sat 27/11/2021

Italy

House Of Gucci review – gloriously gawdy trash

Back in 2013, Gina Gershon chewed up the scenery in the daytime movie House of Versace. Focusing on the murder of Gianni Versace, it was a tacky, cheap drama that knew what it was, and was all the more entertaining for it. The same can’t be said of...

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Monteverdi Vespers, La Nuova Musica, Bates, Wigmore Hall review - small venue, huge impact

I last heard Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, published in 1610, at Garsington Opera as the summer light of the Chilterns slowly dimmed across an airy auditorium dotted with singers who bathed us in scintillating meteor-showers of sound....

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Justin Adams and Mauro Durante, The Green Note review - fiery duo in an intimate space

Two men trade licks: one of them delves into the heart of the blues, a potent dose of the boogie, the medicinal music of the Mississipi Delta. The other with a mournful voice and violin draws on the equally stripped-down and drone-inflected roots of...

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Blu-ray: The Damned

One German writer found a neat yet teasing way to sum up the difference between Luchino Visconti’s The Damned (1969), the first film in the Italian director’s “German trilogy”, and the two films that followed it.The Damned, known in Italian as La...

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as...

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Off the Rails review - go for the scenery, not the script

Mamma Mia! hovers unhelpfully over every frame of Off the Rails, a road movie of sorts in which three women make a music-fueled pilgrimage to Mallorca to honour the wishes of a fourth friend, who has died before time of cancer.The difference here is...

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L'amico Fritz, Opera Holland Park review - slow-burning love, Italian style

“If this is love, then why have I fought it?” The stock romantic-comedy prevarications had a Greenwich Village setting in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town at Opera Holland Park less than two weeks ago. Last night, the place was nominally Alsace but the...

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Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry, Apple TV+ review - sprawling account of the singer's rise to superstardom

The Billie Eilish story is a paradigm of pop music and marketing, 2020s-style. Eilish’s instinctive talent became evident when she was barely into her teens, and she flourished with the support of a close-knit and musical family. But the club-gigs-...

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Blu-ray: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) is Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s dark 1970s satire on state corruption. The...

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Pagliacci, Opera Ensemble, Longborough review - stripped down but live

List all the problems that the pandemic places in the way of operatic performance, and you might well end up wondering why anyone would bother. Opera Ensemble, however, have bothered, in the shape of an accomplished and moving production of...

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Judith Herrin: Ravenna review - flashes of order and beauty in a chaotic world

Anyone mesmerized by the mosaics in seven of Ravenna’s eight Unesco world heritage sites may be surprised by the historical scope of Judith Herrin’s wide-roving history. From the gem-like “Mausoleum” of Galla Placidia (425-50) to the flowery meadows...

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Pinocchio review - wooden heart

This seems a perfect project for Matteo Garrone, a director who has found new ways to conjure old Italian dreams, and invests even his most grimly realistic films with fairy tale logic and wonder. Carlo Collodi’s 1883 story is here returned to its...

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