Thursday, December 8

From The Banshees of Inisherin to Taylor Swift: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment | Culture


Going out: Cinema

Decision to Leave
Out now
When a man’s body is found at the foot of a mountain just outside Busan, police inspector Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) starts to suspect the dead man’s beautiful widow Seo-rae (Tang Wei). The brilliant Park Chan‑wook (Oldboy, Stoker) riffs on Hitchcock’s Vertigo in this elegant murder mystery.

The Banshees of Inisherin
Out now
Director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) returns with his most mature work yet: a profound and often hilarious dark comedy set in a small Irish village, where an amiable dimwit (Colin Farrell) and his exasperated drinking buddy (Brendan Gleeson) wrestle with their long-term friendship.

Poltergeist (40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
Out now
A true supernatural horror classic, relying more on suspense than gore, directed by Texas Chain Saw Massacre creator Tobe Hooper and written by one Steven Spielberg. Rumours persist that the film’s writer did more of the directing work here than the credits strictly allow, so on the film’s 40th anniversary, why not watch this restoration and see if you can detect the ghostly hand of Spielberg?

Met Opera 2022: Medea
Selected cinemas, 22 October
Part of the Met’s Live in HD series, this production of Cherubini’s French-language opera, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, stars soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as the vengeful sorceress who demands that her ex, Jason, get back together with her. Naturally, when he refuses, things go south, fast. Catherine Bray


Going out: Gigs

The Pretty Reckless
Hair-raising … The Pretty Reckless. Photograph: Baden Roth/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

The Pretty Reckless
23 October to 5 November; tour starts Belfast
Taylor Momsen and her band of not-so-merry-men arrive in the UK as part of their Death by Rock and Roll tour. Named after 2021’s fourth album of hard rock exorcism, it will also give the band a chance to showcase next month’s Other Worlds, a compilation of reworked songs, plus new covers. Michael Cragg

Westerman
24 to 28 October; tour starts Birmingham
Will Westerman makes lucid, plain-speaking soft rock, typically undercut with lo-fi folk: his 2020 debut album, Your Hero Is Not Dead, channelled both Talk Talk and Joni Mitchell. This short tour is a chance to hear songs from that album, plus a handful of new sketches. MC

Mark Guiliana
Jazz Cafe, London, 23 October
One of the world’s great contemporary cross-genre drum innovators is New Jersey’s Mark Guiliana, renowned for being a metronomic dance-groover, David Bowie sideman and free-spirited Elvin Jones-like jazz improviser. Guiliana will reveal his formidable mastery and range on this tour, joined by fluent saxophonist Jason Rigby and others. John Fordham

An Anatomy of Melancholy
Barbican: Pit theatre, London, 27 to 30 October
The lute songs of Tudor composer John Dowland and the writings of his contemporary Robert Burton provide the starting points for director Netia Jones’s theatre piece. Burton’s exhaustive masterpiece gives the evening its title; extracts from it are combined with observations by Freud, Jones’s visuals and a selection of Dowland’s songs, sung by countertenor Iestyn Davies with lutenist Thomas Dunford. Andrew Clements


Going out: Art

A detail from Two Peasants Binding Firewood by Pieter Brueghel the Younger.
A detail from Two Peasants Binding Firewood by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Photograph: © The Henry Barber Trust, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Barber Institute, Birmingham, to 22 January
The Bruegel or Brueghel family helped shape how Europe imagines itself. It was Pieter the Elder who established their style in his visions of peasant life. This show reveals how his son carried on the genre. Did Pieter the Younger turn out hack imitations or was he better than that?

The Horror Show
Somerset House, London, 27 October to 19 February
This is not only a nicely timed exhibition for Halloween but a ghost-train ride through modern British history from the “horrors” of Thatcherism to the spooky subversions and gothic twists of pop culture. Features Bauhaus and Poly Styrene as well as Helen Chadwick, Susan Hiller and Iain Sinclair. Wooo.

Alexander the Great
British Library, London, to 19 February
The son of King Philip of Macedon was tutored by Aristotle before becoming the most celebrated military leader of the ancient world. His empire spanned continents – and his legend has lasted millennia. This exhibition surveys the images and stories of a hero as prominent in Persian miniatures as Flemish tapestries.

Hayley Tompkins
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, to 29 January
Bright, splashy paintings on clothes and other everyday found objects are the best known creations of this Glasgow artist. But this retrospective of her work also includes a full survey of her films, which she shoots on a mobile phone. Expect a raw, spontaneous engagement with the lives we lead. Jonathan Jones


Going out: Stage

Anoushka Lucas in Elephant.
Key cutting … Anoushka Lucas in Elephant. Photograph: Blak Chilli Video

Elephant
Bush theatre, London, to 12 November
Sitting at a piano, a young woman sings through her thoughts and feelings in this play created in response to the murder of George Floyd. Written and performed by Anoushka Lucas. Miriam Gillinson

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)
Lyceum theatre, Edinburgh, to 5 November
Isobel McArthur’s playful and pop-infused take on Jane Austen returns to Scotland after bagging an Olivier, and sees five all-singing and dancing servants revive the story of the Bennett sisters. MG

