Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A painful Howl

Watched Howl last night, a biopic about Allen Ginsberg, the Beatnik poet who helped fund Jack Kerouac's famous book On the Road. Even though the film features James Franco kissing boys and what not, I really didn't like it. Half the movie is animated recitals of Ginsberg's poems and the plot is sparse - unless you're a massively into poetry, I would say don't even bother.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Mind altering substances under the microscope

Online mag Flamingo have posted a review I wrote about the Wellcome Collection's 'High Society' exhibiton, an exploration of drugs and our twisting relationship with them through history. It is the first writing I've done for these guys and I love their site, so I'm super happy.

Check. It. Out.

If only they were real

1. Cher from Clueless.
Cher is the apple of my eye and the voice of a self-assured, self-obsessed, whatever-ing generatation of mall rats who aren't quite as superficial as we seem.

2. Igby from Igby Goes Down.
Igby makes being a brat look oh so much fun. Why not be one, eh, when you're "drowning in assholes" as he aptly puts it.

3. Joan from Mad Men.
Joan is one sassy lady: intelligent, rambunctious and delicious. Despite her subordinate social position as a secretary in the 1960s, Joan almost always manages to put the boys in their place.

4. Lester from American Beauty.
In the film's opening scenes, Lester is painfully aware of his own shortcomings and sadly notes that after his morning wank in the shower, "it's all down hill from here". Watching Lester grow some balls through the course of the movie gets me everytime.

5. Romy and Michelle from Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion.

Most loveable friendship ever! Their impromptu dance number is a classic.

Nollywood rising

Unbeknownst to most cinema lovers, there is a film revolution currently going on in Africa.

'Nollywood' is the umbrella term for the explosion of video-films from Nigeria and Ghana over the past fifteen years. Rather than using traditional celluloid film which is infeasibly expensive for African film-makers, Nollywood directors shoot directly onto video. What began with a few experimental videographers making quick, cheap video-films and selling them at markets has become a popular entertainment industry that has reshaped the way Africans watch movies..... Read the rest of my article on 'Nollywood' here.

South African photographer Pieter Hugo shot a series of photographs in 2008-2009 entitled 'Nollywood'. Taken in Nigeria, Hugo's series deals with country's connection to film, the wild passions and supernatural elements which run through their video-film industry, and the history of violence which pollutes much of Africa.


Hase can change the world with only her feelings

Stumbling through the Sunday Brick Lane market, one expects to consume some tasty foreign food, have a few ciders with matest, and if you're lucky perhaps find a decent vintage knit. Last week when I ventured into the new territory, the arts and craft section of BL market, the Back Yard hall, and I discovered some art that I really digged.

Her name is Hase, a Japanese artist who makes drawings of gangly, bald, human-like creatures endeavouring to love and connect with one another. Her style is simple and almost child-like, but the overarching sentiment behind the sketches is powerful and elegant. Hase, and her artwork, are adorable.

In an interview on poxymash.blogspot.com, Hase explains, "I don't know about art. I just draw", and that her inspiration comes from everyday, "common" life. She has moved to London not because anything about the city stimulates her as an artist, but because it has emboldened her as a person, and she can now say with pride "that this poor drawing is my drawing".

Monday, 14 February 2011

Best of all he kisses boys

Ash Stymest is a 19 year old English model who has been breaking hearts and wetting seats for a good few years now. His chiseled, boyish face is most distinctive in men's fashion and Ash epitomises London's post-Camden punk era of angry, androgynous fashion.

The Strokes' come down

The Strokes were one of the first band I listened to that I still like as an adult, so they hold a very special place in my heart. Their debut Is This It? is one of the most listenable, cohesive albums I can think of.

It's been five long years since they released their last album, First Impressions of Earth. A new record was due to come out last September, but indecision and disagreement on which tracks were to appear on their comeback album delayed the release date.

Finally, a track has come out of the wood works - an appropriately named Under Cover of Darkness. It has the band's distinctively cruisey tempo, but the song just sounds tired. On releasing the band's fourth album, guitarist Nick Valensi was quoted saying, "Maybe everyone needed money or something. We gotta pay our mortgage so we may as well get this going again". Which is so not what fans across the world want to hear.

I really, really wanted to like the Strokes' comeback song, but I just don't.