Arts Review

Rapper Kendrick Lamar wins the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music

By Hiram Lee, 25 May 2018

Rapper Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, making him the first musician from a genre other than classical or jazz to take the honor.

Philip Roth and the narrow framework of postwar cultural life

By David Walsh, 24 May 2018

Among Roth’s best known works are Goodbye, Columbus (1959), Letting Go (1962), Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), Zuckerman Unbound (1981), Sabbath’s Theater (1995), American Pastoral (1997), I Married a Communist (1998) and The Human Stain (2000).

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

Corporate: Offensive, pointed satire for a change

By Ed Hightower, 22 May 2018

A breath of fresh air, Corporate, directs its fire against the multinational corporation with considerable honesty and success.

#MeToo at the Cannes Film Festival: All about money and power

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 May 2018

An examination of recent movies by prominent women filmmakers reveals that they share the problems of their male counterparts.

Music streaming service Spotify initiates censorship against R. Kelly and XXXTentacion

By Zac Corrigan, 19 May 2018

Spotify inaugurated its “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy by censoring the two singers based on allegations of “sexual violence.” Competitors Apple Music and Pandora Radio followed suit.

Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard: The cruelty of the motion picture business

By Joanne Laurier, 18 May 2018

The story of a struggling Hollywood screenwriter and his deadly encounter with a delusional silent film star.

Revisiting Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen & The Production Code Administration (2007)

How the American establishment censored Hollywood during its “Golden Age”

By Charles Bogle, 17 May 2018

The bulk of Thomas Doherty’s work covers the period from 1934 to 1954, when his subject was the enforcer of the Production Code.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

The Jazz Ambassadors: An episode in the history of the American musical form

By Fred Mazelis, 14 May 2018

US foreign policy officials concluded that “jazz could give America an edge in the Cold War,” with mostly African-American musicians, “serv[ing] as Cold War cultural ambassadors.”

The downfall of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman

By David Walsh and Eric London, 12 May 2018

On the basis of a May 7 feature article in the New Yorker magazine, “Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse,” the twice-elected Schneiderman resigned as of the following day.

Kanye West on slavery and Trump: Ignorance and the self-deluding influence of wealth

By Nick Barrickman, 12 May 2018

West’s disoriented statements and actions are in keeping with a persona that has been cultivated and praised in the press, including by the “left,” for over a decade and a half.

1945: The horrors of the Holocaust in Hungary

By Joanne Laurier, 11 May 2018

It soon comes to light that certain townspeople had a hand in the deportation of Jews from the Hungarian village to concentration camps and benefited in the confiscation of their property.

Christian Petzold’s Transit: The condition of refugees as hell on earth

By Stefan Sternberg, 9 May 2018

The fate of refugees is the subject of Transit, the latest film by prominent German director Christian Petzold, which featured at the 2018 Berlinale and is now on public release in Germany.

Is The Changeover just Twilight set in New Zealand?

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2018

The Changeover, highly praised in New Zealand, is a formulaic supernatural teen romance imbued with definite class prejudices.

The hypocritical, cowardly expulsion of Roman Polanski from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

1977 victim Samantha Geimer: It’s “an ugly and cruel action”

By David Walsh, 7 May 2018

The decision by the Academy, the industry body that hands out the Oscars, to expel filmmaker Roman Polanski is the latest atrocity attributable to the sexual witch hunt launched last October.

Tully, A Quiet Place, You Were Never Really Here: Every poor film is poor in its own way

By Joanne Laurier, 7 May 2018

It’s not clear that good movies resemble one another, but recent history certainly suggests there are many different ways in which films can be weak.

Artists on the Tate Modern’s David King exhibition, Red Star over Russia: “In essence the exhibition was anti-Trotsky”

By our reporters, 3 May 2018

The Tate Modern in London held an exhibition, Red Star Over Russia: A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55, from November 8, 2017 to February 18, 2018. The show used items from the David King collection, but adopted a hostile stance toward the October Revolution.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 5

The generally—and genuinely—inadequate character of global filmmaking

By David Walsh, 2 May 2018

The impact of years of stagnation and official reaction still sharply influences artistic work.

