Landing beard-first

The third Fleet Foxes album arrives after a six-year hiatus and lands beard-first into the debate on the role of the artist in 2017: to reflect the complex real-world landscape or to make an oblique and beautiful piece of art?

Kitty Empire

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Yuri on Ice

I really did want to shoehorn Yuri on Ice into my review of Barracuda, but I just couldn’t work out how to do it. There is a connection, in how they portray the intensity of the moment of competition, Barracuda the TV program with its slow-motion close-ups of bodies in the water, Barracuda the book with its descriptions of the interaction between swimmer and water, and Yuri on Ice with its internal monologues of the skaters’ hopes and fears.

But otherwise, there is nothing in common (I can’t, with any seriousness, suggest that their respective portrayals of homosexuality have anything significant in common).

Yuri on Ice is pure escapism, sweet, silly, gentle, harmless fun. I spent the break over Christmas and the New Year binge watching it, and, given what 2016 has been like, and what 2017 is turning out to be, I can’t be blamed for wanting a bit of harmless escapism. Without wishing to belittle the hard work and dedication of any professional athlete, how nice it would be to live in a world where the worse thing that can happen to you is messing up the landing on a jump! (By which I mean, it’s not brokering peace in the Middle East, is it?)

I’m not a fan of J pop, so I wasn’t impressed with any of the original songs used for the skaters, but I do love the show-tune-esque opening number, and I think the classical piece ‘Yuri on Ice’ is rather beautiful.