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The Remaking of "War & Peace" (#249)

Shopping: The endless Possibilities of the Gift Basket - Hi there and welcome to our highlights edition! It seems to come more & more quickly every year, but here it is, the season of Advent, and time to get into Christmas shopping in earnest! In Britain that often means investing in a Christmas gift basket - and business at major department stores there is currently booming as people stock up on luxury goodies for their loved ones to enjoy over the holidays. The nice thing about this kind of gift is that the possibilities are endless...we checked out some of the most sumptuous baskets in London.

Film: War and Peace Redux - We learn from very young that the greatest stories always merit retelling, so no doubt Russian author Leo Tolstoy would be thrilled that his epic novel War and Peace enjoys such longevity. The classic tale is now being refilmed as a grandiose four-part television series. The project is hailed as one of Europe's largest co-productions and features a cast of stars young and established - and to get to the real Russian soul of the matter -the crew is on location in St. Petersburg!

Fashion: Italy's Maz Mara - Next up we're treated to a journey through the world of Italian fashion, courtesy of one of the oldest and most renowned "made in Italy" labels - Max Mara. After 55 years in the business, the company thought it was high time to blow its horn a bit and open its closets to the public. And so the first exhibition on the comprehensive history of Max Mara opened this week in Berlin - with a very fitting focal point.

Photography: The art of public spaces - Candida Hofer: As one of Germany's top contemporary photographers, Candida Hofer has made her name with a rather unusual subject matter. A graduate of Dusseldorf's Art Academy, Hofer specialises in rooms and public spaces like libraries, museums and train stations - but she likes to click the shutter when everyone has gone home. ABSENCE of the human factor is a big theme in her work - and now an exhibition of hers is on display in rooms that are hallowed territory for any artist.

Popular Culture: Spain's Osborne Toros - You don't have to go to a bullfight to see a bull in Spain - all you have to do is drive along the highway and you'll see many a black silhouette of a bull rearing its horns at intervals across the countryside. That is Osborne's bull - and just as the Toro has its undeniable place in Spanish culture -this bull has been part of Spain's advertising landscape for exactly fifty years. Originally a kind of stylised billboard for the well-known sherry and other spirits - the bulls are now a beloved national emblem.

Music: Italy's soundtrack master - Italian composer Ennio Morricone has written the soundtrack for hundreds of films in his time, and many of his scores - like for instance for the spaghetti westerns, "Once Upon a time in the West" or "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" -or "The Mission" are masterpieces in their own right. Now his fans have a rare occasion to see the Maestro in action as he's on an international tour with Milan's La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra - we managed to corner him shortly for a few words. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

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Series Description: DW-TV's euromaxx provides an insight into the cultural side of Europe and the people who live there with colorful stories that reflect the rich variety of cultural life in Europe. From architecture and design to pop culture and fashion, euromaxx explores the region's new trends as well as its old traditions. euromaxx is as multi-facetted as Europe itself: an entertaining kaleidoscope of people, places and lifestyle. Each half-hour is packed with features focused on the latest in music, movies, fashion, food and travel. euromaxx always has a fresh take on today's culture - it's what's happening today and this week. It's topical, relevant, and as fresh as this week's Sunday newspaper.

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