Alan Kenny

God's Own Country

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This debut from Francis Lee is a love story between Romanian farmhand Gheorghe and farm owner’s son Johnny. It is filmed on location in Keighley, south of the Yorkshire Dales.

There is certainly nothing subtle about this film. From the opening shot Lee sets out to describe in an uncompromising way some of the poverty, hardships and brutality of farm life. Lee almost starves his characters of dialogue. The method highlights well the little world of repression in the family (Nan, Dad and son) as they battle the father’s illness and try to make the farm work.

Over the Rainbow

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A crowdfunding campaign has allowed Nicola Field to republish her 1995 book with a new introductory chapter. The book makes a welcome reappearance.

Field, an original member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), decided the book deserved a new airing following the huge success of the film Pride (2014) which tells the story of the group.

The author explains in a new introduction that the account in Over the Rainbow (OTR) is the first in-print version of the story of LGSM.

A Man's World

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“I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person.” These are the words of world boxing champion Emile Griffith. A Man’s World tells the incredible story of the black man who lived this terrible contradiction.

Griffith died aged 75, just months after Orlando Cruz, the Puerto Rican boxer, came out publicly as gay in October 2012. He was the first ever professional boxer to do so.

Music in Exile

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For anyone who has been lucky enough to see Songhoy Blues live, it seemed impossible that the band had no record deal — their sound is so accomplished. For sure, they stand on the shoulders of giants. It sent a shiver down the spine when at their recent Hackney show lead singer Aliou Toure introduced one song saying, “This is for our father…Ali Farka Toure.”

The Circle

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Dave Eggers, Hamish Hamilton, 18.99

Do a search on any of Apple, Google or Facebook's headquarters and you will see Californian blueprints that chime entirely with those of the fictional internet super-company The Circle at the heart of Dave Eggers latest novel.

Apple has just received permission for its new headquarters - and perhaps this what part of his research - it's a giant ring!

New recruit Mae Holland is shown around "the campus", as if newly arrived in heaven escorted by angels. The twenty-something, bored of her local council job, welcomes every aspect of her new employment as though a gift.

Electricians dispute: sparks victorious!

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Electricians have won a stunning victory which should give hope to us all. After a six-month-long battle they have defeated the wage-cutting plans of multinational corporations

On 23 February electricians learned that the remaining companies committed to the British Engineering Services National Agreement (Besna) had withdrawn the threat of imposing the new contracts.

The "sparks" had been protesting since August last year when there was an inaugural rank and file dispute meeting of some 500 people in London. From day one there was a determination to get right up the noses of the electrical contracting bosses. Gate protests, street blockades, site occupations and picketing were the militant tactics employed on a weekly basis.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

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Royal Academy of Arts

This is an exhibition full of surprises. Before arriving at the exhibition I was full of questions. Hockney's latest paintings are of landscapes. Could I be excited by pictures of trees? Could Hockney, now 75 years old, still paint with the energy and humour he did in his younger days? Could Yorkshire really provide the painter with the inspiration that the US had?

Creating cities without imagination

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New Labour placed great emphasis on urban regeneration, but with deeply conflicting results. Owen Hatherley spoke to Alan Kenny and Jack Farmer about his new book and Britain's ruinous architecture.


Owen Hatherley

How did growing up in Southampton affect your view of architecture?

Zeitoun

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Dave Eggers, Hamish Hamilton, £18.99

The full horror of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005, feels like something distant - a whole ocean away, someone else's problem. Dave Eggers's brilliant new book brings us the sounds, sights and heartache of these dark days through the experience of Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his family.

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