Arts and Culture
By Clara Weiss, 18 January 2021
The movie introduces many important themes of the revolutionary epoch that shaped Beethoven as a composer and thinker, but barely develops them.
British government rejected visa-free EU touring for musicians to bolster hostile immigration policy
By Paul Bond, 16 January 2021
Musicians and promoters made it clear that the devastating impact of this move will not only be felt by current performers, but also be an obstacle to emerging performers in the future.
By Matthew MacEgan, 16 January 2021
A total of 140 Japanese animated television series numbering more than 1,865 episodes debuted in 2020. Our critic comments on a selection of the more popular titles.
By Erik Schreiber, 15 January 2021
The most recent edition of the festival sought to convey the experience of people who have lived on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico.
By Carlos Delgado, 14 January 2021
Strong performances and thrilling music power this engaging adaptation of August Wilson’s 1984 play.
By Joanne Laurier, 13 January 2021
The Midnight Sky, a post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by George Clooney, is done with some care and sensitivity, but ends up primarily as an exercise in resignation.
Death of British filmmaker Michael Apted at 79, director of Up documentary series, Coal Miner’s Daughter
By Paul Bond and Kevin Martinez, 12 January 2021
Film director Michael Apted, who died January 7, was responsible for an intriguing variety of work over his lengthy career. We are reposting here the review of 63 Up as a tribute.
By Matthew MacEgan, 11 January 2021
Disney and Lucasfilm aired the second season of their Star Wars television series on Disney Plus at the end of 2020, setting the stage for the launch of several spinoff series to swell the portfolios of their stockholders.
Based on a Jack London short story
By David Walsh, 9 January 2021
In the drama’s favor, one must say, first of all, that it is unmistakably of our day: riots in the streets, political and financial secrets concealed from the population, endless, antidemocratic machinations at the top of society.
“Remember, the lemons speak”
By Erik Schreiber, 8 January 2021
In her latest volume of poetry, Chang confronts her mother’s death and seeks to understand the nature of grief while grappling with the inadequacy of language.
By Nick Barrickman, 7 January 2021
Daniel Dumile was most respected and admired for the series of albums he released as the masked rap artist MF Doom.
By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2021
Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Theatre Orchestra, who have not been paid since March, were replaced by outsourced non-Met musicians at the opera’s New Year’s Eve gala.
By Joanne Laurier, 6 January 2021
The movie follows a Native American teenager through various trials and tribulations. Set in western Michigan in the 1970s, Once Upon a River recounts the adolescent’s supposed emotional education.
By Bernd Reinhardt, 5 January 2021
Can love between siblings survive when a brother falls ill and needs care, while his sister enjoys life as one of society’s affluent? This is the question posed by the Swiss film My Little Sister.
By Nick Barrickman, 5 January 2021
Fletcher’s energetic and melodic vocals complemented the pumping synthesizer beats on Whodini’s earliest records.
German cultural institutions oppose government’s anti–BDS resolution aimed at quashing criticism of Israel
By Sybille Fuchs, 4 January 2021
On December 9, 30 German cultural institutions issued a statement opposing a resolution passed by the Bundestag seeking to silence the BDS movement.
By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 4 January 2021
An examination of some of the most popular music in 2020 and its social backdrop.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 31 December 2020
It is not possible to discuss any aspect of artistic life, or life in general, in 2020 without central reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, which the various ruling elites have permitted to ravage the world’s population.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 31 December 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the music industry in 2020. With live performances cancelled and music venues forced to shut down, vast numbers of performers were thrown out of work.
By Paul Bond, 30 December 2020
Morgan’s attempt to portray the monarchy’s inner life in human terms successfully captures something of its corrosive impact on all concerned. He shows portions of the ugly reality.
By Ed Hightower, 29 December 2020
“I want to tell this story to show that, in essence, we’re all part of the same tribe.”—Director Nino Aldi.
By Carlos Delgado, 24 December 2020
The film, based on J.D. Vance’s 2016 memoir, is a bland and conformist work that ignores the sources of the social problems it portrays.
By Matthew Brennan, 23 December 2020
Pride was the first African American artist to achieve major success in country music. He produced at least 30 chart-topping country songs through the late 1980s and sold over 70 million records worldwide.
By Martin Scott, 22 December 2020
With tens of thousands of artists and technical crew out of work, little support is forthcoming from the federal government.
By Our reporters, 22 December 2020
“The pandemic has laid bare many things, including government claims that it has no money.”
By Stefan Steinberg, 21 December 2020
In the course of his career, le Carré was able to draw from his experiences during and after the Cold War to attract millions of readers with his carefully researched spy novels.
