As well as staged acts of terrorism, the organisers of the event - named after a Patti Smith song - promise "armed struggle, hard rock and hijacking" with the aim of "drawing parallels between the social, political and cultural life of the 70s and the latest tendencies in art and music".
Japanese jeans label Evisu is sponsoring the event and, as if that wasn't enough to get the fashion-conscious sending their Michiko Koshino combat gear to the dry cleaners, the action itself takes place in three of the capital's most happening venues; the London Film-makers' Co-op cinema, The Lux, the Blue Note jazz club and The Dazed and Confused gallery.
The main event at The Lux is dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, the debut film of Belgian director Johan Grimonprez. Particularly poignant following the recent trend for "real-life" documentaries, dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y works on two levels: on the one hand it is about the history of hijacking while on the other it is about the thirst for news as entertainment from the 1960s to the present day.
Cutting news footage of hijacks with commercial advertising, in-flight training videos and the philosophical musings of author Don deLillo who wrote Mao II and White Noise, the film is, by turns, amusing, surreal and disturbing. A scene where a woman is screaming in an airport lounge, when she finds her daughter has been one of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster, precedes another where a small boy describes a hi-jack he was involved in as a real adventure, and if he didn't have to go back to school he'd do it all over again. As the finale footage of planes blowing-up mid-air is played out against "The Hustle".
Back on ground level, after dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y there are two choices. In the Blue Note, the hard 70s beats of Led Zeppelin and The Stooges alongside the more contemporary sounds of electronic composer David Shea. The Dazed and Confused Gallery hosts the opening night of the Aldo Bonasia photography exhibition, in which the pitched battles between left-wingers and the police, the drug culture and fashion of 1970s Italy dominate.
Although not well-known, back in the 70s Bonasia's news agency Document for Press represented the work of a dozen Italian photojournalists and supplied the world's press with up-to-the-minute reportage of the street fighting that occurred in an almost daily basis in Milan. The photographs, which chart how the political and cultural assault on the establishment became increasingly violent throughout the decade, include many striking images, some of which are gruesome.
The Death of Zibecchi, for example, shows four men around the body of a student who has just been run over by an armoured truck. The story behind this chilling picture is as disturbing as the image. After he was hit, Zibecchi's brain flew across the street and is pictured at the feet of a policeman. According to Bonasia, all the policeman said, was: "I did not think the brain of a communist could be so large."
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