Category Archives: Art

Newspapers Matter

MostlyFilm’s intrepid art correspondent Ann Jones considers collage and other uses of newspaper in art, prompted by current exhibitions devoted to the work of Hannah Höch, Richard Hamilton and Gustav Metzger

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? - Richard Hamilton
Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? – Richard Hamilton

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Mostly Shorts

An occasional series in which Mostly Film looks at the best short films being distributed on the web

A scene from the 2013 Best Short Film Oscar-winner 'Inocente'
A scene from the 2013 Best Short Film Oscar-winner ‘Inocente’

MostlyFilm likes big. MostlyFilm likes small. And given that we’re rather small ourselves, we like to see the things we champion get big: whether that be an individual film or a niche film festival. This feature is basically a one-stop window for the best – or at least the prettiest – of what’s going on in the world of short films and web series: a new artistic world that’s grown extraordinarily fast in the last ten years.

If you’ve made a short film yourself, or have just seen one you particularly like, please email, point us to it, and we’ll see what we can put together. If we get enough responses, we may put on an event in a central London cinema for outstanding respondents. So if you’re struggling to finish that short film, now might be the time to push it over the line.

What follows after the jump isn’t at all indicative of what we’re looking for; it’s just what’s turned up in our trawls over the past few weeks. The emphasis is on animated work, which doesn’t necessarily suggest a bias on our part: it’s just a reflection of how expensive live-action stuff is in comparison. You needn’t feel inhibited about nominating something different. In fact, we’d encourage you to do so. Continue reading Mostly Shorts

Mostly MIFfed

Spank the Monkey waxes radical about the Manchester International Festival. Also does some dancing.

‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’ ‘Spoilers!’

The fourth Manchester International Festival is currently in full swing, and before you ask, no, I didn’t get a ticket for Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth. Partly because that was the first show to sell out, but mostly because of its terrifyingly high price. If it wasn’t for the opportunity to use the above photo caption (© The Belated Birthday Girl 2013) I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it here at all. Instead, I’m going to catch at the pictures this weekend, like anyone else who doesn’t have sixty-five quid to burn.

When I last wrote about the Festival back in 2011, I focussed entirely on the performance events, and that’s going to be the case again this year. I tried to get to one gallery event this time round: do it 20 13, the latest incarnation of a long-running conceptual art show that concentrates more on the description of the concepts than on the finished pieces. The random arrangement of the exhibition throughout the regular displays at Manchester Art Gallery does it no favours, because you end up spending more time with those regular displays instead. (In my case, a lovely retrospective of local philanthropist Thomas Horsfall, documenting his efforts to educate the working classes by founding the original Manchester Art Museum.)

After the jump: reviews of the things I did see. Continue reading Mostly MIFfed

Ways of screening

By Ann Jones
Gerard Byrne at Whitechapel

We’ve been here before on Mostly Film, looking at the way moving image works are shown in the gallery space, but maybe, just maybe, it’s something that warrants revisiting from time to time because there is no one right way. And there’s always the chance that this will turn out to be about something else after all.

Anyway, what’s got me thinking about screen art in the gallery again is a combination of seeing Gerard Byrne’s A state of neutral pleasure at the Whitechapel Gallery recently and a nagging sense of guilt about not having written about Gillian Wearing’s show in the same space. The exhibitions are very different but among the things they share are a blurring of the boundaries between fact and fiction through the use of restaging, a sense of the televisual and an unusual approach to bringing moving image work to the screen.

Continue reading Ways of screening