Arts and Culture
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.
By Fred Mazelis, 26 September 2020
Management is demanding major concessions from its musicians, who have been furloughed without pay since March.
Toronto International Film Festival 2020: Part 2
Frances McDormand in Nomadland—the danger of making a virtue out of necessity—and David Byrne’s American Utopia (directed by Spike Lee)
By David Walsh, 25 September 2020
It is a serious mistake, a terrible irresponsibility, to treat life in this manner, to turn the social into the “natural” and inevitable.
Toronto International Film Festival 2020: Part one
Under the Open Sky from Japan, The Best Is Yet to Come from China
By David Walsh, 23 September 2020
This year’s event presented some 60 feature films, a sharp decline from the more than 330 screened in 2019, with the festival organizers forecasting a 50 percent decline in revenue throughout 2020.
By Erik Schreiber, 22 September 2020
A skilled and engaging rapper, Nas remains committed to a message reflecting his confusion, racialist politics and considerable business interests.
By Carlos Delgado, 21 September 2020
A suburban father’s life is upended when a stranger reveals a devastating secret.
By Paul Bond, 19 September 2020
Hibbert was widely respected and liked as a person, as well as admired for his work. That he was one of the most important international ambassadors for reggae owed much to his personal integrity.
By Joanne Laurier, 18 September 2020
In Kaufman’s latest film, a high school janitor, presumably in the moments before his final mental collapse and physical self-destruction, has his life—or, rather, for the most part, a fantasy version of his life—flash before his (and our) eyes.
By Paul Bond, 17 September 2020
Rigg was a fine classical actress who ended up successfully negotiating the transition back and forth between stage and television.
By David Walsh, 16 September 2020
Fitzgerald has a history in movies extending back to the late 1970s. He first produced two films with John Huston, Wise Blood (1979) and Under the Volcano (1984).
By Nick Barrickman, 14 September 2020
The US singer-songwriter’s musical film and visual album seeks to focus its lens on the African continent and its diaspora, with decidedly limited effects.
By Joanne Laurier, 12 September 2020
Stateless, now showing on Netflix, deals with the harsh Australian immigration detention program and the horrors inflicted on persecuted refugees fleeing colonial wars.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plan for racial and gender criteria: A right-wing attack on artistic freedom
By David Walsh, 11 September 2020
The actions reveal that the affluent layer in charge in Hollywood is either indifferent or hostile to the process by which art is created, and determined to pursue its selfish, grasping political and economic agenda.
By David Walsh, 11 September 2020
Directed by Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello, the film is a valuable adaptation of London’s well-known 1909 novel, transposed to mid-20th century Italy.
Two novellas on the #MeToo issue: Mary Gaitskill’s This is Pleasure and James Lasdun’s Afternoon of a Faun
By Sandy English, 9 September 2020
Two recent works of fiction interestingly portray the #MeToo campaign in operation, but don’t criticize (or probe deeply) much of what needs to be criticized.
By Stephen Fuller and Helen Halyard, 4 September 2020
The city declared Monday Detroit Memorial Day and transformed the state park into a large-scale memorial for the 1,500 residents who have died from COVID-19 so far this year.
By Elliott Murtagh, 4 September 2020
Hip-hop stars Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z sing the praises of Black capitalism in their new single “Entrepreneur,” part of TIME magazine’s “New American Revolution” campaign.
By Jean Shaoul, 3 September 2020
The film documents the part played by MI6 in the 1953 Anglo-American coup that ousted Iran’s nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and ushered in 26 years of a murderous dictatorship under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
By David Walsh, 2 September 2020
Based on the 1980 novel by South Africa-born writer J.M. Coetzee, with also—importantly—a screenplay by Coetzee, the film is set on the remote outskirts of a fictional (or composite) “Empire” sometime apparently in the 19th century.
Immigration Nation reveals the suffering of migrants at the hands of the US detention and deportation machine
By Fred Mazelis, 1 September 2020
The Trump administration tried to stop or delay the release of this important documentary.
