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A feel-good film, the Bijoy Jain exhibition, a nostalgic novel... Madame Figaro's Culture Week

2023-12-10T13:07:33.713Z

Highlights: A feel-good film, the Bijoy Jain exhibition, a nostalgic novel... Madame Figaro's Culture Week. A film, an exhibition, and a novel: the essentials to see and read recommended by the editors this week. Winter Break, by Alexander Payne (Sideways), is set in 1970 in the corridors of a prestigious boys' school. Your Steps in the Staircase, by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Éditions du Seuil Press. Le Souffle de l'architecte, from December 9 to April 21, 2024, at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.


A film, an exhibition, a novel: the essentials to see and read recommended by the editors this week.


Lecture

It's the feel good movie of winter, one of the biggest movies of 2023. Winter Break, by Alexander Payne (Sideways), is set in 1970 in the corridors of a prestigious boys' school. When the holidays arrive, Paul Hunham, an ancient history teacher, hated by all, is on duty: he has to stay to watch over the handful of students abandoned by their parents at Christmas. Among them is Angus, a brilliant but insubordinate boy who soon finds himself alone with the teacher and the high school cook, a mother in mourning since the death of her son in Vietnam. It is the meeting of these three lonely souls that this beautiful humanist chronicle recounts. Funny because it's witty, moving without making the violins sing, reconciling without being naïve, this tale of learning and friendship will crack the armour of the most cynical and will remind nostalgic forty-year-olds of The Dead Poets' Circle... a touch of finesse and staging to boot. Paul Giamatti reconciles the most rebellious with authority and rehabilitates old-fashioned teachers, Da'Vine Joy Randolph inspires nothing but tenderness, and Dominic Sessa, in his first role on screen, already has what it takes to be great. A marvel. Mr. L.

To discover

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Winter Break, by Alexander Payne, with Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa, Da'Vine Joy Randolph...

Bijoy Jain and the Sense of Architecture

Artwork by Bijoy Jain made of natural materials. Neville Sukhia.

"As an architect, I bring the utmost consideration to the way things are created. The main thing is to be mindful of the natural environment, the materials and the people. Space and architecture must be inclusive." This is the mantra of Bijoy Jain, born in 1965, who worked in Los Angeles and London before founding Studio Mumbai when he returned to India in 1995. Proposing to the Fondation Cartier a total creation for its exhibition Le Souffle de l'architecte, he imagined a space for reverie and meditation in dialogue with Jean Nouvel's iconic building. Sculptures in stone, terra cotta, facades of Indian homes, lines of pigments, bamboo structures build a world where silence has a sound, where time and space are eternal. The exhibition, between shadow and light, unfolds an installation composed of fragments of architecture. Bijoy Jain has also invited the Chinese artist Hu Liu and her black monochromes made with graphite, the Danish ceramist of Turkish origin Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye and her works in clay as well as weightlessness. A sensory experience. L. C.

"Bijoy Jain / Studio Mumbai, Le Souffle de l'architecte", from December 9 to April 21, 2024, at the Fondation Cartier, in Paris. fondationcartier.com

The Power of Memories

Your Steps in the Staircase, by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Éditions du Seuil. Press.

The narrator of Antonio Muñoz Molina's splendid novel has gone to Lisbon to prepare the apartment that will house him and his partner Cecilia, a brain scientist, and projects himself into the future while remembering the past: life in New York, which they have decided to leave... but which our hero nevertheless tries to reproduce in the Lusitanian capital. He had Cecilia's new office modelled on the previous one, spotted the bakery that sold the nut and seed breads she liked, and thought about the walks they had taken and were going to take. Little by little, the life of the past seems to take precedence over the life of the present, which is no longer what is to be and, to tell the truth, the first sentence of the novel announced it: "I have settled in this city to wait for the end of the world." By this, he meant the coming apocalypse, of which droughts, fires, climate change and other so-called natural disasters are all signs in this era of the Anthropocene. But, the sentence resonates differently as the novel progresses. Just like the hero of the beautiful In the Absence of Blanca (2004), the hero of Your Steps on the Stairs awaits with all-consuming anxiety the return of the woman he loves; as the place merges and he loses his way in the twists and turns of his memory, he waits for Cecilia as a prisoner waits to be freed and yet fears to be released. An expert in the field, Antonio Muñoz Molina tinges, here and there, with fantasy the intimate thriller Your Steps on the Stairs, a tragic and superb plunge into the mind of a man who chooses to lose himself. Mr. T. H.

Tes pas dans l'escalier, by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Éditions du Seuil, 256 p., €22. Translated by Isabelle Gugnon.

Source: lefigaro

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