Our weekend arts and culture picks, from Succession to Lana Del Rey
With the clocks set to leap forward this weekend and the Easter holidays around the corner, it’s undeniable: spring is finally here.
And what more fitting way to spend a seasonal March weekend than by imbibing some of the best culture on offer. Whether it’s TV series, films, music, art shows or theatre, there is a plethora of options over the next few days, and The Independent’s team of critics and culture editors have hand-selected some of the best.
Chief art critic Mark Hudson reviews a flawed but possibly essential modern art exhibit at the National Gallery. TV editor Ellie Harrison celebrates the return of the best show on television, Succession, and features editor Adam White looks at three very different film releases, including the fourth John Wick, out in cinemas today. Meanwhile, music editor Roisin O’Connor sings the praises of Lana Del Rey’s new album (cumbersomely titled Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd). Arts editor Jessie Thompson picks out Paris Hilton’s surprising new memoir, and talks about the unexpected start to the Barbican’s run of Olga Tokarczuk adaptation Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.
Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life
There are just a few weeks left – extending over the Easter holidays – for this insightful overview of the great British sculptor’s life and work. Having Hepworth’s hugely atmospheric studio and garden just around the corner, and the sea and moorland that inspired her visible through the gallery window, makes for an irresistible package. Tate St Ives, until 1 May
After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art
Intriguing overview of the great turn-of-the-20th-century art revolution, extending the story from Paris to Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona and Vienna. Not everything convinces, but there are enough superb works from Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse and most of the other usual suspects to excite you all over again about one of art’s supreme moments. National Gallery, until 13 August
Betty Woodman and George Woodman
The Bloomsbury Group’s rural hideaway makes an apt setting for a show on another 20th-century rustic utopian experiment – Antella, the Tuscan farmhouse of American artists Betty and George Woodman. Including pottery, paintings, photography and design, this is the first UK exhibition to show the increasingly influential couple’s work together. Charleston, East Sussex, until 10 September
Mark Hudson, chief art critic
The Imagination Muscle by Albert Read
Here’s the perfect book for your weekend, because it will give you an excuse to scrap your gym session. Take Albert Read’s advice and start training your imagination instead. He believes it is a muscle – one that can be developed. In his fascinating new book, he explores how ideas have developed over thousands of years, across art, science, film, and literature, and explains how you can start find more of them.
The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
This weekend marks 100 years since the birth of novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. This surely calls for us all to dive back into the warm hug of a family saga that is the Cazalet Chronicles. (If you’ve yet to read the books, your life is not yet complete.) The series begins on the cusp of wartime, with a teeming cast of characters who are invariably posh, emotionally tortured and having either affairs or children. The kids are naughty – and when they grow up in later books, they are also emotionally tortured and having affairs or children. Escapism at its best.
Paris the Memoir by Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton: the first lady of “being famous for being famous”? The queen of Noughties “it girls”? Possibly, but her memoir, published this week, suggests she’s also a more complicated figure beneath the privilege and chihuahua puppies in handbags. She discusses it in detail with Adam White for our Saturday Interview.
