YOU wouldn’t believe the random items and emails that arrive on the desk of an entertainment editor. In Spotlight on... I’ll highlight the ones that might otherwise slip under the radar, have some cult value or simply just be worth mentioning again. This week ...
IN her past life, not long after she’d quit her job as a dungaree-clad car mechanic and started releasing cheesy pop singles like I Should Be So Lucky, Kylie’s detractors started to call her “the singing budgie”.
Then she transformed herself from frizzy-haired girl-next-door to cool sex kitten via a rock star boyfriend and a pair of golden hotpants.
It’s fair to say Britain has been in love with Kylie’s pert bottom ever since – oh, and the fact her songs have got better over the years hasn’t done any harm, either.
There are plenty of her catchiest pop hits and plenty of close-ups of that celebrated rear end in the pint-sized singer’s brand new DVD, Aphrodite/Les Folies – Live in London.
The Greek myth-themed stage show was filmed in London’s O2 Arena back in April and it has since been shown in limited cinema screenings across the country after the tour ended.
The Aphrodite tour was Kylie’s most ambitious and spectacular to date and the DVD footage, filmed over two nights, captures the show at its peak.
This stunning concert features Kylie’s biggest hits, including Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Spinning Around and Slow, along with tracks from her latest album, Aphrodite. Directed by William Baker and Marcus Viner, the release also features an exclusive tour documentary.
From golden chariots via flying angels to a spectacular water-feature finale, this is an epic show not to be missed.
But, hey, don’t just take our word for it. After catching her live at the O2, one awe-stricken reviewer gushed that “Kylie’s not just a pop star any more, she is a veritable goddess”.
Kylie: Aphrodite/Les Folies – Live in London is out now on DVD, £17.99
FIVE years have passed since Tom Waits released Orphans, a triple CD featuring an astounding 54 songs that mixed newbies with rarities and studio out-takes, making Bad As Me his first album of box-fresh material since 2004’s gritty, avant-garde Real Gone.
The hipster storyteller has spent most of his career as an acquired taste but, in recent years – helped in no small part by a rare tour that saw him play two nights at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 2008 – he has slouched ever so slightly closer to the mainstream.
Bad As Me represents the Bard of the Barstool’s most accessible work in many a moon, and it boasts an impressive guest list, including Waits’ old mucker Keith Richards – who lends guitar on four of the albums 13 tracks – Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea.
All told, there isn’t a dud to be had on Bad As Me, which is the gravel-voiced one’s most penetrable collection of songs since 1985’s Rain Dogs.
It’s as if the 61-year-old songwriter and his wife, Kathleen Brennan – with whom he has worked on every album since 1983’s Swordfishtrombones – have deliberately set out to paper over the cracks in his famously gruff voice, for there are moments when the vocals are so smooth you’ll find yourself reaching for the CD case, just to make sure it actually is a Tom Waits album you’ve put on the stereo.
Tom Waits: Bad As Me is out now on CD, £9.99
The end of the world – and the collapse of the spirit – has seldom been depicted as beautifully and wrenchingly as in Melancholia, the latest provocation from director/provocateur Lars von Trier.
The film’s title refers both to a destructive planet and the crippling depression of new bride Justine (a revelatory Kirsten Dunst, worthy winner of the Best Actress award at Cannes this year), whose mental illness is so severe that she drives away her groom during their disastrous wedding reception.
As the extinction of the planet looms ever larger, Justine is desperately tended to by her sister, Claire (the equally impressive French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg).
Melancholia’s premise may be science fiction, but the feelings of despair it plumbs are the most heartfelt human drama.
Melancholia, Filmhouse, Lothian Road, Friday-Wednesday, various times, £7.50 (£5.50), 0131-228 2688