thu 20/06/2024

France

Lie With Me review - a bittersweet enchantment

The English title of Olivier Peyon’s new movie is a rather hackneyed pun that not only doesn’t work in the original language but also manages to convey exactly the wrong meaning. Arrête avec tes Mensonges is a faintly Almodóvarian love story about...

Read more...

Marie Darrieussecq: Sleepless review - in search of lost sleep

“I lost sleep.” So begins Marie Darrieussecq’s elegantly fitful book, Sleepless, now perceptively translated into English by Penny Hueston. The sentence, suspended against the page’s whiteness, a clause unto itself, is simple, short, and...

Read more...

Prom 31: Dialogues des Carmélites, Glyndebourne, BBC Radio 3 review - full force on air

“There will be more incense,” promised Glyndebourne Music Director Robin Ticciati of the company’s annual visit to the Proms. He was talking to my Opera Zoom class between the final rehearsal and first performance of Poulenc’s great masterpiece...

Read more...

World on Fire, Series 2, BBC One - return of Peter Bowker's panoramic view of World War Two

Writer Peter Bowker apparently had plans to make six series of World on Fire, but the arrival of Covid after 2019’s first series threw a spanner in the works. Anyway, here’s the second one at last, and it’s a little strange to find that this...

Read more...

Disturbing Disappearances, More4 review - headstrong 'tec tackles Pied Piper mystery

This five-part policier is the finale of the current Walter Presents French season, and takes us to the town of Montclair on France’s eastern border. The opening self-contained episode, occupying a chunky two-hour slot, took for its theme the legend...

Read more...

Isabelle Huppert and director Jean-Paul Salomé: 'Cinema is about a little trade, a little business'

Isabelle Huppert is French cinema’s icon of icy transgression, from Bertrand Blier’s outrageous Les Valseuses (1974) to Paul Verhhoeven’s Elle (2017), in which her character Michéle denies rape’s trauma, instead seeking out her rapist for...

Read more...

Mother and Son review - 20 years with an erratic ma

In French, this film is called Un petit frère (“A little brother”), and for once it may be that a film’s English title is an improvement on the original. The fitful and fragmented second feature by Léonor Serraille is about a multi-tasking migrant...

Read more...

La Syndicaliste review - a star outshines her conspiracy thriller script

On the face of it, La Syndicaliste (aka The Sitting Duck) is a conspiracy thriller that runs along familiar tracks: clever woman begins to suspect dirty dealings at a very high level in the high-stakes industry she works for and lands herself in a...

Read more...

Turangalîla-Symphonie, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a farewell night to remember

Simon Rattle’s farewell season as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra has inscribed a sort of artistic memoir as he moves from one of his beloved blockbusters to another. Last night, he closed his account at the Barbican (though he will...

Read more...

Dialogues des Carmélites, Glyndebourne review - faith overwhelmed by horror

Harrowing and holiness alternate in Poulenc’s unique masterpiece, nominally an opera about nuns during the French revolution, at a deeper level a music-drama about the greatest disturbances in the human condition. Glyndebourne’s cast, conductor and...

Read more...

Album: Christine and the Queens - PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE

Tony Kushner’s early 1990s play Angels in America is an epochal, mystical, political, state-of-the-nation address, revolving around the AIDs epidemic. By no means straightforward, its narrative runs the gamut from New York’s gay scene to God’s own...

Read more...

Full Time review - Laure Calamy as a driven single mother

Full Time opens in darkness. All we can hear is the sound of a sleeping woman breathing. It’s one of the few quiet moments in a film that follows Julie (Laure Calamy) as she scrambles to manage her life. Divorced with two young children, she...

Read more...
Subscribe to France