Sweat, a benign take on a Polish fitness motivator, hits the big screen (Curzon Cinemas) on June 25th whilst the one-woman play Harm (Bush Theatre until June 26th) takes a different slant on the socially influenced. Kathleen Bondar appreciates the former; Susan Gray unravels the latter.
Reviews of London exhibitions 2021 as lockdown restrictions ease. Including Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy and Phantoms of Surrealism at the Whitechapel Gallery; David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring and Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict, both showing at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly. Reviewed by editors Kathleen Bondar & Susan Gray with star guest Juliet Rix.
Reviewing the play HYMN by Lolita Chakrabarti at the Almeida Theatre, London N1. Directed by Blanche McIntyre with Andrian Lester and Danny Sapani whose characters discover at the grand age of 50 that they have a lot in common, including a passion for 90's dance music (NB minor plot spoilers included in the review; photo Marc Brenner). HYMN was live streamed during February 2021 without an audience due to lockdown restrictions in the UK; followed by on demand 3-9 March 2021 https://almeida.co.uk/whats-on/hymn-live-recording/1-mar-2021-7-mar-2021
Reviewing the National Gallery's autumn 2020 exhibition ARTEMISIA. Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the most significant Baroque artists of the seventeenth century, who painted her first masterpiece at the age of seventeen, the same year she was raped by Agostino Tassi, suffered judicial torture and fled to Florence after a swift marriage of convenience to a minor artist. She was patronised by the Medici family and the first woman accepted into the Academia. Her celebrity was matched by her tumultuous personal life. Only one of her five children survived her and she left her husband for another lover. Describing herself, she famously said "you will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman". Find out more here.
Young Ahmed, winner of Best Director at Cannes, directed by the Dardenne brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, tells the story of fourteen-year-old Ahmed played with detached precision by Idir Ben Addi. Ahmed is a fatherless Muslim swept along by a charismatic, radical Iman at the local mosque. He ends up in juvenile detention after attempting to kill his teacher. Ironically, the apostate is his redeemer.
Writer and lead, Kelly O’Sullivan, plays Bridget in this unsentimental, humorous, American indie movie. Bridget is a thirty-four-year-old, intelligent, low-achiever with a top sense of humour who packs in her waitressing job to care for a six-year-old whilst navigating a hapless love life which results in a tricky abortion. Directed by Alex Thompson.
Oscar, Cannes and BAFTA award winning Parasite returns in Black & White. The underclass Kims deceive the entitled Parks in this Korean noir-comedy of passion and violence. Directed by Bong Joon Ho. Reviewed in conversation by Kathleen Bondar and Susan Gray.
BFI production Lynn & Lucy, directed by Fyzal Boulifa, featuring Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley as working class mums on a London council estate. When Lucy’s newborn baby dies under suspicious circumstances the reignited friendship rapidly deteriorates. Reviewed in conversation by Kathleen Bondar and Susan Gray.
ONLY THE ANIMALS directed by Dominic Moll featuring Denis Menochet as a farmer trawling the internet for love and Valeria Bruno Tedeschi as Evelyn a middle class housewife who goes missing. Reviewed by Kathleen Bondar.