The Spectator

17 March 2018

Putin’s poison

Russia’s lying leader aims to convince the gullible that there is no such thing as truth


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

Arts feature

The subtly savage world of filmmaker Ruben Ostlund

Jasper Rees talks to the award-winning Swede about his latest, The Square, a satirical swipe at the art world

‘The Appearance’, 2018, by Eric Fischl


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

An exhibitions roundup that includes work by the leading living representative of a tradition that should be dubbed ‘American anxiety’


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

This TV masterpiece about Weimar Germany will eat up 16 hours of your life


Frustratingly unclear: From the House of the Dead reviewed

Plus: the Royal College of Music give the pros at ENO a run for their money in A Midsummer Night's Dream


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

Plus: a beautifully paced drama returns to Radio 4

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

Plus: Maureen Lipman upstages everyone in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

Live Music

A Gerald Barry première really ought to be national news

Plus: a wide-eyed Mahler Four at Bridgewater Hall

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

Rooney Mara's Mary Magdalene is surely the whitest woman ever to exist indigenously in the Middle East