New Post: Somewhere you should go… German New Wave Screenings at the Institut Français
Somewhere you should go… German New Wave Screenings at the Institut Français
It would not be absurd to find puzzling a celebration of the German New Wave at the Institut Français. A possible explanation can be related to the fact that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty that was signed by Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer in 1963 and established the reconciliation between France and Germany ending centuries of rivalry between them. Whatever the reason is though, the most important thing is that for 5 days (22-27 January) we will have the opportunity to enjoy characteristic works of some of the most exciting contemporary German directors.
Starting with little gems that will be screened in the UK for the first time, there’s Home For The Weekend , which had its premiere at the Berlin film festival. It has been praised by critics for the effortless naturalism with which director Hans-Christian Schmid depicts the deconstruction of a seemingly perfect family, while in Sleeping Sickness, Ulrich Köhler tackles the complex issue of neo-colonialism and the first-world involvement in sub-Saharan Africa with an almost poetic visual style, offering us images of the African landscape that amaze with their sublime beauty. Then there is the 2009 film Soul Kitchen that finds Turkish-German director Fatih Akin moving away from hard-edged dramas like Head-On and The Edge of Heaven to present a screwball comedy with a big heart that deals once again with his recurring theme of immigration and cultural differences. Contrary to those three films, Christian Petzold’s Barbara received a limited release in the UK. For anyone though who has missed it, this is a great opportunity to discover one of 2012’s best films with the mesmerising performance of Nina Hoss in the titular role of a woman who is confined to living and working as a doctor in a small provincial town in East Germany and is determined to escape to West Germany where her lover awaits her.
Last but not least, there is Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer, a film from a director that may well be the most fitting choices for this event. This high octane adventure/ meditation on the simple twist of fate forced critics and film lovers to pay close attention to the new talented voices that were coming out of Germany – and 15 years after its original release has lost nothing of its exhilarating action and breakneck spirit. Eight years later, Tykwer would direct a segment of the anthology film Paris, I Love You, proving once again the close relationship between the two formal rival countries and why this festival works a treat. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
For more information about the German New Wave event visit www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere/whats-on/festivals-series/german-new-wave/
11:00 am • 11 January 2013 • 1 note
New Post: Something you should see… Gerard Byrne: A state of neutral pleasure at the Whitechapel Gallery
Something you should see… Gerard Byrne: A state of neutral pleasure at the Whitechapel Gallery
In Paris in 1928, a group of Surrealist artists and writers held the first of a series of round-table discussions on eroticism. The loose collective included André Breton, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy. Artist Gerard Byrne’s latest multi-screen installation recreating this event is set for its UK premiere at Whitechapel Gallery, as part of a major survey of his work. A man and a woman make love (2012) is just one of seven large-scale film installations included in this exhibition, which traces Byrne’s career over the last decade.
Working primarily in film and photography, Byrne is known for his ambitious installations that reference historic events – some more earnest than others. Taking his title from a statement made by the sculptor Carl Andre, Byrne’s film – A thing is a hole in a thing it is not (2010), revisits key moments in the history of Minimalist art. This five-screen offering at the Whitechapel includes the reenactment of a1964 radio interview between US minimalist artists Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin.
Yet with work on show that restages a 1960s Playboy article indicates that Byrne’s sources are certainly not all highbrow! Space at the Whitechapel will also be made for his ongoing photographic series Newstands – images of magazine displays at newsagents. His practice reveals a preoccupation with using history to help understand the present. His engagement with high and popular culture has resulted in a varied body of work that is well worth a view. (Words: Eri Otite)
Gerard Byrne: A state of neutral pleasure is showing at the Whitechapel Gallery from 17 January – 8 March. For more info, visit www.whitechapelgallery.org
11:00 am • 10 January 2013
New Post: Somewhere you should go… The London Ice Sculpting Festival
Somewhere you should go… The London Ice Sculpting Festival
All of my knowledge of ice sculpting comes from Edward Scissorhands. Who hasn’t been mesmerised by the scene where Edward whittles an ice angel out of a cold block, with his bare (scissor) hands, in an effort to win Winona’s heart? If you were as mesmerised as I was, well, you’re in for a treat because it’s time for this year’s London Ice Sculpting festival. If the website is anything to go by, carving an angel will seem like child’s play by the time you leave.
