The best things to do and see in Europe this week

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Spring has sprung, and so have a whole host of exciting cultural events. 

This week brought with it not only a total solar eclipse in the US, but also the official Cannes Film Festival 2024 lineup, which includes Yorgos Lanthimos’ Kinds of Kindness, George Miller’s_Furiosa_ and Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis (basically, we’re very excited.)

But on to the more pressing here and now – or should that be AeroPress-ing? – whether you’re a fan of coffee festivals or prefer electro over an espresso, we guarantee you’ll get a buzz from at least something in this latest round of recommendations. 

Oh, and if you want us, we’ll be chilling in David Lynch’s ‘Thinking rooms’, probably contemplating next week’s list.  

Exhibition

‘The Birth of Department Stores’, Paris, France

The striking architectural wonders of Parisian department stores, along with the consumerism trends and sense of cultural grandeur they pioneered, are being appreciated at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in collaboration with the Cité de l’Architecture. It’s a two-part exhibition, with the first part on now until 13 October 2024, and the second commencing 16 October until 16 March 2025. Covering the entire history and development of these fashion meccas, it begins in 1852 with the establishment of Le Bon Marché, Les Magasins du Louvre, Le Printemps, La Samaritaine and Les Galeries Lafayette. 

Festivals and events

‘Ultra Europe’, Split, Croatia

ULTRA Europe

Can you feel the umph umph umph energy? Ultra Europe is almost back, and celebrating its 10th anniversary with an incredible electro lineup that includes headliners Adam Beyer, Armin Van Buuren, Boris Brejcha, Eric Prydz, Hardwell, Martin Garrix and Timmy Trumpet. Taking place at Park Mladezi, Split’s second largest stadium, there will be over 150,000 attendees from all over the world; the perfect place to lose yourself in a buzz of big beats and boisterous crowds. While it doesn’t start until 12-14 July, tickets are officially available now so nab ’em while you can. 

‘The Salone Internazionale del Mobile’, Milan, Italy

lnteriors by David Lynch. A Thinking Room

From director David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’-esque ‘Thinking Rooms’, to a striking submerged island that asks us to question the environmental impact of our everyday water use – Milan Design Week (or Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano) returns 16 April to 21 April, bringing with it the most cutting-edge design and creative thinking. 

More than 1,900 exhibitors, including 600 young talents under 35 and 22 design schools will take part in the 62nd edition. Read our full guide here. 

‘London Coffee Festival’, UK

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We cannot espresso how excited we are for the London Coffee Festival, which is on until 14 April at the Truman Brewery in London’s Brick Lane. There is SO MUCH coffee to try from some of the very best baristas in the world. You’ll also get the chance to take part in classes (like learning how to do latte art), tasting sessions, competitions and attend talks on future industry trends. Basically, there’s more than enough here to ensure a truly brewtiful weekend. 

Movies

Civil War

Civil war has broken out across America. Bombs explode in the streets, civilians are strung up in car washes, and barbaric, gun-toting men question “what kind of American” people are. Tension and terror are at the forefront of this nerve-wrangling dystopian thriller, with director Alex Garland launching the audience directly into a war zone and leaving them there to simmer. The plot follows a group of journalists, including Lee (Kirsten Dunst) and her accidental apprentice Jesse (Cailee Spaeny), who are en route to Washington D.C. to reach the President before rebel forces do. Best seen large and loud at cinemas.   

Back to Black

Following on from Asif Kapadia’s brilliant 2015 documentary Amy, Back to Black is a biopic of Amy Winehouse’s (Marisa Abela) life directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Through the lens of the singer recording her seminal 2006 ‘Back to Black’ album, the tangled threads of inspiration and trauma behind it are unravelled, including her struggles with addiction, the pressures of fame, and a turbulent relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil (Jack O’Connell). 

Love Lies Bleeding

What wouldn’t you do for the person you passionately love? This is one of the questions at the core of Rose glass’ (Saint Maud) new film, Love Lies Bleeding, which is out now in Portugal, Iceland, Spain and Netherlands. A romance between a lonely gym manager named Lou (Kristen Stewart) and ambitious bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) leads to violence as the two find themselves caught up in the criminal comminations of Lou’s family. Our film critic David Mouriquand called it an ‘audacious and pulpy triumph’- read his full review here

TV series

Fallout

Set in a post-apocalyptic world that’s infused with midcentury futurism, this new series from Prime Video is based on the popular ‘Fallout’ computer game that first began in the late 90s. Its story begins in 2077, centuries after a nuclear attack devastated America. The survivors are now living in a society of underground bunkers called Vaults, but when something goes wrong with one of them, Lucy (Ella Prunell) must venture outside to find the thing that will fix it –  confronting potentially dangerous unknowns from long ago established divisions. If you liked HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’, you’ll enjoy this! 

Ripley

We know, we know – we already mentioned this one last week! But for those that still haven’t seen it, Netflix’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ is well worth watching. Starring Andrew Scott as Ripley, the actor gives his most ruthless performance yet. Our critic David Mouriquand said: “Its exquisitely crafted aesthetic blankets the viewer in an 8-chaptered noir for the ages.” Read the full review here.  

Music

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Boys Noize: ‘Challengers’ [Mixed] by Boys Noize

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of the band Nine Inch Nails have been scoring films since 2010, most notably for David Fincher’s projects: The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, Mank and The Killer. Their latest soundtrack is for Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming tennis-themed love triangle thriller, Challengers, starring Zendaya. The duo have released its nine tracks – but as a 28-minute DJ set mixed by German electro artist Boys Noize. We 40 love it.

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