Going Out: Cinema
The Metamorphosis of Birds
Shot on 16mm, Portuguese writer-director Catarina Vasconcelos’s poetic documentary essay starts with the Vasconcelos’s grandfather Henrique, and traces a thoughtful pathway through a family dynasty, using voiceover, archive and photography to create a multi-generational collage.
Featuring probably the best use in a motion picture of ‘NSync’s Bye Bye Bye, and definitely the best use in a motion picture of Scary Movie franchise regular Simon Rex, Sean Baker’s scuzzy, modern-day Lolita fable blends queasily reprehensible behaviour with a sunny, upbeat pop sensibility to create a fable of a past-it porn star and his tawdry dreams.
A convicted murderer (Georg Friedrich) forms an unlikely bond with Hans (Franz Rogowski), a man repeatedly imprisoned for being gay, in postwar Germany, in the second feature from Austrian director Sebastian Meise.
A subtle Scottish horror-drama from debut director Ruth Paxton, A Banquet sees an anxious widowed mother (Sienna Guillory) confronts familiar parental concerns through a less familiar supernatural lens. Catherine Bray
* * *
Going Out: Gigs
12 to 19 March; tour starts Glasgow
Last summer’s excellent Screen Violence, the Scottish synth-pop trio’s fourth consecutive top 10 album, saw Chvrches shed the outside pop producers that cluttered 2018’s muddled Love Is Dead. Re-energised, and finally able to tour again, this sprint around the UK’s largest theatres should have a celebratory feel. Michael Cragg
The O2, London, 16 March
Colombian superstar Maluma becomes the first male South American artist to headline London’s wind-battered arena. Since he’s worked with some top-notch collaborators, including Madonna, Shakira and the Weeknd, expect a plethora of big-screen guests. MC
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 16 to 18 March
The Emersons have been at the top of the string-quartet tree for more than 40 years, but they are planning to disband. Their farewell to London concert-goers is a cycle of Shostakovich’s 15 quartets; they give the first three recitals in that series this week, with the rest to follow in November. Andrew Clements
Cadogan Hall, London, 13 March
Guitar great Bill Frisell, the Jimi Hendrix of jazz, avant-country music, electronics and quirky Americana, returns for a UK solo show – doubling as a trip into the entrancing soundscapes always at his fingertips, and the book-launch of his biography, Beautiful Dreamer. John Fordham
* * *
Going Out: Stage
To Kill a Mockingbird
Gielgud theatre, London, to 13 August
Aaron “West Wing” Sorkin’s stage version of Harper Lee’s classic novel was a smash hit on Broadway. Rafe Spall stars as Atticus Finch, the lawyer defending the wrongly accused Tom Robinson in an Alabama rife with racial tension. Miriam Gillinson
Nora: A Doll’s House
Royal Exchange theatre, Manchester, to 2 April
Stef Smith’s imaginative adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House spans 100 years and includes three Noras, all living at critical junctures for women’s rights. This new staging is directed by Bryony Shanahan and stars Jodie McNee, Kirsty Rider and Yusra Warsama. MG
Bush Hall, London, 18 March
Master of the lightning-paced, gag-dense, precision-delivered set, the Mock the Week regular is back on the scene after last year turning 30 – a milestone that will no doubt spark a few millennial-friendly riffs on the ageing process. Ivo Graham, Felicity Ward and Thanyia Moore make up the stellar support. Rachel Aroesti
Various Leeds venues, to 9 April
Some intriguing dance premieres in this international performance festival, including Jamal Gerald’s Jumbie, reinventing a trance ritual from Montserrat as a dance of queer Black joy, and Frontera | Border by choreographer Amanda Piña, which has its roots in a dance of resistance performed by young people living on the Mexico-US border. Lyndsey Winship
* * *
Going Out: Art
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 15 March to 29 August
David Hockney’s latest self-portraits are relaxed images of a veteran still enjoying his work (above). They feature here in a survey of his use of technology to experiment with the nature of pictures.
Wayfinder: Larry Achiampong & JMW Turner
Turner Contemporary, Margate, to 19 June
A film about Britain, set during a pandemic – sound familiar? – and starring Perside Rodrigues as the Wanderer, a girl who journeys from Hadrian’s Wall to Margate bearing witness to inequality and exclusion. Achiampong shows other works too, including his project Relic Traveller, selects paintings by Turner, and provides a gaming room.
