decline of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, who died in a murder-suicide with his teenaged mistress, Mary Vetsera. Ryoichi Hirano, stepping in for the injured Edward Watson, is too wholesome for MacMillan’s damaged hero, but the company performance is rich and powerful, with a magnificent Mary from Natalia Osipova.
When Desiree Akhavan first dreamt up The Bisexual – a comedy-drama series about a lesbian who realises she’s also attracted to men – she pitched the idea to just about every network in LA. The next said they already had a female, brown-skinned lead in The Mindy Project (never mind that Akhavan is Iranian-American, and Mindy Kaling is Indian-American). For most people in her position, such preposterous, blinkered decision-making would be demoralising – but for Akhavan, all it did was “light a fire under my ass”.
One of the most vibrant Hindu celebrations of the Indian subcontinent, Navaratri is a festival of whirling dance and incessant drumming to mark the victory of good over evil. It is held in honour of the Goddess Durga, who is revered as a divine being of cosmic intelligence with the power to conquer the negative forces of the universe. While it is celebrated over 10 days, Navaratri is Sanskrit for nine (nav) nights (ratri).
“You guys are being a little weird,” Kurt Vile says to his daughters Awilda, eight, and Delphine, who is almost six. Vile, his wife Suzanne Lang, and their two home-schooled girls live in a house smartly decorated with mid-century modern furniture, in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, bordering the forest-like 1,800 acre Wissahickon Valley Park.
Yayoi Kusama, at 89 years old, is the world’s top-selling living female artist. Kusama’s work has been hashtagged more than 300,000 times, with Katy Perry, Adele and Nicole Richie all seeking out one of her famous Infinity Mirrored Rooms for a selfie. One of these rooms, titled Infinity Mirrored Room – My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, now forms the centrepiece of an exhibition of new works at the Victoria Miro gallery in London.
William Forsythe’s A Quiet Evening of Dance is literally quiet: soundtrack from silence to birdsong to baroque dances by Rameau. It makes a cerebral, sometimes funny evening: Forsythe tenderly taking ballet to bits, so he can expose and play with its mechanisms. Produced by Sadler’s Wells, A Quiet Evening is Forsythe’s first full-length programme since he closed The Forsythe Company in 2015.
In that context, Frieze London and Frieze Masters, the sibling art fairs taking place from Thursday to Sunday in Regent’s Park, are notable: women have most of the leadership positions, and they have pushed for female-centric programming at every level. “They’re trying to counter the effects of the male-dominated art market,” says Diana Campbell Betancourt, the curator who is this year in charge of Frieze Projects, the parts of the contemporary-focused Frieze London that extend beyond the traditional dealer booths. “They are leading by example,” Betancourt says.
Performance artist Bryony Kimmings has become known for boldly going where few others would with her provocative, autobiographical social-experiment-cum-theatre shows. From celebrity culture to feminism, depression to cancer, Kimmings fearlessly mines her own experiences for creative ways to tackle our most taboo topics, prompting discussion, outrage, and entertaining in equal measure.
Carlos Acosta is very much loved, but sometimes he tries the patience. This celebration programme shows off the star’s warmth and charisma, but also drags an uneven group of dances, from Christopher Bruce’s Rolling Stones ballet Rooster to Acosta’s own unfortunate Carmen, into the barn-like space of the Royal Albert Hall. A Celebration marks the 30 years of Acosta’s dance career.
In fact, if the BBC ever decides to do a crossover episode, Joanna could do with a friend like Liz from BBC2’s brilliant dark comedy Motherland, whose refreshingly lax advice for a children’s birthday party is to “buy four caterpillar cakes from Asda and put them together to make one big Human Centipede cake, then just let the kids help themselves. “Is he not hot?” Her political aide husband Alistair, played by Ewen Leslie, isn’t much help. It is this deftly handled depiction of parenting that makes The Cry, based on a novel by Helen Fitzgerald, worth watching – not the dramatic abduction to which the first episode is building.
Each person has been photographed by a group of renowned artists including Nick Waplington, Campbell Addy, Diana Markosian and duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, all of whom have visually reflected the diverse character of the refugee experience in the UK. “We learn the English language in schools back home, but other than that we don’t have much access to British culture – all the movies and TV we consume are American.
David Cross began his comedy career as a standup back home in America, but it’s his role as the terminally awkward Tobias Fünke in sitcom Arrested Development which made him a star on these shores. While his UK-based black comedy series The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret was a cult hit, his latest UK show, the bigamy-themed Bliss, didn’t get a second run on Sky One. Now Cross has returned once again to his standup roots, following his popular Making America Great Again show with new tour Oh Come On. ...
Jamie Lloyd's rolling season of one-act plays by Harold Pinter is admirably ambitious. He's grouped 19 pieces into seven programmes and has assembled a star-studded line-up of acting talent - including Mark Rylance, Penelope Wilton, Janie Dee, Tamsin Greig, Martin Freeman, Michael Gambon and John Simm.
Without action the world is woefully unprepared for the dementia crisis. This World Alzheimer’s Month, leaders around the world are being urged to take urgent action on dementia and unite to ensure better diagnosis, care and awareness. The Alzheimer's Society is a founding member of the Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance, a coalition of NGOs seeking to champion global action on dementia.
Sibling rivalry can, as in the case of the Renaissance painters Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna, become an inspiration, which leads to greater things. With this alliance, he ingratiated himself into Venice’s most prominent artistic family. A new exhibition, Mantegna and Bellini, at the National Gallery brings these brothers-in-law side by side once again.
You’ll find an installation called “Cleopatra’s Bazaar” in the National Theatre‘s bookshop at the moment. There are (among other things) gilded palm leaves, stuffed birds in exotic hues and an upmarket apron that quotes Enobarbus on the insatiable craving the Egyptian queen arouses: “Other women cloy/The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry/Where most she satisfies”. Simon Godwin’s astute and moving modern-dress production of Antony & Cleopatra succeeds in conveying the cultural differences between Rome and Egypt without ever resorting to the condescension of kitsch.
Ralph Fiennes is playing a man on the downward spiral of his life. From tomorrow, he will bestride the stage of London’s National Theatre as Antony in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. At 55, Fiennes clearly has some sympathy with Antony’s concerns, but in many ways his career is thriving as never before, exhibiting a healthy and impressive variety that ranges from playing a demented East End villain in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, to a prissy concierge in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, to a dance teacher Alexander Pushkin in The White Crow (in Russian), a film about the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, which he also directed.