Sue Jones

Bad Guys Don't Drive Fords

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Sue Jones looks at how advertisers are becoming increasingly desperate for our attention.

Advertising and the entertainment industry have been inseparable for years. We have been used to watching shows interspersed with commercials. The viewers were quite clear that the commercial break was a time when there was an attempt to sell them something.

Back to the Future

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Sue Jones looks at the visionary art of Henri Rousseau.

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) created some of the most instantly recognisable and best loved paintings of the modern era. He is most famous for his lush, dreamlike jungle paintings, many of which feature in this huge collection, the first exhibition of Rousseau's work in this country for over 80 years.

Rousseau was born into a petty bourgeois family in a small French market town. He served in the army and then found employment as a minor civil servant. He lived most of his life in poverty, outliving two wives and seeing six of his seven children die in infancy.

Watts Going On

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Review of 'Little Scarlet', Walter Mosley, Weidenfeld & Nicolson £12.99

On 11 August 1965 a police traffic stop in the Watts area of Los Angeles, an largely black-populated area, provided the spark that ignited rioting which lasted for six days, leaving 34 dead, more than 1,000 injured, almost 4,000 arrested and hundreds of buildings destroyed. The riots were an explosion of raw anger against the racism and brutality of the police, and the continued denial of basic civil rights to black people. Little Scarlet, Walter Mosley's most recent Easy Rawlins novel, is set in Los Angeles while the embers of the Watts riots are still burning.

Is Suicide Painless?

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Review of 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare, The Old Vic

Trevor Nunn's new contemporary dress production of Hamlet is a breath of fresh air. Ben Whishaw in the starring role is just 23 years old, Samantha Whittaker playing Ophelia is still at university, and the emphasis on youth throughout the production brings new meaning to the play. As the text makes constant reference to Hamlet and Ophelia's youth, this production may perhaps be more in keeping with how it was originally intended.

European Social Forum: Preparing a Palace for the People

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The announcement that the third European Social Forum (ESF) will take place at Alexandra Palace, London this year has opened up really exciting possibilities, both for taking the British anti-war experience to the heart of Europe and for building and strengthening the movement in Britain.

The ESF provides a unique space where social movements can come together to discuss and debate ways of making another world possible.

Dams, Lives and State Terror

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Review of 'War Talk', Arundhati Roy, Southend Press £8

Over the last few years there have been a disturbing number of right wing Tory politicians who have felt the urge to write novels, such as Jeffrey Archer, Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie. Thankfully, Arundhati Roy is a novelist who has jumped headlong into the political arena. She writes beautifully, is a campaigner in the anti-globalisation movement and is really, really angry.

A Triangle of Love and Despair

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Review of 'The Hours', director Stephen Daldry

'The Hours' was never going to be a low-key production. Directed by 'Billy Elliott''s Stephen Daldry, and with a Hollywood blockbuster cast starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman and her famous fake nose, it was always going to be up for award nominations and receive a lot of attention.

Kidman, Streep and Moore play three unrelated yet linked women living at different times, who we see grappling with the ideas of what makes their lives worth living and how they can be happy within the constraints of society.

Utopia: Dreams and Nightmares

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I agree with Mike Gonzalez that corporations are colonising bits of the world through tourism (September SR). However, it seems to me that he then goes on to place some of the blame with the actual holidaymaker for choosing certain types of holiday.

In asking, 'How many Ayia Napa visitors see the rest of Cyprus?' Mike is falling in line with the view of many independent travel guides that the independent traveller is an innately superior being to the ordinary package tourist, who will almost always be portrayed as a working class yob devoid of any cultural appreciation.

Grim Fairy Tales

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Review of 'Shockheaded Peter' by Heinrich Hoffman, Albany Theatre, London

'Shockheaded Peter' is billed as junk opera. It's a musical with songs like you've never heard, and it looks like a cross between a sinister Victorian play written by Roald Dahl, and a film directed by Tim Burton and starring the child catcher from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'. It's dark and sinister but it's also extremely funny. The show is based on a collection of German children's stories called 'Struwwelpeter', written in 1844 by Dr Heinrich Hoffman.

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