Arts and Culture
By Sandy English and David Walsh, 5 March 2021
On February 24, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti died, one of the last significant surviving American artists who emerged in the post-World War II period.
The “loss to the nation’s artistic and creative output may prove incalculable”
New reports show extent of pandemic’s devastation of the arts in New York City, California and nationwide
By Elliott Murtagh, 5 March 2021
The unprecedented ravaging of arts and culture across the US continues unabated.
By James Clayton, 4 March 2021
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, the winner of the International Booker Prize for The Discomfort of Evening, has been forced to resign as translator of Gorman’s poetry into Dutch.
HBO’s docuseries Allen v. Farrow: A shameful, vindictive, McCarthyite attack on filmmaker Woody Allen
By Joanne Laurier, 4 March 2021
The four-part HBO documentary Allen v. Farrow concerns the long-discredited claims of sexual abuse aimed against Allen. The series presents no new evidence, but large helpings of middle-class moralizing.
By David Walsh, 28 February 2021
The bankrupting of thousands of arts organizations and the expulsion of tens of thousands of artists from their chosen field go hand in hand with the fabulous enrichment of a handful of plutocrats.
By Clare Hurley, 27 February 2021
The eight-part Netflix historical romance Bridgerton has been enormously popular. The creators hardly conceal their admiration for and envy of the aristocracy.
By Alejandro López, 26 February 2021
In its article acknowledging the mass anger against the policies of Podemos, which it helped found, Anticapitalistas warns of mounting opposition on its left among workers and youth.
By James Clayton and David Walsh, 26 February 2021
Gorman rose from almost total obscurity to the cover of Time magazine in the space of a single month.
By Helen Halyard and Fred Mazelis, 25 February 2021
The December 4, 1969, assassination was one of the most brazen crimes ever carried out by the US ruling class.
By Frank Anderson, 24 February 2021
The restored 1951 film version of Wright’s Native Son paints a lacerating picture of social life in America’s second city.
By Erik Schreiber, 23 February 2021
On its first American album, the band has brightened its sound by incorporating saxophone, organ and other instruments. The weakness lies in the melodies and the perspective.
By Verena Nees, 21 February 2021
The third season of the Charité television series features a gripping story line portrayed by a largely compelling array of actors. It leaves, however, the historical background of the building of the Berlin Wall in the dark.
By David Walsh, 20 February 2021
Frances McDormand plays Fern, a 60-year-old woman at economic and personal loose ends. She lived for decades in Empire, Nevada, a company town owned lock, stock and barrel by the United States Gypsum Corporation.
By Joanne Laurier, 19 February 2021
Miss Marx concerns itself with the latter part of the life of socialist fighter Eleanor Marx—from the death of her famous father, Karl Marx, in 1883 to her own suicide in 1898. Its feminist slant is conspicuous.
By Ben Trent, 17 February 2021
The series amounts to an indictment of the government’s policy during the pandemic and the impact of decades of cuts on the NHS—facts that will not be lost on Hospital ’s many viewers.
By Paul Bond, 17 February 2021
The charges of anti-Semitism against Loach are both long discredited and made in bad faith.
By Niles Niemuth, 16 February 2021
Unlike the Harlem Renaissance, this “Black Renaissance,” organized by the Democratic Party, funded by corporate America, endorsed by Time, the New York Times and the entire establishment media, is pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist and ethno-communalist.
By Alejandro López, 16 February 2021
On Tuesday morning, a detachment of riot police assaulted Lleida University, where Hasél had barricaded himself with over 50 students opposed to his arrest.
By Hiram Lee, 16 February 2021
During his six decades in jazz, Corea achieved an unusual level of recognition, gaining a much larger audience for himself than the genre typically allows.
15 February 2021
By Alejandro López, 14 February 2021
Hasél’s prison sentence for “insulting crown and state institutions” sparked mass protests and a petition for his release signed by 300 internationally-renowned artists including director Pedro Almodovar, actor Javier Bardem and folk singer Joan Manuel Serrat.
By Ed Hightower, 13 February 2021
The Netflix series Easy explores relationships among a group of Chicago residents through a series of loosely interwoven vignettes.
By Carlos Delgado, 12 February 2021
For better or worse, the game is representative of the more “serious” artistic efforts in video gaming.
12 February 2021
By Joanne Laurier, 11 February 2021
Black Legion is a 1937 political crime drama, featuring Humphrey Bogart, which deals with a fascist movement active in the 1930s in the industrial Midwest. It has considerable pertinence today.