“I Want to Be Rich and I’m Not Sorry”

New York Times columnist promotes “women who aggressively seek money and power”

By David Walsh, 30 April 2018

Los Angeles novelist Jessica Knoll spells out her credo in her NYT article: “Success, for me, is synonymous with making money …”

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4

Documentary about singer M.I.A. (“Use your art to say something!”) and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed (small-town preacher struggles with life and death)

By Toby Reese, 30 April 2018

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., a feature-length documentary about rapper-songwriter, “M.I.A.” is a breath of fresh air. First Reformed is a dismal, confused film about a middle-aged former military chaplain turned preacher.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 3

Poverty, war and right-wing politics—and the lives of two artists

I Am Not a Witch, The Workshop, The Distant Barking of Dogs, Garry Winogrand and Louise Lecavalier

By Joanne Laurier, 27 April 2018

I Am Not a Witch in particular is an elegantly crafted tale that comments on the exploitation of Zambia’s poor by an elite that shamelessly promotes superstition and backwardness.

Interview with conductor William Barkhymer: “I think the world is just thankful we had Gershwin to compose Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 25 April 2018

“For me, Porgy and Bess is about a community, the people, how they interact with each other, how they hold together in good times and bad times.”

Final Portrait: Geoffrey Rush stars in affectionate film about Giacometti

By Richard Phillips, 24 April 2018

Stanley Tucci’s film, set in 1964, two years before Alberto Giacometti’s death, is about the artist’s portrait of James Lord, a young American writer.

The legacy of the Gershwins and Porgy and Bess

An interview with Marc George Gershwin and Michael Strunsky, nephews of George and Ira Gershwin

By Barry Grey, 23 April 2018

“What stands out is the genius of the music.”

Chappaquiddick examines 1969 tragedy and political cover-up

By Patrick Martin, 21 April 2018

The subject matter is the death in July 1969 of Mary Jo Kopechne, who was riding late at night in a car driven by Senator Edward Kennedy that went off an open wooden bridge and plunged into the water.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 2

How are striking miners (Bisbee ’17), a great painter (Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti), Native Americans (The Rider) and others treated by the filmmakers?

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2018

A further look at the recent San Francisco film festival and its variety of films. Interesting, complex subjects may still receive inadequate or uneven treatment.

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 1

Contemporary life, and those who make films about it (in Iran, the US, Russia, Switzerland, Kyrgyzstan …)

By David Walsh, 18 April 2018

The San Francisco International Film Festival, founded in 1957 and one of the longest-running such events in the Americas, this year screened some 180 films from 45 countries.

Director of The Loves of a Blonde, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus

Filmmaker Milos Forman (1932-2018), one of the leading figures of the Czech New Wave

By David Walsh, 16 April 2018

Forman was originally identified with the so-called Czech New Wave, a group of directors whose lively and honest films came to international prominence in the mid-1960s.

The death of rapper-producer Alias and the fate of “avant-garde” hip hop

By Nick Barrickman, 13 April 2018

Brendon Whitney (“Alias”) was a founding member of the experimental hip hop/electronic music label Anticon.

At the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Frankenstein: Exciting production marks 200 years since publication of Mary Shelley’s work

By Margot Miller, 12 April 2018

The Enlightenment ideas in Shelley’s novel speak forcefully to a modern audience, who can empathise with something created as an articulate rational being and reduced by society to a “monster.”

Restored version of Fassbinder’s working class drama Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day showing in US

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 9 April 2018

The result is surprisingly optimistic and confident, not what one might have expected from Fassbinder, known for his emotionally dark, harsh and even cynical films.

Japanese animation filmmaker Isao Takahata, director of Grave of the Fireflies, dies at 82

By Elle Chapman and David Walsh, 7 April 2018

Takahata, one of Japan’s most influential animation filmmakers and co-founder of the famed Studio Ghibli, died from lung cancer in a Tokyo hospital April 5. We repost a review of his Grave of the Fireflies (1988).

