Going out: Cinema
Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s electrifying Afrofuturist musical fantasia (above) follows the story of an intersex hacker’s journey to the realm of Digitaria. Oddly enough, it’s also appropriate to call it a work of social realism – issues tackled include forced labour in pit mines – but it’s fair to say this ain’t your grandaddy’s social realism.
A glossy South Korean spy thriller with lashings of highly kinetic action, directed by Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae, Hunt may not be massively original, but who needs original when there’s a no-good double-crossing mole to be tracked down in the upper echelons of the secret service?
With a script from author Kazuo Ishiguro, updating and reworking Kurosawa’s 1952 Japanese classic Ikiru into a western context, directed by the talented South African Oliver Hermanus, and starring Bill Nighy in his best role in at least a decade, Living plays a rare hand with consummate skill.
A serial killer known as The Spider stalks Bucharest. Meanwhile, an actor who has recently given up her career to join her husband’s family in Romania has an uncanny feeling she’s being stalked, in this psychological thriller from debut director Chloe Okuno. Catherine Bray
Going out: Gigs
02 Arena London, 6 November; AO Arena Manchester, 8 November
With their first yuletide collection – the slightly sinister-sounding A Very Backstreet Christmas – up their matching sleeves, the seemingly unstoppable man band (above) return for two arena dates. While there’s likely to be a rendition of Silent Night, also expect a run through of their untouchable late 90s/early 00s bops and ballads. Michael Cragg
7 November to 6 December; tour starts Newcastle upon Tyne
When tabloid mainstays Tulisa and Dappy, plus rapper Fazer, announced their comeback after an 11-year hiatus, few saw it leading to this 23-date arena tour, including four dates at London’s O2 arena. I Need You, Playing With Fire and Girls should all trigger an explosion of na na nostalgia. MC
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 8 & 9 November; West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, 11 November
One of the world’s leading string ensembles for more than 40 years, the Emerson Quartet are making a last visit to Europe before disbanding next summer. Shostakovich provides the repertoire for their final UK concerts; the London programmes present his last six quartets, completing a cycle the Emersons began in March, while in Cambridge they play the eighth, 10th and 12th quartets. Andrew Clements
London jazz festival
From 11 November, various venues, London
Norwegian pianist-composer Tord Gustavsen and his trio continue to develop their delicately bluesy sound (at Cadogan Hall) among the 20-plus gigs on this 10-day fest’s opening night. Kurt Elling and Sheila Jordan, and powerful saxophonist Binker Golding are among other highlights. John Fordham
Going out: Art
Hayward Gallery, London, to 8 January
This exhibition goes potty for ceramics, with good reason. The ancient craft of shaping and firing clay has found a surprisingly cutting-edge place in contemporary art. The wildly playful creations of Lindsey Mendick and Klara Kristalova (work pictured, above) feature here as well as the very different, more controlled conceptual pottery of Edmund de Waal.
The Hunterian, Glasgow, 11 November to 16 April
The gothic imagination of this excellent artist weaves horror and history to disturbing effect. Glasgow’s industrial heritage provides the facts for her first exhibition in Scotland. As well as new video art, she has created a textile with Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios. Expect an unsettling history, seen through a glass darkly.
Art of the Terraces
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 5 November to 12 March
Who knew the subculture of soccer casuals was a defining influence on modern British art? Not me anyway, but this exhibition shows how Mark Leckey, Lucy McKenzie, Mark Wallinger, Leo Fitzmaurice and more have been inspired by fashion-conscious football supporters from the 1970s to the 90s.
