The Diary: BFI; Emily Woof; Camden Arts Centre; anti-BNP single
Friday 02 April 2010
Just having a bit of a screen 'moment'
Eddie Berg, the artistic director of the BFI, who has been inviting in actors to talk about their 'Screen Epiphanies' – films which made an impact on them at a formative stage in their lives – picked out his own for this column. "It would be Kaneto Shindo's 'Onibaba' which I first saw when I was in my early twenties at a film society in Liverpool. The plot focuses on a pair of women in feudal Japan who live in the marshlands and eke out a meagre existence by murdering passing soldiers and selling their clothes and armour. It's beautifully photographed and edited, has an extraordinary musical score and the film is ripe with potent symbolism about sexual desire and death." The film producer Stephen Woolley will talk on 6 April about why he loves 'Zulu', at a screening for members, while French director Agnes Varda has chosen Fellini's 'Amarcord' and the actor David Morrissey selected Ken Loach's 'Kes'. John Hurt has already picked 'Jules et Jim', shown to members while Frank Skinner picked 'Lenny'.
Emily Woof, the actress turned playwright (and now novelist), whose best-known acting credits include 'The Full Monty' and 'Velvet Goldmine', has tried her hand at a lot of things but doesn't think too highly of British television dramas. It seems to have become "a little devalued", she says, much preferring American dramas, like 'The Wire'. "It was flawed in ways but I really enjoyed it. I haven't enjoyed British drama in the same way." Documentaries are still pretty strong on our small screens, she adds.
Kick up the arts
Colin Tweedy, the chief executive of Arts & Business, reminded the artworld that private funding of the arts was just as important as public money. Speaking to me at the launch of the Cultural Capital manifesto when gallery/arts centre heads including Jude Kelly and Sir Nicholas Serota highlighted the importance of government funding of the arts, Mr Tweedy said the private sector should be involved in such campaigns and panel discussions, too, with the best business minds being enlisted to campaign to save arts budgets.
Camden's Big Rip Off for the residents
Camden Arts Centre's residency programme, which has been a milestone in the career of many well-known artists including Martin Creed, Eva Rothschild and Simon Starling, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, with The Big Rip Off! a fundraising event which will include Fake Modern, a gallery of fakes forged by contemporary artists and sold by reputable London gallerists including Graham Steele, Sara Harrison, Matthew Collings, Michael Craig Martin, Michael Raedecker, Daniel Silver, Bob and Roberta Smith, among others. Fakes will include paintings, inflatable "stone" sculptures, aped styles, appropriated images and other desirable shams and scams (there will be a Mondrian, left, a Freud, a Henry Moore). It's due to take place on Saturday 17 April.
BNP to feel lash of 'e-protest' music
An Indian punk band called Anonymous Tip is digitally releasing an anti-BNP single called The Weirder Brave. It forms part of an array of "e-protest songs" coming out in the run up to the general election. The band's lead vocalist Sanj Surati says growing up in Feltham in the early Nineties was "quite hard... (alongside) huge derogatory statements plastered everywhere." With this song, he adds, "we wanted to make people aware of the dangers of voting BNP. Scratch the surface and you will see that they will always be a racist organisation." The Weirder Brave is out on 12 April.
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