The poignant tale of the Olive Tree

The poignant tale of the Olive Tree

Review by the Rev Steve Parish The Olive Tree (El Olivo, dir. Icíar Bollaín, cert. 15, Spanish with English subtitles) is written by Paul Laverty, known for his scripts for Ken Loach including I, Daniel Blake. Alma (Anna Castillo) is a young woman on the family poultry farm in Valencia; there are tensions with other […]

Verhoeven’s new amorality tale

Verhoeven’s new amorality tale

Review by the Rev Steve Parish Paul Verhoeven is perhaps best known for racy films like Basic Instinct (1992) and Showgirls (1995), but while Elle (cert. 18, French with English subtitles) centres round the rape of Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert), it is a multi-layered story of fear and loathing. Michèle’s matter-of-fact response and reluctance to […]

A view of the last days of the Raj

A view of the last days of the Raj

Review by the Rev Steve Parish The Viceroy’s House (cert. 12A) is a potted history of the last days of the Raj, as Lord Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) and wife Edwina (Gillian Anderson) fly into New Delhi to oversee Indian independence. Avoiding partition looks unlikely, as Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Denzil Smith) and Jawaharlal Nehru […]

The Boston attack retold. Sort of

The Boston attack retold. Sort of

Review by the Rev Steve Parish Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, the third Monday in April, celebrates the start of the American War of Independence. In 2015, during the Boston Marathon on the day, two bombs, built into pressure cookers, went off near the finish line, killing three spectators and injuring over 200 others. That’s the devastating […]

Music Choice: Iro Haarla – Ante Lucem

(ECM) Jazz quintet and symphony orchestra is a rare combination, but it works. The orchestra acts almost as a keys player in a rock band: an intrinsic part of the operation that can support with backing washes, interplay with other members of the band, or feature up front. In her liner notes, pianist/harpist Haarla says […]

Music (and App) Choice: Andy Hunter – Presence

From his excellent début CD Exodus onwards, Hunter’s technical prowess and musical sensitivity have set him apart from the pack. I know of no one in Britain – or even America – who can touch him  when it comes to creating excellent Christian dance music. His sound is so accessible and addictive that it appeals […]

A modern take on the new Europe

A modern take on the new Europe

By Rev Steve Parish   Toni Erdmann (cert. 15) is a long (160 minutes) but rewarding comedy from German writer-director Maren Ade. Her idea is to imagine a career woman getting her life disrupted by a visit from her practical joking father. Ines Conradi (Sandra Hüller) works as a consultant in Romania. Her task is […]

Small Screen Selection: Things to Come

(Curzon Artificial Eye) Parisian philosophy teacher Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is at a fairly stable time in her life. She loves her job and her late teenage children, and has the satisfaction of knowing that her teaching work inspires her students. But not everything is plain sailing. Her eccentric, manipulative mother is ageing and demanding; and […]

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