Review of Reviews Bombshell
saxophone tradition, Buckley has worked with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Elmer Bernstein to Barry Manilow and Bob Dylan, and he was a long-standing member of Van Morrison’s touring band. The Dubliner’s own quintet is a powerfully swinging group with pianist Myles Drennan, guitarist John Moriarty and the senior rhythm team of bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady.
Jazzgate: The Music Of Nina Simone
Black Gate, Galway
Nina Simone’s enduring mainstream popularity has tended to obscure her importance as a jazz musician and innovator. One of the few singers of jazz’s classic era to compose her own material and to accompany herself at the piano, Simone was also an important voice of the American Civil Rights movement and a passionate feminist who frequently put politics ahead of career advancement. Galway guitarist Aengus Hackett’s popular series at the Black Gate, celebrating the most important figures in the history of jazz, reprises his examination of Simone’s much-loved catalogue, first presented last summer, in the company of Galway-based Italian singer Barbara Vulso, bassist Dan Bodwell and drummer Barry Duffy.
Paul Dunlea’s 4 Corners Project Arthurs, Dublin; also Monday 27, Maggie’s Farm, Belfast; Tuesday 28, Crane Lane, Cork
In the last year, Cork trombonist Paul Dunlea has toured with Michael Bublé, curated a jazz series at the Cork Opera House and musically directed the popular Tuesday night sessions at Crane Lane, but even by the trombonist’s breathless standards, this latest project is a major undertaking. 4 Corners is a suite of original compositions referencing the War of Independence, using musicians drawn from across Britain and Ireland, including London-based bassist Michael Janisch, Scottish pianist Steve Hamilton, Birmingham-based drummer Andrew Bain, and Dunlea himself from the people’s republic of Munster. The heavyweight quartet arrives on these shores following dates in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Brighton, so expect a well-honed group sound from four experienced improvisers.
Dublin Jazz Co-Op: Izumi Kimura & Cora Venus Lunny
Workman’s Club, Dublin
The more abstract end of the improv spectrum has always struggled for purchase in Irish ears, and musicians with the necessary combination of technical skill and melodic intrepidity are rare, so this chance to hear pianist Izumi Kimura and violinist Cora Venus Lunny reprise their duo collaboration in the intimate upstairs Vintage Room at the Workman’s Club should not be missed by the open of mind and ear. The talented pair have been work
The office backbiting, the watercooler ambition and treachery, the abusive secrets hovering in the air like smoke from burnt rubber – all of that gives Bombshell the excitement of gossip infused with psychodrama. It’s suspenseful, and deeply satisfying, to see Ailes’s web of power unravel, as Lithgow’s performance becomes a tightrope dance of rage and fear. This, more than a year before the fall of Harvey Weinstein, was the real start of the reckoning, from deep within the right-wing heart of darkness. But Bombshell also shows us the cost that this fight extracted. Theron, Kidman, and Robbie, each playing a character who feels hideously compromised by the harassment that enchained her, create a liberating triumvirate of courage under fire. Together, they drop a very big bomb, and the world is still reeling from the fallout. ing together on and off since 2017, and most recently collaborated as part of Kimura’s well-received composer-in-residence series at the DLR Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire. With an album now scheduled for the summer, what began as a spontaneous encounter is maturing into an important contribution to the cause of Irish musical freedom
A scene towards the close that sees a younger Murdoch setting up literal dominoes deserves amused forgiveness from the Metaphor Police. The queasiness in the depiction of sexual misconduct is less easy to excuse. When Ailes inspects Kayla like a potential slave owner, we are properly made aware that such abuse is as much to do with power and humiliation as with sexual desire. But the positioning of the camera as Robbie raises her skirt is more accommodating to the male gaze than the context allows.
Nobody could argue that quarter is given to Ailes. Stuffed up to the size of two hippopotamuses , John Lithgow plays him as vulgar, rapacious and unyielding. Yet his very monstrosity deadens some of the potential impact. Bombshell is entertaining throughout, but it offers little nuance than a morning spent with Fox & Friends.
Bombshell is crisp, lucid and pacey, not just when it’s revisiting Kelly’s showdown with Trump and Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against Ailes, but when it’s describing the Fox News formula to captivate older viewers: “frightentitillate.” A scene in the women’s dressing room – where a bevy of mostly blonde newscasters choose among a regimented array of form-fitting sheath dresses and spike-heeled shoes – plays less like something out of Broadcast News than The Stepford Wives.
As accomplished as its three leads are, the filmmakers’ satirical disdain for Fox News and its political agenda occasionally feels catty rather than incisive. As worthy as Kelly and Carlson’s stories are, there’s a film still to be made about how the network’s strategy fomented poisonous partisan rancour that has only grown more toxic in the past 20 years. a song recital by mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty and pianist Úna Hunt. Their focus is on works by Pauline Viardot, Augusta Holmès, Cécile Chaminade, Mélanie Bonis, Hope Temple and Germaine Tailleferre who is best-known as the only woman composer of the group of French composers labelled Les Six after an article by critic Henri Collet in 1920.
Beethoven 250 with Finghin Collins
National Concert Hall, Dublin
It’s 250 years since Beethoven was born, and the year’s first major celebration at the NCH comes from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The programme is as pure as you could wish – the first three piano concertos, performed in the order they were written (Nos 2, 1, 3) and
directed from the keyboard by Finghin Collins. Barry Douglas’s Camerata Ireland and the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin will be in on the act before the month is out, on Wednesday 29th and Friday 31st, respectively.
Friday 24th - Sunday, 26
Chamber Choir Ireland
Chamber Choir Ireland starts the year with a midday instalment of its Choral Sketches composer-mentoring programme in the National Concert Hall’s Kevin Barry Recital Room. The choir’s conductor and artistic director, Paul Hillier, is in charge of the first public performances of Sinéad Finegan’s Anthropo Scenic, Anselm McDonnell’s Tearing as it is Woven and Eoin Mulvaney’s Cernunnos, works which were developed under the guidance of composer Tarik O’Regan. On Saturday evening (in the Carlingford Heritage Centre in Co Louth) and Sunday afternoon (at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin) Hillier conducts works by Arvo Pärt (Morning Star, The Deer’s Cry, and Dopo la vittoria), David Lang (excerpts from love fail, his “meditation on the timelessness of love”) and Louis Andriessen’s multi-layered Flora Tristan.
Charlize Theron and Liv Hewson in Bombshell.