Culture Autumn 2017

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by Darren Aronofsky with Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Ed Harris

“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.” The director who brought us “Black Swan” is back with a gripping, accomplished thriller. “Mother” features an interesting cast and will have you holding your breath from start to finish. It raises numerous questions so that you begin to doubt in the characters and see them completely differently, and then wonder if you didn’t get it wrong after all. This exciting, sometimes scary movie is well acted by the cast, with the possible exception of Jennifer Lawrence who slightly overacts some scenes.

Nolwenn Leroy – Gemme

The Breton singer is back with her new opus, “Gemme”. Five years after her previous album, “Ô Filles de l’Eau” and following her huge hit, “Bretonne”, this new collection was highly awaited to say the least. In fact the wait was as great as the pressure following the success of her previous offerings. Luckily, “Gemme” does the job and probably provides her most accomplished work so far. Leroy recently qualified it as, “the quintessence of my previous albums”. The singer moves off the beaten track, mostly dropping the Celtic sounds, though not altogether. This time round, the sound is closer to British pop. The instrumentals are particularly perfect, coupled with powerful vocals more present than ever. Each track is a little gem, as catchy as it is moving. A number of English numbers also feature on the album, like the surprising “Run It Down” and some adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe poems.

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Ken Follett – A Column of fire

Macmillan publishers

“Christmas 1558, and young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Europe is in turmoil as high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love, and Ned soon finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald.

Then Elizabeth Tudor becomes queen and all of Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans.

Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed, as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. With Elizabeth clinging precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents, it becomes clear that the real enemies – then as now – are not the rival religions.

The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else – no matter the cost.”

The saga that enthralled millions with “The Pillars of the Earth” and “World without End” continues with Ken Follett’s sensational new installment,  “A Column of Fire”. Probably one of the author’s most gripping books to date, this is bound to appeal to fans of the genre.

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