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 8

Brothers (1929) and Comradeship (1931): Two films dealing with the workers movement

By Bernd Reinhardt, 6 April 2018

Two feature films, part of the Berlin International Film Festival retrospective section, reflect a militant mood among workers in the late 1920s, in particular their striving for a common struggle and international solidarity.

The controversy surrounding the Roseanne television series

By David Walsh, 4 April 2018

The first two episodes of the new season, broadcast on ABC back to back on March 27, were watched by more than 20 million people. The network has announced plans for an 11th season.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 7

A fresh look at German cinema in the Weimar Republic era (1919-1933)

By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 April 2018

The major retrospective at this year’s Berlinale, “Weimar Cinema Revisited,” presented films—along with their directors in many cases—that have been forgotten for decades.

Babylon Berlin: A lavish television series about 1920s’ Germany

By Sybille Fuchs, 2 April 2018

Babylon Berlin’s action takes place in the German capital, then the third largest municipality in the world, at the end of the so-called Golden Years of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933).

Vertigo: Sixty years since the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s disturbing classic

By Joanne Laurier, 30 March 2018

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Vertigo, endures as one of the most troubling American films of the postwar period.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread: Art for the artist’s sake

By David Walsh, 28 March 2018

Set in London in the 1950s, Anderson’s film concerns the relationship between a celebrated fashion designer, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), and a young woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps).

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Central Airport THF: In Berlin, the end of the road for many refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 March 2018

Karim Aïnouz’s impressive documentary about the mass housing of refugees at the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport was awarded the Amnesty International Film Prize.

Shedding light on the conditions of “millions of women in the shadows of mainstream America”

Hold Me Down: A day in the life of a single mother in the Bronx

By Norisa Diaz, 24 March 2018

The 28-year-old Swedish director, Niclas Gillis, represents a new generation of artists and filmmakers responding to inequality and social misery.

An interview with filmmaker Niclas Gillis and Tanisha Lambright of Hold Me Down

By Norisa Diaz, 24 March 2018

Gillis and supporting lead actress Lambright spoke to the WSWS about the vast inequality in the most economically developed nation in the world.

Washington Post fulminates against Black Panther’s white supremacist supporters

By Nick Barrickman, 23 March 2018

Far from rejecting Black Panther’s “pro-black” message, white racists have endorsed its depiction of a feudal African monarchy whose rulers have sealed the borders.

May Your Kindness Remain from Courtney Marie Andrews

By Matthew Brennan, 23 March 2018

The new album from 27-year-old country singer Courtney Marie Andrews is a sensitive look at the lives of ordinary people struggling to stay afloat.

Evolve by Imagine Dragons: Noisy emotion without artistic depth

By Ed Hightower, 23 March 2018

The latest album by Imagine Dragons is part of a self-pitying and overwrought trend in pop music.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 4

Styx and Eldorado: Once again on the plight of refugees

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 March 2018

A handful of movies at the 2018 Berlinale dealt powerfully and insightfully with the European Union’s criminal policy toward refugees.

Former Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine files suit against “McCarthyite” sexual harassment charges and firing

By David Walsh, 21 March 2018

The lawsuit accuses the Met of organizing a “kangaroo court” instead of an impartial investigation and using “McCarthyite tactics,” including refusing to reveal the names of any of the famed conductor’s accusers.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 3

The Waldheim Waltz: A timely film about the World War II role of former Austrian president

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 March 2018

The events surrounding Kurt Waldheim’s campaign and subsequent election in 1985-86 played a major role in uncovering the real role played by the Austrian ruling elite in the Second World War.

Call Me by Your Name: Academy Award-winning film from Luca Guadagnino

By Hiram Lee, 19 March 2018

Italian director Guadagnino’s film is beautifully photographed, and the performances are generally very good. Why, then, does the whole thing feel so flat?

