Archive for July, 2007

Alma Mater Workshops

50th%20logo%20small.jpgIf you are looking for some serious film education over the summer break, check out my Alma Mater, The London Film School. They are running loads of film workshops during the coming months, and one of them is bound to tickle your fancy. I’ll be there with the aim of blogging a review as these will be rotating courses. So, if you can make it this time, say hello. If not, check this space for upcoming courses. Click “continue reading” for more info.
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LL Cool P (Lahore loves cool Potter)

Bloggers at our sister site in Lahore, Pakistan did a much better job wrapping up British Potter-mania than we did, quoting the BBC, the Telegraph, the Sun, and the Guardian — check out their post here.

Could Harry Potter be not only the saviour of children’s literacy and publishing, but also the bridge of peace between all the peoples of the world? Oh yes.

Awesome Community Theatre

mattsm.jpg Double Bill on at Merton Abbey Mills starring my mate Matt! I’ll be there on the 31st with the Swedish Toy Boy in tow.

Scriptless Wonder
Illuminated Productions return with last year’s Times listed #1 show (11-16 July 06), and this time it’s “New and Improv’d!” Yes, this is the improvisation game show where you the audience are in control! 8 performers will attempt to improvise their way into your affections, but who will Matt like most?

They Came From Woking
Stephen Solomon is not having a good week. His parents are selling the family home from under him in a last ditch attempt to get him to move out, he can’t get a girlfriend, and to top it all body snatching aliens are taking over his home town. Part pastiche on 50’s sci-fi, part Generation X-Files, this is a wildly inventive comedy from The Scriptless Wonder team.

Warning: Contains tinfoil, nerd jokes, kissing and dancing to prog rock.

Book tickets here!

Click “continue reading” for super big poster…
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In Praise of Primark

Today I went to Primark Oxford Street for the first time. Arriving at 10.30am, it was all but dead. Everything was on the rack where it belonged, their were rows of empty tills and dressing rooms. It was absolute heaven. I was told that the mad rush started at 9am by my colleagues but actually the lovely lady who served me at the till said that the store was fairly quiet until 11am. So now you know! In a very short time, Primark has become an institution offering fashionable clothes at cheap as chips prices. Thankfully, I was with my son who has not yet realised the pleasure of hanging outside the female dressing rooms so we spent the whole time in the menswear section and I managed to escape the store without buying a thing for myself. I already have 3 wardrobes full of clothes. I don’t really need to buy any more especially as we don’t seem to be having a summer this year.

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The Grand Tour

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So HP and The National Gallery have got together to hang replicas of famous paintings all over Central London. It’s called The Grand Tour, and at first I thought it was kinda naff. I mean, they are just life size copies done on a super expensive HP printer. Now, I’ve decided that it’s kinda cool. People will be walking fast down the street ignoring everything and everyone around and then and suddenly come upon one of these things. It sort of stops them in their tracks, and that is thigh slapping funny. Also, they just look cool hanging on the side of random buildings. The horsey on Mercer street is huge!

The goal, of course, is to get you in to see the real thing. And, really, it’s working. Or at least it is for me. I’ve popped into the National Gallery twice in the past month and into the National portrait Gallery several times to visit my old friend and fellow countryman in exile T.S. Eliot (pictured above).

There are several walking tours that you can take, so check it out if you are in Central.

Damien Hirst diamond skull in the bin

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It pains me to even think about blogging about the supreme waste of time that is the ‘most expensive piece of art ever,’ the Damien Hirst diamond-encrusted skull.

But I’ve got lots of time to give to this prank. An artist made a replica of the skull, covered with 6522 Swarovski crystals, and dumped it in the bins outside the White Cube gallery. Heh.

Photo from The Wooster Collective.

Via BoingBoing.

Old School

I had the wonderful pleasure last night of attending a private screening of Naoko Tajima’s debut feature film “The Fifth Mind.” The Soho Hotel off Dean Street boasts a screening room with a capacity of 100. The seats are swank red leather, and there is loads of leg room. It’s pricey to rent at £250 an hour with a minimum of 2 hours, but, if you’ve got the cash, this is such a nice venue, and it’s in the heart of Soho, so drinks after are a must.

“The 5th Mind” is a harrowing portrait of two siblings torn apart by a shared childhood experience. One sibling has completely blocked abuse, incest and madness. The other has created 5 minds to deal with the pain. This is a beautifully shot and expertly directed film, but, as the director says, it is not a happy story. If you get a chance to see it, schedule drinks after.

I was supposed to go straight home after as PJ and I were going to do some late night editing. But, drinks at All Bar One (as much as I loathe the place) with old mates was too difficult to pass up. I went to school with Naoko, and there was a contingent of LFS alumni there to commiserate with me about the trajectory of our careers.

After drinking and crying, crying and drinking, we all went for a falafel on Old Compton Street. It’s that place across from The Admiral Duncan…can’t think of the name, but it’s the one with the marquee of the ridiculously good looking people eating falafels (pictured above). What is great about this place is that you can get the basic falafel for £3.90 then top it with a selection of veggie items. I went for loads of top ups* to get in my 5 fruit and veg, although I’m not sure if that’s exactly “legal.”

After, we went to Dan’s place in Soho for a good old fashioned LFS house party. He’s got a tiny, little room that we all piled into, but one wall is white and bare for projecting films. And, cinema geeks that we are, we watched a beautiful nature film set to music, drank and smoked (cause you can if it’s a house party).

All in all, it was a lovely Saturday evening.

*OK, this is gross, so if you are a delicate flower, just skip this part. You pile the top of the falafel and pita with veg. Then you eat down until there is no more veg. Then you pile more stuff on. Repeat until you are finished or about to explode like a gold fish.

At a Fetish Club with a Belarusian Girl half my Age

Image011.jpgAnd I know you’re thinking that I’m having another mid-life crisis, but, honestly, it’s my brother-in-law’s fault. He’s invited me to go with him and his friends, and the Belarusian is his girl.

Torture Garden” bills itself as the world’s largest Fetish Club. It happens once a month at different venues around London, and I would highly recommend it. This is me in just about the tamest fetish gear my Belarusian friend could find in her black-infested closet. But, it doesn’t really matter what you wear because you will NOT be the best dressed there unless you are a true artist.

It’s funny…I’ve been to so many clubs in London, and there is always this problem with attitude. Standing in the middle of a crowd dressed in gimp gear, leather bikinis, rubber and tutus, everybody is so polite and lovely. It’s as if they are all wearing their aggression on the outside, so they don’t have to project any of it toward you. Nice, nice people totally aware and comfortable with their inner desires and demons. Would that they were running the world.

Check it out! I command you.

Little people

How charming is Little People – a tiny street art project? The tag line is “little handpainted people, left in London to fend for themselves.”

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Entitled “30 Minutes”. “This little guy was placed in an tranquil little park by the Museum of London that is overrun by office workers having lunch on week days but deserted at the weekend.”

Via Boing Boing

The Apprentice

Fancy yourself working in theatre but don’t know how to get a leg up? The Theatre Royal Haymarket is offering apprenticeships in acting, directing and technical skills. The deadline is the 16th, so check it out at the link above.

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