sat 23/06/2018

France

theartsdesk in Paris - following in the footsteps of Gounod

It’s a truism that history is written by the victors, but nowhere in classical music is the argument made more persuasively than in the legacy and reputation of Charles Gounod. In a year in which you can hardly move for Bernstein and Debussy-related...

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Isabelle Huppert reads Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - virtue twinned with vice

In an era marked by virtue-signalling, it's perhaps no surprise that Isabelle Huppert – a woman who has always gone against the grain – has opted for a little vice-signalling. Unlike other French screen icons, she is not part of the female...

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Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Not far into Aftermath, Tate Britain’s new exhibition looking at how the experience of World War One shaped artists working in its wake, hangs a group of photographs by Pierre Anthony-Thouret depicting the damage inflicted on Reims. Heavy censorship...

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Ismael's Ghosts review - call me novelistic

The literary allusions and aspirations come thick and fast in this roomy, novelistic, most French of films from Arnaud Desplechin. Naming its characters after Joyce and Melville, interpolating passages from Philip Roth and Bernard Hermann’s score...

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she...

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Break of Noon, Finborough Theatre review - irredeemable?

I’ve forgotten my wallet. This is both embarrassing (where did the fun lush part between callow youth and irrefutable senility disappear?) and upsetting because by the interval of the Finborough Theatre’s revival of French symbolist writer Paul...

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her...

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Michel Hazanavicius: 'Losing himself is how he found himself'

French director Michel Hazanavicius made a name for himself with his OSS 117 spy spoofs, Nest of Spies (2006) and Lost in Rio (2009), set in the Fifties and Sixties respectively and starring Jean Dujardin as a somewhat idiotic...

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece, British Museum review - magnificence of form across the millennia

In bronze, marble, stone and plaster, as far as the eye can see, powerful figures and fragments – divine and human, mythological and real; athletes, soldiers and horses alongside otherworldly creatures like Centaurs – stride out. They pose, re-pose...

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Custody review - unflinching and masterful

Divorce proceedings turn sour in this devastating debut from writer/director Xavier Legrand. Using the full palette of human behaviour, Custody expertly balances high tension and grounded realism to create a timely and lingering film.We start at a...

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120 BPM review - stirring portrait of French activism in the age of AIDS

Activism is back with a vengeance in our parlous political age, so what better time to welcome 120 BPM as a reminder of an impulse that has never truly gone away? A Grand Prize jury winner at Cannes last May and the recipient of multiple awards in...

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I Got Life! review - fresh French comic realism

I Got Life!, originally released in France as Aurore, is a lovely, funny low-budget comedy that should definitely appeal to female movie-goers with a fondness for quirky, feisty women d’un certain age. It’s the kind of film that one would probably...

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