Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged British

Baffled and Beat

There must be something in the Oxford water that breeds talent. How else could you explain the abundance of good, great, and truly classic music that has emerged from the southeastern English city over the last twenty-plus years? Need examples? Ride, Supergrass, and Radiohead all hail from there. I say it is not an overstatement to also count raucous duo Little Fish among these ranks.

A Man’s A Man

If playwright Bertolt Brecht were alive today, he’d likely blanch at the contemporary tendency to seek common ground with those whose ideologies are diametrically opposed to one’s own. His dozens of plays speak truth to power in daring, direct language and, while farce and sarcasm are employed, his repeated denunciations of colonialism, war, and militarism are boldly presented. A Man’s a Man (sometimes called Man Equals Man) was first staged in Dusseldorf and Darmstadt, Germany in 1926. Eighty-four years later, The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble’s beautifully-presented staged reading of the play is so relevant that the audience quickly forgets the age of the work.

Partir (Leaving)

David McKenzie’s Asylum is a flawed but breathtakingly compelling portrait of violent sexual obsession, deception, and mental illness. Unremittingly dark, this film also presents us with a woman who rails against the constraints placed on women in 1950s middle class Britain. Stella (Natasha Richardson) is a bored housewife who makes her home on the grounds of a mental hospital outside London.


My partner, Jake Barningham, is an avant garde film and video maker. He’s constantly on the prowl for new ways to express himself visually. Most recently it has been creating videos with his cell phone camera. I really like the idea of using something so accessible and widely used like a cell phone to create art.

44 Inch Chest

Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone) is a pot-bellied British gangster happily married to Liz, his wife of twenty-one years (Joanne Whalley). The problem is she’s not happily married to him. When Liz tells Colin she’s leaving him for a lover, he slides from incredulity to rage. Marital delusions wrecked, he resorts to gangster methodology. He assaults his wife (mostly off-screen) to get the lothario’s name—a studly French waiter (Melvil Poupaud). Colin has a four-man crew with whom he toils at their underworld trade.

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Having been drawn to the history of midwifery and peasants/working classes, I’ve always shied away from studying aristocrats. When I first picked up The Lady in the Tower, I was a bit apprehensive. Over 350 pages in length (not including the bibliography, source notes, or illustrations), it appeared to be a daunting reading task.

Troubled, Shaken Etc.

British rock band Sian Alice Group’s latest effort can be categorized somewhere between prog rock, ambient folk, and experimental. Clocking in anywhere between two and eight minutes, their songs wind around and bump up against one another, creating a cohesive sophomore album.