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British writer/director Armando Iannucci is mainly known for his scathing political satires like The Thick of It and The Death of Stalin, so a Charles Dickens adaptation is a big change of pace for him. But his version of David Copperfield is a worthy addition to the long history of Dickens films. It approaches the sprawling novel through a briskly paced sensibility that at times is almost inflected with magical realism. It begins with Copperfield, played by Dev Patel, introducing himself to an audience on a stage, and then the backdrop falling away and him walking straight into the fields of his youth, making the transition to the past a physical experience. Such invention makes the movie continually engaging.
Additionally, Iannucci’s love of complex dialogue dovetails well with Dickens’s more colorful sentences, and a deep bench of British talent helps flesh it out. Many of these characters have become their own literary archetypes, but Peter Capaldi’s turn as Mr. Micawber, Ben Whishaw as Uriah Heep, Hugh Laurie as Mr. Dick, and more all more than earn a space in the canon of great Dickens performances. And while Dickens is often associated with British history in terms of whiteness, the colorblind casting emphasizes the universality of the story’s themes around social mobility.
The Personal History of David Copperfield is now available on VOD.
Poussin and the Dance is a valiant attempt to break into Poussin’s staunchly academic oeuvre and provide a relatable point of entry, highlighting the exciting elements of revelry and movement despite impenetrable and unemotional rendering.
Anarchist illustrator N.O. Bonzo produces decentralized media in a highly bureaucratic cultural landscape. Their illustrations, murals, and literature emerge in unexpected places, from the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the far ends of Reddit and Twitter, addressing relations of labor and identity in the workplace and on the streets. Growth and care are central themes…
This exhibition explores how images of the human body were used to provoke profound physical and emotional responses in viewers from the 15th through 18th centuries.
With scavenged materials, Amanda Maciel Antunes constructs a motherland.
Where are the directors taking the stage to acknowledge workers’ demands today?
The collaborative handmade paper- and printmaking center at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts publishes new works by Liz Collins and Sarah McEneaney.
There is a debate whether the memory of Little Syria should be seized upon to tell truthful and positive stories about Arabs in the US, or whether any conflation between its history and contemporary politics is inappropriate.
The profile includes works by Egon Schiele, Amedeo Modigliani, Peter Paul Rubens, and a prehistoric Venus of Willendorf figurine.
These horrifying dolls definitely won’t murder you in your sleep.