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, to 29 May
Images of the English countryside often feature white faces, from Gainsborough’s Mr and Mrs Andrews to Stubbs’s rural workers. Pollard instead photographs Black men and women in the British countryside, subverting myths of pastoral Englishness. This retrospective includes film, installation and artist’s books as well as her defiant landscape photographs.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to 8 January 2023
You know one thing about this pop sculptor and so do I: he created the public artwork Love, with its red letters against blue and green and that slanting O. Love is a graphic icon that got turned into a chunky sculpture. This exhibition shows it as part of his wider vision. Jonathan Jones
* * *
Staying In: Streaming
Netflix, 18 March
It may have been famously revived by the Canadian musician Drake, but this thrilling, naturalistic Hackney-set crime drama is all about showcasing great British talent: series four sees model Adwoa Aboah join the cast, while Kano and Ashley Walters reprise their protagonist roles and garlanded rapper Little Simz returns as carer Shelley.
Apple TV+, 18 March
Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway lead this adaptation of the hit podcast, which charts the rise and sort-of fall of office space providers-slash-revolutionary lifestyle movement WeWork. While it doesn’t quite fit the voguish scammer drama bracket, as a study of business built on charisma, audacity and little else, it’s extremely 2022 TV.
ITV, 14 March
A murder mystery set in a small Irish village may sound like the epitome of conventionally cosy ITV fare, but Holding – adapted from Graham Norton’s best-selling debut novel and directed by Kathy Burke – has a dark, quirky sense of humour.
Amazon Prime Video, out now
The sci-fi sitcom from comedy giant Greg Daniels (the man responsible for The US Office, Parks and Recreation and numerous classic Simpsons episodes) imagines a future where death simply means moving to your preferred virtual afterlife – although, as series two continues to prove, eternal bliss is never without its complications. RA
* * *
Staying In: Games
Out 16 March, PC, Xbox One
An endearing-looking game starring a cartoon fox with a little sword. Taking inspiration from adventure classics such as Zelda, it is beautifully animated and inviting.
Grand Theft Auto V
Out 15 March, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
If you are one of the 149 people who has not already bought GTA V in the past nine years, this better-than-ever version of the anarchic, misanthropic game of urban chaos is out this week on cutting-edge consoles. Keza MacDonald
* * *
Staying In: Albums
Jenny Hval – Classic Objects
Norwegian musician and occasional novelist Jenny Hval returns with her sixth album, her first since signing with independent label 4AD. Created in the midst of the pandemic, its relative simplicity was inspired by a desire to strip things back and work out who she was as “an artist without the art”.
Rex Orange County – Who Cares?
While the title of Alex O’Connor’s fourth album suits his crumpled, studio-flat-dwelling singer-songwriter demeanour, musically Who Cares? skews more positive. Recent single Amazing skips around syrupy strings and a lilting chorus (“don’t change a thing, you are amazing”), while the jaunty Keep It Up tries its best to promote self-confidence.
Bryan Adams – So Happy It Hurts
Everyone’s favourite early 90s, gravel-voiced crooner returns with his 15th album, co-produced by (Everything I Do) I Do It For You facilitator Robert “Mutt” Lange and featuring – why not? – actor John Cleese. Brilliantly, the title track feels like every soft-rock wedding-reception classic rolled into one.
Ho99o9 – Skin
New Jersey noise merchants Yeti Bones and theOGM return with their second collection of seething hardcore punk, industrial squall and pulverising death rap. Produced by Mr Kourtney Kardashian, AKA Travis Barker, and released via his label, its highlight, Nuge Snight, is a clattering 90 second ode to controversial hip-hop label Death Row Records. MC
* * *
Staying In : Brain food
The Andy Warhol Diaries
Netflix, out now
Following the BBC’s sociopolitical docuseries Andy Warhol’s America, Netflix and producer Ryan Murphy create their own history of the pop artist, taking his posthumously published diaries as their source material. An intimate insight into a complex, guarded figure.
The Big Hit Show
Host Alex Pappademas’s detailed series on how works of art become cultural phenomena charts the legacy of rapper Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Butterfly in its second series. Pappademas documents Lamar’s creativity through his own words.
In defense of the “gentrification building”
Journalist Jerusalem Demsas plays devil’s advocate in this intriguing video essay for Vox, arguing that new building developments in urban areas aren’t always signifiers of gentrification but rather can have a positive impact on their neighbourhoods and existing inhabitants. Ammar Kalia