daquise (2)-1

Robin Ashenden reviews Restaurant Daquise, South Kensington

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Those of us who’ve known Restaurant Daquise for decades felt desolated when it was taken over and given a refit in 2009. The old Daquise, for all its faults, was one of the most loveable places in London, with its post-war down-at-heel quality – all plywood and formica – and its Christmassy air of warmth.…

Robin Ashenden | May 26, 2014
Mikhail Shiskin - image by Efrolkina

Eugenia Ellanskaya sees novelist Mikhail Shishkin at Pushkin House

Mikhail Shishkin is considered to be one of the most outstanding Russian writers today. A winner of all major literary awards in Russia, he nonetheless remains surprisingly unknown to many readers both in Russia and abroad. With five novels and two short-stories produced in the past twenty years, his books have now been translated into…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | May 24, 2014
Courtyard of 59 Népszinház, viewed from top floor

‘The Yellow Star Houses of Budapest’, by Nick Barlay.

I first saw the bullet holes in 1978, when I was 15 years old. They were dotted around the wall, at knee height, just inside the main entrance of 59, Népszinház Street, a large three-storey block of flats in Budapest’s poorer Eighth District. This was where my father had lived as a child. He and…

Nick Barlay | May 24, 2014
Jerzy Radziwiłowicz as Mateusz Birkut

KINOTEKA: Robin Ashenden reviews Andrzej Wajda’s ‘Man of Marble’.

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Legends surround Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble, made in 1976 and now issued restored by Second Run DVD. Of how its subject matter – of a Stakhanovite worker during the Stalinist reconstruction of Poland after the war who is elevated by the system, then discarded, then hounded by it – was so controversial it took…

Robin Ashenden | May 21, 2014
Hrushevskyi Street by Amakuha

‘Maidan: Voices from the Uprising’. Molly Flynn interviews Natalya Vorozhbit about her new documentary theatre piece

Natalya Vorozhbit is Ukraine’s leading playwright and co-author of ‘Maidan: Voices from the Uprising’, a verbatim play about the recent political protests in Ukraine. Verbatim is a documentary playwriting technique that theatre artists across the globe use as a way of responding to current events and giving voice to otherwise marginalized members of their societies.…

Molly Flynn | May 19, 2014
Walerian Borowczyk

KINOTEKA – Walerian Borowczyk: The Listening Eye by Lidia Meras

Can a talented artist wipe out his credit because of ‘wrong’ creative choices? Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk is certainly not the first author to lose the attention of the specialized press, but there aren’t many cases in which an art house film director falls to the level of a mere pornographer. Acclaimed during the late sixties and seventies by cinéphiles (see, for instance, the February 1969 issue of prestigious French journal Cahiers du cinéma),Borowczyk made Emmanuelle 5 (1987) and other ‘S’ rated movies of dubious quality on his descent. Although he always claimed a sincere interest in representing sexuality, film critics looked with disdain on his…

Lidia Meras | May 19, 2014
july rain prints

Eugenia Ellanskaya reviews Marlen Khutsiev’s ‘July Rain’ at Pushkin House

July Rain (1966) captures the ambiguous existential crisis of young Lena during the Soviet thaw: that strange, doomed period of liberalisation following Stalin’s death. After a brief rainy encounter with stranger Zhenya, Lena is left with his rainproof coat. Rather than return it as she planned, she finds herself escaping reality with Zhenya’s spontaneous phone…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | May 17, 2014
ticket to the moon airmen

KINOTEKA: Stephen Mason reviews Jacek Bromski’s ‘One Way Ticket to the Moon’

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   One Way Ticket to the Moon (2013) is set during the NASA moon landings of 1969 and follows the events of a young Pole named Adam Sikora (Filip Plawiak) as he receives his Navy conscription orders. Adam is apprehensive about spending the next 3 years of his life in the Navy as it becomes clear…

Stephen Mason | May 15, 2014
prah

‘Prah’ premiere: Kasia Wroblewska reviews György Spiro’s new play.

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Ignition Stage, a small professional theatre company from Manchester, have taken upon themselves the challenging task of translating and producing Prah, a new play by celebrated Hungarian writer George Spiro, and the result is a considerable success for them. What would happen to your life-situation, your sense of self, your closest relationships if you won the…

Robin Ashenden | May 15, 2014