Socialist Worker

Reviews round-up

Issue No. 1947

Rome Open City

Rome Open City

Rome, Open City
Directed by Roberto Rossellini
DVD released 11 April

Shot just a few weeks after the liberation of Italy in 1945, this film depicts the turmoil of the last month of the occupation. Roberto Rossellini used the scarred city of Rome as a backdrop to his story about the struggle and defiance of ordinary Romans against powerful enemies.

Rossellini salvaged his film stock from scrap, producing a realistic newsreel effect that blurred the distinction between a constructed drama and real life.

He was a Christian Democrat and a member of the Committee of National Liberation. His film demonstrates the breadth of the resistance.

Rita Carter

Silent Alarm
Bloc Party
Wichita Recordings

Bloc Party’s debut album Silent Alarm is guitar music which manages to be angry, funky and tender.

“Like Eating Glass” is a fantastically impassioned opening salvo with frantic drumming, “Banquet” is a delicious piece of indie funk, while “She’s Hearing Voices” takes in elements of hip-hop.

The band sing about crap central heating, love and the destruction of the planet — and throw in some Bush-bashing for good measure on “Helicopter”.

Jonathan Maunder

Chicken Soup with Barley
Nottingham Playhouse
runs until 23 April
phone 0115 941 9419

Arnold Wesker was born in 1932 and lived in the Jewish working class neighbourhood of Stepney in London’s East End. Chicken Soup with Barley is an account of his Communist upbringing.

He was one of the first playwrights to put the realities of working class life on stage. But his plays are rarely produced these days — so this revival by Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company is a real opportunity.

Mary Peterson

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Article information

Sat 16 Apr 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1947
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