By S. Jayanth, 21 December 2020
Ahnaf Jazeem is the latest victim of the Rajapakse government’s anti-Muslim witch hunt and its escalating attacks on the democratic rights of writers, artists and intellectuals.
Room 2806: The Accusation—Digging up the discredited sexual assault case against French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn
By Joanne Laurier, 19 December 2020
The case fell apart in August 2011 after prosecutors found, in their own words, that the alleged victim had been “persistently, and at times inexplicably, untruthful in describing matters of both great and small significance.”
By David Walsh, 18 December 2020
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne often dramatize situations and problems they locate, as in the case of Young Ahmed, in their native region of southern Belgium, one of the oldest and most decayed industrial areas in the world.
By Verena Nees and Peter Schwarz, 17 December 2020
Beethoven was the most profound musical voice during a period in which humanity progressed in quantum leaps. His works are ineradicably connected with the striving for human liberation.
By Matthew Brennan, 16 December 2020
The arrangement will allow UMPG, owned by the largest music company in the world, Universal Music Group (valued at $33.6 billion), to have exclusive intellectual property rights to Dylan’s music.
By Shree Haran and Kapila Fernando, 15 December 2020
During his five-decade musical career, Balasubrahmanyam sought to unite musicians and artists across the Indian sub-continent.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 December 2020
Amin is a subdued, thoughtful look at the condition of migrant workers who break their backs in the metropolitan countries to feed their families in their native lands.
By Fred Mazelis, 12 December 2020
Two of the best known musical organizations in the US and worldwide have stepped up their efforts to make the musicians and staff pay for the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 December 2020
The Netflix series ignores identity politics, in favor of a humane and unselfish view of life.
By Steven Brust, 10 December 2020
A satirical poem by the novelist Steven Brust on identity politics and the election of Democrat Joseph Robinette Biden.
By David Walsh, 10 December 2020
Mank is a biographical drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his role, or purported role, in the creation of Citizen Kane, the first film directed by and featuring Orson Welles.
By Kevin Reed, 9 December 2020
The documentary about the iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa, who died at age 52 in 1993, presents him as an artist torn between the need to earn a living as a rock music star and his desire to compose more complex and serious orchestral works.
By David Walsh, 8 December 2020
The documentary was one of the best movies at this year’s Toronto film festival. It contained some of the most authentic and memorable drama. The documentary is now available on “virtual cinema” platforms in the US.
By Ed Hightower, 7 December 2020
Writer-performer Sacha Baron Cohen cannot resist mocking even the most undeserving targets, including a Holocaust survivor who tries to disabuse the title character of his (feigned) anti-Semitism.
By Joanne Laurier, 5 December 2020
Adu is a hard-hitting Spanish film about the global refugee crisis, dramatizing its vast dimensions through the travails of a young boy as he makes a life-threatening journey throughout Africa.
By David Walsh, 4 December 2020
There are not that many films in which a director captures accurately and artistically the “everyday” pressures of working class life.
By Erik Schreiber, 3 December 2020
On their debut album, Adulkt Life pay tribute to their musical influences and confront a world in acute crisis.
By Benjamin Mateus, 2 December 2020
The Skagit Valley Chorale rehearsal on March 10 was one of the nation’s first super-spreading events. A University of Colorado study provided a critical recognition that the virus that caused COVID-19 spread predominately in the aerosol form.
By Matthew Brennan and Fred Mazelis, 1 December 2020
This Netflix offering treats its subject with uncommon seriousness and humanity.
By Carlos Delgado, 30 November 2020
The world is not shaped by the hidden machinations of elites, but by social development, the development of the class struggle.
By Lee Parsons, 28 November 2020
The film follows events from the time of the closure announcement in November, 2018 until the final day of production a year later.
By John Newham, 27 November 2020
Several British artists and performance technicians spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the impact of the pandemic on them and their work.
By Paul Bond, 27 November 2020
The initial wage furlough scheme made no provision for self-employed and freelance workers, who make up the bulk of arts workers. When the government did eventually introduce its Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, many artists did not benefit.
By Nazım Özgün, 26 November 2020
Selçuk was a prominent example of the layer of Turkish intellectuals who turned to the working class amid the political radicalization and social struggles of the 1970s.
By Fred Mazelis and Kevin Reed, 24 November 2020
An immensely gifted artist, Jeff Riedel’s photographic work combined exceptional technical skill with social insight.
Refugees season at the Imperial War Museum in London: A century of crises, but the real causes ignored
By Paul Mitchell, 24 November 2020
As to the causes of the continuous refugee crises over the last century, the exhibition answers with the obvious “conflict”, “modern war”, “threats of violence” and “social breakdown” but this begs the question, what causes these phenomena?
