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Thursday, 27 February 2014

March events againts racism

This picture is of protestors being attacked by police with water cannon during
 the Black Civil Rights Movement in America in the 1960s. 
Although it does not reflect policing in Camden today it is being used because
 the Police intend to bring water cannons to London
Picture taken from FB event for Brixton Black Revolutionary Socialists

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Group Exhibition of Artists' Film @ Carroll / Fletcher, W1. Till 22 February 2014. FREE

Image: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, still from Collapse, 2009

8'20" minute single channel video and sound installation

Monday, 17 February 2014

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin / Scarti / exhibition @ TJ Boulting, W1 / FREE / till 8 March 14

Untitled (scarti 26), 2003,
twice printed lithographic paper
© Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

Saturday, 15 February 2014

From The Courtyards to the Living Rooms + Work Like Crazy / two sessions of two FREE screenings tomorrow 16 February @ Hellenic Centre, W1

From the Courtyards to the Living Rooms & Work Like Crazy: 
Free Documentary Screenings 
at the Hellenic Centre in London (15-16 February 2014)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch. A Soda Pictures film opening 21 February nationwide. BFI screening on 14 Feb is now sold out.

Tilda Swinton & Tom Hiddleston
in Jarmusch' Only Lovers Left Alive
Courtesy of Soda Pictures

Soda Pictures presents
Only Lovers Left Alive
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt
Music: Jozef van Wissem composed most of the music; SQURL (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback); Zola Jesus; Yasmine Hamdan with her song Hal
Production year: 2013
Country: USA
Runtime: 122 mins
Cert 15

Film selected in LFF and Cannes Festival in 2013; Jozef van Wissem won the Cannes Soundtrack award for Only Lovers Left Alive.

Vampires start as humans; they are not like zombies that return from the dead. Vampires don’t return from the dead. They are humans that have been transformed.” Jim Jarmusch on Only Lovers Left Alive at a Q&A in New York.

If the latest Jarmusch’s opus was purely about blood delicacy, I wouldn’t be writing about it! Only Lovers Left Alive (OLLA) is no anaemic film but a love fable involving organic blood tripping in droll sensuality within a nocturnal travelogue between Detroit and Tangier.
Jim wanted to make a film about love, art, music, literature, history, travel and mythology. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) have been sampling centuries and don’t blood feed themselves from the nearest neck source. XXI century is far too corrupted and contaminated to take a chance at any “zombies” as they call the mortal humans.

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

A seven-inch single spinning on a turntable opens the film.
A recluse sound maker dressed in tight black jeans, Adam lives in a Detroit gothic semi-ruined mansion surrounded by a Gretsch and other collectable guitars, The Diamonds, The Dirtbombs’ Ultraglide in Black and other rare records.
Adam’s character is based on Sid Barett, Hamlett and Jagger in Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’ Performance. His only contact with the outside world is Ian (Anton Yelchin), who works in the music industry and supplies Adam with expensive guitars; and a hospital doctor (Jeffrey Wright) who provides pure blood in thermoses.

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

Meanwhile, Adam’s lover, Eve lives in Tangiers. Outgoing (at night only), she is the yang side of Adam. Dressed in tight cream jeans and backed comb blond hair, Eve lives in a flat surrounded by books and gets her blood supply from Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt). She is the driving force of their eternal love and life cycle.

When they call each others, Eve uses her digital Iphone while Adam plugs all his analogue 60’s stuff together – TV with landline retro phone.
Arriving at his mansion, Adam & Eve meet at his doorstep where in vampire tradition the proprietor must invite the guest – here Jarmusch adds the glove bit to enlarge the vampire symbols. Adam & Eve are in fact two ageless “aliens” which age difference goes unnoticed. They don’t question their trust to each others as their love is here/there/beyond ether anchored deeply into its history roots.

Apart from the beauty of driving on a white Jaguar in the ghost/bloodless/soulless town of Detroit seen in wide angle crossing a desert of abandoned industrial buildings and a “visit” to White Stripes’ Jack White native house, their life is punctuated by very little “excitement”: a chess game, discussion on Schubert or some wars and getting “opium-like ODing” on pure blood from exquisite XVII century glasses. These two aesthete and sophisticated creatures have seen it all and keep evolving in a non claustrophobic ambiance (as opposed to coffins). Their love cross a magnetic and hypnotic field filled with a violently nostalgic music score of a decadent millennium. Not even vampires might survive the frenzy of the new digitalised and contaminated world.

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

Less snob, more playful and fresh, younger spirit Eva, Eve’s sister, arrives impromptu. She is the trouble maker who “balances” the intellectual life of Adam & Eve. She finds Ian from the music industry very cute and can’t help having a (unseen) bite at him! A poisonous bite that will cramp her stomach... “He works in the music industry” says Eve taking no pity on her sister.

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

Eventually, the couple travel back to Tangier where they spend a whole night long walking its narrow streets listening to Yasmin Hamdan and other obscure old rock while the pair of them cross nonchalantly the screen in their tight jeans and motorbike boots... Eve leading the way.

Yasmin Hamdan
Courtesy of Soda Pictures

On the choice of Tangier and Detroit, Jarmusch explains that the Moroccan port is far from the world; it’s not a European culture; not a Christian culture; not an alcohol culture. But as Burroughs said, to whom Jarmusch pays a discreet tribute, it’s a hashish culture. As for Detroit, it pays respect to its music scene; it’s almost mythological scenery within an industrial culture and a post-industrial feel.
OLLA is a celebration of openness to ideas and culture but it is definitely not a lazy, nor a horror, nor a claustrophobic film.
Even vampires might extinct since our exsanguinous societies are in decline, suggesting perhaps the fragility of Yin and Yang renewal could be elsewhere?

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

Cinematographer is Yorick Lesaux who worked with Olivier Assayas, Ozon, Guadagnino, etc.
The music score is mainly provided by avant-garde and baroque lutenist Dutch musician Jozef van Wissem. He now lives in New York where he continues to make soundtrack for films.

All along the film, I kept thinking that OLLA love story was Jarmusch’s tribute to his long term partner Sara Driver.
In the middle of the credits, “lost” but singled, one can read “Instigation and inspiration: Sara Driver”.

To say this is Jarmusch’s best film would undermine all his previous work, but Only Lovers Left Alive is undoubtedly the best film I will see in 2014. It literally cocooned me for two days.

More info Soda Pictures / Hanway Films =