Museum of London Docklands, to 16 April
Artists were drawn to the condemned cell in Newgate Prison to sketch those about to be hanged, and one of the most moving exhibits here is James Thornhill’s portrait of Jack Sheppard who cheated the hangman before his eventual execution. He is remembered in this grisly show with others who were judicially killed. Jonathan Jones
Going out: Stage
My Neighbour Totoro
Barbican theatre, to 21 January
The RSC has created a lavish adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s classic animation about two sisters transported into a spiritual realm one magical summer. It’s lit up by Basil Twist’s phenomenal puppets, crafted in Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop. Miriam Gillinson
Let the Right One In
Royal Exchange, Manchester, to 19 November
Jack’s Thorne’s biting adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s cult novel about an isolated teenager and dangerous vampire, drawn to each other in a world that shuts them out. Bryony Shanahan directs this thrilling but thoughtful play. MG
English National Ballet
Sadler’s Wells, London, 8 to 12 November
A triple bill with a premiere from Swedish choreographer Mats Ek, who tried to retire a few years ago but just couldn’t stop making dance. This is his version of The Rite of Springa score that’s been a magnet for many choreographers, butand Ek is bound to have his own idiosyncratic take. Lyndsey Winship
Beck Theatre, Hayes, 10 November; Grove Theatre, Dunstable, 11 November; touring to 22 April
For her latest show, Pascoe is applying her strain of goofily cerebral comedy to the subject of success. Not just the career kind – although fame, something she’s craved since adolescence, features prominently – but in her personal life too, as she looks back on an extended struggle with infertility. Rachel Aroesti
Staying in: Streaming
10 November, 9pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
This wild western (above) from Hugo Blick stars Emily Blunt as a woman who teams up with a Pawnee man to avenge the death of her child. The tone is droll, the aesthetics are out-there and the violence is non-stop.
9 November, Netflix
The royal saga’s interesting relationship with the truth may have made headlines, but fans know Peter Morgan’s clever, original and relentlessly entertaining series has always been about imaginative insights rather than familiar facts. Season five plunges into the 1990s, an era that began with an annus horribilis and went downhill from there.
11 November, Amazon Prime Video
In light of recent omelette-based outbursts, now seems like an especially bad time for James Corden to relaunch his acting career with this drama about a chef with an unravelling marriage. Thankfully, Mammals has other significant selling points – not least its writer, the feted playwright Jez Butterworth.
Save Our Squad With David Beckham
9 November, Disney+
Speaking of public favour: between Qatar-related controversy and royal queueing, the Beckham brand has been on a rollercoaster lately. Yet this sweet new docuseries – in which Becks coaches a struggling youth team in his native east London – seems like the perfect way to recement his good-guy image. RA
Staying in: Games
It Takes Two
Out now, Nintendo Switch
A fantastic cooperative game (above) in which a warring couple are shrunk to miniature proportions and forced to work together to escape their own home (and work on their marital issues). Now available on Switch.
Space Tail: Every Journey Leads Home
Out now, all platforms
A run-and-jump puzzle game about being the first dog in space, this extraterrestrial adventure looks cute but clever. Keza MacDonald
Staying in: Albums
First Aid Kit – Palomino
Four years after landing inside the UK top three with fourth album Ruins, Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg (above) return with more widescreen, folk-tinged rock. Opening up their songwriting process for the first time, the 80s-tinged highlight Out of My Head features assistance from Lykke Li acolyte Björn Yttling.
Big Joanie – Back Home
The British punk trio, AKA guitarist Stephanie Phillips, bassist Estella Adeyeri, and drummer Chardine Taylor-Stone, return with their second album of roughly hewn but endlessly satisfying alt-rock. While the muscular Happier Still channels Nirvana’s churning and frayed emotion, there are also lean excursions into new wave as on the juddering Sainted.
Phoenix – Alpha Zulu
Recorded in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the Louvre, French quartet Phoenix’s seventh album finds them returning to the decadent indie-disco anthems of old. Recent single Tonight, a breezy collaboration with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, parties like it’s 2009, while the lithe title track skirts the hem of funky.
Joji – Smithereens
George Miller’s career trajectory has been pretty unusual. In 2017, the Japanese-born multi-hyphenate killed off his YouTube prankster persona Filthy Frank and switched to his current mode as Joji, purveyor of tactile, lo-fi R&B. This third album is led by the gorgeous ballad Glimpse of Us, which currently has half a billion streams.MC
Staying in: Brain food
Literary Hub’s latest series promises “bedtime stories for adults” through modern retellings of Aesop’s fables (above). With morality tales penned by writers including Rivers Solomon, the Booker-shortlisted Mieko Kawakami and Pulitzer-nominated Lydia Millet, there’s plenty to keep you up and thinking.
Cookbooks and Home Economics
Online, Internet Archive
If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen, the Internet Archive’s digital collection can provide inspiration with its 12,000 cookbooks dating back to 1475. Take on everything from cow heel jelly to parsnip cakes.
Is That Black Enough for You?!?
11 November, Netflix
Film historian Elvis Mitchell examines the 1970s revolution in African American cinema. As well as featuring stars like Samuel L Jackson, Mitchell excels when he is led by his personal memories of viewing. Ammar Kalia
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