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Heavy-handed treatment: Benedict Cumberbatch is Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
Computer says no: How has The Imitation Game managed to make Alan Turing’s story so dull?
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 November 16:39

The way Turing’s story is told is comparable to the montage in Big Brother when Davina McCall told evictees: “Let’s have a look at your best bits.” The Imitation Game is Alan Turing’s best bits.

Life Itself.
Life Itself, the new Roger Ebert documentary, shows just how important a critic can be
By Ryan Gilbey - 13 November 13:22

Nineteen months after his death in April 2013, a new documentary tells the story of Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert - his bravery in the face of illness, and his uniquely democratic approach to cinema.

"After Copernicus": a new poem by Olivia Byard
By Olivia Byard - 13 November 10:00

After such a hellish catastrophe,
what happens to the angels?
Do they tumble down thrones
and dominions like bankers
from tall windows?
           Or, wings torn,

Inspiring: Malala Yousafzai speaks at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on 21 October. Photo: Getty
Hear their voices: a choral celebration of Malala Yousafzai
By Caroline Crampton - 13 November 10:00

Young British composer James McCarthy and Pakistani writer Bina Shah have collaborated to produce Malala, a dramatic work for choir and orchestra that attempts to capture the spirit of her story.

Better with age: Arjen Robben, who used to play for Chelsea, now at Bayern Munich. Photo: Getty
They may be foreign players, but they’re our foreign players
By Hunter Davies - 13 November 10:00

Hunter Davies’s weekly football column, The Fan.

Strange alliance: Ferrante's Neopolitan novels tell of a decades-long friendship between two women. Photo: Chloe Edwards/Millennium Images UK
In her secret life: who exactly is Elena Ferrante?
By Jane Shilling - 13 November 10:00

As Ferrante’s writing became conspicuous, so did her anonymity. Speculation gathered, not just about her identity but even her sex.

Going solo: in the wild, beady-eyed shoebills are natural solitaries
The silent stillness of a shoebill’s stare
By John Burnside - 13 November 10:00

Staring into this powerful bird’s beady eye – its extraordinary face more African mask than that of a bird – I felt connected for a moment to something old and original.

Looking to Europe: after the Second World War, Churchill became an advocate of the need to build European unity
“One man who made history” by another who seems just to make it up: Boris on Churchill
By Richard J Evans - 13 November 10:00

The book reads as if it was dictated, not written. All the way through we hear Boris’s voice; it’s like being cornered in the Drones Club and harangued for hours by Bertie Wooster.

West-side story: Fleetwood Mac
Excess all areas: the pageantry and farce of the Fleetwood Mac story
By Mark Ellen - 13 November 10:00

If you ever thought the laid-back vocals of “Dreams” sounded as if they had been recorded by a naked woman lying between satin sheets, then it’s entirely possible you were right.

Jazz hand: the historian Eric Hobsbawm in 1976. Photo: Getty
Music of time: A night with Eric Hobsbawm’s record collection
By Philip Maughan - 13 November 10:00

I had heard that a new pop-up space, Spiritland in Shoreditch, would be playing records from Hobsbawm’s personal collection, so I went along to listen.

Ooh-aah: Eric Cantona in 2013. Photo: Getty
Maverick or phoney: why Balotelli has nothing in common with Cantona
By Ed Smith - 13 November 10:00

Ed Smith’s weekly column, Left Field. 

Detail from an 1800 engraving of a bust of Euripides. Photo: Getty
Uncovering remarkable lives through my second-hand Classics books
By Josh Spero - 13 November 10:00

Every life has some incident or episode that is worth telling. And so it proved as I delved into my Classics books, writes Josh Spero. 

Ready to rumble: Ali and Foreman in the famous 1974 fight. Photo: Getty
Lords of the ring: reliving Muhammad Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle”
By Antonia Quirke - 13 November 10:00

A running commentary by Ricky Hatton and fellow boxers to mark the 40th anniversary of the super-fight, in what turned out to be a brilliantly conceived and delivered programme

 

Mind your language: experimental psychologist Steven Pinker. Photo: Francesco Guidicini/Camera Press
A “mischievious” grammar: an encounter with the linguist Steven Pinker
By Tom Chivers - 13 November 10:00

There’s simply no reason to think that language (or society) is crumbling at all, says Pinker.

A cross is seen as the moon is illuminated by sunlight during a total lunar eclipse, 8 October 8, 2014. Photo: Getty
Christians in space: Michel Faber’s science-fiction “last book”
By Erica Wagner - 13 November 10:00

We are in a future that is mostly just like the present. This isn’t the world of The Jetsons: Peter and his wife Bea shop in Tesco, have a cat called Joshua, drive a regular old car and read the Daily Express.

