FRIDAY 28th January – SUNDAY 30th January 2022
Pedro Almodóvar returns with Parallel Mothers, a story of poignancy and depth addressing a painful, unresolved chapter in Spain’s history: the thousands of missing victims snatched and executed by Franco’s Falangists and buried in unmarked mass graves. Penelope Cruz plays photographer Janis who, with the help of forensic anthropologist Arturo (Israel Elejalde), wants to exhume the grave outside her village, where her great-grandfather is meant to lie. When Janis falls pregnant, a new plot emerges between her and teenage single-mum-to-be Ana (Milena Smit).
A story of female solidarity that questions how best to treat old wounds, here Almodóvar peels back his synonymous candy-coloured aesthetic (not to say the film isn’t still beautifully shot and full of those signature pop-art textures) to reveal a deep, emotive story rooted in his native country’s pain.
Parallel Mothers is out in cinemas now.
Francis Bacon’s legacy looms over the 20th Century art world like very few others, and this weekend the first exhibition of his work in London since 2008 is arriving. After a long series of delays due to the pandemic, the Royal Academy presents Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, the first exhibition to explore the artist’s fascination with animals and the animal within – a focal point for much of his work. Spanning Bacon’s five decades of artistry, some of his earliest works will be displayed alongside his very last painting, as well as an exclusive display of his three bullfight paintings brought together for the first time.
Francis Bacon: Man and Beast runs at the Royal Academy of Arts until 17th April 2022, more info here.
‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’ at Royal Academy of Arts
‘To be or not to be…’
Shakespeare’s most beloved tragedy Hamlet is bringing its dark mythicism to The Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for the first time – running until mid-April, tickets are already looking like hot property. Led by associate artistic director Sean Holmes, get transported to the infamous Danish town of Elsinore and witness our royal protagonist descend into a state of revenge-driven madness. Tickets start at a fiver to stand in the pit and experience it just as the Elizabethan’s would have – spit residue included – but it is Shakespeare’s longest play so if you choose to stay on your feet, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Hamlet runs at The Globe until April 17th 2022, more info here.
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at The Globe
A photographic portrait of America
America in Crisis at the Saatchi Gallery comprises a collection of work from over 40 photographers including iconic figures Elliot Erwitt and Bruce Davidson alongside modern-day contemporaries such as Kris Graves and Stacy Kranitz. Charting social troubles from the 60s to today, the exhibition paints a portrait of a country through turmoil. Juxtaposing images across decades creates a common dialogue between national events that may seem disparate, yet are undeniably reminiscent of one another.
The role of photography has remained a constant documentation of social change, through Civil Rights protests in the 60s, the Capitol Attack of last year, Presidential inauguration days and 2020’s Black Lives Matter marches.
America in Crisis runs at Saatchi Gallery until April 3rd, more info here.
Sheela G Bright photography, ‘America in Crisis’ at Saatchi Gallery
Lord of the pies
Over lockdown, one saviour has gone somewhat under the radar: Willy’s Pies. What began as a bloke (you guessed it, Willy) knocking out delicious pies in his Leyton kitchen and biking them to appreciative customers across London has since turned into a full-time business, and a proper commercial kitchen in London Fields. Having previously worked at some of London’s top eateries – St Johns, Brat, Rochelle Canteen – this pie-loving chef has the skill and passion. And it shows. Less Sweeney Todd, more Yes please, god!, whether you opt for the chicken with smoked ham hock and leek, or a steak, mushroom and ale, you’re onto a winner. Plus, he’s now added a treacle tart to the menu for the heartiest of meals delivered straight to your door.
More info on Willy’s Pies here.