Category Archives: Places

The Greatest Wen

London! King of Cities! Prince of Capitals! Arch-Duke of Ancient Metropolitan Settlements Dating Back To At Least Roman Times! Represented a thousand times on the big screen, we picked some films that really give a flavour of the place.

London Skyline by nac Continue reading The Greatest Wen

Monoglot Movie Club: What The Fox Said Next

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Norway, November 2013.


Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: What The Fox Said Next

Monoglot Movie Club: Stockholm Syndrome

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them

sergel 2

“I’m a man on the move,” says Sir Les Patterson at the start of his book The Traveller’s Tool: “I wouldn’t have had two shits in the same toilet.” I can’t say that I get about as much as the Australian Cultural Attache, but from the path I’ve taken in previous Monoglot Movie Club articles – the Netherlands, Brazil, UAE, Japan, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Finland – you might have got the impression that I get to visit a country once and once only, before they chase me out of town and bar me from ever entering it again.

Happily, that’s not the case. To prove it, I went back to Sweden last month, in a return visit that had much warmer weather than my previous one in January (see illustration above). Back then, there was a sudden upsurge in interest in Swedish cinema, thanks to the Guldbagge film awards being announced: lots of local movies in theatres, many of them selling out. In the summer months, the Swedes appear to be watching all the same summer blockbusters as the rest of the world, but I still managed to catch a couple of bits of local product for your entertainment and my bewilderment. Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: Stockholm Syndrome

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