thu 23/05/2024

France

Trans Musicales Festival 2023 review - a smorgasbord of global sounds

FRIDAYRennes Airport Parc Expo is about three miles west of the city. It’s vast, consisting of 110,000 metres of cavernous warehouse-like hangars, and has hosted everything from Holiday on Ice to France’s hugest annual agricultural conference. Every...

Read more...

Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard, Milton Court review - flashes of magic

It could have been a winner: a charismatic star soprano of great emotional and interpretative intelligence, a top pianist given a little space to shine on his own, a programme that looked good on paper, of distinguished German/Austro-German women...

Read more...

Louise Alder & Friends, Wigmore Hall review - magic carpet rides with soprano, strings and woodwind

Sometimes all the stars align in musical performance. There’s no soprano more alive to the expression of musical joy and rapture than Louise Alder, no composer more levitational in his strange later adventures than Fauré, no instrumentalists strings...

Read more...

Napoleon review - Sir Ridley Scott's historical epic is wide but not deep

Sir Ridley Scott has taken umbrage at the French critics who weren’t too impressed with his new movie. Not only do they not like his film, but the French “don’t even like themselves”, according to the dyspeptic auteur.But I feel our French cousins...

Read more...

Anatomy of a Fall review - gripping psychological thriller set in the French Alps

There’s a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer, said Graham Greene, and that ice plays a part in French director Justine Triet’s superb fourth feature, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.Set in the French Alps, the film begins with successful...

Read more...

Music Reissues Weekly: Serge Gainsbourg - L'Homme à tête de chou

Marilou lies on the ground. She’s been bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher. Its foam covers her body. Her murderer is a forty-something man who has become obsessed with her. She shampoos hair in a barbers, where he first comes across her....

Read more...

Flowers for Mrs Harris, Riverside Studios review - lovely, low-key musical finds a London berth

Although based on the 1958 Paul Gallico novel Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris, this musical adaptation arrived much later. With a book by Rachel Wagstaff and music and lyrics by Richard Taylor, Flowers for Mrs Harris premiered in Sheffield in 2016,...

Read more...

The Great Escaper review - Glenda Jackson takes her final bow

This wasn’t a film to go and see with my 94-year-old father and hope I’d come out with my critical faculties intact and my handkerchief dry. The Great Escaper is an old fashioned, old school weepie about ageing, guilt and the horrors of...

Read more...

Annie Ernaux: Shame review - the translation of pain

The latest translation of Annie Ernaux’s Shame – a text most closely akin to a long-form essay – is an absorbing examination of how one fleeting moment from childhood can have lasting and unpredictable consequences, and how a life might be...

Read more...

Blu-Ray: Partie de Campagne

Partie de Campagne (1946), while not being one of French cinema giant Jean Renoir’s best-known films, unfinished and just under 40 minutes long, is still regarded as an important if not essential example of the director’s multi-faceted and often...

Read more...

Private Lives, Ambassador's Theatre review - classy revival lacking physical excess

There is a grainy piece of black and white film on YouTube featuring Noel Coward as the celebrity guest on a 1964 edition of the popular television panel show, What's My Line. He signs in with panache, paying careful attention to the diaeresis over...

Read more...

The Innocent review - muddled French crime comedy

Thespians and thieves have often pooled their resources in movies, notably in the work of Woody Allen. Since acting is basically a form of lying, goes the joke, actors dine at the same Runyon-esque table as people who nick stuff, and this French...

Read more...
Subscribe to France