Wonder Wheel: Woody Allen’s latest film—and the campaign to drive him out of the film industry

By Joanne Laurier, 17 March 2018

Woody Allen’s newest film, Wonder Wheel, set in the 1950s, involves four characters whose unhappy lives become entwined in Coney Island—New York’s iconic amusement park.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 2

The shattering of what’s left of the American Dream: Generation Wealth, Game Girls, Lemonade

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 March 2018

Three films at this year’s festival shed a piercing light on social relations in the United States.

“A Weinsteinian sex pest”?

In defence of poet Robert Burns: “Ye know, and dare maintain, the Royalty of Man”

By Paul Bond, 15 March 2018

The ahistorical middle-class moralizing of the sexual misconduct campaign has perhaps reached a new low with an attack on the great Scots poet Robert Burns (1759-1796).

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

The 2018 Berlinale and the #MeToo campaign

By Stefan Steinberg and Verena Nees, 14 March 2018

The 68th Berlin Film Festival, whose 2018 edition ended February 25, is the world’s largest film festival open to the public.

Sweet Country: Bitter truths about Aboriginal dispossession in Australia

By George Morley, 13 March 2018

Warwick Thornton’s second feature is a visually striking and powerful historical drama, which confronts audiences with some ugly truths about Australia’s colonial past.

Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya: Confessions of a media pariah

By Carlos Delgado, 12 March 2018

The film depicts the life and times of Tonya Harding, the former Olympic figure skater who became the center of a media firestorm after the assault on rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.

Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin: A fatally ill-conceived “black comedy”

By David Walsh, 9 March 2018

Ianucci’s new film about the demise of the gravedigger of the Russian Revolution is not so much maliciously anticommunist as it is, above all, historically clueless.

Ursula K. Le Guin: Prominent science fiction and fantasy writer (1929-2018)

By Sandy English, 8 March 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the most significant and popular English-language writers of speculative fiction, associated with feminism and utopianism, died January 28 at the age of 88.

At the University of Michigan

Racialist attacks mar landmark performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 7 March 2018

Given the generally deplorable state of culture and intellectual life in contemporary America, it was perhaps inevitable that this remarkable event would be tarnished by the purveyors of racialist conceptions of art.

90th Academy Awards: Banal, conformist and 10,000 miles from reality

By David Walsh, 6 March 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, as one media commentator observed, “passed off without a hitch.” How unfortunate.

American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs—A fatally flawed documentary

By Fred Mazelis, 5 March 2018

The movie, directed by Yale Strom, seeks to turn Debs’ revolutionary message into its opposite.

The Oscar speech we’d like to hear Sunday night: “Members of the Academy, what hypocrites and conformists so many of you are!”

By David Walsh, 3 March 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, ostensibly honoring the best films and performances of 2017, will be held Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

“A world without nations”—On the death of German jazz guitarist Coco Schumann

By Bernd Reinhardt, 2 March 2018

The German jazz guitarist Coco Schumann remained active musically until near the end of his life. He ranks as a jazz musician with one of the longest musical biographies ever.

A conversation with Raoul Peck, director of The Young Karl Marx

By Fred Mazelis, 1 March 2018

Filmmaker Raoul Peck discusses his portrait of the young Marx and Engels.

“This is a great loss for both the community of San Diego and Tijuana”

Baja California and San Diego lose sole classical music station

By Norisa Diaz, 1 March 2018

The popular station was eventually forced off the air yesterday after struggling financially for over a decade.

Arts editor David Walsh speaks on the centenary of the October Revolution

What the Russian Revolution meant for modern art and culture

By David Walsh, 28 February 2018

This talk was given in Chicago and in Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, Michigan, in late 2017 and early 2018 to mark the centenary of the October Revolution.

2013 Berlin Film Festival prize winner dies in poverty

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 February 2018

Nazif Mujić, according to first accounts, has died in extreme poverty in the impoverished hamlet of Svatovac in Bosnia.

Bill Frisell: A Portrait—an intimate documentary about a unique guitarist

By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018

Emma Franz’s film is a fascinating overview of Frisell’s creative work and his constant search for new musical challenges.

