sun 03/07/2022

France

Sandrine Piau, David Kadouch, Wigmore Hall review - the joy is in the detail

“It mustn’t be a surface thing. You have to put in the work,” Janet Baker once said. Sandrine Piau’s Wigmore recital of German song followed by French song was the perfect demonstration of that credo in action.Whereas Piau described the repertoire,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Belleville Rendezvous

Why Les Triplettes de Belleville was rechristened Belleville Rendevous in the UK is one of several questions left unanswered by this reissue. Along with what happened to French director Sylvain Chomet’s animation career, which seems to have fizzled...

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Album: Jarvis Cocker – Chansons d’Ennui Tip-Top

Wes Anderson and Jarvis Cocker do 1960s French pop – this frothy confection couldn’t be any more “art school” if it were smoking a gauloise in a black polo-neck. Truly, what a match made on the Eurostar! For one so thoroughly Sheffield born-and-bred...

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Devieilhe, Tharaud, Wigmore Hall review - French soprano attracts young audience

Soprano Sabine Devieilhe (pronounced Devielle) and pianist Alexandre Tharaud are both well on their way to becoming "Monuments Nationaux" in France. When their most recent album Chanson d'Amour (Erato/Warner) was launched in September 2020...

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Two of Us review - a lesbian love story with a difference

“Do you have a problem with old dykes?” demands Nina (the superbly ferocious Barbara Sukowa) of a bland, nervous young estate agent, halfway through this wonderfully original first feature from director Filippo Meneghetti. No, he stammers. “You see...

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Carlos Ghosn: The Last Flight - Storyville, BBC Four review - the tycoon who fell to earth

The extraordinary story of motor industry executive Carlos Ghosn is a heady combination of power, money, corruption and international politics, with a Mission: Impossible-style ending that carries it over the finishing tape in dramatic style. It...

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French Exit review - Michelle Pfeiffer faces mortality

Michelle Pfeiffer all but purrs her way through French Exit, as befits a splendid actress who cut a memorable Catwoman onscreen nearly thirty years ago. Playing a New York grande dame who deals with bankruptcy by decamping with her son Malcolm (...

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Lupin, Part 2, Netflix review - master of disguise versus racists and lies

Lupin isn’t really about the fictional character it’s named after (the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, created in 1905 by French writer Maurice Leblanc), but about Assane Diop, who’s an obsessive fan of the Lupin novels. He’s also a gentleman thief...

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Blu-ray: Masculin Féminin

Jean-Luc Godard’s film-making career, a restless quest for a cinema that questions the medium as well as its place in the social and political context, is both astonishingly prolific and unique. Rarely drawing directly on autobiographical themes,...

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David Hockney / Michael Armitage, Royal Academy review - painting with an iPad vs brushes and paint

David Hockney has a new toy, an app designed specially for him that allows him to work on an iPad with fine brushes. He spent the first five months of lockdown In Normandy making daily records of the coming of spring; the results are displayed in a...

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Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze, conceived for a particular point of view, and defined by the effect it is supposed to produce”. In layman’s terms, it is the art...

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Blu-ray: Raw

Raw opens with a bang, a distant figure on a remote country road stepping out in front of a car, causing it to crash into a tree. What’s really happened isn’t made clear until we’re well into French director Julia Ducournau’s 2016 feature. Part...

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