thu 30/06/2016

Paris

Ariane/Alexandre Bis, Guildhall School

Common wisdom has it that the prolific output of 20th century Czech genius Bohuslav Martinů is very uneven, a judgment surely made without a complete hearing. Some listeners shrink from his fidgety polystylism. Many of us on the fringes of the...

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Our Kind of Traitor

John Le Carré made it quite clear what he thinks of the new world order in The Night Manager. All together now: a nexus of corrupt money and sinister establishment interests make for cynical realpolitik. It’s a persuasive weltanschauung that plays...

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Bastille Day

This Paris-set thriller was one of several films which had its release date postponed in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the French capital last November, giving the impression that it might be shockingly violent or provocatively political. In...

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Maigret, ITV

If you were expecting Rowan Atkinson to say "bibble" or make those Mr Bean gurgling noises, you came to the wrong classic detective drama. To play George Simenon's timeless French detective in a story subtitled "Maigret Sets a Trap", a melancholy,...

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Marguerite

You may never have heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, although she has definitely earned a certain renown among music-lovers. For all the wrong reasons: the American soprano, who performed at private recitals in the early decades of the last century...

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Wheeldon Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet Strapless scores a first on a number of counts. It’s the first co-production between the Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi (London gets first dibs – Moscow doesn’t get the goods for another 12 months). It forms part of...

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L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Why have all attempts to make French comic opera funny to British audiences fallen so flat, at least since ENO's 1980s Orpheus in the Underworld? That company's La belle Hélène simply curled the toes, while Opera North managed to make a pig's-ear "...

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Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

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Boulez, The Rite and the National Youth Orchestra

David Nice writes: 2016 began by ringing in the new with concerts by the ever-astonishing National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and continued by ringing out the old-new with funeral bells on the news of Pierre Boulez’s death at the age of 90....

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DVD: Love

Sex sells, except in the cinema. So although it denies viewers the sight of Karl Glusman’s erect penis swinging towards them across a giant screen in 3D, home video is Love’s natural home. Director Gaspar Noé’s attempt to “make movies out of blood,...

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Secrets of the Mona Lisa, BBC Two

There’s a lot of breathless frontloading in television documentaries. The headlines promising shock and awe coming up are posted in the opening edit as a way of hooking in the remote-wielding viewer. Very often as presenters stump around history’s...

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Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

The New Yorker Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) was the classic poor little rich girl: insecure, a woman with scores, perhaps hundreds of lovers, longing for love, the writer of tell-all memoirs. What sets her apart is that she was also the creator of...

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