thu 06/05/2021

Germany

Blu-ray: I Was at Home, But...

The term most often used about Berlin director Angela Schanelec’s filmmaking seems to be “elliptical”, and her latest film, I Was at Home, But..., which won the Best Director award at Berlinale 2019, is no exception. Approaching it is like an...

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Six Minutes to Midnight review - Judi Dench retains her dignity

It can't be easy maintaining dignity when everyone in your vicinity is losing theirs. But that's the position in which the inimitable Judi Dench finds herself in Six Minutes to Midnight, a bewildering movie in which star and co-author, Eddie Izzard...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mädchen in Uniform

The late Weimar-era film Mädchen in Uniform (1931) was visionary – a delicate Queer love story set in a repressive girls’ boarding school that denounced the Prussian militarist creed as dehumanising. Like The Blue Angel (1930), another German early...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Bavarian State Opera online review - myth-making magic

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time stalk this haunting dream of a Rosenkavalier. The love games of teenager Octavian and his experienced mistress the Marschallin are sexy and plausible; the comedy of ridiculous Baron Ochs keeps a low profile, but stays...

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Der Freischütz, Bavarian State Opera online review – marksmen as marketeers

Bavarian State Opera has led the way for live performances and associated broadcasts during the pandemic. Their series of weekly “Montagsstück” events have presented innovative chamber operas, specifically for web streaming. Their next goal is full-...

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Blu-ray/DVD : The Tin Drum

Volker Schlöndorff’s brilliant adaptation of Günter Grass’s 1959 novel The Tin Drum hasn’t aged one bit: just as the book and film’s main character Oskar Matzerath decides that it’s better not to grow old, the film’s phenomenal zest feels as fresh...

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Blu-ray: Waxworks (1924)

Stylistically, Waxworks (1924) was the apogee of German Expressionist cinema in that it was the last pure distillation of the form, in which visual distortion, chiaroscuro, exaggerated staccato acting, and nightmarish atmosphere collectively evoked...

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First Person: Cellist Alban Gerhardt on why concert-hall life must go on

With horror I heard on Wednesday that the proud cultural nation of Germany, which invests probably more money per capita in its concert, opera and theatre life than any other country in the world, had decided to close down what I as a German citizen...

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Richard J Evans: The Hitler Conspiracies review – Nazi myths debunked

In the days when crowds still thronged airport bookshops, any work entitled The Hitler Conspiracies would surely leap off the shelves. This one ought to flourish in our more immobile times – not least because it unpicks twisted ways of thinking that...

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

So the Royal Ballet is to make a live comeback, for one night only, on 9 October. Fielding the entire company of 100 dancers, suitably distanced, the enterprise is being hailed as a triumph of logistics. And so it is. But the fact remains that the...

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Alban Gerhardt, Markus Becker, Wigmore Hall review - long shadows and rich sounds

It wouldn’t be true to say I’d forgotten what a solo cello in a fine concert hall sounds like; revelation of an admittedly sparse year will undoubtedly remain Sumera’s Cello Concerto played by young Estonian Theodor Sink at the Pärnu Music Festival...

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Album: Conrad Schnitzler & Frank Bretschneider - Con-Struct

When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the participants in this album have certainly been on the very cutting edge of sound-making, on multiple occasions. Conrad Schnitzler was a student of radical artist Joseph Beuys and leading light in...

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