sun 24/06/2018

France

Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot - Le Corbeau / Quai des Orfèvres / La Prisonnière

Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the giants of French cinema history, such a versatile master of entertainment that his qualities as an auteur and art-house director are sometimes forgotten. This new collection of his restored films includes some of...

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Hallenberg, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - palpitating Schumann and Berlioz

Violins, violas, wind and brass all standing for Schumann: gimmick or gain? As John Eliot Gardiner told the audience with his usual eloquence while chairs were being brought on for the Berlioz in the first half of last night's concert, Mendelssohn...

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Agnès Poirier: Left Bank review - Paris in war and peace

There are too many awestruck cultural histories of Paris to even begin to count. The Anglophone world has always been justly dazzled by its own cohorts of Paris-based writers and artists, as well as by the seemingly effortless superiority of...

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Stephen Walsh's Debussy - A Painter in Sound - extract

All this time La Mer had been brewing. It was almost a year since Debussy had written to Colonne tentatively offering him “some orchestral pieces” he was working on, and to his publisher, Jacques Durand, a fortnight later listing the titles of the...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Blu-ray: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Watching what remains of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno (L’Enfer) serves to remind us just how good his earlier work was. Inferno marked the beginning of the end, its shambolic production beginning Clouzot’s descent into obscurity. But Serge...

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Capuçon, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - Dvořák in blazing focus

You can't have too much Dvořák in a single evening, at least not when the works in question operate at the highest level of volatility and melodic abundance like last night's overture, concerto and symphony. "Febrile centrists" might look like an...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Mystery of Picasso

What a gallimaufry! The polymath Picasso (1881-1973) was one of the most prolific, obsessed and best-known artists in the history; in fact, without qualification, he remains the best-known, for his genius, his mastery of so many media, his public...

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Journey's End review - requiem for the poor bloody infantry

With Dunkirk and Darkest Hour threatening to storm the Oscars, it seems there’s suddenly plenty of mileage in portraits of the British at war. There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play, Journey’s End, since it...

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A Woman's Life review - simple but affecting

A Woman’s Life first premiered at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, alongside the likes of La La Land, Arrival and Jackie. Though it’s taken longer to get to our shores than its contemporaries, the film feels fresh and relevant. This...

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CD: La Féline - Triomphe

As a prime example of high-end Gallic art-pop, Triomphe pushes the right buttons. The mid-tempo opening cut “Senga” sets the tone. A motorik rhythm and a shuffling counterpoint are complemented by bubbling bass guitar, insistent single note guitar...

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Blu-ray: Melville - The Essential Collection

A new box-set to relish, six French cinema classics by a cult director, along with a wealth of fascinating extras on a seventh DVD. The French film-maker Jean-Pierre Melville belongs to a class of his own: a precursor of the New Wave, an influence...

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