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Cultural Digest: Don’t miss these events in Europe this week

Cultural Digest: Don’t miss these events in Europe this week

It might be a day later than usual, but March has arrived and spring is in the air.

There's lots to look forward to, with this week's announcements including John Waters' return to the director's chair for the first time in 20 years and a new Sally Rooney novel titled 'Intermezzo' being published in September.

But back to the here and now, where internet sleuths continue to ponder the whereabouts of British royal Kate Middleton and the following recommendations are guaranteed to be better than Glasgow's Willy Wonka experience.

Exhibitions

Zineb Sedira: Dreams Have No Titles, London, UK

Zineb Sedira, Installation view from Dreams Have No Titles at the Venice Biennale, 2022
Zineb Sedira, Installation view from Dreams Have No Titles at the Venice Biennale, 2022 - Photo credit: Thierry Bal

Lose yourself inside French Algerian artist Zineb Sedira's immersive recreations of film sets at London's Whitechapel Gallery. A concept originally conceived for the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022, Sedira features a ballroom from Ettore Scola’s film Le Bal (1983) and the coffin from Orson Welles ‘The Stranger' (1946), combined with a recreation of her Brixton home's living room to blur the boundaries between reality and fiction; exploring collective experiences and colonialism through interweaving biography with avant-garde cinema.

'Insert Coin', Paris, France

Coins won't get you much in today's increasingly cashless, cost-of-living-addled society - but they used to be enough for a great night out. The flashing lights, bulbous joysticks and playful pings of pinball machines beckon your loose change at a new exhibition at La Monnaie de Paris, which celebrates the golden-era of midcentury, coin-operated gaming machines and jukeboxes. It's a chance to interact with history and feel like you're truly in it: not a care in the world but beating that Donkey Kong record.

'Pre-Raphaelites. Modern Renaissance', Bologna, Italy

Over 300 works from the 'Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood' are now on display at the Museo Civico in Forlì in celebration of the 19th-century British movement.

The exhibition, which features Pre-Raphaelite paintings, sculptures, textiles and jewellery by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, William Morris and more, traces the profound impact of historical Italian art on the movement between the 1840s and 1920s by placing British works alongside their Italian prototypes.

Festivals and events

Paris Fashion Week

Models wear creations as part of the Dries Van Noten Fall/Winter 2024-2025
Models wear creations as part of the Dries Van Noten Fall/Winter 2024-2025 - Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP

Paris Fashion Week is in full flow, with the hottest of haute couture catwalking across the city. On until the 5 March, there's still plenty to see. Although many of the big shows are by invite only, there's also the opportunity to livestream them. Highlights include Vivienne Westwood, Hermès, Comme des Garçons and Alexander McQueen on 2 March; Balenciaga and Valentino on 3 March; Stella McCartney, Pierre Cardin and Sacai on 4 March; Chanel and Louis Vuitton on 5 March.

Also part of Paris Fashion Week, we'd recommend visiting the IKEA+ exhibition 'Life At Home', a collaboration between the Swedish furniture behemoths and legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz along with six young photographers. Open until 28 at rue de Lappe, it offers an intimate look inside the homes of people around the world.

London Comic Con Spring, UK

Nerds, unite! The first London Comic Con of the year takes place this weekend (2-3 March) at Olympia. It's the perfect opportunity to dress up as your favourite fictional characters and meet cult stars, including: Julian Bleach (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones, John Wick, Jojo Rabbit) and Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Secret Diary of a Call Girl). For the merch fans, there will also be plenty of stalls selling fan art, books, accessories and more. Allons-y!

Movies

Dune: Part Two

Steady your sandworms, Dune: Part Two has finally arrived.

Based on Frank Herbert's sprawling 1965 sci-fi novel of the same name, expectations have been very high following Dennis Villeneuve's excellent predecessor.

Initial responses to the movie have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with some comparing it to fellow intergalactic saga The Empire Strikes Back, but our resident film critic David Mouriquand had a more balanced perspective:

"While Dune: Part Two is bigger and more muscular, it is not better. It’s epic filmmaking at its most ambitious, and a terrific continuation of the first instalment – one which many unwisely dismissed as a place-setter. That said, there are sizeable issues when it comes to pace and payoff."

Read his review in full.

Berlinale 2024: Top 10 Movies

The Best Movies of the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival
The Best Movies of the 2024 Berlin International Film Festival - Berlinale - A24

While the 74th Berlinale might be over - and still grappling with some political fallout - it gave us a wealth of incredible cinema to look forward to.

Of the nearly 200 films that were shown over the course of the ten day festival, Euronews film critic David Mouriquand has picked his top ten (and we always trust his recommendations.)

From Rose Glass's riveting return Love Lies Bleeding, to The Devil's Bath, a mesmerising portrait of female melancholia in 18th century, you'll want to add every one of these to your 2024 watchlist.

Spaceman

Debuting on Netflix is existential sci-fi drama Spaceman, directed by Johan Renck (Chernobyl) and based on the 2017 novel 'Spaceman of Bohemia'. It stars Adam Sandler as Jakob Prochazka, a Czech astronaut journeying to the fringes of the solar system to explore some big bang residue. The isolation of space, however, starts to warp his mind, while his relationship with wife Lenka (Carey Mulligan) begins to fray from distance. Other notable cast members include: Isabella Rossellini as commanding officer Komisarz Tuma and Paul Dano as a giant talking spider.

David Mouriquand called it "an ambitious but hollow endeavour that wastes its cast and the audience's time by feeling like an amalgamation of far superior films like Solaris, Interstellar and Ad Astra." He adds: "Still, the Enemy -reminiscent spider was a creepy idea at the start - and then got ludicrous the second you realise it doesn't communicate telepathically and has a distractingly silly mouth." Oof.

TV series

Shōgun

'Shōgun', which premiered this week on Disney+, has already been met with much hype. Touted by critics as the new 'Game of Thrones', it's the kind of epically engrossing TV that feels more like an event than just something to pop on while you scroll through IG Reels on your phone. Based on the chunky 1975 novel by James Clavell (and somehow condensed into a ten part series) it immerses viewers in the gore, violence and political turmoil of turn of the century 1600s Japan as three central characters encounter one another, their destinies changed forever.