sun 25/06/2017

France

Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Ravel, Antoine Tamestit, The American Brass Quintet

 Falla: Nights in the Garden of Spain, Ravel: Piano Concertos Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot (Hyperion)Steven Osborne's solo Ravel anthology is among the best available, and it's good that he's now...

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The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger review - voyages round a giant

“Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves.” I’ve quoted these words by John Berger many, many...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, Garsington Opera review - brilliant but frustrating

A drama of passion for essentially passive characters, Debussy’s one and only completed opera is a masterpiece of paradox. How do you stage a work whose dramatis personae hardly seem aware of their own destructive feelings, and who inhabit their...

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Riviera, Sky Atlantic review - codswallop on the Côte d'Azur

W Somerset Maugham, who knew a thing or two about the dark side, summed up the Riviera as “a sunny place for shady people”. On the evidence of this first episode, Riviera is a funny place for shitty people.The first few minutes flung us...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Spotlight On a Murderer

After Eyes Without a Face, came this. Georges Franju is largely known for the grisly, surreal horror of his second feature, about a mad surgeon grafting stalked young women’s faces onto his disfigured wife. His all but forgotten follow-up, Spotlight...

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Frantz review - François Ozon in sombre mood: it works

François Ozon’s Frantz is an exquisitely sad film, its crisp black and white cinematography shot through with mourning. The French director, in a work where the main language is German, engages with the aftermath of World War One, and the moment...

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Midnight Sun finale review - 'terminal silliness, wholesale slaughter'

So here’s the thing: a heavily pregnant woman is hanging by her ankles above a raging torrent. Two teens, one with a broken arm, are stuck down a well. And 15 miners, deep below ground, take refuge from a fire in an emergency chamber, unaware it has...

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Heal the Living review - 'lots of emotion, not enough life'

Three teenage boys meet at dawn. One of them, blonde and beautiful Simon (Gabin Verdet), jumps out of his girlfriend’s window and rides his bike through the dark Lyon streets to meet the others in their van. They drive almost silently to the beach,...

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DVD: Crimson

After watching the grim Crimson, it’s impossible not to feel grubby and perplexed. Grubby, as this is a catering-size example of squalid exploitation cinema. Perplexed, as its plot is senseless, the charisma-free acting so inept that the cast may as...

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Debussy Préludes, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Who needs hallucinogenic drugs when we have Debussy's two books of Préludes? In the hands, that is, of a pianist magician who holds the key to this wild parade, demi-real wonderland, call it what you will. I've only heard two wizards equal to the...

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The Lottery of Love, review - 'the fragile charm of artifice'

The social permutations of love are beguilingly explored in the 90-minute stage traffic of Marivaux’s The Lottery of Love, with Paul Miller’s production at the Orange Tree Theatre making the most of the venue’s unencumbered in-the-round space to...

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French Touch, Red Gallery

Un Voyage Á Travers Dans Le Paysage Électronique Français, the French subtitle, goes further. French Touch is the first exhibition to celebrate and dig into France’s electronic music heritage: exploring the lineage which laid the ground for the...

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