sun 17/12/2017

Paris

Belleville, Donmar Warehouse review - prickly and unnerving

The city of love provides a backdrop for marital discord and worse in Belleville, Amy Herzog's celebrated Off Broadway play now receiving a riveting British premiere at the Donmar. The director, Michael Longhurst, is rivaling Dominic Cooke (of...

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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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Rachel Hewitt: A Revolution of Feeling review - from passions to emotions

Utopias have a way of going up in flames. Rachel Hewitt’s new book, A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind, charts the revolutionary fervour and disappointment provoked over the course of the 1790s by looking at the decade...

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Modigliani, Tate Modern review - the pitfalls of excess

Modigliani was an addict. Booze, fags, absinthe, hash, cocaine, women. He lived fast, died young, cherished an idea of what an artist should be and pursued it to his death. His nickname, Modi, played on the idea of the artiste maudit – the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Montparnasse 19

The myth of Modigliani, the archetypal tortured artist, was set in train while he was still alive and remains potent almost a century after his death. Every so often a few game academics try to put things straight, and now Tate Modern’s exhibition...

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DVD: The Death of Louis XIV

Albert Serra has earned himself the directorial moniker “the Catalan king of stasis”, and nothing in The Death of Louis XIV is going to dispel such a reputation – if anything, he has honed that characteristic approach further, concentrating this...

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In search of Proust's 'Vinteuil Sonata': violinist Maria Milstein on the writer's musical mystery

I remember very well the first time I read Swann’s Way, the first part of Marcel Proust’s monumental masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu). I was struck not only by the depth and beauty of the novel, but also the...

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Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery review - eye-opening and heart-breaking

Some 50 portraits by Paul Cézanne – almost a third of all those the artist painted that have survived – are on view in this quietly sensational exhibition. Eye-opening and heart-breaking, it examines his art exclusively in the context of his...

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Marcel Proust: Letters to the Lady Upstairs - a very slim volume

Marcel Proust was a prolific letter-writer. He wrote tens of thousands of them, and at speed, as can be seen from the two facsimiles which are included with the text of Letters to the Lady Upstairs (there are quite a few more in the original French...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Belle de Jour

In the most famous scene in Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour, Catherine Deneuve’s resplendently blonde Séverine fantasises being tied to the wooden frame of a crude outdoor eating space. There she is pelted with mud by her surgeon husband Pierre (Jean...

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The Lie, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fake news, real feeling

A year after premiering acclaimed French playwright Florian Zeller’s The Truth, the Menier Chocolate Factory now hosts The Lie – which, as the name suggests, acts as a companion piece of sorts. Once again, we’re in a slippery Pinteresque realm...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Guy Johnston, Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Spyres, The Chanteuse

Guy Johnston: Tecchler’s Cello - From Cambridge to Rome (King’s College Cambridge)Acquiring a second-hand instrument always leads one to wonder what sort of a life it led before. Did said instrument enjoy a flourishing professional career, or was it...

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