The Diary: Serpentine Gallery Summer Party; Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me; Jojo Moyes; Billy Collins; La Divina

Boy in da Serpentine

There was an added surprise bonus for anyone who shelled out for the ultimate party of the season, the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party. Amid the champagne-swilling, the games of ping pong with championship players set up by the gallery, and the right to roam among a guest list that included Stella McCartney, Erin O'Connor, Peter Blake, Grace Jones, Rhys Ifans, Vivienne Westwood, Tracey Emin and the Chapman brothers, Dizzee Rascal turned up to perform a "surprise secret gig" under Jean Nouvel's newly erected, bright red pavilion. Dizzee's performance, which marked the gallery's 40th anniversary, was arranged by the manager and promoter Raye Cosbert. A lot of the exquisitely dressed European heiresses and billionaires were also seen having their heartbeats recorded in the French artist Christian Boltanski's interactive installation The Heart Archive.



Pulp friction

Michael Winterbottom's latest film, The Killer Inside Me, has ruffled feathers for its high level of on-screen violence. The angriest critics have levelled accusations of misogyny at the director on the grounds of a graphic and painfully extended scene in which Jessica Alba is beaten to a pulp by Casey Affleck. But Winterbottom tells me that he is greatly irritated when people mistake fiction for documentary. If one is going to address violence against women in a movie, it is pointless to flinch from it, he suggests. "It's a film that deals with violence against women. It's a noir, a fictional film, set in a fictional world. He [the psychopath played by Affleck] is not a hero. There is no way you could watch the film and think it was encouraging violence. It's frustrating talking about it. The criticisms imply that it is a semi-documentary, not a fictional noir." The director also says that he is perfectly satisfied with his documentary film rendition of Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, despite the fact that she first came on board the project and then distanced herself from it. He says he was not trying to get away from the book but had to reduce its scope for cinema. It is due out on DVD on 19 July.

Jojo is a loan star

The award-winning writer Jojo Moyes, whose The Last Letter from Your Lover is out this week, tells me she supports Kiva, an organisation that invites those who can afford it to lend money to people in the developing world, so that they become less reliant on loan sharks. Moyes says she's subscribed for three years, and has loaned $25 to a woman in Vietnam so she could buy a pig, and to another woman who needed to buy supplies for a tiny shack selling cans. "It's great, you get to see pictures of them. You have to be prepared to lose money but I've never lost any, and you can see who else has loaned money to that person from across the world."

No rhyme or reason

The former American Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who headlined at the Ledbury Poetry Festival this week, tells me there's a great difference between the prestigious role in the US and in the UK. Some in America, he says, are awarded it purely as an "honourable lifetime achievement award", rather than to fulfil any active duties. W S Merwin was awarded the title last week. "He lives in Hawaii and has a semi-reclusive life," says Collins. "He's not banging the drum for poetry." That's not meant as criticism, he adds, it merely highlights the difference in duties. "There are some young (American poet laureates) who just worked on their smoke rings." The industrious Carol Ann Duffy comes out looking all the more hard-working in comparison (as does Collins, who led various high-profile, high- school campaigns for poetry).



Divina intervention

An opera is to take place on board the legendary super yacht Christina O, in September, departing from Monaco, I'm told.

La Divina will interweave the tragic story of Maria Callas's life and love affair with Aristotle Onassis with her signature arias performed by the sopranos Nelly Miricioiu, Claire Rutter and Mary Plazas. Guests on board the cruise yacht will follow in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill, President John F Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, and will no doubt pay a pretty penny.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Hopkins in Westworld

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rock and role: Jamie Bell's character Benjamin Grimm is transformed into 'Thing' in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' 'Fantastic Four'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Hopkins veered between sycophancy and insult in her new chat show
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
In his role as Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to learn, and repeat night after night, around 1,480 lines

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The rapper Drake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The gaffer: Prince Philip and the future Queen in 1947
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Style icons: The Beatles on set in Austria
film
Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
    Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

    Berlusconi's world of sleaze

    The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
    Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

    Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

    Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
    Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

    Could gaming arcades be revived?

    The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
    Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

    Heard the one about menstruation?

    Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage