Highlights from the last month, as chosen by the entertainment enthusiasts at Red Bee.
With nightclubs closed due to Covid, you can still have your fix of electronic beats, strobe lighting and exhilarating, heady senses by being transported into the legendary history of Kraftwerk and their epic 3D spectacles, alongside the visual world of a Chemical Brothers live show at a new exhibition at The Design Museum. Explore the lights, sounds, iconic DJ masks and fashion, the ‘Godfather of House Music’ and rave culture, but book now as they’re offering only very limited tickets.
BEST TV COMEDY: NORSEMEN
Set in the village of Norheim, Norway, in 790, Netflix comedy Norsemen depicts the barbaric lives of the Vikings as they navigate through the normalities of everyday life while also journeying overseas to the West, where they famously conquered much of England by way of pillage and plunder. Written and directed by Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen, the comedy portrays a juxtaposition of the ancient, brutal struggle for survival and the minor concerns we all obsess over today. The characters are rich in personality, emotionally-intelligent and observant – even when their actions suggest otherwise. Impressively, for this series the writers and directors filmed both English and Norwegian language versions of every episode to ensure the comedic delivery wasn’t lost in translation. Considering the current pandemic, it’s quite nice to watch something that reminds you that life could be much worse…
BEST TV SHOW: DIRTY JOHN - THE BETTY BRODERICK STORY
Loosely based on the true story of Broderick vs. Broderick, the second instalment of Dirty John charts the picture-perfect marriage of Betty, a suburban housewife, and her yuppie, Ivy league graduate husband Dan in the 1980s, along with their lavish lifestyle. But cracks soon appear, resulting in the insidious demise of their relationship, and the raw emotions, manipulation and warzone tactics of divorce ensue. It’s a brilliant dramatization of a fascinating true crime – and very well cast.
BEST RADIO: THE REUNION, BBC RADIO 4
This long-running radio series reunites individuals who were intimately involved in major news, social or cultural movements. Each episode can range from a reunion of those cast in the original 1981 Cats musical, to more serious topics such as bringing together the RAF men held as prisoners during the first Gulf war. It offers a fascinating, honest discussion and interesting perspective on historical events, which may just challenge your thinking on history and life today.
BEST FILM: TENET
The pressure heaped on Christopher Nolan to be the saviour of all cinema is rewarded with a triumphant display of virtuoso filmmaking. The technical accomplishments of the in-camera effects work, the monumental score and sound design, the joy in global locations and breathtaking production design, the career-defining performances by John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, all deserve to be seen in front of a screen bigger than the largest living room offering. The plot requires concentration and speed of thought, sure. But who wants to watch just another spy thriller when you can see an auteur moving the whole game forward? If cinema is saved, it is because of ambition over conservatism, originality over repetition and craft over paint-by-numbers CGI.
Stay tuned for more next month