Photo of the Week

Paris-Update-view-from-louvre

Left to right: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid, Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Ferris Wheel. © Paris Update

 

Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Drawing through the ages

Paris-Update-Matisse-les-pommes
"Apples" (1944), by Henri Matisse. Eric Coatalem Gallery.

> Salon du Dessin: 39 galleries showing works on paper, from Old Masters to contemporary. Palais Brogniart, Paris, March 22-27.

Contemporary drawing fair
> Drawing Now: 73 galleries, Carreau du Temple, Paris, March 23-26.

More contemporary drawings
>Ddessin: 20 galleries. Atelier Richelieu, Paris, March 24-26.

Art and design fair
> PAD (Paris Art + Design),
67 galleries, Tuileries Garden, Paris, March 22-26.

African culture festival
> The 100% Afriques festival showcases dance, theater, music, fashion, design, art, food and more from all over the continent. La Villette, Paris, March 23-May 28.

French film with English subtitles
> Lost in Frenchlation shows Audrey Dana's Si j'Étais un Homme, preceded by a themed cocktail party (€4.50). Studio 28, Paris, Feb. 24.

Documentary film festival
> Cinéma du Réel showcases documentaries from around the world. Various venues, Paris, March 24-April 2.

Suburban blues
> The Banlieues Bleues festival brings major French and international jazz acts to the Paris suburbs. Various venues, through March 31.

Before and after ecological disaster
> The Chic Planète festival presents two types of films, those celebrating the bounty of the earth and science-fiction views of what will happen after an ecopalypse. Forum des Images, Paris, through April 13.

Save

Save

Save  

Hot Topics - Flash News

 

Year in Review

ariadne auf naxos, opera bastille paris

Ricarda Merbeth as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos. Photo: Julien Benhamou/Opéra National de Paris

On the operatic front, after the production disasters of 2009, 2010 turned out to be a bumper year. From the perfectly acceptable Cunning Little Vixen (Janacek) and ...

ariadne auf naxos, opera bastille paris

Ricarda Merbeth as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos. Photo: Julien Benhamou/Opéra National de Paris

On the operatic front, after the production disasters of 2009, 2010 turned out to be a bumper year. From the perfectly acceptable Cunning Little Vixen (Janacek) and Flying Dutchman (Wagner) to the sensational Billy Budd (Britten) and the (for me) unexpectedly affecting Il Trittico (Puccini), the Bastille opera house managed to maintain a consistently high standard throughout the year. At the end of the year, I appreciated the musical complexity and the colorful staging of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, but found its unremitting seriousness somewhat trying. Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, which managed to be witty and poignant in equal measure, added a glorious cherry on top of the 2010 operatic cake.

As far as movies are concerned, 2010 was less of a vintage year, but I no longer feel quite as depressed about the state of French cinema as I have been in these columns over the last few years. I appreciate that I did not manage to see the much-lauded Des Hommes et des Dieux and missed the prolific François Ozon’s Potiche, which received favorable reviews. But I enjoyed Ozon’s earlier offering Le Refuge (starring a heavily pregnant Isabelle Carré) and found much to admire in Mathieu Amalric’s uneven Tournée, for which he won the best director prize at Cannes. The subtle central performances by Gérard Depardieu and Gisèle Casadesus in La Tête en Friche made up for the outrageously over-the-top acting by the secondary characters. Two wonderfully comic movies, La Reine des Pommes and Les Invités de Mon Père, brightened up March and May for me. It was good to see a faithful adaptation of Madame de Lafayette’s novella La Princesse de Montpensier by Bertrand Tavernier and encouraging to be introduced to the directing talents of the precocious Canadian Xavier Dolan (who is only 21) in Les Amours Imaginaires. The smash box-office hit of the year, L’Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker), starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis, may not have made many intellectual demands on the viewer but still managed to be comic and entertaining. As for the otherwise sparkling Le Nom des Gens, it was only its horrendous sexism that set my teeth on edge.

Art and restaurant reviews are the hallowed turf of other reviewers on this site, but let me just add that I greatly enjoyed the exhibition at the Opéra Garnier devoted to the great French soprano Régine Crespin, and I thoroughly concur with the thumbs up given to the restaurants Spring and Mini Palais. Roll on 2011 for another year of musical, cinematic and gustatory treats!

Nick Hammond

Support Paris Update by ordering music and books from the Paris Update store: U.K., France, U.S.

Reader Reaction: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to respond to this article (your response may be published on this page and is subject to editing).

© 2010 Paris Update