sat 18/05/2024

Poland

Murray, Vlaams Radiokor, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - visual ‘interpretation’ blunts sonic brilliance in Szymanowski rarity

Chances are few enough to catch Polish composer Szymanowski’s densely brilliant 1920s score for a ballet about love in the Tatra mountains. Harnasie (Robbers) is so little known that we need a clear line through action and sung text. That all went...

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Blu-ray: Jerzy Skolimowski - Walkower, Bariera, Dialóg 20-40-60

Diving into this three-disc set of early films by maverick Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski leaves one reeling, an arresting reminder of the vibrancy and flair of so much 1960s Eastern European cinema.This isn’t a valedictory package: Skolimowski,...

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Cold War, Almeida Theatre review - compelling bittersweet tale of love in post-war Europe

There’s a touch of Dr Zhivago about director Paweł Pawlikowski’s screenplay for his 2018 film Cold War. Its plot is driven by the same Lara/Yuri dynamic, of an overwhelming love affair trying to outflank the forces of history. Now it's been...

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The Peasants review - earthbound animation

After a few years of cinema, the wow factor of seeing actual things moving about on a screen wore off a bit and showmen saw that jump cuts and stop-motion – the dawn of animation – could lift audiences some more. The liberation from gravity, in fact...

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Classical CDs: Strings, trumpets and stained glass windows

 Grażyna Bacewicz: Piano Concerto, Concerto for Two Pianos, Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion Peter Jablonski, Elisabeth Brauß (pianos), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon (Ondine)Grażyna Bacewicz packed an incredible...

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Blu-ray: Inland Empire

Searching for a coherent narrative thread in David Lynch’s Inland Empire (2006) is probably futile, so it’s best to begin with the movie’s nervy central performance by Laura Dern in multiple, overlapping roles as “a woman in trouble”...

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Blu-ray: EO

The ne plus ultra of donkey films remains Robert Bresson’s heartbreaking Au hazard Balthazar (1966). Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, premiered at last year’s Cannes Festival, is a very loose variant, Skolimowski revealing in a...

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EO review - lyrical tale of a donkey's odyssey

It’s been a good year for donkeys at the cinema. Not only did Martin McDonagh make a surprise star out of Jenny the miniature donkey in The Banshees of Inisherin, but she’ll be competing at the Oscars with the title character of EO,...

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Blu-ray: The War Trilogy - Three Films by Andrzej Wajda

Watching these harrowing films in rapid succession allows us to watch a great director’s confidence develop at close hand; though 1955’s A Generation (Pokolenie) is an impressive debut for a 27-year old director, both Kanał (1957) and 1958’s Ashes...

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The Last Stage review - a former prisoner returns to the death camp

Seventy-eight years ago, on January 27,1945, Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army. The iconic images of the ovens with charred skulls and emaciated survivors peering through barbed wire were filmed by Russian cameramen over the...

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Three Minutes: A Lengthening review - superb portrait of a vanished world

We hear the projector whirr as the mute 16mm film flows through the sprockets and on to the screen. For three minutes and a little longer we watch children and adults spilling out of buildings, intrigued by the novelty of a camera on their streets....

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Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tate Modern review - a forest of huge and imposing presences

First off, I must confess that fibre or textile art makes me queasy. I don’t know why, but all that threading, knotting, twisting, coiling and winding gives me the creeps. So it’s all the more extraordinary that I was blown away by Magdalena...

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