“Alias Grace”, another triumphant Atwood adaptation


This review contains plot details of “Alias Grace”

THIS week, the Supreme Court paved the way for the execution of Vernon Madison, a 67-year-old from Alabama convicted of murdering a police officer three decades ago. Having suffered strokes, Mr Madison no longer remembers his crime, and is diagnosed with both dementia and amnesia. All nine justices agreed that discontinuity in a person’s coherence does not prevent the state from carrying out punishment

“Alias Grace”, a new Netflix miniseries, is interesting to watch in light of this case. It too considers the overlapping spheres of memory and accountability. Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon) is an Irish maid sentenced to life imprisonment; Dr Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) is an early practitioner of psychiatry tasked with investigating her case. With Grace claiming to have no recollection of the crimes, Dr Jordan spends his mornings probing her…Continue reading

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The mysterious reggaeton bangers of Mexico’s election

FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns …

Redeeming Mary Magdalene

EVERY generation of artists has brought its own sensibilities and experiences to the depiction of canonical Christian stories. Giotto, an Italian painter, set Bible scenes in medieval Tuscany. Rembrandt gave his a hint of mercantile 17th-century Amsterdam. “Mary Magdalene” is similarly a retelling of some of the faith’s main events …

The maddest March: at last, a 16-seed upsets a number one

THE line separating the improbable from the impossible is hard to pin down. The annual single-elimination tournament to crown the champion of North America’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in men’s basketball is known as “March Madness”, thanks to the steady diet of upsets it produces. Every year, a few …