FILM: Under the Skin (dir. Jonathan Glazer)
Critics who saw it at the Venice Film Festival thought it either ‘laughably bad’ or a ‘masterpiece’. This week you get the chance to decide whether Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, in which Scarlett Johansson plays a kind of alien butcher on the hunt for human meat to ferry back to a group of extraterrestrial gourmands, is in the mould of Glazer’s Oscar-nominated Sexy Beast or, like his Birth, will sink without trace.
OPERA: Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera House
Richard Strauss’ barmy opera about a part-human, part-gazelle Empress whose husband will turn to stone unless she can find a shadow for herself (and you thought you had problems) opens this Friday at the Royal Opera House. With conductor Semyon Bychkov at the helm and a strong cast, it’s sure to be a high point of the 2014 Strauss celebrations.
TV: I Was There, BBC Two
In what could be one of the highlights of the anniversary year, the BBC are airing never-before-seen interviews with First World War eye-witnesses – testimonies that were filmed in the 1960s but never made it into the landmark series, The Great War.
MUSIC: Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
Visits by cash-strapped American orchestras are getting rarer and rarer. So, be sure to catch the San Francisco Symphony on their three-day sojourn in the UK. Chief conductor Michael Tilson Thomas offers up a spread of Ives, Adams, Berlioz and Mahler’s Third Symphony.
ALBUMS: George Michael’s Symphonica; Kylie Minogue’s Kiss Me Once
No short blonde woman or averagely built dark-haired man say the 80s quite like Kylie Minogue and George Michael.