tue 31/01/2023

Paris

The Art of Illusion, Hampstead Theatre review - a hit from Paris conjures up strange-but-true stories

First came Yasmina Reza’s 1994 long-runner Art; now another French hit, The Art of Illusion, has arrived after eight years in Paris. The two pieces couldn’t be more different: the former is a chatty spat between three sophisticated male friends (...

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Things, Musée du Louvre, Paris review - the still life brought alive

Only a Eurostar day-trip away, at least from London, the Louvre is hosting an exceptional exhibition, which makes the journey to Paris well worthwhile. Things – A History of Still Life (Les choses – une histoire de la nature morte) is one of those...

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Abel Selaocoe, Bouffes du Nord, Paris review - awakening the ancestors

A tall African man stands alone in a pool of light. He has a cello and an immensely versatile voice. In a matter seconds, he holds the audience enchanted. He inhabits the stage as if it were by a campfire in the bush.The Bouffes du Nord, the Paris...

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La bohème, Glyndebourne Tour review - Death and the Parisienne doing the rounds

The sopranos are Ethiopian-Italian and Hispanic-American, the tenor Uzbek, the baritones South African (no EU principals, but it seems you can't have everything). This is opera at its best: the cream of international singers coming together to make...

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Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review - Lesley Manville as a Fifties charlady with a heart of gold

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, based on Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel, is preposterous.  But it’s as pretty as a pink cloud. The director, Anthony Fabian, knows that in these grim times, escapism is good box office.But still, would it hurt to get some...

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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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