mon 19/04/2021

Paris

Blu-ray: Charade

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Paris in the summer: Charade was the last word in old Hollywood’s glamorous cool. It was almost the last word for Grant, feeling if not looking his age. Its tricksy, trapdoor plot, with a baffled Hepburn hunted for a...

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Album: LOUISAHHH - The Practice of Freedom (HE.SHE.THEY.)

Somewhere in dance culture or other, the Eighties revival has now been going on more than twice as long as the actual Eighties did. Starting around 1998, it reached an initial peak in the early 2000s as the dayglo-fashion led electroclash, but...

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Album: Mathieu Boogaerts - En Anglais

Mathieu Boogaerts has been recording since the mid 1990s, emerging from the nouvelle chanson scene in Paris, a chansonnier who’s performed at the likes of Cafe Oto over here, while establishing himself as a star turn on the Tôt ou Tard label in...

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Simple Passion review – a case of female amour fou

Pushing 40, Simple Passion’s Hélène (Laetitia Dosch) lectures Paris college students on poetry and is single mother to pre-adolescent Paul (Lou Teymour-Thion). Blessed with a bountiful Deneuve-ian mane, she’s a pale but unfallen bloom in her late...

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Spiral, Series 8 Finale, BBC Four review - justice is done in stormy climactic episodes

If this had to be the end of Spiral, the final episodes of Series 8 (BBC Four) at least ensured that justice was done. We saw evidence that on occasion lawyers may be human after all, and there was even the somewhat disorientating semblance of a...

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Call My Agent!, Series 4, Netflix review - the final bow for the Parisian showbiz saga?

Sad to report, this fourth series of Call My Agent! (Netflix) will be the final outing for this caustically addictive saga of actors and their agents. The show’s unique trademark has been its success in attracting an impressive roster of A-list...

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Spiral, Series 8, BBC Four review - dark days in the City of Light

The discovery of a grotesque murder is the traditional way to begin a new series of Spiral, and this time around the cadaver belonged to a young Moroccan boy, nicknamed Shkun. He’d been beaten to death with an iron bar and stuffed into a laundromat...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Le Cercle Rouge

Misdirection is at the heart of Le Cercle Rouge. The Buddhist quote that opens Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 thriller – "when men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day… they will inevitably come together in the red circle” – is fake, written by...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Breathless

Just as British pub and punk rock of the mid-to late 1970's ushered in an era of music that referenced the history of pop and thrived on irony, much of the French New Wave, nearly 20 years earlier, looked back as much as forward, an avant-garde...

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The Queen's Gambit, Netflix review - chess prodigy's story makes brilliant television

It’s surprising, perhaps, that the dramatic potential of chess hasn’t been more widely exploited. There was a nail-biting tournament in From Russia with Love, while the knight’s chequerboard struggle with Death was the centrepiece of Ingmar Bergman’...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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Emily in Paris, Netflix review - addictive escapism in the City of Light

Is Emily in Paris “the dumbest thing on Netflix right now?” or a sugar-rush of escapism in the midst of our global pandemic misery? “We need things to make us smile,” commented one Parisian viewer. “In the time of Covid,we don’t need more to stress...

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