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(10 images shot by M. Crowthers )

Constance Hoffman's costumes are a terrific tour de force, deliciously sassy and fun, with fabulous jewellery and shoes adding excitement, as every chorus member is treated as a character with all their own individual costumes, some hilarious and quite risquee, displaying a tremendous confidence to bring it off, in a thrilling throng at Prince Orlofsky's great and glitsy high-society party which is the centre piece of Die Fledermaus, the world's favourite comic operetta by Waltz King Johann Strauss celebrating the pleasures of hedonism, champagne and partying, brimming over with intrigues, seduction, transgressive sexual desires, infidelities, practical jokes and high spirits, and an endless parade of instantly recognisable famous tunes. The sparkle, fizz and pop are addictive in this new darker than usual production by Olivier Award winning director Christopher Alden. A favourite at the ever adventurous ENO keen to escape from crowd pleasing productions of time worn favourites, Alden imaginatively whips Fledermaus away from Strauss's 1870's Vienna, where Strauss himself conducted the premiere, to plunge it into Art Deco Vienna of the 1920's, with a heady mixture of Freud, dream analysis, romping bedroom farce, fetischism and faschism in which Constance Hoffman excells in her recreations of costumes of the period, and the dramatic set by Allen Moyer is dominated by a gigantic gloriously hung canopy bed and a vast bedroom wall of griffin pattern wallpaper all in silver grey with a thunder bolt split that suddenly opens to let in a burst of golden champagne light. The Bat whose revenge is the lynch pin of the story has a ten foot wing span and in a spectacular moment rides the huge hypnotists' pocket watch that swings above the set. The chorus and cast of soloists give their all revelling with the orchestra and talented young conductor Eun Sun Kim making her ENO debut in Strauss's effervescent music.   


2 images from Festival de Cannes Press Office

A compelling story on growing up and learning about ones sexual preference, falling in love, and making a choice.

 Brilliantly enacted by a superb lead cast, Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adèle) and Lea Seydoux (Emma).

Such young actresses with great potentials who have excelled with their challenging roles in depicting true love and intense sexual intercourse...
One of our choices for best films in this year's Cannes Film Festival which actually bagged the Palm d'Or
Well done indeed to director/screen writer Abdellatif Kechiche and the rest of the cast & crew.
Definitely a 'must see' movie.
 Directed by : Abdellatif KECHICHE 
Year: 2012

BORGMAN @ Cannes Film Fest'13

2 images from Festival de Cannes Press Office

Perhaps a new angle on an odd mystery story, which leaves you thinking what, how, and why.

An altar scene at the very beginning of the film followed by a hunt/chase of a priest with a rifle accompanied by back up men with dogs may suggest something like a witch hunt for a cult demonic figure?
Enthralling and gripping, this film keeps us awake questioning as the plot thickens.
Another one of our select films this year that we found refreshing in its concept, which was also one of the most talked about film in the festival.

Directed by: Alex VAN WARMERDAM 
Year: 2013
Duration: 113.00 minutes


17 Images by MC

If I could go every night to see ENO’s stunning Wozzeck I would! It is utterly riveting musically and theatrically. In her opera debut, award-winning young British theatre director Carrie Cracknell triumphantly proves that opera can be relevant, accessible and deeply moving to all generations, even children. A seven year old girl behind me was completely enthralled, whispering to her father "Is that man peeing?" Wozzeck certainly was. “I feel scared!” No wonder, as throats are slit with a huge kitchen knife and blood splashes on the floor and streams down the walls from squalid toilets above, at the grim climax of this tense opera noir production, lit low-key chiaroscuro by Jon Clarke. Children people the stage in Cracknell's theatrical reinterpretation of the story of Alban Berg’s dark 1925 operatic masterpiece based on Georg Büchner’s 1871 fragmentary play, here updated to contemporary Britain. We follow the lonely tormented common soldier Wozzeck returned from war, and his journey into madness. Plagued by jealousy, verbal and physical abuse, as well as demonic memories of warfare, he is pushed to the limit of his human endurance, murdering his unfaithful mistress, Marie, before slaughtering himself. Wozzeck’s split personality is reflected in Tom Scutt’s elaborately contrived and detailed split-level set which takes characters and eyes upwards facilitating instant scene changes to great effect. Gritty layers of rooms and stairs allow us to see Wozzeck's inner world of terrifying visions, as children fleeing from an explosion suddenly fill the stage below him only to disappear again while soldiers carry through Union Jack draped coffins of the dead, deliberately replicating recent press photographs. Jung likened the strata of the human psyche to a house with the base instincts at the bottom. By reversing this, Scutt's grimy raw material vertical set instantly conveys an atmosphere of sleaze and low life poverty, with a row of filthy urinals and toilets at the top, right above Wozzeck and Marie's drab one bedroom council flat, where their little son has to sleep and stash his stuff under the kitchen table, a virtual cage. Directly below is the pub and centre of community activity from which Wozzeck feels so alien. The repugnant lurid atmosphere makes credible the ingenious idea that the soldiers are all enmeshed in a drug ring, screwing the heads off bright luminous green plastic T-Rex toys to stuff them with cocaine, which Wozzeck their drug mule has to deliver, recalling Büchner's scene, omitted by Berg, where Wozzeck is forced to be a horse. The power of the production owes to Cracknell's fresh vision for the staging that comes from the world of theatre she's always worked in. Under her direction these opera singers really act, so it’s like watching a play performed by top level virtuoso actors who at the same time sing exceptionally and pitch-perfect the most challengingly difficult music in the repertoire all from memory and exactly in time with the orchestra below. Achieving this Olympian feat is a fearsomely strong cast headed by Leigh Melrose as Wozzeck and Sara Jakubiak as Marie. Cracknell's inspired use throughout of the luminous green T-Rexes serves as a visual motif symbolising the instinctive brutality and craziness of the characters which reigns for a cruel 95 minutes. It perfectly echoes Berg's instantly memorable musical leitmotifs in the orchestra. There is a passionate attention to all the myriad of details in the hauntingly disturbed yet beautiful music echoed in the staging and an incredible level of commitment in the orchestra superbly conducted by ENO Music Director Edward Gardner. The final harrowing scene of the opera remains indelibly imprinted like a photograph, of Wozzeck and Marie’s son alone at the front of the stage clutching his green plastic dinosaur his father gave him, as children taunt him "Hey! Your mother's dead!" and the set, his entire disfunctional world, steadily retreats behind him, a real coup de theatre. Remarkably acted and sung by Harry Polden, it is he who we truly empathise with. Orphaned, nowhere to go, no one to turn to, a T-Rex toy his only friend, his is the real tragedy, a child lost, deserted, destitute, the silent victim of his parents’ brutal behaviour and catastrophe. Wozzeck is a profound study, through artistic expression of the highest level, of the dark tragedy of the human condition, and never has it, and opera, seemed more relevant.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE @ Cannes Film Fest'13

image from Festival de Cannes Press Office


Finally, an uber cool/HIP vampire movie in Cannes.

Utter sophistication, music, love, in the context of immortality.

Wouldn't you just know it all after living for centuries? 

With characters played by the likes of John Hurt, Tom Hiddleston and most of all Tilda Swinton who effortlessly makes this film even more stylish- how can it go wrong.

Perhaps best for a short film or even a music video instead of a feature film, but we just love it.

Directed by : Jim JARMUSCH 
Year: 2013
Duration: 123.00 minutes

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