tue 01/12/2020

Paris

DVD/Blu-ray: Breathless

Just as British pub and punk rock of the mid-to late 1970's ushered in an era of music that referenced the history of pop and thrived on irony, much of the French New Wave, nearly 20 years earlier, looked back as much as forward, an avant-garde...

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The Queen's Gambit, Netflix review - chess prodigy's story makes brilliant television

It’s surprising, perhaps, that the dramatic potential of chess hasn’t been more widely exploited. There was a nail-biting tournament in From Russia with Love, while the knight’s chequerboard struggle with Death was the centrepiece of Ingmar Bergman’...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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Emily in Paris, Netflix review - addictive escapism in the City of Light

Is Emily in Paris “the dumbest thing on Netflix right now?” or a sugar-rush of escapism in the midst of our global pandemic misery? “We need things to make us smile,” commented one Parisian viewer. “In the time of Covid,we don’t need more to stress...

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William Boyd: Trio review - private perils in 1968

William Boyd’s fiction is populated by all manner of artists. Writers, painters, photographers, musicians and film-makers, drawn from real life or entirely fictional, are regular patrons of his stories. Boyd’s latest novel, Trio, is no different....

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Les Misérables review - exhilarating French policier

The only thing confusing with Les Misérables is its pointedly provocative title, as there are no costumed urchins and no singing involved. Searching online to find the UK cinemas where it’s playing this week entails a trek past the...

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'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

"You talk like Marlene Dietrich, you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire, your clothes are all made by Balmain, and there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair…" . Peter Sarstedt may have been a one-hit wonder, but his 1969 pop song, "Where do you go to (my...

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Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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Album: Jehnny Beth - To Love Is To Live

Jehnny Beth was the formidable and mysterious leader of Savages’ flinty monochrome attack, remoulding stark post-punk into gender-fluid shapes. Retiring the band after two Mercury-nominated albums, and returning to France after more than a decade of...

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The World's Greatest Paintings, Channel 5 review - enthusiastic presenter but no dazzling revelations

Andrew Marr’s art show is a lot of fun, although engulfed in almost overwhelming banality and cliché. Our enthusiastic presenter is a self-confessed addict of art. As a pillar of television presentation, he is a natural for this series looking at...

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Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death, since this entertaining, though melodramatic, new French import (Channel 4) began with the dramatic collapse on the podium...

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Alex George: The Paris Hours review - captivating yet frustrating

A century on, the années folles of Paris between the wars do not cease to excite readers and writers of all varieties. Alex George’s latest novel, The Paris Hours, draws on the myriad charms the interwar period has to offer, condensing them into a...

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