A daily bulletin of news & opinion

23 April 2012

01 Music: Global

-KD Lang and the Siss Boom Bang, "Sing It Loud"

KD Lang’s back with a suite of songs that bear out the album title, proudly. “Sing It Loud” is a confident thing that takes Lang back to the future and her alt-country roots, love, loss and “shagging on a riverbank”, as she told Monocle. Recorded in Nashville with her new collaborators (the onomatopoeically titled Siss Boom Bang), the newie’s as assured, lush and beautiful as anything in her 30-year career.

02 Music: Global

-The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

Based on French comics master Jacques Tardi’s comic book, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is Luc Besson’s first graphic novel film adaptation. Charmingly entertaining, the flick follows the adventures of Mademoiselle Blanc-Sec (think Indiana Jones meets an early 20th-century Lara Croft) in France and Egypt. It might not necessarily live up to the standards set by The Fifth Element, and it’s definitely not a “Léon” but with dazzling visual effects and ultra stylish period decors it’s still a must-see.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, director Luc Besson, at cinemas across the UK

03 Book: Global

-Anatole Lieven, "Pakistan: A Hard Country"

Rejecting portrayals of Pakistan as a fissiparous nation, a knife edge away from a Taliban takeover, Anatol Lieven concludes that rumours of the country’s death are wildly exaggerated. Demonstrating his considerable abilities as both an academic and a journalist, Lieven combines reportage and history scholarship to show that short of a US-led invasion, the country’s fundamentally conservative social structure will staunch the tide of radicalism.

04 Film: New York and Los Angeles


Quebecois Denis Villeneuve’s critically acclaimed Incendies opens this weekend. Set against the rugged landscapes of Daresh, a fictional country in the Middle East, the film follows a pair of twin’s journey into their mother’s mysterious past. Bold, gripping, and with powerful performances by Lubna Azabal and Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, the film deservedly received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film this year.

Incendies, director Denis Villeneuve, limited release at selected cinemas in NYC and LA

05 Exhibition: Lisbon

Miguel Palma "Assembly Line"

Portuguese artist Miguel Palma’s “Assembly Line” exhibit at the Gulbenkian Foundation’s CAM is just a week old but already drawing record numbers. The mid-career retrospective with 170 pieces, including sculpture and large-scale installations, focuses on Palma’s interest in industrial and used objects, in particular his love of airplanes. Model planes appear next to a life size racing car and a trio of aquariums examining mankind’s relationship with technology.

Centro de Arte Moderna – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Rua Dr. Nicolau de Bettencourt, Lisbon. Until 3 July, 10.00-18.00 (closed Mondays)


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