Jessie Thompson, arts editor
80 for Brady
The very funny Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin/Sally Field/Rita Moreno press tour that kept going viral in January also has a film attached – and it’s arriving on British shores this weekend. 80 for Brady is potentially the most American film in existence, revolving around a quartet of friends who travel to the Super Bowl to meet their hero, now-retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady (who plays himself). This is corny, stars-and-stripes silliness, entirely rescued by its eminently watchable leads. In cinemas now
Mia Goth extends her reign as queen of deeply uncomfortable indie horror with this icky, satirical and incredibly bloody slice of surrealist nonsense. She plays a mysterious woman who fangirls over a successful novelist (Alexander Skarsgård) while he’s on holiday with his wife (Cleopatra Coleman). Violence inevitably ensues, building to a Cronenbergian crescendo of goo and innards – which is appropriate, as this is written and directed by Canadian body horror scion Brandon Cronenberg. In cinemas now
John Wick: Chapter 4
Four films in, the John Wick franchise is now so convoluted in its mythology that it’s easy to get lost. When you have Keanu Reeves’s luxurious locks flapping in the wind as he shoots, slaps and drop-kicks hundreds of anonymous hitmen, well… who cares? Then again, the movie’s nearly three-hour runtime may be a bit of a turn-off to some. When did everything become so achingly long? In cinemas now
Adam White, film editor
Album: Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Lana Del Rey’s ninth studio album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, is rooted more in the familial than her past works. Sure, there are some recognisable Lana tropes here, like the LA bad boy encouraging dangerous habits on “A&W” (“American Whore”), along with visuals of palm trees and seedy hotels. But she balances these with beautiful portraits of the women in her family, the women her friends are in love with, and the women her sister’s babies will grow up to be. “I’d go on a seven-minute rant with a repetitive melody,” Lana Del Rey recently told Billie Eilish in an interview about her writing process for the record. My colleague Annabel Nugent notes in her four-star review: “Indeed, many of the songs on her newly released ninth album do fit that description. They are long and can be repetitive, but truly, a rant has never sounded so alluring.” Out now
EP: Rosalía and Rauw Alejandro – RR
Spanish artist Rosalía and her Puerto Rican boyfriend Rauw Alejandro, one of the pioneers of contemporary reggaeton, have teamed up for a new three-track EP titled RR. The couple confirmed their relationship back in September 2021 and have worked on tracks together including “Chicken Teriyaki”, the single from Rosalía’s latest album Motomami. “Throughout the record, Rosalía honours her Latin music roots at the same time as celebrating the future,” The Independent’s five-star review for Motomami said. We’re expecting the same innovative brilliance and sense of fun on RR. Out now
Live show: Charlotte Plank at Boiler Room, Guildford
Tipped as one of The Independent’s Ones to Watch for 2023, Charlotte Plank has been compared to Gen-Z star PinkPantheress thanks to the way she combines Nineties and Noughties grunge and R&B with jungle and electronic music. As we observed back then, however, Plank’s style is “that touch breezier, with perky beats and shuffling rhythms melding with downcast lyrics about ‘lost boys’ and self-sabotaging behaviour.” Her live shows are a blast – head down and find out for yourself. Friday 24 March
Roisin O’Connor, music editor
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead at the Barbican
Complicite’s adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel, about a small community in which men seem to be dying in strange circumstances, has been long anticipated – but the London press night hit the buffers earlier this week, when its star, Kathryn Hunter, was taken ill. The role has been taken on by understudy Amanda Hadingue while she recuperates, but word from its early run at the Bristol Old Vic is that Hunter is magnificent in the three-hour show. An added poignancy to the production is that it’s Hunter’s first major stage role since her husband, Complicite co-founder Marcello Magni, passed away last September. Until 1 April
Accidental Death of an Anarchist at Lyric Hammersmith
Tom Basden wrote one of the most underrated British comedies of recent years with Here We Go, a gentle comedy about a slightly eccentric but very relatable family. He’s now adapted Dario Fo’s farce, about a mysterious death and the apparent culprit, for the stage, with Daniel Rigby starring. Could it be the next One Man, Two Guvnors? Until 8 April
Jessie Thompson, arts editor
Fresh from playing a ruthless commander in The Last of Us, the brilliant Melanie Lynskey is back on screens for the second season of Yellowjackets, playing one of the plucky survivors of a plane crash in the Nineties. As our critic Nick Hilton wrote, the show is “preposterous, but fun. Gruesome, but fun. Tantalising, but fun”. Out now on Paramount Plus
The latest iteration of one of Charles Dickens’s most adapted books arrives this weekend, starring Olivia Colman as an opium-smoking Miss Havisham and Fionn Whitehead as effing-and-blinding orphan Pip. Purists are likely to be shocked and appalled, as Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has got the reins on this one and he’s sexed up the Victorian tale quite a bit. Whatever your position, it’s Sunday night viewing that will get the country talking, that’s for sure. Sunday at 9pm on BBC One
Succession is back for a fourth and final season, after a backstabbing series three finale in which the Roy children were pitted against their father and escort-turned-playwright Willa accepted Connor’s proposal with a brilliant “f*** it, how bad can it be?” In the new episodes, the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson moves ever closer, provoking more familial division among the Roys. Let the games begin. Monday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic
Ellie Harrison, TV editor