X MEN: FIRST CLASS
HHH
DIRECTED BY Matthew Vaughn
STARRING James McAvoy, Michael Fassbinder
OPENS JUNE 1 // CERT 12A // 131 MINS

As evangelists, millenarians and scholars have learned to their disappointment, predicting the apocalypse has never been an entirely accurate business.


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As the first night of Club Uncut’s annual seaside trip to Brighton’s Great Escape festival comes to an end, a girl passes me yelling “My ears! My ears!”. New York’s Gang Gang Dance have just come off stage at the Pavilion Theatre, where they’ve cranked up the decibels to ear-splitting levels. Really, it was loud. Earlier this week, I’d been listening to their latest album, Eye Contact, recorded in relaxed circumstances near rural Woodstock, and been impressed by the ambient textures of tracks like “Glass Jar”. Live, they’re clearly a very different proposition: the sheer intense forcefulness of their sound physically impacts on the body. It had all been so very different three hours earlier…


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Sad news reaches us this morning about the death of Elizabeth Taylor, aged 79, from congestive heart failure. It's been a pretty grim year so far, with the passing of actors like Pete Postlethwaite and, last week, Michael Gough. Taylor's death, though, feels like the closing of a specific chapter in movie history.


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Hiss Golden Messenger
Slaughtered Lamb, London

“I’ll do my best to put you in a trance here,” says Michael Taylor, aka Hiss Golden Messenger, as he tweaks and tunes his guitar at the start of tonight’s Club Uncut show. This is Taylor’s third London show in a week, including an in-store performance at Rough Trade on Saturday. Clearly, he’s on a roll.


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Primal Scream have long held firm to the belief that the past is a hostile foreign country, much of it best left unvisited. It’s a condition that extends, for the most part, to their first two albums. Rarely – if ever – do they perform any of those tracks live, while 2004’s Dirty Hits compilation did a very good job of pretending nothing existed prior to the band’s self-declared Year Zero: Screamdelica. But it’s a strange policy, really. After all, without that self-titled second album – in particular the ballad “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” – Screamadelica arguably wouldn’t exist, and we wouldn’t be here tonight.


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This week has mostly been about Steve Coogan. The Trip – his BBC series with Rob Brydon – has prompted much discussion here in the Uncut office. As has the return of Coogan’s most famous creation, Alan Partridge – who as I’m sure you know by now is back in a series of short episodes released online.


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To the capital’s glamorous West End, then, and the Opening Night Gala of this year’s London Film Festival at the Odeon Leicester Square. Introducing this film adaptation of his novel Never Let Me Go, the author Kazuo Ishiguro hailed the film’s stars – Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield – as being at the forefront of a new generation of actors. Arguably, Ishiguro was whipping up a bit of hyperbole, but Never Let Me Go is part of a slow shift away from heritage Brit drama towards a more subversive and questioning style of movie-making.


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Just a little something that I thought would ease you into the week... Graffiti artist Banksy has storyboarded the opening credit sequence for the new episode of The Simpsons that airs in the States this evening...


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What's this, you say? The Coen brothers remaking a John Wayne classic? With the Dude, no less, as Rooster Cogburn? Is this just the latest curveball from the Coens, the kind of twisted joke they're often accused of playing on their audience?

This was, roughly, the initial reception last year when news broke that the Coens were eyeing up True Grit. And, last week, the trailer finally arrived to prove they were serious.


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More sad news, I'm afraid, coming so soon after the passing of Arthur Penn. Tony Curtis' death, aged 85, feels like the last severing of our link to a golden age of movies. Andrew Sumner spoke to him in late 2006, when he was promoting the DVD release of The Persuaders, his 70s TV series with Roger Moore. Curtis was on typically entertaining form: "Talk to me about anything you want, my English chum!" So we did, chatting at length through his career highs - including Some Like It Hot and Spartacus.


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Editor's Letter

A garage rock round-up: Ty Segall! Meatbodies! Wand! King Gizzard! Cool Ghouls!


By its very nature, garage rock can be a trashy, erratic business - inevitable given the unbridled spontaneity it privileges. One of the many amazing things about Ty Segall and the ever-expanding circle of artists around him, however, is how they've found a way of adding consistency to the...