Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

13 March 2015

FILM: Mommy

“The real standout is the kid: 17-year-old Antoine Olivier Pilon, who I think is a real force of nature in this film”

Tim Robey, film critic for The Telegraph

The latest film from French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan, Mommy, focuses on the volatile relationship between a mother and son in Montréal played by Anne Dorval and Antoine Olivier Pilon respectively. It’s the 17-year-old Pilon’s performance that has caught viewers’ attention particularly, delivering emotional depth to this tale of suburban frustration and unconventional family life. Suzanne Clément also gives a strong turn as neighbourhood friend Kyla – a stabilising then ultimately destructive influence on the life of the young lead.

MUSIC: Angaleena Presley, ‘Grocery Store’

“The truth of it is so raw; it’s like pushing on a bruise”

Baylen Leonard, country-music specialist

Robert Bound welcomed DJ and country-music aficionado Baylen Leonard to Midori House this week and among his picks was “Grocery Store” by Kentucky native Angaleena Presley (no relation to the King, as far as we know). The song is a bittersweet observation of small-town life taken from Presley’s recent album American Middle Class. You can catch Presley live in Las Vegas in the coming week and cross Europe later in the year.

ART: Bruce Nauman at Fondation Cartier, Paris

“Sometimes his work is just joyous, sometimes it’s really funny and sometimes it’s just ‘itchy’… If it’s possible to describe an artwork as itchy”

Francesca Gavin, visual arts editor at Dazed & Confused

Opening this weekend at Paris’s Fondation Cartier is the biggest retrospective of US artist Bruce Nauman’s work in 15 years. Nauman, whose pieces span multiple disciplines such as sculpture, neon and video, has focused on his interaction with surrounding environments for this exhibition, meaning every corner of the building has been carefully considered for how it interacts with the works. Among the instalments on show – many of which have never been shown in France – are “For Beginners (instructed piano)”, which invites viewers to hear a piece played by musician Terry Allen, and the sculpture “Carousel” (pictured).

BOOK: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

“I had no expectations and I loved it. I read it in three days and finished it weeping – which is not something I usually do”

Anne Meadows, editor at Granta Books

British author Kazuo Ishiguro has won widespread acclaim with previous titles such as The Remains of the Day, which won the Booker Prize and Never Let Me Go, which was also nominated. Now back with The Buried Giant, Ishiguro has entered the fantasy genre – setting his latest book in a Lord of the Rings-style landscape of ogres and dragons. But at the book’s heart is the author’s continuing exploration of relationships between people – Axl and Beatrice in this case, an aged couple suffering from a mysterious amnesia. Don’t forget to pick this one up.

THEATRE: The Audience at the Schoenfeld Theatre, New York

“Stage royalty: Helen Mirren’s performance has been received with adulation in New York”

Matt Wolf, London theatre critic of The International New York Times

Dame Helen Mirren is getting familiar with a role she’s played twice before – once onscreen in 2006’s Oscar-winning film The Queen and later in the West End in 2013 for Peter Morgan’s play The Audience. Now that latter production is hitting Broadway to give the US a taste of British stiff upper lip and it is a very British show indeed: focusing on meetings between the Queen and a run of prime ministers that stretches from Cameron all the way back to Churchill. Perhaps best enjoyed with a strong cup of tea.

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