wed 26/04/2017

France

DVD: Crimson

After watching the grim Crimson, it’s impossible not to feel grubby and perplexed. Grubby, as this is a catering-size example of squalid exploitation cinema. Perplexed, as its plot is senseless, the charisma-free acting so inept that the cast may as...

Read more...

Debussy Préludes, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Who needs hallucinogenic drugs when we have Debussy's two books of Préludes? In the hands, that is, of a pianist magician who holds the key to this wild parade, demi-real wonderland, call it what you will. I've only heard two wizards equal to the...

Read more...

The Lottery of Love, review - 'the fragile charm of artifice'

The social permutations of love are beguilingly explored in the 90-minute stage traffic of Marivaux’s The Lottery of Love, with Paul Miller’s production at the Orange Tree Theatre making the most of the venue’s unencumbered in-the-round space to...

Read more...

French Touch, Red Gallery

Un Voyage Á Travers Dans Le Paysage Électronique Français, the French subtitle, goes further. French Touch is the first exhibition to celebrate and dig into France’s electronic music heritage: exploring the lineage which laid the ground for the...

Read more...

Lost in France

Pulling together a music documentary strikes me as a simple enough concept. Gather your talking heads in front of a nice enough backdrop, splice with archive footage in some semblance of a narrative order and there you go. There’s no need to, say,...

Read more...

Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording. Everyone knew the pianist, the great Krystian Zimerman; the violinist, Kaja Danczowska, less so (where is she now?). A better-...

Read more...

Unforgotten – Series 2 Finale, ITV / After Brexit: The Battle for Europe, BBC Two

From Jimmy Savile to the Rotherham scandal, child sexual abuse has become a recurring nightmare of our society, and thus is inevitably grist to the TV dramatist’s mill. It has been a crucial component in The Missing, National Treasure and...

Read more...

CD: Petite Meller - Lil Empire

God knows we need originality in pop, and French singer Petite Meller delivers it. At least, she does visually, which, in 2017, is 50 percent of the game. Like Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord, she offers a direct subversion of femininity. However,...

Read more...

Sunday Book: Michel Houellebecq - Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013

The American poet-critic Randall Jarrell once entitled a collection of essays A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. He might have enjoyed Michel Houellebecq’s poem “Hypermarket - November”. Its forlorn narrator has “stumbled into freezer”, then “collapsed...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Indochine

The end of empire has rarely looked more cinematically beguiling than in Régis Wargnier’s Indochine, the visually lavish 1992 drama written for Catherine Deneuve, who gets the film’s epigraphic line about “believing that the world is made of things...

Read more...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Gilbert Bécaud

Anthologie 1953–2002 is a monster. A 20-disc set spanning almost 50 years, it tracks one of France’s most beloved singers and songwriters. Gilbert Bécaud died in December 2001, but songs from his posthumously released Je Partirai album are included...

Read more...

Allied

While it makes for a moderately amusing evening out, this World War Two espionage-romance caper doesn't stand up to a lot of scrutiny (I'm trying to work out where they managed to find the "Best Film of the Year!" quote used in the TV ad). Stars...

Read more...
Subscribe to France