A conversation with Emma Franz, director of Bill Frisell: A Portrait

By Richard Phillips, 23 February 2018

Filmmaker and musician Emma Franz speaks about her latest documentary and the political and artistic conceptions that informed her approach.

Film director Michael Haneke criticizes #MeToo movement on eve of Berlinale film festival

By Katerina Selin, 20 February 2018

The reactionary #MeToo campaign is playing a central role at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival.

Failed by the State co-writer and presenter Ish: “I wasn’t trying to push agendas, I was just trying to tell the truth about Grenfell.”

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Ish about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Public outcry forces Manchester Art Gallery to restore censored painting

John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) taken down for a week

By Dennis Moore, 13 February 2018

The removal of Hylas and the Nymphs was never about a “conversation,” as gallery official claimed, it was an open act of censorship. Hundreds of visitors left notes expressing concern. The gallery’s website registered 1,000 comments.

Louis C.K.’s I Love You, Daddy: The tragic fate of a significant American film

By Zac Corrigan, 12 February 2018

After allegations of sexual misconduct against Louis C.K. became public, the distributor pulled the film, one week before its scheduled opening in November.

A conversation with film historian Max Alvarez: How the #MeToo campaign echoes the McCarthyite witch hunt of the 1940s and 1950s

“The climate is chillingly similar in terms of the massive capitulation and conformity”

By David Walsh, 8 February 2018

It is “Scoundrel Time” again in Hollywood, complete with denunciations, anonymous informants, humiliating “confessions,” trial by media and the banning of prominent performers.

Colors: Beck’s foray into mainstream pop

By Jay James, 5 February 2018

The 11 albums Beck released prior to Colors blended a dizzying array of genres, resulting in a series of psychedelic funk, soul, folk, hip-hop and and rock-infused anthems that have consistently topped the charts.

Jeff Daniels’ Flint: A drama about the former industrial city

Is it “all about the money” or all about race?

By David Walsh, 2 February 2018

Jeff Daniels’ drama is currently being performed at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, some 60 miles west of Detroit. The play will run until March 10.

Marshall and #MeToo: A 77-year-old civil rights fight exposes the reactionary character of the sexual misconduct witch-hunt

By Fred Mazelis, 1 February 2018

The 1941 case, in which a black man was acquitted of rape charges, poses awkward questions for those who dismiss due process in their campaign against sexual harassment, both real and alleged.

Netflix: The Crown Season Two—Apologetics for the monarchy as sun sets on British Empire

By Paul Mitchell, 30 January 2018

The season begins with the Suez crisis in 1956 and ends in 1963 with the Soviet spy scare centred on War Minister John Profumo.

Actress Dorothy Malone (1924-2018)

By Hiram Lee, 29 January 2018

Veteran Hollywood actress Dorothy Malone, who appeared in the Douglas Sirk classic Written on the Wind, has died at the age of 93.

70 years since the release of John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By Joanne Laurier, 26 January 2018

The classic film, based on the 1927 novel by German author B. Traven, is the tale of two down-and-out Americans in Mexico who join with an older prospector to dig for gold.

B. Traven, the author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By David Walsh, 26 January 2018

The author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was the left-wing writer known as B. Traven. Considerable mystery surrounds Traven, some of it sustained by the writer himself during his lifetime.

The 2018 Academy Award Nominations: A few worthy films, and others to fill quotas

By Hiram Lee, 24 January 2018

Guillermo del Toro’s film The Shape of Water led with thirteen nominations. Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama Dunkirk received eight nominations, while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received seven.

Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries, dead at age 46

By Nick Barrickman, 19 January 2018

O’Riordan was pronounced dead on January 15 in her London hotel room.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A vengeful mother stands up to the local “patriarchy”

By Kevin Martinez, 18 January 2018

Morbid and banal, the story concerns a mother battling local authorities to find the killer of her daughter. Unsurprisingly, it has won considerable acclaim from the arts establishment, including the recent Golden Globes.

