Writer-director Guy Ritchie's street-tough look at London's decrepit underworld and the unsavory dealings of four best friends whose cockiness is undercut by some serious trouble features a soundtrack of quick dialogue sound clips, a smattering of classic rock, pop, and reggae, and a few current submissions as well. Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves," known most to rock audiences by the Clash cover, is a great piece of political resistance and laidback dub groove. James Brown's "The Payback" and "The Boss" and Iggy and the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" stake out the sharp end, while the late Dusty Springfield paints the softer corner with "Spooky." Ocean Colour Scene delivers the backwards guitar driven "100 Mile High City," and Stretch's "Why Did You Do It?" is a great recreation of early '70s soul.
Margherita d’Anjou was Giacomo Meyerbeer’s fourth opera in Italian and his first real success. After an absence from the stage of about 150 years, it returned at the 43rd Festival della Valle d'Itria in an outstanding production. Director Alessandro Talevi’s ironical setting - where the War of the Roses takes place at the London Fashion Week - is perfectly matched by the elegant direction of Fabio Luisi with the Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia. The opera, which belongs to the semi-serious genre, moves from the warlike tones of Act One to the idyllic ones of Act Two, where both female protagonists appear: the queen, a soprano, and the wife, a contralto; both seek the love of an heroic tenor equally daring in battle and in music.