When Cyd arrives to stay with Miranda in Chicago for the summer, eight years have passed since their last encounter. Adult and near-adult are new and somewhat strange to each other. Cone’s film delicately traces the fresh terms of their family bond, their contrasting spiritual and psychological viewpoints and the gently expansive effect they have on each other’s daily lives. More sexually active and curious than her aunt, Cyd has a dalliance with a mohawked lesbian barista, though she’s breezy in her approach to bisexuality. … [Read more...] about DVD reviews: Princess Cyd; Logan Lucky; American Made and more
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As an alcoholic Los Angeles construction worker somehow tasked with coaching his former high school’s ailing basketball team, Ben Affleck introduces a note of wounded anxiety to proceedings that is never shed, even as the plot climbs its inevitable upward arc. Rescued from the purgatory of crummy Batman spinoffs, the embattled actor has clearly taken the film as his own metatextual comeback story, and sure enough, he’s the best he’s ever been in it. O’Connor knows his way around a worn, grainy study of everyday athletes – he previously made the excellent (and Netflixable) Warrior (2011) with Tom Hardy – and he brings similar integrity to this one. … [Read more...] about Streaming: great basketball films to watch after The Last Dance
Later that year when I was in despair because I could not decipher a book by Boulez, I phoned him, almost in tears. He reasoned me out of it and set me on the path to renewed self-belief. He had co-translated the book and knew its mixture of insights and utter impenetrability. In my arrangements for The King's Singers, Richard's work for them was a major influence. Over the years I mentally "ran every arrangement past him" before sending it off. … [Read more...] about Sir Richard Rodney Bennett obituary
There's a clip of Barack Obama singing Amazing Grace at a service for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was murdered in Charleston in 2015. That lasts a few seconds. Then, a little boy slaps his mother's face and shouts, "Mummy, wake up!", Michael Jordan is on court, a young woman twerks, Martin Luther King smiles, the molten surface of the sun burns, The Notorious B.I.G raps; all of this and much more in a seven-minute-plus compilation regularly interspersed with shocking scenes of police and racists brutally assaulting black citizens. … [Read more...] about Arthur Jafa’s video for Kanye West’s Wash Us In The Blood: Will Gompertz’s review ★★★★☆
One of my favourite calls is with a twentysomething man in Nigeria. He tells me how strange it is to watch the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. “When I was a kid, my dream was to go to America,” he says. “Now, America has lost that appeal. I feel sad. I’m trying to understand it better.” He tells me he has been on the app for more than a year and talks to strangers every week. When I ask him why, he says he wants to inject some serendipity into his life, which has worked: he has connected with a woman in Japan, while a man in San Francisco has told him he can crash at his house when the borders reopen. … [Read more...] about My social anxiety was rekindled by lockdown. Could phoning up strangers help?