mon 20/05/2024

Romania

Brancusi, Pompidou Centre, Paris review - a sculptor's spiritual quest for form and essence

One hundred and twenty sculptures, and so much more: the current Brancusi blockbuster at the Centre Pompidou, the first large Paris show of the Romanian-born sculptor’s work since 1995, provides an exhilarating and in many ways definitive...

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Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World review - bonkers in Bucharest

Filmmakers of note make long movies for different reasons. Sometimes they may want the viewer to be so immersed in the movie they become “kidnapped” by it, to borrow an idea from Susan Sontag. (Epics by auteurs like Greece’s Theo Angelopoulis or...

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R.M.N. review - ethnic cleansing in rural Romania

If you think we’ve got culture wars, then welcome to Transylvania. This rugged Romanian region is home to a bewildering overlap of ethnicities and tongues – Hungarian, a bit of German and Romanian itself – such that Cristian Mungiu’s new movie...

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Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review - viral venom in Bucharest

Though sexual hypocrisy in modern-day Romania is the ostensible target of Bad Lack Banging or Loony Porn – a satirical drama that enfolds a scattershot polemic – Radu Jude’s tenth film is broadly concerned with the nation’s all-enveloping post-...

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Berlinale 2021: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review – cheeky, timely and very provocative

The Romanian director Radu Jude invariably serves spicy satire that challenges his compatriots to face historical crimes and present failings. The latest is an erudite and daft, raunchy and knockabout, endlessly provocative film that, for sake of...

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Collective review - waging war on corruption

It was around the time of the 14th century Black Death that the word “corruption” – from the Latin corruptus, the past participle of corrumpere, “to mar, bribe, destroy” – was first associated with putrefaction. Moral corruption becomes inextricably...

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The Whistlers review – a smart, self-aware noir concerning a crooked cop

Romanian filmmaker Corneliu Porumboiu has made a career crafting perceptive and cerebral examinations of his native country. From his 2006 debut 12:08 to Bucharest to The Treasure, they were cerebral films that powerfully...

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Denk, LPO, Vänskä, RFH review - 200 years of joy and sorrow

Three works two centuries apart, two of them rarities, with 100/200 years between each: that's no guarantee for programming success, and no way to fill a hall (though the London Philharmonic Orchestra admin deserves a good medal for the intricacy of...

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Blu-ray: Everybody in Our Family

The packaging suggests that Radu Jude’s Everybody In Our Family (Toată lumea din familia noastră) is a dark romp, one source describing it as a “chaotic yet endearing comedy chamber piece”. And no one would dispute the sheer craft on display, Jude’s...

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Lupu, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - concerto magical in parts, symphony stupendous

Pianists most often cite Radu Lupu alongside Martha Argerich and Grigory Sokolov as the greatest. So it was hardly surprising to see so many top musicians in a packed audience, buzzing with expectation for the 73-year-old Romanian's most recent UK...

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Octets, Wigmore Hall review - Heath Quartet and star friends effervesce

To compose a masterpiece in your teens is rare enough; to choose the most elaborate form in chamber music, an octet for eight strings, ensures a peculiar kind of immortality. George Enescu, a still-underestimated genius described by protege Yehudi...

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Oedipe, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Enescu's masterpiece glorious and complete

It’s official: Romanian master George Enescu’s four-act Greek epic lives and breathes as a work of transcendent genius. It took last year’s Royal Opera production to lead us further along the path established by the magnificent EMI studio recording...

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