thu 18/08/2022

Paris

Eiffel review - sensuous secret history

This is a romantic historical epic with elan, giving sensual immediacy to a fanciful secret history of the Eiffel Tower, here inspired by a forbidden, rekindled romance between Gustave Eiffel (Romain Duris) and Arlette Bourgès (Sex Education’s Emma...

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Margot La Rouge/Le Villi, Opera Holland Park review – Parisian fancies and Black Forest gâteau

Take an opera newbie along to Opera Holland Park’s double bill of rarities and they may have both their worst fears and their highest hopes confirmed. Outlandish plotting, overwrought melodrama and preposterous, supernatural stage business abounds....

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Blu-ray: Pickpocket

Pickpocket regularly makes it into the list of best films of all times. It is a film-maker’s film, more of an essay on the art of cinema and a discourse on crime than a thriller. Much French art house cinema is characterised by serious intent and...

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We (Nous) review - a low-key look at life in the suburbs of Paris

Director Alice Diop read an article by Pierre Bergounioux in which he described how he began writing to draw attention to his overlooked neck of the woods – Correze, in central France. It was a lightbulb moment for her: “My approach as a film-maker...

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Blu-ray: The Last Metro

The Last Metro (Le dernier métro), from 1980, is without doubt one of François Truffaut’s best films: a story beautifully told, strong on character, sometimes funny and always profoundly moving. Most of the credit has gone to Truffaut and co-stars...

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10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

“Is she at a pivotal point in her life but unable to pivot…?” Eve, the young heroine of Chloë Ashby’s dazzling debut novel, Wet Paint, asks this question standing in front of Édouard Manet’s painting "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" (1882). Yet she...

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Blu-ray: The 400 Blows

Many groundbreaking cinema classics remain frozen in a particular zeitgeist, but François Truffaut’s first feature, from the early days of the French New Wave, is not one of them. Released in 1959, The 400 Blows (Les 400 coups) is so adventurous in...

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Pionnières: Artistes dans le Paris des années folles, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris review - thrilling and slightly flawed

The hidden history of women artists continues to generate some ground-breaking exhibitions that contribute to a radical re-assessment of art and cultural history. This is a welcome trend, though not entirely without risk, as a new show in Paris...

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Surrealism Beyond Borders, Tate Modern review - a disappointing mish mash

The night after visiting Tate Modern’s Surrealism Beyond Borders I dreamt that a swarm of wasps had taken refuge inside my skull and I feared it would hurt when they nibbled their way out again.If I painted a self-portrait with wasps escaping from...

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The Night Doctor review - down and out in Paris

Elie Wajeman’s moodily lit film noir is, among other things, a great advertisement for the French healthcare system. Doctors in Paris do home visits! Even at night, and even for minor troubles such as a painful leg or stomach upset. It costs...

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Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - spectacular escapism

One of the many theatrical casualties of Omicron in December was the official UK opening of Moulin Rouge!, the stage version of Baz Luhrmann’s indelible 2001 film that has already racked up 10 Tony Awards for its 2019 Broadway production (albeit in...

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Titane review - love under the bonnet

The restrictiveness of conventional gender identities explains the extreme body horror of Titane, in which a pregnant rookie firefighter frequently invoked as Jesus bleeds car oil from her vagina and from the stigmatic splits in her swollen belly....

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