By Joanne Laurier, 31 August 2020
Marie Curie (1867-1934) was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and the first person and only woman to win it twice. Her life and work are the subject matter of Iranian-born French filmmaker Marjane Satrapi’s feature.
By Paul Mitchell, 29 August 2020
Strikers warn that the pandemic is being used to enforce unprecedented job cuts and further privatise the arts and culture sector.
By John Andrews, 29 August 2020
Today, fans throughout the world are celebrating the centenary of the birth of Charlie Parker, an inventor of bebop and one of the greatest figures in the history of jazz.
By Matthew Brennan, 27 August 2020
The album was created in conjunction with a stage play about the 2010 Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine explosion in West Virginia, which killed 29 coal miners.
By Hiram Lee and Matthew Brennan, 27 August 2020
During the writing of the review of Ghosts of West Virginia, the recent album by veteran singer-musician Steve Earle, news reports indicated that his talented 38-year-old musician son Justin Townes Earle passed away on August 20.
By Paul Bond, 26 August 2020
A turning point for Bream was hearing recordings of Andrés Segovia (1893-1987), another great guitarist, whose transcriptions of Baroque compositions helped shape the modern repertoire.
By James Brewer, 25 August 2020
Decisions made in the script distorted the film’s narrative before the highly capable cast ever got in front of the camera.
By David Walsh, 22 August 2020
A French actress in her 70s, Fabienne Dangeville, receives a visit at her elegant Paris home from her daughter Lumir, son-in-law Hank and grand-daughter Charlotte, who live in New York.
By David Walsh, 21 August 2020
Released in theaters or available to stream today, Desert One is a documentary film about the US military’s effort in April 1980 to free American embassy staff captured during the 1979 Iranian revolution.
By Joanne Laurier, 19 August 2020
US filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s new film, First Cow, set in the 1820s in the Pacific Northwest, deals with the origins of North American business—and the value of and the need for solidarity.
By David Walsh, 17 August 2020
Essential conformism on important matters seems an apt summing up of Bill Condon’s film career to date. At any rate, The Good Liar will not do much to change one’s attitude.
By Paul Bond, 14 August 2020
A genuinely popular director of no small talent, he subordinated his critical instincts to a popularist slickness.
By Matthew Brennan, 13 August 2020
The new self-titled album distributes a considerable amount of opposition and anger across 11 songs. The results are uneven.
By Lee Parsons, 11 August 2020
In an indication of the studios’ disregard for the health and safety of workers, now showing up in film production contracts are waivers designed to give the employers legal immunity from suits over failure to provide protection against the virus.
Theater on your personal device
By Erik Schreiber, 7 August 2020
A powerful play based on interviews shows how New York City’s health care workers battled the pandemic as the health care system collapsed around them.
By Joanne Laurier, 3 August 2020
The Invisible Man feeds on the #MeToo mood, becoming the latest entry in what one critic calls “boom times for feminist revenge narratives.”
By David Walsh, 29 July 2020
Even those belonging to certain generations who do not know Jackson’s name will likely recall her disturbing 1948 short story, “The Lottery,” one of the most anthologized pieces of fiction in American history.
By David Walsh, 27 July 2020
Controversies have emerged at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the remarkable art museum, whose director has been accused of a conflict of interest and “a certain deafness on race.”
By Ed Hightower, 24 July 2020
Amid deepening social and political crisis Hamilton came to the Disney Plus streaming service this July 3 in time for viewing on the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
By Fred Mazelis, 21 July 2020
Lotoro has devoted three decades to the research and discovery of music written and performed in defiance of Nazi barbarism.
By Will Morrow, 20 July 2020
While the structure of the building so far appears to have been saved, the greatest losses are the organ and stained-glass windows behind it, which were destroyed.
By Joanne Laurier, 18 July 2020
#Anne Frank Parallel Stories is a documentary streaming on Netflix that retraces the life of Anne Frank, as well as five living women who survived the Nazi concentration camps in World War II.