wed 22/09/2021

melodrama

Un Ballo in Maschera, Royal Opera

Covent Garden’s masked balls circling around the New Year feature not the seasonal bourgeois Viennese couple and a bat-winged conspirator but a king, his best friend’s wife and – excessively so in this production – the grim reaper. Big voices are...

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theartsdesk in Wexford: European opera feast

At the Wexford Opera Festival this autumn you could see a bicentenary performance of Verdi’s La traviata. Likewise Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. But that’s not why Ireland’s operatic showpiece is one of the most famous, admired and respected events...

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The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea, the latest from justly esteemed British director Terence Davies, shares its name with a Renny Harlin movie about genetically modified sharks (well, give or take a definite article). Both films deal in high anxiety and the looming...

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The Skin I Live In

Cinematic virtuoso Pedro Almodóvar’s contribution to the body horror subgenre is a sumptuous nightmare with the precision and looming malevolence of its psychotic surgeon’s blade. His 19th feature is a film for our age – an age which has seen...

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Mildred Pierce, Sky Atlantic

James M. Cain's novel Mildred Pierce is best remembered for Michael Curtiz's entertainingly lurid 1945 movie version, starring Joan Crawford. Featuring William Faulkner among its screenwriters, it played fast and loose with Cain's book, but bashed...

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Bette and Joan, Arts Theatre

Don't go expecting the "But ya are, Blaaanche, ya are" Gothic of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. After all, crazy Bette Davis and even phoney Joan Crawford must have been human behind the sacred-monster facade. Anton Burge's new play tries to show...

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Blue Valentine

The American indie Blue Valentine was heralded in October by a sexy W magazine cover of its stars - Ryan Gosling smooching Michelle Williams’s temple as she parts her becrimsoned lips and gazes provocatively at us - and the restrictive NC-17...

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Loose Cannons

There is a climactic moment in Loose Cannons when one of the characters has rather more dolci than is good for her. For anyone without a sweet cinematic tooth, the two hours’ traffic of this soft-centred Italian melodrama may induce a similar kind...

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The Invisible Man, Menier Chocolate Factory

“It’s this ghost they’re talkin’ about. I’m feelin’ an emanation meself. Unless I ‘ad too many pickled eggs last night.” If that’s the sort of crack that tickles your fancy, you’ll find plenty to make you chuckle in Ken Hill’s spoofish take on H G...

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I Am Love

Somehow the title sounds more sonorous in Italian. Io Sono l'Amore is a big, fat, full-blown melodrama, a film with the button marked "passione" forced up to 11. It looks exquisite, is a glittering showcase for Tilda Swinton as the restless Russian...

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DVDs Round-Up 5

Two films with a East European flavour, Katalin Varga and Tales from the Golden Age, are among our March selection, which also includes the lovely, bittersweet Irish drama Kisses. Our US release (available worldwide, of course, by mail-order) is Wim...

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The Queen of Spades

Family been bickering over games again this Christmas? Take the blighters to this fabulous supernatural melodrama and they'll learn soon enough what happens to a dirty card cheat. Long unavailable, Thorold Dickinson's 1949 adaptation of Alexander...

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