sat 20/04/2019

France

CD: L’Impératrice - Matahari

The French have developed an international reputation for a certain smooth style of electronic music. It’s the place where disco and house collide with something more urbane and far less sweaty. Daft Punk provided a defining moment with their 2013...

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Faust, Royal Opera review - fusty Gounod still dances

Goethe's cosmic Faust becomes Gounod's operatic fust in what, somewhat surprisingly, remains a repertoire staple. You go for the tunes, hoping for the world-class voices to do them justice and prepared for a pallid quarter-of-an-hour or two. David...

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At Eternity's Gate review - Willem Dafoe excels in hyperactive biopic

It's all go – no, make that Van Gogh –  when it comes to the Dutch post-Impressionist of late. Opening the same week as the Tate Britain's blockbuster exhibition about his years in London comes the artist-turned-filmmaker Julian...

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Interview with director Agnès Varda, who has died at 90

I met Agnès Varda, who died today aged 90, just once, for the interview that’s reproduced below. It was in Paris in January 2018, shortly before the Belgian-born filmmaker was to become the oldest Oscar nominee in history, for the wonderful...

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The White Crow review - gripping depiction of the brilliance of Nureyev

Genius is as genius does, and Rudolf Nureyev made sure nobody was left in any doubt about the scale of either his talents or his ambitions. Based on Julie Kavanagh's biography Rudolf Nureyev: The Life, The White Crow pairs director and actor...

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An encounter with John Richardson, Picasso's biographer who has died at 95

When I interviewed John Richardson, who has died at the age of 95, he was edging through his definitive four-tome life of the minuscule giant of Cubism. Of the various breaks he took from the business of research and writing, one yielded The...

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Sadie Jones: The Snakes review - lacking feeling

Bea and Dan are a young married couple. They have a mortgage on their small flat in Holloway and met while out clubbing in Peckham. She’s a plain-looking, modest and hard-working psychotherapist; he’s putting in the hours as an estate agent having...

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Old Boys review - short but not especially sweet

How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English schoolboy revamp of Cyrano de Bergerac that flags just when it most...

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Trifonov, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian Wunderkind pianist bags a sackful of competition trophies (Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky prizes; Gramophone Awards). Early recitals and...

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Das Boot, Sky Atlantic review - menacing drama on land and sea

Wolfgang Petersen’s film Das Boot is now nearly 40 years old, but in this new TV sequel time has moved forward a mere nine months from the original story, into the autumn of 1942. Whether it’s still springtime for Hitler is moot, but the U-boat...

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Les Misérables, BBC One, series finale review - more moving than revealing

It took the best part of six episodes, but we got there in the end: the reason David Oyelowo accepted the confusingly underwritten part of Inspector Javert in BBC One’s adaptation of Les Misérables was finally revealed. His pursuit of an ex-convict...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Michel Legrand

“I want to be a man without any past,” said Michel Legrand, who has died at the age of 86. He had perhaps the longest past in showbiz. Orchestrator, pianist, conductor, composer of countless soundtracks, who else has collaborated as widely - with...

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