Culture

A Hidden Life

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Auteur director Terrence Malick commemorates the life of Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter who, when called up for his second round of military service during the Second World War, refused to pledge allegiance to Hitler.

The film is a meditative hymn to commemorate Franz and the life he has with his wife, Franziska, and their young children on their farm in a stunning mountainous valley; a world away from the brutalities of the Nazi war machine.

Oscar Marzaroli

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Oscar Marzaroli (1933-1988) is, unquestionably, one of the finest photographers Scotland has ever produced. His pictures of Glasgow and its people, in particular, are an intrinsic and iconic party of the city’s self-image. It is extraordinary, therefore, that this brilliant exhibition in Glasgow’s pre-eminent photography gallery is the first major show of his work in 30 years.

Anselm Kiefer

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Anselm Kiefer is something of an anomaly in the upper reaches of the contemporary art world.

In a period when the super-rich who set many trends favour the vacuous and decorative, his work engages with big ideas about society and history. He’s not shy of taking a political stand either: for several years he refused to attend his openings in the US, in protest against the Iraq war.

Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Charlotte Salomon was born at the end of the First World War and grew up in Berlin with her Jewish parents. The work on display in this show is a history of her family before she was born and her own life story. However if you go to this exhibition expecting to be immersed in the Jewish experience of Berlin, you’re going to have your ideas turned on their head.

Swimming Lessons

Issue section: 

The Skints’s sound combines punk, ska and reggae. Their recent tour promoting new album Swimming Lessons offered the audience a blast of emotions, whether they were jumping around to some songs, or swaying slowly to others.

They have made a name dealing with political issues. On the Short Change EP, “The Cost of Living is Killing Me” was an exploration of the deteriorating quality of life under a system intent on destroying the welfare state that Labour built.

Cheap Queen

Issue section: 
Author: 

King Princess burst onto the scene in 2018 with singles “1950” and “Pussy is God”, which unambiguously rejected heteronormative sexuality in a pop packaging, as in the line, “I hate it when men try to chase me”.

The newly minted queer young icon releases her debut album Cheap Queen to much anticipation. Now 20 years old, the title and cover photo where her face is painted like a drag queen are nods to a lineage of underground LGBTQ+ culture.

The debut album is more interesting as a window into King Princess’s emotional exploration than musical journey.

Kiwanuka

Issue section: 

Home Again and Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka’s first two albums, were both nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Little wonder then that his eponymously titled third release was eagerly anticipated.

Born in Muswell Hill, north London, to parents who fled Idi Amin’s Uganda, Kiwanuka’s music similarly has a multicultural inheritance.

Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How to Fight Them

Issue section: 
Author: 

Inspired by the Icelandic Phallological Museum (yes, that’s a penis museum), the director realised there was no female equivalent and organised a public fundraising campaign.

Unlike its Icelandic counterpart, it’s not a traditional museum with exhibits of vaginas through the ages. Rather, it’s a series of changing exhibitions. The first one, “Muff Busters”, is really an information source.

The Irishman

Issue section: 
Author: 

The Irishman, the latest film by the legendary American director Martin Scorsese, has been eagerly anticipated. Now that it has finally hit screens large and small (the movie is a Netflix production, and transferred to the online streaming service shortly after its cinema release), it reveals itself to be a genuine masterpiece.

Five things to do or see this month

Issue section: 

The Irishman
In cinemas 8 November, on Netflix from 27 November
Widely being hailed as Martin Scorsese’s best film in 30 years, or possibly ever, The Irishman is adapted from a true-crime bestseller. It tells the story of Philadelphia mob killer Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and his part in the mysterious disappearance of Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. With Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, it’s one to watch on the big screen if possible.

Pages