Jordan Gray
London Palladium, 28 October
This erudite Essex standup’s shtick is often reminiscent of early Russell Brand, but instead of gags about 00s debauchery, Gray’s act revolves round her experiences as a transgender woman. Following a triumphant fringe, she brings her Edinburgh award-nominated hour Is It a Bird? to London’s most storied venue. Rachel Aroesti

Ugly Duckling
Stanley & Audrey Burton theatre, Leeds, 24 to 27 October
A children’s show for half-term from Northern Ballet, whose kids’ productions are often seen on CBeebies. The story of the Ugly Duckling who turns into a … well, you know how it goes. Also at London’s Linbury Studio theatre next weekend. Lyndsey Winship

Staying In - Saturday Mag illo

Staying in: Streaming

Jessica Raine in The Devil’s Hour.
High spirits … Jessica Raine in The Devil’s Hour. Photograph: Amazon Prime Video/Hartwood Films

The Devil’s Hour
28 October, Prime Video
Ghost stories: overrepresented in cinema and fireside chat, underrepresented on TV. This Steven Moffat-produced six-part series brings supernatural horror to the small screen with a mysterious tale that twists generic tropes – strange child, haunted house – into chilling new shapes. Brit acting heavyweights Peter Capaldi and Jessica Raine star.

The Love Box in Your Living Room
27 October, 9pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
In 2014, Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse paid homage to 50 years of BBC Two with their ridiculously brilliant spoof documentary Harry & Paul’s Story of the Twos. Now the pair irreverently honour the Beeb’s centenary with this pitch-perfect Adam Curtis parody. Expect authoritative leaps of illogic, eerie archive montages and an overreliance on the phrase “But then something happened … ”

Louis Theroux Interviews … Stormzy
22 October, 9.15pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
In the 00s, Theroux was as famous for his grimly fascinating, faux-naïf celebrity cross-examinations (subjects included Jimmy Savile, Max Clifford and Christine Hamilton) as his edgy documentaries. Two decades on, he returns to the form to needle some much classier and – if this opener is anything to go by – far less controversial pop-cultural giants. RA

The Handmaid’s Tale
23 October, 9pm, Channel 4
After Fred’s death: the reckoning. June (Elisabeth Moss) is still dealing with the trauma of the aftermath as this bleak, essential and sadly topical drama returns for a fifth season. But is Canada still safe? Phil Harrison


Staying in: Games

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.
Who you gonna call? … Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. Photograph: IllFonic

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
Out now, PS4/5, Xbox
Another interactive outing for the much-loved franchise. This time it’s in the form of a multiplayer action game in which players work together to build up a busting squad and then try out their skills against another participant taking control of a ghost. Great for any Halloween party.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
Out now, Nintendo Switch
The original Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was a pretty solid turn-based strategy game featuring characters from both the Mario universe and Ubisoft’s Raving Rabbids franchise. This sequel offers a more developed narrative and a re-worked combat system. Not quite Mario meets XCOM, but close. Keith Stuart


Staying in: Albums

Arctic Monkeys.
Car men … Arctic Monkeys.

Arctic Monkeys – The Car
Out now
While the hardcore faithful may long for a return to the muscular rock of 2013’s AM, Sheffield’s finest continue to explore the silken lounge-pop of their last album, 2018’s strange Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. Drenched in opulent orchestration, and finessed with high-wire falsetto, it’s anchored by Alex Turner’s pinpoint lyricism.

Dry Cleaning – Stumpwork
Out now
Full of idiosyncratic lyrics about gaming technology, Barry Manilow and, on recent single Gary Ashby, a missing family tortoise, London art-rock quartet Dry Cleaning’s second album picks up where 2021’s New Long Leg left off. Built round Florence Shaw’s droll spoken-word delivery, it’s an album that celebrates the surreal.

Taylor Swift – Midnights
Out now
Described as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life”, Swift’s 10th album, the follow-up to 2020’s rustic Evermore, sees her reunite with producer Jack Antonoff. Exploring “terrors and sweet dreams”, its conceptual framework also finds room for Lana Del Rey, who appears on the track Snow on the Beach.

Loyle Carner – Hugo
Out now
Three albums into his career, the south London rapper digs into his history, exploring race, racism and his relationship with his estranged father. The densely layered single Hate explores the titular emotion, while Nobody Knows (Ladas Road) offers skyscraping gospel with brutal home truths. Michael Cragg


Staying in: Brain food

Toni Morrison.
Poetic inspiration … Toni Morrison. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian

Infrequencies
Podcast
Marking London gallery the ICA’s 75th anniversary, this series unearths exciting recordings from its archive. Actor Tilda Swinton is in conversation with director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and poets read five works to honour the late Toni Morrison.

Action Button Reviews Boku No Natsuyasumi
YouTube
A six-hour video about an obscure 90s Japanese video game may not sound like the easiest watch but Tim Rogers’s visual essay is a meditation on art’s capacity to give meaning to life, featuring wistful narration and distinctive animation.

Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice
23 October, 9pm, BBC Two
Activist, playwright and broadcaster Una Marson was a groundbreaking voice highlighting the work of postwar Caribbean writers on the BBC. This documentary draws on her writing and the testimony of her friends to dramatise her largely overlooked life. Ammar Kalia



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