Steven Spielberg’s The Post: To reveal government secrets and lies or not?

By Joanne Laurier, 17 January 2018

The new film recounts the internal struggle at the Washington Post over whether or not to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Diego Rivera in the Soviet Union: An exhibition in Mexico City

By Alex González, 12 January 2018

The current show in Mexico City focuses on Rivera’s two visits to the USSR in 1927-28 and in 1955-56. It contains many remarkable items.

The policies and atmosphere of the second Gilded Age

Metropolitan Museum of Art implements mandatory admission charge for non-New Yorkers

By Fred Mazelis, 11 January 2018

The new policy embodies what one critic called “the continual degrading and privatizing of public space.”

Robert Mann (1920-2018), founder of the Juilliard String Quartet

By Fred Mazelis, 10 January 2018

Mann championed the collaborative musical form of the string quartet, and helped train generations of famed musicians.

And the Golden Globe award goes to … Witch hunting!

By Trévon Austin and David Walsh, 9 January 2018

This year’s Golden Globes award ceremony, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was a spectacle of self-absorption and self-pity.

The decline and fall of Russian protest art—“Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism”

By Paul Mitchell, 8 January 2018

One could hardly think of a more ignominious outcome for the products of post-Soviet protest art than to end up in the opulent surroundings of the Saatchi Gallery in London’s West End.

Daphne Merkin’s “Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings”

The New York Times’ reactionary sexual harassment campaign runs into opposition

By David Walsh, 6 January 2018

In a column Friday, critic and novelist Daphne Merkin acknowledges there is considerable hostility to the current sexual misconduct witch-hunt even within its target demographic.

All the Money in the World—above all, the “expunging” of Kevin Spacey—and The Shape of Water

By Joanne Laurier, 5 January 2018

Probably the most important thing about Ridley Scott’s new film, an account of the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, is the decision to erase Spacey’s performance. The Shape of Water is a charming “fairy tale,” with anti-authoritarian overtones.

Short films considered for Academy Award nominations: Emmett Till, a Jack London story and an isolated child

By Joanne Laurier, 3 January 2018

Ten films have been voted onto the Academy Award short list in the “Best Short Film (Live Action)” category.

Best films of 2017, and other matters

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 30 December 2017

It is impossible to discuss the best films of the year without considering some big social and cultural issues.

Pop and jazz in 2017

By Hiram Lee, Matthew Brennan and Nick Barrickman, 30 December 2017

With a few exceptions, the top of the Billboard charts in 2017 was home to one conformist and forgettable album after another, or worse.

Remarkable collection of early Soviet films on DVD: The New Man—Awakening and Everyday Life in Revolutionary Russia

By Bernd Reinhardt, 29 December 2017

A notable collection of early Soviet films has been released on DVD in Germany to coincide with the centenary of the October Revolution.

Downsizing: Alexander Payne’s take on climate change, overpopulation, social inequality … and more

By Joanne Laurier, 23 December 2017

Payne’s latest work is a science-fiction satire that proposes to solve the earth’s ecological and other problems by “downsizing,” or physically shrinking, human beings.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck: “Small” films at a time of big crisis

By Carlos Delgado, 21 December 2017

The two films are sometimes charming, occasionally amusing and generally benign. But something is missing.

One hundred years since the birth of Romanian pianist and composer Dinu Lipatti

By Clara Weiss, 20 December 2017

Lipatti left a legacy of outstanding recordings of the major works of classical music, and is justly considered one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi—The further business of the Disney franchise

By Matthew MacEgan, 19 December 2017

The third Star Wars film released by Disney does little to break with the prescribed formula. Bombast and some surprises fail to carry good talent to meaningful places.

The Falsification of David King’s work—Red Star Over Russia: A Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55 at the Tate Modern in London

By Paul Mitchell, 19 December 2017

The latest British exhibition on the Russian Revolution is another reprehensible attempt to distort its history, including by excising Leon Trotsky.