Pic: Steve Pattenden
Taking place around Canary Wharf (from Friday onwards) the festival will be hosting sculpting competitions to see who can create the biggest and best sculpture on the day. Come and watch the pros go at it, or better still, get started on the path to ice sculpting glory by signing up to a masterclass, where you’ll be taught how to chisel a mundane block into a work of abeautiful penguin. If it all goes wrong just say it’s a cloud. Classes are likely to be popular, but don’t despair if you miss out – there’ll also be a graffiti wall for those with more ‘street’ inclinations to sculpt on.
Those who want a more sedate day out can play ice chess or join in the arts and crafts workshops. Alternatively simply soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the fire dancers and Northern Lights laser show, and kick back, safe in the knowledge you’re definitely at the coolest thing happening in January.
The London Ice Sculpting Festival runs from 11-13 Jan, in Canary Wharf. Tickets are free. For more info, visit www.londonicesculptingfestival.co.uk
11:00 am • 9 January 2013
New Post: Something you should see… One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show
Something you should see… One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show
Don Evans was a key figure in the Black Art movements in the 1960s and 70s, a founder member of the Black Theatre Network and the African Grove Institute for the Arts; he wrote and produced plays that detailed the African-American experience of that time. But since his plays didn’t make the leap over the pond, chances are, he may be new to you? Over 30 years since its first showing in the States, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show finally gets its UK premiere – who better to take on the production than the only black-led UK touring theatre company, Eclipse?
Based in Sheffield and with a production list dating back to 2003, the Eclipse Theatre Company are breathing a breath of fresh air into Evans play. Re-imagining the play in throwback 1970s sitcom style – complete with canned laughter, a retro soundtrack and ‘on air’ sign – the play has become more knowing and self-aware. Luckily this gives a slightly more up-to-date angle on the stereotypes in the original; the preacher father and his middle class family, the honey-tongued Jazz club owner and the naïve niece from the Deep South.
The play has been on tour since September and has been received well throughout. The London stop is at the Tricycle Theatre and will be the first under Indhu Rubasingham, the new artistic director. The cast stars Jocelyn Jee Esien, who still remains the only black woman to have her own comedy show in the UK, (Little Miss Jocelyn) and Karl Collins, who starred in the recent film Attack the Block (2011). Whilst Eclipse’s mission is to raise the profile of black British theatre, they have also created a hilarious reworking of Evan’s play and since comedy can be a great catalyst for change, this is a vital piece of theatre. (Words: Laura Thornley)
One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show runs from January 16th to February 9th. For more info, visit: http://www.tricycle.co.uk
11:15 am • 8 January 2013 • 1 note
New Post: Somewhere you should go… The London International Mime Festival
Somewhere you should go… The London International Mime Festival
January is the cruellest month – despite what Elliot thinks. Christmas comedowns, broken banks and discarded pine trees all weigh heavy. But, chin up! It looks like the London International Mime Festival could be the perfect antidote to lift the spirits. Encompassing a broader range of performance styles than its title gives it credit for, the Festival is set to open 2013 with a bang.
Taking place over 18 days and including 15 different international productions, Joseph Seelig and Helen Lannaghan, (the festival directors) have brought together some of the biggest names in mime, or more broadly, physical theatre. Whilst the name ‘mime’ may conjure up outdated images of white gloves and white faces – the cutting edge ideas from these production companies goes far beyond such clichés. From the production of Popcorn Machine – a show inspired by Frank Zappa and the Ramones, the company My!Laika have created a highly developed circus performance while Stan’s Café’s bring their show the Cardinals – an evangelical puppet show.
The productions are at various venues, from the grandeur of the Southbank and the Royal Opera House to slightly less mainstream venues such as Jacksons Lane and the new Platform Theatre at Central Saint Martins. The SB’s Queen Elizabeth Hall also plays host to the much-anticipated return of Compagnie 111/Aurelien Bory’s Plan B. It’s been ten years since its inception and is still one of the most sensational and inventive physical theatre shows going. Set on a tilted stage and daring to test the laws of physics, it’s no surprise that the show from this French company is in demand.
The Royal Opera House is hosting the Russian theatre company Derevo, a regular at the festival since 1998. This time they return with the London premiere of Harlekin – a startling piece of clown theatre based on the Italian commedia dell’arte’s Harlekin; a twist on the tradition of mime and clowning.
