Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

12 June 2015

FILM: The Misfits

“You can really see her emerging as an actress – she was 36 at that time – and Hollywood would not embrace her much longer as a sex symbol, so she was trying to transform her life”

Karen Krizanovich, film critic

Arthur Miller’s classic 1961 tale of doomed western romance The Misfits, directed by John Huston, is being rereleased in cinemas this summer and the story of a young divorcee played by Marilyn Monroe caught between lovers is no less emotionally stark than the day it was first unleashed. This was both Monroe and her co-star Clark Gable’s last ever film and a poignant sense of melancholy hangs over every performance – best wallowed among on as big a screen as possible.

TV: Halt and Catch Fire

“It doesn’t feel like nostalgia. It’s a new way to reinterpret the past for those who remember it but also to teach people about the very basis of what essentially runs our lives now; which is the internet”

Jonathan Dekel, arts-and-entertainment writer for ‘The National Post’

AMC’s period drama (the period being early-1980s Dallas) returns telling the story of the computer revolution taking place in Texas’s “Silicon Prairie” tech bubble. This second series has seen the focus shift slightly from the male characters to showing the role of women, which gives stars such as Mackenzie Davis (pictured) much more of a star turn. Though a fictionalised account of a small pocket of the now global industry of computing, this story of the not-too-distant past is one that needs to be told and to be seen.

MUSIC: Christophe Chassol, Big Sun

“He’s mimicking birdsong using piano – he’s just a guy building a really impressive body of work and I love his sound – this album is the best one yet”

Nick Luscombe, broadcaster, DJ and music specialist

French pianist and arranger Christophe Chassol has worked with the greats of French pop such as Sebastien Tellier and Phoenix but his own work is less known. That’s something that regular Monocle music contributor Nick Luscombe wants to change and he recommended everyone pick up Chassol’s recent album Big Sun on The Monocle Arts Review this week. The album’s jazzy, plaintive sound is perfect for summer, offering a woozily easy listening experience – and that title might have been something of a giveaway.

BOOK: 17 Carnations: the Windsors, the Nazis and the Cover-Up by Andrew Morton

“It’s a look back into a different world; an incredible world of royalty and at how barking mad lots of the British royal family are”

Mark Mason, author

Author Andrew Morton (pictured) has found success in the past on the topic of royalty – his controversial book Diana: Her True Story caused a small earthquake in the publishing industry back in the late 1990s. Now he is looking further back in time to the relationship between the royal family and Nazi Germany during the build-up to the Second World War. Unlike with Diana, Morton wasn’t in the thick of things when these stories were taking place, so some of them lack the conviction of tales told from the horse’s mouth. But the questions asked by the author are sometimes as equally fascinating as the answers.

ART: Block Universe

“A lot of female artists, a real breadth of work, so everything from choreography to narrative performances and vocal pieces – a real smorgasbord of performance”

Francesca Gavin, journalist and curator

Performance art is the star of Block Universe that has been taking place across London this week. Get down to Stationer’s Hall in the City of London on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy a collaboration between Argentinian choreographer Cecilia Bengolea (pictured) and French dance talent François Chaignaud. They’re just a couple of the highlights among a weekend roster across the city that also includes works by Irish installation artist Eva Rothschild and London’s own dance innovator Nicola Conibere.

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