By Joanne Laurier, 24 November 2020
Trial 4 is an eight-episode documentary television series, currently streaming on Netflix that examines the case of Sean Ellis, a black teenager wrongly convicted of the 1993 murder of police officer John Mulligan.
By James McDonald, 23 November 2020
The 1920 novel rewards the contemporary reader with its psychological complexity, with Fitzgerald’s characteristically glittering lyrical sentences and with his equally characteristic trenchant insight into American class society.
By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2020
Musical performances, theatre, film and teledrama production, book exhibitions and similar activities have almost entirely come to a halt. Kapila Kumara Kalinga and Malaka Devapriya spoke to the WSWS about the situation.
By David Walsh, 20 November 2020
The film fictionally treats an actual phenomenon, the dozens or more of left-wing opponents of Franco, known as “moles,” who concealed themselves in their own homes for 30 years following the defeat of the Republican forces in 1939.
By Clare Hurley, 19 November 2020
A timely and long overdue exhibition of Struggle: From the History of the American People reunites this remarkable series of paintings by Jacob Lawrence, the famed African-American artist, for the first time since they were completed in 1956.
By Fred Mazelis, 18 November 2020
The 86-year-old actress remains a magnetic presence in this worthwhile film.
By Stefan Steinberg, 17 November 2020
German artists and cultural institutions fear bankruptcy and destitution as the coronavirus crisis deepens and the government refuses to allocate adequate funding.
A conversation with musician, producer Fabrizio Grossi about the pandemic and its impact: “Short of a global revolution, I don’t see a solution”
By Marc Wells and David Walsh, 16 November 2020
Fabrizio Grossi is a veteran bassist, producer and music consultant, sometimes referred to in the media as “legendary.”
By David Walsh, 14 November 2020
An early film by South Korean writer-director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) has been released over the course of the past year in a number of countries—and now in the US. It is well worth seeing.
By Joanne Laurier, 13 November 2020
Belly of the Beast is a documentary on practices carried out at female penitentiaries in California.
Orchestra, opera musicians face severe pay cuts, furloughs, uncertainty in the midst of the pandemic
By David Walsh, 12 November 2020
Management at various orchestras, operas and other cultural organizations are taking full advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to press forward with their demands as part of an offensive for pay and other cuts under way for more than a decade.
By Nick Barrickman, 11 November 2020
The series’ initial airing in May 2018 on YouTube’s platforms became the widest-viewed digital programming on the internet for that month. Since appearing on Netflix, the series has become the platform’s most popular program.
By Matthew Brennan, 10 November 2020
Two interesting music groups in the recent period have been the rock and funk trio Khruangbin out of Houston Texas, and the British soul and funk collective known as Sault.
By David Walsh, 9 November 2020
The Netflix film is an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel of the same title, which was previously made into a film in 1940, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
By Paul Bond, 7 November 2020
Strikingly attractive and hard-edged, Connery’s suave and imposing presence gave the character much of its authority.
By Joanne Laurier, 5 November 2020
Oppression of the Palestinians, child hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic are dealt with in two short films and an hour-long documentary.
By Erik Schreiber, 4 November 2020
Harrison’s eclectic approach to the ghazal produced collage-like poems that combine personal and social concerns.
By David Walsh, 3 November 2020
In mid-October, we reviewed a significant new work, David King: Designer, Activist, Visual Historian, by Rick Poynor, a writer in the UK on graphic design and visual communication. The WSWS recently spoke to Poynor.
By Ulrich Rippert, 2 November 2020
Only days after several German newspapers published vicious denunciations of Igor Levit, the world renowned pianist participated in a rally against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Potsdam.
By David Walsh, 31 October 2020
Two cousins intend to shave milliseconds off the time it takes to make stock market trades and thus earn themselves a fortune.
By Stefan Steinberg, 29 October 2020
While the police investigate “in all directions,” there is considerable evidence to indicate the involvement of far-right forces in the attacks.
By David Walsh, 28 October 2020
The remarks below were given by David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site.
By Jason Quill, 27 October 2020
Jennifer Kent’s film follows Irish convict Clare Carroll through the Tasmanian wilderness in 1825, as she seeks revenge for a terrible act of violence committed against her family.
By Carlos Delgado, 27 October 2020
The production, a “radio play” adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, depicts the US’s descent into dictatorship after the election of a demagogue.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 October 2020
Like all basic democratic rights, the right to vote can only be defended through the independent political struggle of the working class.
