sun 21/01/2018

Italy

DVD/Blu-ray: The Cat o' Nine Tails/Phenomena

Dario Argento’s Suspiria was confirmed as one of horror’s great fever dreams on its 40th anniversary re-release last year. The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971) and Phenomena (1985) are lesser book-ends of the director’s peak period, when his global genre...

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Breaking the Rules, LSO St Luke's review – music and murder with Gesualdo

The “concert drama” is on the up, offering audiences a mingled-genre means to experience music and its context simultaneously. The author and singer Clare Norburn has an absolute peach of a story to tell in the "imagined testimony of Carlo Gesualdo...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Pulp

Get Carter’s imitators tried to recapture the laconic violence of a very local gangster film. Get Carter’s makers swapped Newcastle for Malta, and a sunny, absurdist farce which is among British cinema’s unclassifiable one-offs.Writer-director Mike...

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Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, Royal Opera review - one tenor, two samey brutes

Are "Cav and Pag" inseparable? Clearly not, to judge from Opera North's "Little Greats" and elsewhere, but it's still the pairing of choice. Tricky, because as music-theatre, Leoncavallo's drama of rough life entwined with rough art stands high...

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Ferrari: Race to Immortality review - death and glory in 1950s motor racing

And so the mini-boom in motor racing movies continues, this time with a look back at the history of Ferrari and the intense on-track battles of the 1950s, a decade in which the Scuderia won four of its 15 Formula One World Drivers Championships. In...

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Call Me By Your Name review - a star is born in a heartbreaking gay romance

It's not every day that an actor breaks your heart playing a character who surrenders his. But that's among the numerous achievements of Timothée Chalamet's knockout performance in Call Me By Your Name. Playing a culturally savvy and...

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Crowe, The English Concert, Bicket, Milton Court review - Mozartian prima-donna perfection

Singing students from the Guildhall School should have been issued with a three-line whip to fill the inexplicably half-empty Milton Court concert hall for last night's charmer. After all, every musician, and not just sopranos, should know that this...

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The Tallis Scholars, Phillips, Cadogan Hall review - intimacy in late Renaissance music

Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have nothing to prove when it comes to Renaissance choral music – few ensembles can match them for clarity, balance and purity of tone. They are perfect guides, then, for this tour of the late Italian...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

A decade after his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, won the 1978 Palme d’Or at Cannes, Italian director Ermanno Olmi took Venice’s 1988 Golden Lion for The Legend of the Holy Drinker (La leggenda del santo bevitore). Festival victories aside,...

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La Bohème, Royal Opera review - spectacle and sentiment not yet in focus

“I’m not in the mood” – “non sono in vena” – sings aspiring poet Rodolfo as he settles down to write a lead article. Was it me, or had the mood not settled by the premiere of the Royal Opera’s first new production of Puccini's structurally perfect...

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Prom 54 review: Kavakos, Filarmonica della Scala, Chailly - cool Milanesi mute Roman exuberance

Last night was one of those rare occasions when I'd rather have heard Respighi's gaudy-brilliant Roman Festivals than Brahms's Violin Concerto. It wasn't just that concerts like Charles Dutoit's 2014 Prom had shown us that the Italian's Roman...

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Verdi's Macbeth - exhilarating and overwhelming

Skeletal horses; piles of newborn babies smothered in a bloody sheet; a whole garden centre of prickly pears. There’s no denying that Italian director Emma Dante’s new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, which Turin’s Teatro Regio brings to the Edinburgh...

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