fri 18/08/2017

Paris

Final Portrait review - utterly convincing portrayal of an artist at work

I hate biopics about artists in which the portrayal of “genius” is hyped to the point where it becomes a ludicrous cliché. Although I appreciate that, as far as entertainment goes, seeing pigment brushed onto canvas is on a par with watching paint...

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Fred Vargas: The Accordionist review - intriguing Gallic sleuthing yarn

The two haunting series of crime novels by Fred Vargas, the writing pseudonym of a French archaeologist and historian, have acquired a worldwide following: quirky, idiosyncratic, eccentric and beautifully written, they are highly individual and, for...

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El-Khoury, Spyres, Hallé, Rizzi, Cadogan Hall review - bel canto lives again

Unless you're an undiscriminating fan of bel canto, the lesser Italian and French operas of the 1830s and '40s - that's to say, not Verdi's Nabucco and Macbeth or Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini - need to be approached with caution. Once you've lowered...

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DVD: Cézanne et moi

For viewers not familiar with the background story of Cézanne et moi – which surely includes most of us without specialist knowledge of late 19th century French artistic and literary culture – the moi of this lavish yet curiously uninvolving double...

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Matthew Dunster on adapting 'A Tale of Two Cities'

When you are adapting a novel like A Tale of Two Cities, it's a privilege to sit with a great piece of writing for a considerable amount of time. You also feel secure (and a bit cheeky) in the knowledge that another writer has already done most of...

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La Rondine, Opera Holland Park

When are the big international opera houses going to wake up to the great British talent that is Elizabeth Llewellyn? With her opulent soprano – shaded middle register, full bloom at the top, cutting chest voice – she was born to sing...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Aida Garifullina

There are certain roles where you’re lucky to catch one perfect incarnation in a lifetime. I thought I'd never see a soprano as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace equal to Yelena Prokina, Valery Gergiev’s choice for Graham Vick’s 1991 production....

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Frantz review - François Ozon in sombre mood: it works

François Ozon’s Frantz is an exquisitely sad film, its crisp black and white cinematography shot through with mourning. The French director, in a work where the main language is German, engages with the aftermath of World War One, and the moment...

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theartsdesk on the Seine: a second new concert hall for Paris

It's funny how Parisians grumble about any major new venue which lies outside their chic central stamping ground. First they moan about having to trundle out to the Philharmonie concert hall in the Cité de la Musique, and now they look as if they'll...

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Maigret's Night at the Crossroads review - 'more straight faces from Rowan Atkinson'

We’re three films into Rowan Atkinson’s tenure as Inspector Maigret and so far he’s barely twitched a facial muscle. Gone are the eye bulges and nostril flares, the rubbery pouts. There’s sometimes a hint of a frown, the odd twinge in a wrinkle...

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Charlotte Rampling: 'I had to survive!' - interview

The seizième arrondissement, the Paris equivalent of Kensington and Chelsea, or Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Haussmann’s Paris par excellence. Here, in a gated complex where American heiress Florence Gould hosted lavish wartime salons, indulging in...

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An American in Paris review - 'stagecraft couldn't be slicker'

What’s in a yellow dress? Hope over experience? Reckless confidence? This is a legitimate question when the second big cross-Atlantic people-pleaser hoves into view featuring a girl in a frock of striking daffodil hue. It doesn’t take a degree in...

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