fri 23/02/2018

France

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Watching what remains of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (L’Enfer) serves to remind us just how good his earlier work was. Inferno marked the beginning of the end, its shambolic production beginning Clouzot’s descent into obscurity. But Serge...

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Capuçon, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - Dvořák in blazing focus

You can't have too much Dvořák in a single evening, at least not when the works in question operate at the highest level of volatility and melodic abundance like last night's overture, concerto and symphony. "Febrile centrists" might look like an...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Mystery of Picasso

What a gallimaufry! The polymath Picasso (1881-1973) was one of the most prolific, obsessed and best-known artists in the history; in fact, without qualification, he remains the best-known, for his genius, his mastery of so many media, his public...

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Journey's End review - requiem for the poor bloody infantry

With Dunkirk and Darkest Hour threatening to storm the Oscars, it seems there’s suddenly plenty of mileage in portraits of the British at war. There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play, Journey’s End, since it...

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A Woman's Life review - simple but affecting

A Woman’s Life first premiered at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, alongside the likes of La La Land, Arrival and Jackie. Though it’s taken longer to get to our shores than its contemporaries, the film feels fresh and relevant. This...

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CD: La Féline - Triomphe

As a prime example of high-end Gallic art-pop, Triomphe pushes the right buttons. The mid-tempo opening cut “Senga” sets the tone. A motorik rhythm and a shuffling counterpoint are complemented by bubbling bass guitar, insistent single note guitar...

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Blu-ray: Melville - The Essential Collection

A new box-set to relish, six French cinema classics by a cult director, along with a wealth of fascinating extras on a seventh DVD. The French film-maker Jean-Pierre Melville belongs to a class of his own: a precursor of the New Wave, an influence...

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Witnesses: A Frozen Death finale, BBC Four review - weirdo childbirth cult hits the buffers

It’s remarkable how pervasive the Scandi-noir formula has become, with its penchant for weird and perverted killers, labyrinthine plotting and intriguingly flawed protagonists. The French-made Witnesses: A Frozen Death was another fragment chipped...

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The Tunnel: Vengeance, Sky Atlantic review - entente not-so-cordiale

For the third and allegedly final time, we hasten back to the Kent coast for another outbreak of cross-Channel crime. Not all that surprisingly, this new series of the Franglais cop show focuses on a people-smuggling racket bringing bedraggled...

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Cendrillon, RNCM, Manchester review - magic and spectacle

The Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon has a particularly strong professional production team, and it shows. This is one of the most attractively spectacular operas the college has mounted for years.Director Olivia...

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DVD: A Journey Through French Cinema

Bertrand Tavernier’s trip through French cinema is shot through with the love of someone who has grown up with cinema and knows how to communicate his passion in a way that is totally engaging. The three hours-plus that he delivers make you want to...

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CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

French stylist Gaspard Royant has recorded at London’s garage-rock-central studio Toe Rag and been produced by Edwyn Collins. Both fit a worldview which encompasses collaborating with Eli Paperboy Reed, who crops up here on “Christmas Time Again”, a...

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