thu 26/04/2018

France

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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Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau / Quai des Orfèvres / La Prisonnière

Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the giants of French cinema history, such a versatile master of entertainment that his qualities as an auteur and art-house director are sometimes forgotten. This new collection of his restored films includes some of...

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Hallenberg, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - palpitating Schumann and Berlioz

Violins, violas, wind and brass all standing for Schumann: gimmick or gain? As John Eliot Gardiner told the audience with his usual eloquence while chairs were being brought on for the Berlioz in the first half of last night's concert, Mendelssohn...

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Agnès Poirier: Left Bank review - Paris in war and peace

There are too many awestruck cultural histories of Paris to even begin to count. The Anglophone world has always been justly dazzled by its own cohorts of Paris-based writers and artists, as well as by the seemingly effortless superiority of...

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Stephen Walsh's Debussy - A Painter in Sound - extract

All this time La Mer had been brewing. It was almost a year since Debussy had written to Colonne tentatively offering him “some orchestral pieces” he was working on, and to his publisher, Jacques Durand, a fortnight later listing the titles of the...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Watching what remains of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (L’Enfer) serves to remind us just how good his earlier work was. Inferno marked the beginning of the end, its shambolic production beginning Clouzot’s descent into obscurity. But Serge...

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Capuçon, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - Dvořák in blazing focus

You can't have too much Dvořák in a single evening, at least not when the works in question operate at the highest level of volatility and melodic abundance like last night's overture, concerto and symphony. "Febrile centrists" might look like an...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Mystery of Picasso

What a gallimaufry! The polymath Picasso (1881-1973) was one of the most prolific, obsessed and best-known artists in the history; in fact, without qualification, he remains the best-known, for his genius, his mastery of so many media, his public...

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Journey's End review - requiem for the poor bloody infantry

With Dunkirk and Darkest Hour threatening to storm the Oscars, it seems there’s suddenly plenty of mileage in portraits of the British at war. There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play, Journey’s End, since it...

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