The Prom is a "camp, cliché, jazz hands romp with more sequins than you can shake a stick at", according to Cordula Schnuer, who chose the film as one of her tips of the month.
Tales from the Moselle and Paris, quirky shows and Picadilly picks: here’s what has kept the Delano team inspired this month.
I was sold on “The Treasury of Tales” when author Robert Schofield told me he got the idea on a boozy trip to the Moselle region. It follows the hapless and feeble Wilhelm as he embarks on a mission to gather folk tales shortly after Napoleon conquers his country. What this historical novel lacks in geographical escapism, it more than makes up for as an exploration of the power that can come with controlling a narrative. As that expert in propaganda Napoleon reportedly said “what is history but a fable agreed upon?”. If this book gives you a hankering for more, as it did me, I recommend Philip Pullman’s “Grimm Tales for Young and Old”, containing reworkings of 50 out of the 200 or so original Grimm tales. It proved a great companion read after Schofield’s novel, helping sustain that deliciously strange dusky world of fairy tales just a little longer. JB
I was gifted a (signed!) copy of Dave Haslam's "My Second Home: Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956", which follows the writer throughout her days in the French capital hoping to spend Easter holidays with Richard Sassoon, who ended up leaving her heartbroken after he left unannounced to Spain. Plath had met her future husband, Ted Hughes, just weeks prior to this sojourn. The fourth in Haslam's "Art Decades" series, this read provides intimate anecdotes about her love life, sketches in gardens and more. NG
It’s not so much a “read” rather than a coffee table book, but any fan of Wes Anderson’s quirky cinematic world will enjoy “Accidentally Wes Anderson”. Born out of an online community of the same name, the book collects pictures from places around the world that look straight out of an Anderson movie. There’s no entry for Luxembourg yet--challenge accepted! CS
Listen to this
As usual, I used the gap between Christmas and New Year to trawl through a selection of end of year best music lists for the albums I may have missed. One that caught my eye, and ear, and feet was the no.1 choice of Piccadilly Records in Manchester. Belgian trio Rheinzand’s debut album is a joyful celebration of dance music, taking the best of vintage disco, new wave and pop to create fascinating and infectious contemporary soundscapes that will have you dancing around the desiccated Christmas tree well into 2021. Listen to “Blind”. DR
Wanting to broaden my horizons in the world of podcasts, I recently came across clinical psychologist Dr. Orma’s “Selfish for Success”. If you’re like me, struggling to take decisions and always trying to be more perfect than humanly possible, this is 100% for you. Orma breaks down the stigma surrounding selfishness as an act of pure egoism and offers honest advice on resilience, keys to success and overcoming the fear of failing. Although primarily directed at entrepreneurs, the issues tackled and the lessons learned should resonate with people from all walks of life. LF
I stumbled upon the Billie Eilish single, "My Future", and it has become my daughter's favourite. The animation in the video is magical, it has R&B mood, and there is conviction behind Eilish's voice as she sings about putting her past behind to move forward and looking forward to a new future on her own. NG
Netflix’ “The Prom” stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden as has-been Broadway stars who travel to small-town Indiana to help Emma, a gay teen whose high school won’t allow her to take her girlfriend to prom. It’s a camp, cliché, jazz hands romp with more sequins than you can shake a stick at. It’s also funny, joyful and comes with a lot of heart. CS
One of the many things I loved about the Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher” is the pace. Craig Foster doesn’t bring up the octopus until at least 10 minutes into the movie but it’s OK. We’re willingly pulled into the circumstances which pushed him to begin freediving in the underwater kelp forest near Cape Town and the incredible discovery that would transform his life. The unfolding relationship is touching and will make you think twice about ordering calamari. JB
In a year when going to the cinema was for the most part limited to the first week of the Luxembourg City Film Festival, I was delighted to recently catch up with Armando Iannucci’s visually stunning “The Personal History of David Copperfield” via iTunes. Though it often strays from the Dickens novel, the performances from Dev Patel as David, Tilda Swinton as Betsy Trotwood, Peter Capaldi as Micawber and, most strikingly, Ben Whishsaw as Uriah Heep, had me captivated, as did the inventive use of painted backdrops to swiftly move the action along. DR
If meditating or adult colouring books aren’t your thing but you need a way to shut off your brain every once in a while, I’d recommend picking up a good old-fashioned puzzle. I recently completed a 1,500-piece view of New York City (1,499--I lost one to the vacuum cleaner), and the hours spent putting it together have been some of the calmest in recent months. CS