Monday 9 May 2011

Stars of stage and screen

It seems that for the next 15-20 years nuclear power will remain the cheapest way of generating electricity, so that's where the government will be investing its (our) money. Wind, wave and solar power are better for the world, our children and our children's children, but because of economic constraints we'll be investing in nuclear which generates dangerous waste that will remain dangerous for thousands of years. That seems completely perverse to me. Let's not forget Fukushima eh?

It's been a cultural week for us.

On Tuesday we searched high and low to find a cinema that was showing Pina, Wim Wender's feature-length dance film in 3D with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal about Pina Bausch. Now even I will admit this is pretty specialised stuff. A dance film. In German. With subtitles. About a choreographer that few people know about. But it was good. Really, really good. Perhaps a few too many face to camera comments, but the dancing was amazing...and worked extremely well in 3D too. My only disappointment? Not one single piece of Dad-dancing for me to copy.

Then on Thursday we were off to Secret Cinema...The Cat came; The Boy lingered at home feeling unwell. And we went from the sublime to the ridiculous. On walking into Leake St near Waterloo (sometimes known as Banksy's tunnel) we entered a recreated Algeria in the 1950's. We hadn't guessed the film by then, and didn't guess it then. We wondered about Cassablanca, even though it was wrong country, wrong time. There were French soldiers every where treating us badly, pushing us around shouting at us in a language we didn't understand. When it was time for the film itself to start, we were ushered through the tunnels and along narrow passageways before climbing through a wall to watch......

...a black and white film, in French, with subtitles about the Algerian revolt against 130 years of French rule. Battle for Algiers evidently won numerous awards when it was released in the mid-1960's, and was a quite incredibly even-handed narrative of events given that it was free Algeria's first feature-length film. It may not have been my first choice of film, but it couldn't have been more pertinent to the current world situation. It would have been hard to watch if it wasn't for all the theatre that comes with Secret Cinema.

Friday night and we headed for the south coast...Brighton Festival is the second largest cultural festival in the UK. It'll be the largest if the Scotties vote for independence in a couple years time as Alex Salmond hopes (or is he just hoping that southern money will continue heading across the border in ever increasing amounts?) And one of the highlights for us is to stand in an old church that's been converted into a gallery surrounded by forty loudspeakers to listen to err err errm Spem in Alium - Forty Part Motet sung by the Purcell Singers. One speaker for each chorister. And in between each part (one part for each of Elizabeth 1's 40 years), they didn't turn off the recording equipment so you can listen to coughing and spluttering, the chitter and chatter...the gossip. Pretty moving stuff. Find it here

And finally, it was Open Art House weekend in Brighton, so we took it as an opportunity to poke our noses into other people's homes in the neighbourhood. Isn't that what what 'Open House' means? Anyway, we found a treasure of a looks like an original, and judging by the fire place was put in what was the living room:

And we did buy some little bronze figurines....

This is Mrs Beaton

And a gaggle of kids in a soup ladel...and further along the row, a child reading in a spaghetti spoon

Nothing like a bit of kulcher is there?