sat 08/08/2020

France

Coincoin and the Extra-Humans review – God's gunk

It’s no accident that the eponymous young antihero of Coincoin and the Extra-Humans loses his virginity to the daughter of a French white nationalist in a field close to a sewage farm. The stench of racism pervades the hilarity of Bruce Dumont’s...

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DVD: Who You Think I Am

Imagine, if you will, that the Internet doesn’t allow you to see other people. Because that is the premise upon which Safy Nebbou's Who Do You Think I Am rests. It smacks of an idea that hails from the days of Friends Reunited (one for the...

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The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

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Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a story of impossible love between two young women, takes place in the 18th century, on a wind-swept, wave-battered island off the coast of Brittany. The writer and director Céline Sciamma, who established herself as a...

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Joan of Arc review – tough little number

Jeanne d’Arc was 19, she believed, when she was tried for heresy by her English enemies in Rouen in 1431. Of the actors who have played her onscreen – Falconetti, Ingrid Bergman, Jean Seberg, Leelee Sobieski, Milla Jovovich among them – none has...

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La voix humaine, Grange Park Opera online review – hanging on the telephone

Rustles of renewal are stirring in the Surrey woods where Grange Park Opera has built the splendid theatre that remains, for this summer, sadly out of bounds. Faced with the cancellation of its 2020 programme, Wasfi Kani’s company has not simply...

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Alex George: The Paris Hours review - captivating yet frustrating

A century on, the années folles of Paris between the wars do not cease to excite readers and writers of all varieties. Alex George’s latest novel, The Paris Hours, draws on the myriad charms the interwar period has to offer, condensing them into a...

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Earth and Blood, Netflix review - tense and broody thriller ultimately falls short

There are quite a few good things to be said for Julien Leclerc’s Earth and Blood. It’s a terse and uncluttered thriller which makes full use of its main location, a battered old sawmill in the midst of a dank expanse of forest, and Leclerc has...

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Who You Think I Am review - Juliette Binoche dazzles as she wrestles with dual identities

With influences as diverse as Hitchcock’s Vertigo to 2010’s Catfish, Safy Nebbou’s genre-splicing French-language feature, starring Juliette Binoche, comes loaded with a heady mix of cheap thrills and surprising psychological depth....

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The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine pictures, four of them indebted to Hogarth's series of paintings/prints. So it's not surprising that visual flair has marked...

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Nathalie Léger: The White Dress review – masterfully introverted

Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress brings personal and public tragedy together in a narrative as absorbingly melancholic as its subject is shocking. The story described by Léger’s narrator – a scarcely fictional version of herself – is of the...

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