The Arts Diary: Eye of the storm

Francis Alÿs, the Belgian-born artist who lives in Mexico, and whose oeuvre has just become the subject of a Tate Modern exhibition, told me he spent 10 years running into tornados that swirl around the outskirts of Mexico City to create a new film work, unveiled at the London gallery, but stopped after realising it was just getting too dangerous. "I spent about three weeks every year in the tornado season doing it but a lot of the material was too damaged to be used. I blew six cameras over that time because of the extremely thin dust particles that got into them." When asked what kind of body armour he worked in to protect himself from the violent conditions, he answered: "Um, a scarf around my neck."

The altitude of the these desert outskirts – 3,500 metres high – often left him breathless as he ran into the tornado but once he made it inside, it all felt rather calm. "When you enter the eye of the tornado there is a moment of quietness, of relative silence. The noisiest is when you break through the filter." The vision – all captured and edited in a 40-minute film – is terrifying to behold, and highly worth a trip to the gallery.



Corrie's pride of place

The gay community has found a new champion in Coronation Street, after the soap's producers announced the show would lead Manchester Pride's 2010 parade this summer. Cast and crew will join the Corrie float (the theme is as yet top secret) to lead over 100 entries through the city centre. Kieran Roberts, executive producer of the long-running series, says, rather ominously: "Prepare for Corrie like you've never seen it before". In fairness, the show has had a host of characters – Sean Tully, Hayley Cropper, Todd Grimshaw and, most recently, Sophie Webster – who have helped to raise awareness of the issues.



Black Monday looms for the arts

Budget day may be Tuesday but the crunch day for Britain's arts world appears to be the previous day. The Arts Council (ACE) sent out a note to the press this week warning them of what was to come, first thing on Monday morning, when it will reveal "details of how Arts Council England will implement the £19m cut to its 2010/11 income from the Government."

The briefing led by its chair, Dame Liz Forgan, and chief executive, Alan Davey, is what so many arts organisations have been dreading over the past few months in the lead up to the election.

Few in the industry will have forgotten the sledge hammer cuts implemented by the ACE in 2008, which brought widespread protest and reprieves on appeal for many. Museum, gallery and theatre directors have been bracing themselves for this moment with pre-emptive campaigns laying out the arguments against fierce cuts. Let's see how well they've worked.



Londoners' sacrifice

As unlikely as it sounds against the backdrop of the capital city's commuter rush hour, a secret location in central London is set to be transformed into a modern-day Stonehenge celebration in what is being dubbed a Civic Solstice. Ordinary city folk will be able to reconnect with the universe through art and music events as well as a pagan wedding (otherwise known as a hand-fasting ritual) performed by the High Priest Johnny Blueeyes. Organisers are not revealing the exact location, so listen out for the sounds of ritual virgin sacrifices on 20 June, the eve of the Summer Solstice.



Jolie's asp-irations

Cleopatra's story has been the subject of at least a dozen films, including one of the most memorable in which Elizabeth Taylor featured as the Egyptian queen opposite her future husband, Richard Burton. Now, Angelina Jolie is to take on the role of the queen of the Nile, in a film adaptation of the biography, Cleopatra: A Life, by the Pulitzer prize-winner, Stacy Schiff. The book is not published until the autumn, but film rights are already secured, with Jolie pencilled in as lead. It has been reported that Schiff has endorsed the casting, and given the nod to the possibility of Jolie's husband, Brad Pitt, playing Mark Antony.

Arts and Entertainment

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Metallica are heading for the Main Stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals next summer

Music

Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean Cobain is making a new documentary about his life

Music

Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp

TV Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp

Arts and Entertainment
TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way
tvIdris Elba will appear in two special episodes for the BBC next year
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tvThe two new contestants will join the 'I'm A Celebrity' camp after Gemma Collins' surprise exit
News
The late Jimmy Ruffin, pictured in 1974
people
News
Northern Uproar, pictured in 1996
people

Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the new Paddington bear review

Review: Paddingtonfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Tony stares at the 'Daddy Big Ears' drawing his abducted son Oliver drew for him in The Missing
tvReview: But we're no closer to the truth in 'The Missing'
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?