Physical theatre has been experiencing something of a renaissance over the last few years, which explains the breadth of performance styles taking part in the festival. It’s an area of the arts that can be accessible and at times mesmerising – and for that reason it’s worth celebrating. (Words: Laura Thornley)
The London International Mime Festival runs from January 10th to 27th. For more info, visit: www.mimelondon.com
11:00 am • 7 January 2013 • 1 note
New Post: Somewhere you should go… London Short Film Festival
Somewhere you should go… London Short Film Festival
How’s the head? Have you remembered your name yet? Still feel like sitting in a quiet room after New Year’s Eve? For about a week. Then fear not dear fragile reveller, the antidote is at hand – a festival of the finest short films from this sceptered isle. I can’t think of many better ways to recharge and seek inspiration for the year ahead (and ‘figure the losses, figure the gains’ of 2012 as Kerouac would put it) than sitting in a dark room feasting on cinematic delight. Naturally, it all kicks off with comedy before things get darker and stranger – clearly the festival organisers are adhering to the old principle ‘if you first make them laugh, you will then make them cry’. And on further reading of the programme, it sounds like tears were in abundance last year. The second offering is ‘Fucked up Love’ promising to ‘tell it like it is’. Apparently there were complaints last year at the no-holds-barred severity of it all. Wonderful!
Other standouts include the ‘Femmes Fantastiques’ offering at the ICA, featuring shorts by actors Romala Gorai and Kate Hardie; Alice Lowe (of ‘Sightseers’ fame) in conversation with long term improv partner Jacqueline Wright and ‘Midnight Movies’ for those of a twisted disposition.
This third offering of the festival promises to be as varied and intriguing as the previous years’ programmes and with any luck you’ll finally make it outside halfway through January, just February to get through, until spring. (Words: Ed Spencer)
The London Short Film Festival runs 4 Jan – 13 Jan at various venues. For more info visit http://www.shortfilms.org.uk
11:00 am • 4 January 2013
New Post: Somewhere You Should Go… Prince Charles Cinema
Somewhere You Should Go… Prince Charles Cinema
I have always loved going to the cinema; the big comfy seats, the wide range of delicious and unhealthy snacks and watching the lights dim as the music starts and the screen lights up. But the mainstream cinemas of London are really starting to take the p**s with their expensive pricing and constant sequels leaving me to seek my film fix elsewhere – like The Prince Charles cinema.
The Leicester Square venue showcases the best in independent cinema, has cheap ticket prices, and also understands the importance of remembering the classics. All year they showcase the best in cinema including foreign films, the best of the 80s, the latest Hollywood blockbusters and marathons of films shown in the series and trilogies they’re meant to be viewed in.
However the PCC is perhaps best known for their sing-along-screenings including Rocky Horror Show, Lion King and Sound of Music. And they also add a twist with Schwing Along With Wayne’s World, Swear Along With South Park and Mean Girls Quote Along.
The people at Prince Charles are serious about their movies which only adds to the overall experience of visiting – and it’s little wonder Quentin Tarantino calls it his favourite UK cinema. In fact, the people there are so lovely you can visit their website and request a film and they’ll email you when they screen it in the future. But the best way to keep track of the abundant films they screen is to join their mailing list at www.princecharlescinema.com (Words: Lucy Palmer)
11:00 am • 3 January 2013 • 2 notes
New Post: Somewhere you should eat… The Shed
Somewhere you should eat… The Shed
The Gladwin brothers’ rural upbringing makes them prime candidates to join the foodie revolution. Spending most of their youth on the Nutbourne Farm in Sussex, the trio have decided to bring their experience as chef, restaurant manager and food supplier together to bring a bit of the country to the Notting Hill food scene. The exterior of their new restaurant on Palace Gardens may resemble its moniker, but don’t let that fool you, The Shed offers some interesting, authentic British dishes.
Training at River Cottage HQ, chef Oliver Gladwin has been in good company, and it shows. The menu reads with a balance of refinery, ingenuity and farmhouse inspiration, with many of the ingredients coming from their family farm. Using the small plates concept, the menu includes their farm-cured meats and creatively designed twists with British ingredients. We opted for the sardine rollmop and goat cheese and endive ‘mouthfuls’– amuse bouche if it were in a French restaurant. After these came the slightly larger plates for sharing – a concept that may have been over egged of late, but which still makes for a more fun and varied dining experience.
