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

Royal Collection Trust
Royal Collection Trust Copyright © His Majesty King Charles III 2024
Copyright © His Majesty King Charles III 2024
By Amber Louise Bryce
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Start your engines for a week of big thoughts and "big bads", with George Miller's 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' and a philosophy festival in Wales among the things happening this week in Europe.

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Another weekend has rolled around and in the immortal (and politically current) words of D:Ream, "things can only get better." 

There's George Miller's gasoline-soaked Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga hitting cinema screens; Disney+'s new supernatural German TV series about the consequences of a one night stand with the devil's son and an exhibition celebrating 100 years of royal photography in Britain. 

Cannes 2024 has also come to an end, and what a year it's been! From Sean Baker's "kinetic take on Pretty Woman" Anora, to Coralie Fargeat "face-melting" The Substance, be sure to catch-up on all our film critic David Mouriquand's reviews if you haven't yet - and stay tuned for a round-up. 

Exhibitions

'Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography' at The King’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace (London, UK)

King Charles III
King Charles IIIRoyal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024

For those that have recovered from Jonathan Yeo's nightmare-inducing painting of the King, this exhibition of British royal family portraits provides a fascinating archive of majestic photography and history that charts the evolution of both. Covering a century's worth of imagery – from Andy Warhol's pop art portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II to Cecil Beaton's intimate pictures of Princess Margaret – there's a mixture of the iconic and never-before-seen. Famous photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, David Bailey and Rankin are featured. On at Buckingham Palace until 8 July. 

'Locomotion museum'  (Shildon, County Durham, UK)

All aboard, train lovers! A new hall at Shildon's Locomotion museum is honouring the industrial North East of England's crucial role in the creation of the railway industry, thanks in part to its production of coal. This is the largest collection of railway vehicles ever to be housed indoors, with 47 on display, including two snow ploughs and the world's oldest oil tanker. Through the addition of vintage film reels, it tells a fascinating story of a transport town and its people.

Festivals and events

'HowTheLightGetsIn Festival' (Hay-on-Wye, Wales)

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in," sang Leonard Cohen in 'Anthem'. It's from these lyrics, pertaining to the hope at the heart of life and all its flaws, that the world's largest philosophy and music festival gets its name. 'HowTheLightGetsIn' has been running since 2010 and brings together some of the world's leading thinkers to discuss big ideas, tackling complex issues and uncovering new perspectives. Some of those programmed to speak include Australian philosopher Peter Singer, filmmaker Martha Fiennes and musician James Holden. Hosted by the Institute of Art and Ideas, it's not all TED-style talks, with a mixture of documentaries, music, stand-up, debates and films – anything and everything that makes you see things differently. On from 24-27 May.

'Towel Day 2024'

A towel is “just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry.”
A towel is “just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry.”Canva

Every year, on 25 May, fans pay tribute with towels to 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' author Douglas Adams, who died in 2001. Towels are chosen because they are "just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can carry," according to Adams' hugely popular sci-fi series, first released in 1978. A mundane physical object with a clear functional use, it becomes symbolic of a sense of control amidst the chaos. All across the world there are various towel-themed events taking place – and if you can't make them, don't panic – there are online events too! See the full list here

Movies

'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

Nine years after giving us the mind-blowing Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller is back with a prequel focused on the character of Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy). Kidnapped as a child from her utopian home in the Green Place by warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and his biker gang, this bad-ass wasteland warrior is dead set on getting revenge. "A perfectly cast film and a visually arresting one," our critic David Mouriquand wrote after its premier at Cannes – also questioning whether, for all the film's spectacle, we really needed an origin story... Read his full review here

TV Series

'Pauline' (Disney+)

It's a tale as old as time: the one-night stand gone wrong. But – hear us out – what if instead of just getting pregnant, you also started developing supernatural powers and then realised you were actually gestating the devil's grandson? Pretty wild, right? Well, that's the premise for new German show 'Pauline', the titular character of which is an 18-year-old woman (Sira-Anna Faal) who finds herself up against dark forces after meeting the son of the devil, Lukas (Ludger Bökelmann), on a dating app. We're telling you, use Duolingo instead, people!  

Music

Bat For Lashes: 'At Your Feet'

This is the first single released from Natasha Khan's (known professionally as Bat For Lashes) sixth studio album 'The Dream of Delphi', due out 31 May. Channeling her Motherwitch character, which she conjured up for the release of an oracle deck last year, 'At Your Feet' feels witchy and watery, trickling through feelings of motherhood. Mystical and mesmerising, it's music to run through woodlands and emote too, with a very Twin Peaks-esque music video to boot.

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