Discomfort and joy: the director Ruben Ostlund, whose films are funny but subtly savage

The subtly savage world of filmmaker Ruben Ostlund

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Ruben Ostlund’s films scrape away the veneer of liberal civility to reveal our true animal nature. Jasper Rees meets him

‘The Appearance’, 2018, by Eric Fischl

Surreal jokes and juicy strokes: Martin Gayford on the power of paint

17 March 2018 9:00 am

René Magritte was fond of jokes. There are several in René Magritte (Or: The Rule of Metaphor), a small but…

Babylon Berlin is so brilliant I'd advise you not to start watching it

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Babylon Berlin (Sky Atlantic), the epic German-made Euro noir detective drama set during Weimar, is so addictively brilliant that I’d…

Frustratingly unclear: From the House of the Dead reviewed

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Janacek is the master of the operatic title. Think of the slippery, sleight-of-hand emphasis of Jenufa in its original Czech…

Who was the Isdal Woman? And how did she die?

17 March 2018 9:00 am

‘Close your eyes and be absorbed by the storytelling,’ urged Jon Manel (the new head of podcasting at BBC World…

Anne-Marie Duff as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the National Theatre

Rory Kinnear is less Macbeth, more a tetchy manager of an Amazon warehouse

17 March 2018 9:00 am

The Best Man by Gore Vidal is set during a fictional American election in 1960. Two gifted candidates seek their…

A Gerald Barry première really ought to be national news

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Blue Gadoo is one of those cats whose face looks like it’s been bashed flat with a wok. He lives…

A belt would have worked wonders: Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene

The Bishop of Wherever won't have a fit – assuming he stays awake: Mary Magdalene reviewed

17 March 2018 9:00 am

This biopic of Mary Magdalene is a feminist retelling that may well be deserved but it’s so dreary and unremarkable…

Cherchez la femme: ‘Reclining Nude (Femme nue couchée)’, 1932, by Pablo Picasso

Peak Picasso: how the half-man half-monster reached his creative – and carnal – zenith

10 March 2018 9:00 am

James Woodall on Picasso at his creative – and carnal – zenith

Nils Frahm is clever with textures – but it's the melodies which drag you in

10 March 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A Here we are in that twilit zone where post-techno and post-ambient meets modern classical, a terrain that has…

I never expected to last the full hour: Carla Bruni’s C’est la Vie reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

You can’t move for women’s voices on the airwaves at the moment — Julie Walters on Classic FM leading off…

Shall we dance: the cast of Fanny & Alexander at the Old Vic

There's much to adore about the Old Vic's Fanny and Alexander

10 March 2018 9:00 am

Fanny & Alexander opens like a Chekhov comedy and turns into an Ibsen tragedy. Ingmar Bergman’s movie script, adapted by…

A short history of French musical decadence

10 March 2018 9:00 am

My two attempts to see Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at the Guildhall School were frustrated by the weather. Forced back…

‘Melanie and Me Swimming’, 1978–9, by Michael Andrews

Magnificent paintings – oddly curated: All Too Human reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

In the mid-1940s, Frank Auerbach remarked, the arbiters of taste had decided what was going to happen in British art:…

Intriguing but also baffling: The Assassination of Gianni Versace reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

By common consent, including Bafta’s, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was one of the best TV dramas…

If you wanted to cast someone as Spooner, the literary vagrant in Pinter’s No Man’s Land, you’d struggle to find a closer match: director Michael Boyd

The former head of the RSC finds cause for optimism in the Arts Council cuts

10 March 2018 9:00 am

The director Michael Boyd may be drawn to nightmarish and morbid themes but Lloyd Evans finds him surprisingly cheerful

You Were Never Really There has Tarantino's sadism but none of his narrative invention

10 March 2018 9:00 am

You Were Never Really Here is a fourth feature from Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, We Need to Talk About…

Paying homage to the seated diva: a still from the 2016 documentary about La Chana

Louise Levene meets the tormented queen of flamenco, who bewitched Dali & Peter Sellers

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Louise Levene meets the great Gypsy dancer La Chana, who bewitched Dali and Peter Sellers

Every picture tells a story: ‘Maximilian Schell as Redl’, 1968, by Leonard Rosoman

The strangely unique vision of Leonard Rosoman

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Leonard Rosoman is not a well-known artist these days. Many of us will, however, be subliminally familiar with his mural…

I didn’t realise Petra was an ad for Merkel’s immigration policy: Civilisations reviewed

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Most of the history I know and remember comes from my inspirational prep school teacher Mr Bradshaw. History was taught…

'We're using the same Aga and Belfast sink as Jill Archer': how Radio 4 made Home Front

3 March 2018 9:00 am

It feels like a long time since the launch of Home Front on Radio 4 back in June 2014, retracing…

Remembering one of the best – and bitchiest – pianists who ever lived

3 March 2018 9:00 am

I’m unlucky with Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata. Twice in the past year I’ve bolted for the exit as soon the pianist…

The big chill: Allison Janney as LaVona Golden

I, Tonya is not quite a gold-medal masterpiece

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Films about the Winter Olympics don’t grow on conifers. Twenty-five years ago there was Cool Runnings about the Jamaican bobsleigh…

If I were a detective looking for serial killers I’d stake out Frozen

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Frozen starts with a shrink having a panic attack. She hyperventilates into her hand-bag and then gets drunk on an…

One of Anthony McCall’s celestial shafts of ‘solid light’ from a 2013 show with Mischa Kuball

The pioneering artist whose creations vanished before his eyes

24 February 2018 9:00 am

When the artist Anthony McCall was in his mid-thirties his creations vanished before his eyes. Laura Gascoigne talks to him about what happened next