By Clara Weiss, 9 February 2021
Konchalovsky’s film offers a view of the crisis of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, but he does so from the standpoint of the Stalinist bureaucracy itself.
By James Brewer, 9 February 2021
A versatile actor from his youth, Holbrook inhabited the persona of American humorist-writer Mark Twain longer—62 years—than Twain himself.
By Lee Parsons, 8 February 2021
Latimer has been turned into a virtual pariah over questions about her ethnic background detailed in a CBC article published in December.
8 February 2021
A filmmaker “drawn to social realism”
By David Walsh, 6 February 2021
In December, we reviewed a film from Iceland, And Breathe Normally, directed by Ísold Uggadóttir, that spoke revealingly and movingly to problems that exist all over the planet. We recently spoke to the filmmaker.
By James McDonald, 5 February 2021
This is Baxter’s sixth novel. His previous novels include First Light (1987), a beautiful and technically brilliant narrative told in reverse chronological order, and the magnificent The Feast of Love (2000), which was a National Book Award finalist.
By James McDonald, 5 February 2021
The WSWS recently spoke to novelist Charles Baxter, author of The Sun Collective and other works.
By Joanne Laurier, 4 February 2021
Set in New Jersey, Radium Girls is a historical docudrama dealing with female workers who suffered multiple life-threatening or lethal illnesses from hand-painting watch faces with radium.
“Remember me”: The 70-year career of American actress Cloris Leachman, from Kiss Me Deadly to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mel Brooks and beyond
By David Walsh, 3 February 2021
The extraordinarily gifted actress died January 27 at 94 at her home in Encinitas, California. Leachman’s acting career, comprising nearly 300 credits, extended from the late 1940s until very near the end of her life.
Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time from Hungary: Love blurs the line between fantasy and reality
By Erik Schreiber, 2 February 2021
A chance encounter leads a woman to give up her prestigious job abroad and return home to chase what might be a chimera.
By David Walsh, 1 February 2021
John Huston (1906-1987) was a major American filmmaker. His body of work from the early 1940s to the early 1950s is especially notable.
By Fred Mazelis, 30 January 2021
For more the six months, live chamber music has attracted a growing international audience.
By Rafael Azul, 29 January 2021
Fernando Solanas, who chronicled the struggles of Argentine workers and indigenous peasants, died of COVID-19 on November 6.
By Alex Findijs, 29 January 2021
Black paid Epstein $158 million for assorted consulting services between 2013 and 2017, far more than more qualified advisors, according to a company investigation.
Mayor: The dilemmas, contradictions and sheer impossibility of “running a city” under Israeli occupation
By Jean Shaoul, 28 January 2021
Shunning voice-overs, archival footage, commentary, and an explicit focus on the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mayor is an engrossing and understated film with moments of black comedy .
By Joanne Laurier, 27 January 2021
The Barrier (La valla), a 13-episode Spanish television drama, is a valuable and convincing warning about the dangers of dictatorship and social inequality, and the terrible consequences of world war.
By David Walsh, 26 January 2021
Screenwriter and blacklist victim Walter Bernstein died January 23 in New York City at the age of 101. The WSWS spoke to him in 1999. We repost that interview here.
10th annual GuadaLAjara Film Festival
By Erik Schreiber, 25 January 2021
Filmmaking brothers favor the personal and shun the political in a Western set in Texas and Mexico.
23 January 2021
By Jean Shaoul, 23 January 2021
Among those supporting Bakri are British film directors Ken Loach and Asif Kapadia, Finnish screenwriter and director Aki Kaurismaki, Palestinian filmmakers Michel Khleifi and Annemarie Jacir and Israeli director Eyal Sivan.
By Justus Leicht, 22 January 2021
The German public television network ARD began the new year with a controversial programme examining the value of police using torture to compel suspects to confess.
By David Walsh, 21 January 2021
In the 1970s, a suburban housewife in the Pittsburgh area leading a largely conventional life experiences a series of increasingly rude and dangerous shocks.
By David Walsh, 20 January 2021
The Times is unceasing in its campaign to racialize every important aspect of life in the US and globally, encouraging divisions in the population along ethnic lines and facilitating the growth of the far right.
By Fred Mazelis, 19 January 2021
The statement by the famed leader of the Chicago Symphony came in response to a call from the musicians, who have been without pay since last spring.
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.
14 December 2020
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.