Being sat next to the pass, we managed to see the restaurants orders flying out. Popular amongst the crowds were the most amazing ‘lamb chips’. Made from shredded lamb formed into rectangles, breadcrumbed and fried, the ‘chips’ are a dish that could make them famous: fatty, rich and well balanced with harissa and lemon. We also tried the homemade Thyme crumpet with wild mushrooms, the veal carpaccio and the oak smoked potatoes – crunchy and smoked to perfection.
The drinks menu also features some of Nutbourne Farm’s own wine and mead. The mead is brewing quietly in a corner of the restaurant, yet to reach maturity, but we sampled a glass all the same. It was fruity and dangerously drinkable. One criticism is the extreme branding the place has undergone. The theme seems to be anything and everything remotely agricultural: tractor parts, hung birds, leather tool belts. It was so over the top, I feared they were prepping their brand for expansion, which drew unfortunate comparisons in my head to the Leon’s food chain.
Still, the food here is a high standard and whilst the décor slightly cheapened their cause, the authenticity of the food speaks volumes. They are the genuine article and for that, a good addition to the hearty British food scene in London. (Words: Laura Thornley)
For more info, visit: www.theshed-restaurant.com
11:00 am • 2 January 2013
New Post: TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – January 2013
TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – January 2013
Happy New Year everyone! After a lovely Christmas break in Portugal, we’re back in search of anything and everything that’ll distract us from the miserable weather we’ve returned to and any reminders about heading back to the 9-5 next week- so with all that in mind, we’re thinking the top of 2013 isn’t look half-bad, if we say so ourselves…
Arts & Culture
One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show at Tricycle Theatre, January 16th – February 9th - Originally written by a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show is restored by Sheffield’s Eclipse Theatre Company. Having received critical acclaim in its earlier tours, its visit to London in January promises to be side-splittingly funny.
Totally Serialised: TV Series Festival at Cine Lumiere, January 16-20th 2013 - The only TV series festival in the country returns for an entertaining weekend of favourite shows and never-before-seen exclusives.
Eat & Drink
BRGR.Co, 187 Wardour Street – Diet, schmiet – this month, we’re indulging in even more burgers at this new gourmet Soho haunt that’s come over from Lebanon and has been enjoying a roaring trade for the past month.
Arts & Culture
London International Mime Festival at the Royal Opera House, January 16-26 2013 - Since 1977, this fest has been honouring the remarkable circus art of miming through innovative puppetry and theatre – expect this and more mid-January, where 15 international productions descend onto the ROH.
In the Beginning Was The End at Somerset House, January 20th – March 30th 2013 - This special blend of film, installation and live performance explores a world either on the verge of collapse – or the brink of rebirth. With their new gargantuan production, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci and The Book of Revelation and utilising some avant-garde stage production, Dreamthinkspeak promise a journey through underground passages, the undiscovered nooks and crannies of Somerset House and require you take your life into your hand.
Best bits from last month
11:00 am • 1 January 2013 • 1 note
New Post: TCé picks: Review of the Year (Ed Spencer)
TCé picks: Review of the Year (Ed Spencer)
In the run-up to 2013, The Cultural Exposé team share their favourite highlights of 2012 and something they’re looking forward to in the New Year:
Highlight of 2012: The Horrors at Brixton Academy, May 25th 2012
“This was quite simply one of the best gigs I’ve been to in years. Supported by Toy and the psychedelic wanderings of Beak, The Horrors powered through the kraut-inspired magnificence of second album ‘Primary Colours’ and their latest effort ‘Skying’ with tightness and vibrancy and the most infectious epic groove. In the process they confirmed themselves as not only one of the most interesting bands on record but probably the best British band in the live arena to boot. (I was lucky enough to catch them at Latitude too. They did not disappoint).”
Something I’m looking forward to in 2013: The Loco Film Festival, January 24th-27th
“A four day festival of the best comedy films from all over the world. Now that you’ve given up booze for a month, this is the perfect New Year pick-me-up”
5:00 pm • 31 December 2012