Going out: Cinema
Don’t Worry Darling
Forget all the press hoopla, the Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine rumours, the internet drama of it all. Director Olivia Wilde’s Stepford Wives-meets-Mad Men thriller (above) is a fun shortcut to seeing some of the most gorgeous young stars of the moment do their thing in a series of unbelievably cute outfits. The plot might not totally cohere, but this film is a visual feast, and Florence Pugh gets to prove she’s just as good in a silly romp as she was in Lady Macbeth.
Set at some point in the future, and based on the short story Saying Goodbye to Yang, this quietly incisive family drama, starring an excellent Colin Farrell, is tonally of a piece with director Kogonada’s acclaimed Columbus, but this offering sees the former video essayist hop genres into contemplative sci-fi: the eponymous Yang is an android big brother to a couple’s beloved adoptive daughter.
Catherine Called Birdy
Lena Dunham’s third feature as director is her most warmly received to date, and that makes sense: as a coming of age story set in medieval times – in which spirited teen Lady Catherine must do her best to avoid being married off by her father Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) – the premise alone massively helps it stand out from your typical high school movie. In addition, it showcases Bella Ramsey as a talent to watch.
In Front of Your Face
If you know and love the work of director Hong Sang-soo, you’re in for a treat. This contemplative story of sisters reconnecting will be catnip to those in tune with the South Korean auteur’s improvisational rhythms. Catherine Bray
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Going out: Gigs
25 September to 12 October; UK tour starts Belfast
Another week another anniversary tour, this time to mark 30 years of Evan Dando et al’s 1992 slacker classic, It’s a Shame About Ray. Careworn, nonchalant, and stylishly frayed at the edges, the album’s short swathes of soft alt-rock and ramshackle country should make for a gentle stroll down memory lane. Michael Cragg
Newcastle festival of jazz and improvised music
Bobiks, Newcastle upon Tyne, 24-25 September
The innovative five-year-old Newcastle festival of jazz and improvised music keeps on pushing its new-music envelope – running over three weekends, with the first featuring bass guitarist Ruth Goller’s vocally ethereal, mythology-inspired Skylla trio (Sun), punk-jazz saxist Pete Wareham, eclectic percussionist Will Glaser and more. John Fordham
In This Brief Moment
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 24 September
Brett Dean’s “evolution cantata” is one of the last of the CBSO’s centenary commissions to receive its premiere. It is also one of the most ambitious, taking in 4.5bn years of Earth’s history, as two choruses and two soloists tell the story of life on this planet, and humanity’s impact upon it. Nicholas Collon conducts, pairing it with another elemental epic, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Andrew Clements
28 September to 19 October; starts 02 Ritz, Manchester
Since forming the pioneering, and controversial, drill collective CGM in 2015, west London rapper Digga D has scored three solo Top 10 singles and a No 1 album with April’s mixtape, Noughty By Nature. This nine-date tour is both a celebration of Digga D’s recent successes, as well as solidifying drill’s position in UK rap. MC
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Going out: Art
Royal Academy of Arts, London to 11 December
The great South African artist (work above) is a rugged humanist and cosmic speculator, graphic artist and film-maker, a protean talent with a relentless nagging sense of history. Kentridge creates many-layered works that reward patience and thought in an Instagram age. Here’s the comedy and tragedy of the modern world.
Hallyu! The Korean Wave
V&A, London, to 25 June
South Korea’s global prominence in pop culture is celebrated with a blockbuster show that also aspires to put Squid Game and Gangnam Style into some kind of historical perspective. Discover 18th-century paintings, kitsch pop sculpture by Gwon Osang, as well as music, fashion, TV, photography and cinema.
JMW Turner With Lamin Fofana
Tate Liverpool, 27 September to 4 June
A soundscape by artist and musician Fofana meditates on the Black Atlantic and the legacy of transatlantic slavery, provocatively accompanying roaring sea paintings by Turner. You can never forget you are in a dockside warehouse at Tate Liverpool, or the city’s slaving past, so this may prove powerful.