By Ulrich Rippert, 26 October 2020
The Süddeutsche Zeitung editorial board’s initial defence of its article, as well as subsequent articles in Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Neue Zürcher Zeitung, reveal that these leading newspapers share essentially the same line as the far right Alternative for Germany.
By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 24 October 2020
The film deals with the court proceedings in 1969–70 in which organizers of protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago faced charges of conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot.
By David North and Clara Weiss, 22 October 2020
Levit has emerged as a powerful voice against the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Germany, which finds its most putrid expression in the growing political power of the Alternative für Deutschland.
By Paul Mitchell, 22 October 2020
“My aim is to focus on existing council properties that have been neglected due to the lack of maintenance. It’s imperative to showcase the decay of these buildings as it’s been a deliberate strategy to run them down.”—photographic artist Sarah Douglas
Further signs of the “devastating impact” of the pandemic on arts and artists: What are the implications?
By David Walsh, 21 October 2020
The ongoing destruction of the jobs, incomes and aspirations of tens of thousands of artists of every kind in the US and elsewhere has a significance that goes beyond the immediate cultural sphere.
By Joanne Laurier, 20 October 2020
The Social Dilemma is a docudrama hybrid that explores, according to its creators, “how social media is reprogramming civilization” in a dangerous direction.
By Kevin Reed, 19 October 2020
Eddie Van Halen, the renowned electric guitarist with the popular rock band Van Halen, died in Santa Monica, California, at age 65 on Oct. 6.
Rick Poynor’s David King: Designer, Activist, Visual Historian: An important new work on the revolutionary socialist, artist and defender of historical truth
By Kevin Reed and David Walsh, 16 October 2020
If David King is not better known, it is attributable largely to the shift to the right in so-called intellectual circles, their hostility to the October Revolution and their growing social indifference.
By Joanne Laurier, 15 October 2020
Written and directed by Michael Almereyda, Tesla is a drama about the life of Serbian-American engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a remarkable figure. Ethan Hawke plays Tesla.
More than three-quarters of event workers have lost all of their income
By David Walsh, 14 October 2020
The devastation has implications that go beyond even the immediate economic situation, as desperate as that is. The coronavirus crisis is threatening to wipe out a considerable portion of cultural life in the US.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 October 2020
The Artist’s Wife looks at a successful painter’s life. The artistic personality continues to fascinate the public. But does the film shed much light on the phenomenon?
By Kevin Reed, 10 October 2020
Wakeman has released a new progressive rock album in advance of the 50th anniversary of the first successful orbit of Mars by a man-made probe.
By Stefan Steinberg, 9 October 2020
Alfred Bauer (1911-1986) was not the only prominent film personality to cover up his or her connections to the Nazi regime.
Toronto International Film Festival 2020: Part 4
By David Walsh, 8 October 2020
The position of contemporary filmmaking in relation to contemporary political and social realities is very poor. Little of the advanced, convulsive state of things comes through in the films currently being made.
By Matthew MacEgan, 7 October 2020
The world’s second-largest movie theater chain announced that it will close over 600 locations this week, resulting in the loss of employment for 45,000 workers.
By Clare Hurley, 6 October 2020
The decision by four major art museums in the UK and US to postpone for four years “Philip Guston Now,” a long-planned retrospective of one of postwar America’s most significant artists, is a cowardly act of censorship.
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 5 October 2020
We are reposting today an interview we conducted with Victoria Bynum in July 2016 at the time of the release of Free State of Jones, which is now available again on Netflix.
By Joanne Laurier, 5 October 2020
This important film from 2016 is now available again on Netflix. It is a rebuke to the racialist politics of the New York Times and the Democratic Party and to the 1619 Project in particular.
By Carlos Delgado, 3 October 2020
The show is a ridiculous, bloody spectacle of mayhem and murder, with a hefty dose of feminism for good measure.
By Joanne Laurier, 2 October 2020
Challenger: The Final Flight, a docuseries on Netflix, deals with the tragic explosion of NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986, which killed seven crew members.
By Paul Bond, 1 October 2020
Singer and actress Juliette Gréco’s considerable achievements are bound up inextricably with the problems of postwar French intellectual and cultural life.
Toronto International Film Festival 2020: Part 3
By David Walsh, 30 September 2020
Leon Trotsky pointed out in a 1939 article, unpublished during his lifetime, that “in a certain sense” art was “richer than life, for it can both overstate and understate.”
Tenor Placido Domingo, defending his character and reputation, retracts “apologies” for alleged sexual harassment
By Fred Mazelis, 29 September 2020
Operatic tenor Placido Domingo told an interviewer for Spanish television last Saturday that his apologies last February for alleged sexual misconduct had been taken out of context, and that he was not guilty of abuse or mistreatment.