tue 07/07/2020

France

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...

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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...

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Joan of Arc review – tough little number

Jeanne d’Arc was 19, she believed, when she was tried for heresy by her English enemies in Rouen in 1431. Of the actors who have played her onscreen – Falconetti, Ingrid Bergman, Jean Seberg, Leelee Sobieski, Milla Jovovich among them – none has...

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La voix humaine, Grange Park Opera online review – hanging on the telephone

Rustles of renewal are stirring in the Surrey woods where Grange Park Opera has built the splendid theatre that remains, for this summer, sadly out of bounds. Faced with the cancellation of its 2020 programme, Wasfi Kani’s company has not simply...

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Alex George: The Paris Hours review - captivating yet frustrating

A century on, the années folles of Paris between the wars do not cease to excite readers and writers of all varieties. Alex George’s latest novel, The Paris Hours, draws on the myriad charms the interwar period has to offer, condensing them into a...

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Earth and Blood, Netflix review - tense and broody thriller ultimately falls short

There are quite a few good things to be said for Julien Leclerc’s Earth and Blood. It’s a terse and uncluttered thriller which makes full use of its main location, a battered old sawmill in the midst of a dank expanse of forest, and Leclerc has...

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Who You Think I Am review - Juliette Binoche dazzles as she wrestles with dual identities

With influences as diverse as Hitchcock’s Vertigo to 2010’s Catfish, Safy Nebbou’s genre-splicing French-language feature, starring Juliette Binoche, comes loaded with a heady mix of cheap thrills and surprising psychological depth....

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The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine pictures, four of them indebted to Hogarth's series of paintings/prints. So it's not surprising that visual flair has marked...

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Nathalie Léger: The White Dress review – masterfully introverted

Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress brings personal and public tragedy together in a narrative as absorbingly melancholic as its subject is shocking. The story described by Léger’s narrator – a scarcely fictional version of herself – is of the...

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Director Marjane Satrapi: ‘The real question is do you like everyone? No? So, why should everyone like you?’

Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born French filmmaker, has a reputation that precedes her. Her upbringing was the subject of the acclaimed films Persepolis (2007) and Chicken With Plums (2011). Persepolis won the Cannes Jury Prize, two César awards and...

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The Art Mysteries, BBC Four review - secrets and symbols of Van Gogh's famous self-portrait

Presenter Waldemar Januszczak suffers from something very like Robert Peston Syndrome, which makes him bellow at the camera and distort words as if they’re chewing gum he’s peeling off the sole of his shoe. Nonetheless he has a knack for finding...

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The Truth review - a potent Franco-Japanese pairing

It may offer veteran French star Catherine Deneuve as substantial and engaging a role as she has enjoyed in years, but the real surprise of The Truth is that it’s the work of Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda. The director, whose Shoplifters took the Palme...

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