The Outfit

Leonard slumped over his cutting table

Why didn’t someone think of it sooner? The Outfit – could be a criminal organisation, could be something you’d wear. How about writing a drama that conflates and confuses the two, and make it about… er… a tailor who somehow gets caught up in the work of a criminal establishment. The conceit is worn transparent in Graham Moore’s debut as a feature director. Like a bespoke suit this is a handsomely assembled item, made from fine materials and put together with care and a conservative eye. It’s also more than slightly theatrical, and it would be easy to imagine events playing out in a darkened small theatre. Events? A bit of plot. We meet … Read more

The Dig

Basil on the sofa, Mrs Pretty kneeling on the floor

The Dig re-imagines the events around a discovery so fabulous it needs no re-imagining – the excavation of the Sutton Hoo hoard. First unearthed in the 1930s, and originally thought to be Viking, the hoard turned out to be much older, Anglo Saxon, and eventually yielded up remarkable treasures made of gold, plus examples of everyday household objects that rewrote our understanding of the time, and perhaps most eye-catching of all, a 6th-century ship, buried in a mound as a funeral barque for its owner. You don’t actually learn an awful lot about the actual treasures of Sutton Hoo in The Dig, though the skeletal frame of the part-excavated ship acts as a visual … Read more

Stardust

Johnny Flynn

  Stardust, echoing the title of his most consequential album, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, charts the journey of David Bowie from washout – the big 1969 hit Space Oddity not having led on to greatness – to the moment he became the David Bowie of legend. Gabriel Range’s film pegs that moment as being when Bowie first stepped on stage in 1972 with his new band, the Spiders from Mars, though fans will rightly point out that the decisive shift actually came with the previous album, Hunky Dory, in particular the song Queen Bitch, a moment of arch Ziggy-ness inspired by Lou Reed. But, fanboy grumbles to one side, let’s … Read more