Land of opportunity: the developed world has allowed the poor to get poorer while the super-rich flourish
Capitalism was supposed to signal the end of poverty. What went wrong?
By David Aaronovitch - 13 November 10:00

David Aaronovitch reviews new books about wealth and inequality by Linda Tirado, John Kampfner and Danny Dorling. 

"Do men prefer cricket to waxing?": The Apprentice blog series 10, episode 6
By Anoosh Chakelian - 13 November 8:35

It's sexism and geopolitics for all ages as the teams attempt to invent their own board games.

Ali Smith: "The novel is a revolutionary force". Image: Rex
Ali Smith wins the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize for her novel “How To Be Both”
By Philip Maughan - 12 November 19:00

The £10,000 prize for experimental fiction has been awarded to the Scottish writer for her sixth novel which is “dizzyingly good and so clever that it makes you want to dance”.

A statue of Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo: Feng Li/Getty
I’m in the North Korean embassy in London, looking at a painting of a big brown horse
By Eleanor Margolis - 10 November 9:33

Is the infamously secretive state finally beginning to open up? An art exhibition at the London embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic would seem to suggest it might be.

London's burning: a London fire engine. Photo: Getty
Suzanne Moore: The fish fingers were in flames – then the fire became uncontrollable
By Suzanne Moore - 07 November 12:13

Suzanne Moore’s weekly column, Telling Tales. 

Pink hair: when children become teenagers there are a whole new set of worries. Photo: Ryan and Sarah Deeds/Flickr
Tracey Thorn: I’m still “going through a phase” and it’s not too bad at all
By Tracey Thorn - 07 November 12:09

As your children keep changing, so does the job of bringing them up, each different phase bringing its own specific concerns, which vanish as new ones arise.

In the Frame: Todd
By Tom Humberstone - 07 November 11:19

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Acting out: struggling thespian Stephen Toast (Matt Berry)
Burnt offering: Matt Berry’s Toast is no laughing matter
By Rachel Cooke - 06 November 16:18

It’s as if two sixth formers had watched a few old DVDs – The Dick Emery Show, Rising Damp, the odd episode of Bottom or Alan Partridge – then written down the first thing that came into their heads. 

Dark arts: King has just published his 58th book
Why Stephen King should stop worrying about literary extinction
By Mark Lawson - 06 November 16:15

Mark Lawson’s Critics Notes. 

Cold comfort: Matthew McConaughey as Cooper in Nolan's space opera
Home from home: Christopher Nolan’s space movie Interstellar fails to launch
By Ryan Gilbey - 06 November 15:12

It’s hard to care about the future of civilisation when we meet so few members of it worth saving and most of those behave like they know they’re in a movie.

Malin Byström as Elettra, Sophie Bevan as IIia, Franco Fagioli as Idamante and Matthew Polenzani as Idomeneo. Photo: ROH/Catherine Ashmore
Martin Kušej’s Idomeneo at the Royal Opera House is baffling and troubling
By Alexandra Coghlan - 06 November 12:23

The production is alienating, and not a in a sexy, Brecht kind of a way.

Auteur to author: David Cronenberg. Photo: Graeme Robertson/Eyevine
David Cronenberg’s first novel is so good, he should ditch his day job
By Toby Litt - 06 November 10:00

Consumed doesn’t read as a novel by a man who has spent most of his life writing screenplays – except, perhaps, that it reacts in the opposite direction, towards an art-house pacing.

His master's voice: Clive James in 2010. Photo: Joss McKinley/New Statesman
Visions before midnight: the inimitable voice of Clive James
By George Szirtes - 06 November 10:00

Poetry Notebook is primarily a defence of apprenticeship and craft in pursuit of the elixir of memorability.

Endurance test: Houses close to the Hoe in Plymouth. Photo: Getty
Will Self: Plymouth is for me ever associated with a certain outwardly bound derring-do
By Will Self - 06 November 10:00

As I sat in the cavernous and entirely empty dining room, delicately abstracting flesh-flakes from my perfectly poached cod, my only desire was that I could stay longer. Much longer.

Great pretenders: quaffable these top reds may be... but surely no saint would drink them
What would our comrades make of “icon” wines?
By Nina Caplan - 06 November 10:00

What does the term mean, other than that the wine is big, probably red, and certainly unaffordable?

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