Once every two years, Spank The Monkey returns to the city of his birth for a weekend-long culture binge at the Manchester International Festival. Here’s what he saw this year.
Sarah Slade finds a chilly charm in the latest Jon Sanders collaboration.
Films that play with reality and perception tends toward the spooky end of the cinematic spectrum. Not so with A Change in the Weather. In fact, it’s hard to find a premise more cosily middle-class and…actorly…than the one offered here: a group of performers spends a week in a French gite and things get a bit sticky on the relationship front. It’s got Radio 4 written all over it.
Philip Concannon reports back from this year’s Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna.
No two experiences of Il Cinema Ritrovato will be the same. The festival’s vast and eclectic programme offers so many options for the curious film fan, there’s really no right way to navigate it. Some will choose to revisit old favourites screened from original prints or restored copies, while others will focus on rare titles and unknown quantities. Treats are to be found in every corner of the festival, along with a number of very difficult choices. On a single evening in Bologna, you could see one of the following: D.A. Pennebaker introducing Monterey Pop on Piazza Maggiore’s huge screen; the Austrian silent film Die kleine Veronika presented on a carbon projector; or a new restoration of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, with Dario Argento himself in attendance. It’s not always easy being a cinephile.
Back once again, Mr Moth has some thoughts, opinions and wry sideways looks at the state of pop right now.
New MostlyFilm editors are initiated into the Siblingity of MostlyFilm Eds in a short, non-surgical ceremony where the old editor hands over the Gimlet Eye and passwords before skipping off to the Field of No Fucks Left To Give. In my month or so in the editor’s rather cheap plastic chair, I’ve discovered a glitch in the Gimlet Eye and the email password opens a whole new world of delicious nonsense to play with. From upcoming releases to bizarre ideas for tie-ins, this is a round-up of things that we wouldn’t normally get around to talking about, but we thought you might like to know.
Jim Eaton-Terry looks at Dying Laughing, a new documentary on the life of the stand-up comic
There’s always something odd about an extended conversation with a really great stand up. Inevitably there’s the tension of waiting for a gag that never comes, which often distracts from the conversation. Comics are clearly aware of this, and the weaker ones will defuse the tension with a crowd-pleasing riff or two, but the best conversations strip away the humour and show how the world looks from the stage.
Today, we’re looking at texts within texts; shows within shows; films within films. We’ve got everything from Shakespeare to balls.
An elderly man plays with the remains of a fence, then walks across a scrubby heath.
“There were no trees here,” he says, looking at a path weaving through the bushes. “Nothing.” He regards the nothing for a moment, then tells of the last time he saw his family at the Kraków-Plaszów forced labour camp, in 1942. The camp featured in Schindler’s List.
We’re three weeks into the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel in the UK, The Handmaid’s Tale. Kate le Vann ponders if it is really a warning of things to come, or a reflection of the present.
When Hayao Miyazaki stepped down as head of Studio Ghibli in 2013 (his sixth retirement* to date), we wondered what now for the Japanese animation powerhouse? Answer: a Robinson Crusoe tale with a giant red turtle.
Kiwizoidberg packs his water wings…