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Arts & culture with a twist

A month for reflection, with the arrival of aliens, stories inspired by migrants, the return of a classic drama and a gifted songwriter – plus a look at some innovative art, all detailed by James Gill
Arts & culture with a twist
November 14, 2016   |    James Gill

FILM

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ARRIVAL (12A)

It might look like just another aliens-visit-Earth outing, but Arrival is director Denis Villeneuve’s best film so far. It deals with life, love and loss, and packs an emotional wallop. While the cast – Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker – deliver, the real star is Villeneuve who has emerged as one of the most exciting filmmakers of his generation. His next project is Blade Runner 2049. They’re lucky to have him.
In cinemas now

FESTIVAL

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LONDON STORIES: MADE BY MIGRANTS

Given post-Brexit vote Britain, this spoken-word festival – where around 30 migrants share their stories of moving to London – could not feel more pertinent. Audience groups of five will be taken on a journey around Battersea Arts Centre to hear a selection of tales from people who now consider the capital their home.
Battersea Arts Centre, until 26 Nov, £12.50-£15

THEATRE

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AN INSPECTOR CALLS

Before Stephen Daldry became the toast of Hollywood with such commercial and critical hits as Billy Elliot, The Reader and The Hours, he made his name in theatre- land with JB Priestley’s classic thriller An Inspector Calls. Daldry is back to re-direct this limited run about a mysterious inspector who halts a dinner party with an enquiry about a dead woman.
Playhouse Theatre, until 4 Feb 2017, from £17.10

EXHIBITION

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ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM

It’s hard to argue that any good can come from a global conflict. However, such was the explosive release of tension following the Second World War, it helped give birth to beat poets, rock ’n’ roll and a group of artists, including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, who would leave an indelible mark on the painting world. This is an experience that stays with you.
Royal Academy of Arts, until 2 Jan 2017, from £12

MUSIC

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YUSUF/CAT STEVENS

Cat Stevens is a man who walked away from the music industry at his 1970s peak (he’s sold an eye-watering 60 million albums worldwide) to convert to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf and focused on philanthropy. Now he’s back performing live, although this is more musical journey than tour with Yusuf/Cat telling the story of his life, while playing some beloved songs.
UK tour, until 20 Nov, from £50

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