thu 03/12/2020

France

Annie Ernaux: A Man's Place review - an intimate portrait, necessarily incomplete

As much as we would like it to, writing can never fully recapture someone who is gone. This we learn all too effectively in A Man’s Place by Annie Ernaux, arguably one of France’s most important living authors. The text, released in an updated...

Read more...

Blu-Ray: La Haine

The BFI has done an excellent job of giving La Haine the 4k restoration treatment under the vigilant eye of the film’s cinematographer, Pierre Aïm. From the opening image of planet earth being torched by a slo-mo Molotov cocktail to the...

Read more...

Little Wars, Union Theatre online review - richly emotional, but formulaic

Feuds make good theatre. I mean, look at the furious 1970s spat between playwright Lillian Hellman and critic Mary McCarthy. Yikes. So far, I’ve counted three recent stage versions: in 2002 there was Nora Ephron’s Imaginary Friends, followed in 2014...

Read more...

Julia Bullock, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bewitching dreamscapes

Nobody would wish it this way, but orchestras playing on a stage specially built-up for distancing to a handful of invitees have never sounded better in the Royal Festival Hall. The Philharmonia’s outgoing principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is a...

Read more...

Summer of 85 review - a tender, tragic coming-of-age

Intriguingly, Summer of 85 could have been François Ozon’s very first film. Back in the mid-Eighties the French director was much taken by Dance on My Grave, the YA novel by Aidan Chambers on which it’s based, its youth-romance, coming-of-age story...

Read more...

Blu-ray: Beau Travail

This fifth feature from Claire Denis must surely be the director’s most sheerly concentrated film. Scaling back narrative and dialogue alike – story elucidation relies mainly on intermittent retrospective voice-over narration – Beau Travail engages...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle is Jeanne Moreau, in smouldering femme fatale mode: a school-teacher and town hall secretary in a small French village, she wreaks havoc by setting fire to barns, poisoning cattle and unleashing flood waters in a farm yard full of...

Read more...

Coincoin and the Extra-Humans review – God's gunk

It’s no accident that the eponymous young antihero of Coincoin and the Extra-Humans loses his virginity to the daughter of a French white nationalist in a field close to a sewage farm. The stench of racism pervades the hilarity of Bruce Dumont’s...

Read more...

DVD: Who You Think I Am

Imagine, if you will, that the Internet doesn’t allow you to see other people. Because that is the premise upon which Safy Nebbou's Who Do You Think I Am rests. It smacks of an idea that hails from the days of Friends Reunited (one for the...

Read more...

The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

Read more...

Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a story of impossible love between two young women, takes place in the 18th century, on a wind-swept, wave-battered island off the coast of Brittany. The writer and director Céline Sciamma, who established herself as a...

Read more...
Subscribe to France