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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

Happy Easter to all those that celebrate - or just enjoy an excuse to devour some chocolate bunnies while laughing maniacally.

Europe is rich with traditions at this time of year, including water pistol fights in Poland, fireworks in Florence and good ol' egg rolling in the UK. But if those aren't your kind of thing, we've hatched some other plans.

Ps. Don't forget the clocks go forward this Sunday (31 March) - losing an extra hour in bed is no yolk, although the longer evenings will be cracking (ok, we're done).

Exhibitions

'Turning Heads: Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer', Dublin, Ireland

If - perhaps upon seeing an Easter egg - you've ever found your mouth contorting into an exaggerated "O", eyes bulging with imagined ecstasy, you'd make the perfect subject for a tronie. In fact, anyone with a human face would.

Tronies were a genre of art that arose from the Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque painters, focusing on peoples' expressions - sometimes subtle, sometimes silly but always characterful.

A collaborative exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland is showcasing some of the most famous tronies, including 'Study of an Old Woman' by Rubens, 'The Laughing Man' by Rembrandt and 'Girl with the Red Hat' by Vermeer. On until 26 May 2024.

'Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition 2024', London, UK

Tickets are now on sale for an exhibition at London's Somerset House of the shortlisted and winning images from the Sony World Photography Awards. Chosen from 395,000 submitted images, these stunning photographs capture the wonders and weirdness of our little planet and those that inhabit it. The event will take place from 19 April to 6 May 2024 before travelling to more locations.

Also! For a more extensive list of Europe's most exciting current (and upcoming) springtime exhibitions, see here.

Movies

'Robot Dreams'

1980s New York City. A lonely dog orders a build-your-own robot friend. To the catchy melody of an Earth, Wind & Fire song, the two form a connection, before fate cruelly gets in the way via a mechanical malfunctioning and closed beach.

Nominated for best animated feature at the 2024 Oscars, Pablo Berger's 'Robot Dreams' feels like the perfect companion piece to Celine Song's 'Past Lives', infused with elements of 'Bojack Horseman'. Profoundly understated and dialogue free, the retro childlike aesthetics tether the pain and poetry of nostalgia; a meditation on the uncontrollable but ultimately beautiful complications of connection. You'll never forget the 21st night of September again, *sobs*.

And one not to watch FYI...

Roman Polanski’s ‘The Palace’
Roman Polanski’s ‘The Palace’ - Copyright Venice Film Festival - 01 Distribution

Seven months after its Out of Competition world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Roman Polanski’s latest film The Palace has been acquired by a French distribution company, set to be released 15 May. But don't even bother watching it, says our film critic David Mouriquand, who calls it "the worst film the Franco-Polish director has ever put his name to."

TV Series

'Renegade Nell'

Written by Sally Wainwright ('Gentleman Jack', 'Happy Valley', 'Unforgiven') and streaming on Disney+, 'Renegade Nell' follows an 18th century highwaywoman on the run after being framed for murder. But there's a catch: Nell (Louisa Harland) has supernatural powers. As escapades ensue there's a mixture of fun fight scenes, sprites and class commentary; period drama sprinkled with some MCU-style spectacle.

Music

Beyoncé: 'Act II: Cowboy Carter'

Hey y'all, do you hear that? It's the sound of the BeyHive buzzing to Beyoncé's rootin' tootin' return: ‘Act II: Cowboy Carter’. The follow up to her 2022 disco-themed album 'Renaissance', it pays homage to country music and Queen B's Texan roots.

The concept was born from an incident years ago in which the singer was made to feel unwelcome. On Instagram, she wrote: "Because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. Act II is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

Euronews Culture writers Theo Farrant and David Mouriquand gave it a listen all day after the album dropped on Friday at midnight, and here are their thoughts.