26 recommends: March 2024

The Zone of Interest, © Courtesy of A24

Last night I finally got to see Zone of Interest – on the big screen too – and it’s perhaps the most extraordinary and important film I’ve seen, a film where nothing happens and everything happens. Visiting Auschwitz a few years back, I was struck by its industrial-scale efficiency – the normalisation and the dehumanisation – and that’s there in the film. Watch it followed by the director Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars acceptance speech

–Wendy Jones

My recommendation is the covered . discovered exhibition at the Crafts Council. The highlight is Susie Leiper’s six volume hand-written and illustrated version of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd. There’s a crowdfunding campaign to produce a facsimile edition which is well worth supporting: https://vol.co/collections/the-living-mountain

– Mark Noad

Editor’s note: Susie Leiper took part in 26 Words, partnered with Jamie Jauncey, and Jamie has written a little note about The Living Mountain over in Members’ News.

Last week I went to see Asmik Grigorian singing Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House.

I’d first seen her on DVD. Back at the start of lockdown I was writing about women in opera and, having focussed on Salomé, I watched her perform in Romeo Castellucci’s bewitchingly bonkers production for the Salzburg Festival in 2018/19 (a role that would throw her into the opera mainstream). I’ve seen her live a couple of times since, but her Butterfly was the first time I’d recaptured that original awe at just watching her sing. Phenomenal. And plenty of time to catch it before it closes in July! (It sounds just as good from the £10 seats!)

– Max Parfitt

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