Modern Art Oxford, to 5 March
You become the performer in this exhibition devised by the legendary artist after research last year at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum. Called Gates and Portals, it groups you with other visitors to go on an experimental journey designed to heighten your consciousness, that promises to replace “passivity” with total involvement. Jonathan Jones
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Going out: Stage
Iphigenia in Splott
Lyric Hammersmith, London, Mon to 22 October
Gary Owen’s critically adored play returns – with Sophie Melville reprising her defining role as Iphigenia, here reimagined as Effie. Originally written in response to David Cameron’s cuts, it’s about those affected most in times of austerity. Miriam Gillinson
Strictly Ballroom the Musical
Kings theatre, Portsmouth, Mon to 1 Oct; touring to 15 July
Need a bit of sparkle in your September? Craig Revel Horwood’s production of Baz Luhrmann’s uplifting musical tours the country, starring Strictly favourites Kevin Clifton and Maisie Smith. MG
The Dukes, Lancaster, Sat; The Glee, Cardiff, Wed; touring to 28 October
Off the back of a warmly received Edinburgh run, the Yorkshire comic – bursting with positivity at the return of in-person standup – takes to the road with new show Buzzed. This winningly upbeat concoction addresses the 28-year-old’s recent engagement, burgeoning celebrity and love of football. Brian Logan
Rambert: Peaky Blinders
Birmingham Hippodrome, Tue to 2 Oct; touring to 27 May 2023
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is on board for this dance reimagining of Tommy Shelby and his gang’s exploits, which Knight says is for “people who don’t usually watch dance”. Rambert director Benoit Swan Pouffer choreographs his company of top-tier performers in what looks set to be an atmospheric, action-packed drama. Lyndsey Winship
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Staying in: Streaming
28 September, Netflix
Two weeks after its Venice premiere, the Marilyn Monroe quasi-biopic arrives, starring Ana de Armas (above) as the iconic Hollywood blonde, and trailing clouds of controversy. It’s adapted from Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 book and promises a mediation on fame and feminism.
The Old Man
28 September, Disney+
“Surprisingly-buff-old-guys-with-a-score-to-settle” is now a genre unto itself, with variable results (thanks for that, Liam Neeson). This series, however, stars Jeff Bridges as an awol, off-grid CIA agent, who is forced back into the fray by an assassination attempt. So it’s bound to be good.
29 September, BritBox
Before Blonde, there was 3 Non-Blondes, in which a fearless trio of Black women – Jocelyn Jee Esien, Tameka Empson (AKA EastEnders’ Kim) and Ninia Benjamin – let loose their sublime foolishness on the UK high street. It’s a standout among early-00s hidden-camera shows, now arriving on streaming.
30 September, Amazon Prime Video
Blue Story meets Blade Runner in this dystopian drill drama about interconnected lives in an urban futurescape. It’s a homegrown commission, promising cameos from UK rappers with cameos from Tinie Tempah, Big Narstie and Unknown T, but it’s the striking, neon-lit visuals that grab the attention. Ellen E Jones
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Staying in: Games
30 September, all platforms
The final football game made by EA in partnership with FIFA (above) brings women’s footie and improved player realism to the pitch, alongside all the usual sporting razzmatazz and ethically questionably monetisation.
Session Skate Sim
Out now, PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4/5
Made “by skaters, for skaters”, this game will not have you catching mad air and pulling off endless Tony Hawk combos, but it’s more satisfying for it. Keza MacDonald
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Staying in: Albums
Tim Burgess – Typical Music
Keen to “give people everything that I’d done”, the sixth solo album from occasional Charlatan Burgess (above) is a 22-track double opus recorded in 30 days. Its urgent spirit means it ricochets between moods, taking in chewy funk, cinematic freak-outs, and, on the galloping title track, a hint of Flaming Lips-style psych-pop.
Maya Hawke – Moss
When she’s not tearing around the Upside Down as Robin in Stranger Things, Maya Hawke creates soft-focus folk built around her feather-light vocals. This follow-up to 2020’s debut, Blush, continues her love for crafted Laurel Canyon arrangements and delicate storytelling, with recent single Thérèse inspired by Balthus’ painting, Thérèse Dreaming.
Alex G – God Save the Animals
Following this year’s soundtrack to lo-fi horror We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, US singer-songwriter Alexander Giannascoli continues crafting both creepy and cosy atmospheres on this ninth album. While the bouncy Runner sticks to the latter, recent single Cross the Sea morphs from unsettling acoustic sketch to weird electronic wig-out.
Willow – Coping Mechanism
The restless 21-year-old genre hopper, whose recent collaborators include Camila Cabello and the internet’s favourite PinkPantheress, sticks with widescreen pop-punk on this fifth album. Cathartic singles Maybe It’s My Fault and Hover Like a Goddess both bolt gleaming melodies and big choruses to screeching guitars and jackhammer drums. MC
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Staying in: Brain food
From Hell to Hollywood
27 September, PBS America
This engrossing documentary tells the story of photojournalist Nick Ut (above), who was only 21 when he took the Pulitzer prize-winning photo The Terror of War during the Vietnam war. Ut recounts the trauma of working in the conflict.
Brave New Media
Independent public-interest media outlets are a vital resource and this new BBC podcast highlights the global organisations fighting to maintain their existence. Episodes feature journalists working in Beirut, Ukraine and Paraguay amid massive political pressure.
AI image generation is becoming far more convincing as technology advances. Stable Diffusion is a recent free software that allows users to play with text prompts to build fantastical images, as well as code entirely new visualisations. Ammar Kalia