The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week


We’ve got an eclectic selection for you this week: think filthy basslines, Studio Ghibli characters brought to life on stage, the campy pop of Eurovision, a warning to avoid a film called ‘AGGRO DR1FT’, and much more.

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Another week, another roundup of exciting things happening across Europe! Let’s dive straight in. 

Exhibitions

‘Silvia Bächli: Partitura’ at Centro Botín’ (Santander, Spain)

If minimal and conceptual artworks are your cup of tea, then you must check out Swiss artist Silvia Bächli’s first exhibition in Spain at Centro Botín, which features her latest works alongside earlier drawings. Bächli’s abstract and minimal drawings are deeply intertwined with her body’s movements, reflecting sensory experiences and bodily gestures. “Drawings are actions. Lines tell stories. What do these lines do? Where is the beginning of a line, does it touch another line? How does it touch them? Words appear, which ones come to the tongue?”, says the artist. 

Created with simple materials like paper and ink, her works are arranged in rhythmic clusters throughout the gallery space, inviting viewers to contemplate the connections between lines, gestures, and emotions. The exhibition, titled ‘Silvia Bächli: Partitura’ opens on 11 May 2024 and runs until 20 October 2024. 

‘Beyond the Bassline’ at the British Library (London, UK)

You’ll find over 200 fascinating historical items on display, including letters written by the 18th-century composer Ignatius Sancho, attire once worn by jazz singer Patti Flynn in the 1970s, and images tracing the evolution of grime through the lens of renowned photographer Simon Wheatley. ‘Beyond the Bassline’ runs until 26 August 2024 at the British Library. 

‘Ercole Pignatelli – Memento Amare Semper’ at Palazzo Reale (Milan, Italy)

Italian artist Ercole Pignatelli, fueled by his lifelong obsession with Picasso’s “Guernica,” is putting on quite the show at Milan’s Palazzo Reale! Pignatelli, now 89, is recreating and reinterpreting the masterpiece on a large canvas, engaging with a live audience. His intervention, part of the exhibition “Memento Amare Semper” (Always Remember to Love), also showcases 15 of his earlier works. Unlike Picasso’s original, Pignatelli’s rendition introduces motifs of hope, aiming to symbolise a “dawn of hope” by painting the sky pink. Hurry, though! This spectacle wraps up on 16 May. Admission is free!

Movies

If art ain’t your thing and you’re more of a movie buff, we’ve got you covered. Popcorn at the ready ladies and gents… 

First, one to avoid. 

AGGRO DR1FT

At first glance, this strange looking hitman film shot in infrared with rapper Travis Scott attached to the project looks intriguing. Don’t be fooled though. Harmony Korine (Gummo, Spring Breakers) and his new provocation will give you a nose bleed. And not the fun kind. Our resident film critic David Mouriquand hated AGGRO DR1FT. ‘Hate’ is maybe too small a word. We think he may have finally lost his mind. He called it “a meaningless provocation” and fantasized about being stung by scorpions during the screening. Like we said, he’s well and truly lost it. You can read his full review here – which reads more like a warning than anything else.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

First on the watch list is the highly anticipated release of “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” the latest instalment in the iconic sci-fi franchise. This film delves deeper into the saga, exploring the world of intelligent simian descendants as they navigate their dominance on Earth. Set generations after the events of the previous films, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” introduces a new ape antagonist and a twisted ape settlement ruled by the formidable Proximus Caesar.

As for the humans, they have descended into feral, animalistic beings, reminiscent of those seen in the original 1968 film that launched The Planet of the Apes franchise. With a cast that doesn’t include Andy Serkis, a central figure in the previous movies of the rebooted series, the question looms: can the film live up to its hype?

L.A. Confidential

Rotten Tomatoes recently dropped its list of the 300 Best Films of All Time, and guess what’s at the top? Not Titanic, not even close. The Godfather? Almost, but not quite. The number one spot went to Curtis Hanson’s 1997 neo-noir gem L.A. Confidential, based on James Ellroy’s novel of the same name. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet, or if you have, hey, why not give it a rewatch?

Theatre

‘Spirited Away’ at London Coliseum (London, UK)

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Any Studio Ghibli fans here? If so, you’d likely be excited to hear that a theatre adaptation of the beloved classic ‘Spirited Away’ has debuted in London. This isn’t the first of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpieces to hit the London stage in the last two years. There’s also been ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, which, after two sell-out seasons at the Barbican, has just announced a 2025 West End run.

The ‘Spirited Away’ production promises to be an unforgettable visual spectacle. Don’t miss out – grab your tickets here before they’re all gone!

Music

A little worn out from the back and forth with BBL Drizzy (Drake) and Kendrick Lamar? Well, we have a delightful musical palate cleanser for you.

Kings of Leon: ‘Can We Please Have Fun’

Brothers Caleb, Jared, and Nathan Followill, along with cousin Matthew Followill, have just released their new album, 21 years after their debut ‘Youth & Young Manhood’, and it’s more like their first recordings and easily their best in years. A punky, garage feel flows through many of the tracks. Produced by Kid Harpoon, known for his work with Harry Styles, Florence + The Machine, and Miley Cyrus, it’s his first time working with the Kings. Together, they’ve managed to peel back the layers of the mighty Kings and return them to their raw, unfiltered roots. 

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Album anniversaries: Three records to celebrate in May 2024

Every month of 2024, Euronews Culture takes a trip down memory lane and handpicks a trio of albums celebrating a major milestone. And we’ve just published May’s bunch. From devastatingly intimate love songs to hip-hop bangers via lush soundscapes for an ideal Parisian escapade, here’s our pick of the three albums you should choose to (re)discover as they respectively turn 10, 20, and 30 this month.

Eurovision Song Contest 2024

And, of course, we couldn’t not mention the Eurovision Song Contest. Despite this year being one of the most controversial and debated in the competition’s history, there’s still plenty to look forward to. And with Sweden hosting the contest on the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s historic Eurovision win, the question remains: will the legendary band make an appearance? All eyes will be on Saturday 11 May, when the final is scheduled to take place. We’ve placed our bets as to who we think will win – what do you make of our selection?



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