A MOVIE ABOUT LOVE
BY SARA DARLING
A bittersweet romance by Simon Amstell. Yes, Simon Amstell the comedian.
This semi-autobiographical love story takes us through lust, love, relationships and heartbreak in ninety minutes and provides a voyeuristic look into leading man- wannabe filmmaker, Benjamin, uses his disastrous relationships as the material for his work.
With one award under his belt, we join the skittish movie maker in the week of release of film number two, and although he is likeable, he is also really annoying because of his insecurities.
Benjamin, played by a bashful Colin Morgan, is Amstel with an accent, and the viewer may easily question if he has the competence as a filmmaker, as his social skills are painful.
However, urged to go out and network by his hyperactive publicist Billie (played fantastically by Jessica Raine) he sets eyes on a delightful French musician, Noah (Phénix Brossard), who woos him with his sultry voice and eye contact from the stage.
Not having the confidence to go and speak to him, there is a camp element to the narrative, and the awkwardness of the crush is actually very cute.
Meanwhile, the latest movie is a flop, with critics on the scene dropping him like a hot potato, which adds to his self-destruction. Even his publicist didn’t watch it all the way through!
Adding to the stress of making a comeback in the industry, and facing the media, he underestimates his feelings for Noah. What seemed to have so much promise at the start, begins to fade fast and crumble with high and impossible reassurance demands.
Exposing the fickle nature of the film industry, the comedic elements, spiral from the failed movie and the secondary affair that Benjamin's best friend and co-writing partner is having with Billie, who wants nothing more to do with him in the daylight! Bed swapping, back stabbing and some jolly good tunes....
Above all it’s a film for anyone who has put their heart or soul into a vulnerable situation, anyone who doesn’t have thick skin, and anyone who has ever been in love.
Benjamin / released on DVD 12th August.
WE THE ANIMALS, DIR BY JEREMIAH ZAGAR
BY SARA DARLING
A beautiful real life story of a young boy discovering manhood based on the autobiographical book by Justin Torres.
Set in the flatlands of remote, upstate New York, there are few other characters involved in this movie, which revolves around a family consisting of Puerto Ricon ‘Paps’ (played by Freddie Mercury- moustached Raúl Castillo), American-Italian ‘Ma’ (Sheila Vand) a feisty teenage mum who had her kids by the time she was twenty, and three siblings, ranging between 9 and 14- Manny (Isaiah Kristian), Joel (Josiah Gabriel) and Jonah (Evan Rosado).
Taking place through an undetermined time period in the nineties, the family seems to be happy, making do with their hand to mouth existence in their run down house, teasing each other, but ultimately a solid unit. However, there is friction within the monotony with their parents, who constantly wind each other up. The boys, sleeping like feral wolves, in the same room, are well aware when their alpha male father beats their mother up after they have gone to bed.
After a particularly harrowing incident when Paps, tries to teach the youngest son, Jonah to swim, and he nearly downs, the air is heavy with blame. Sent off to bed, the boys expect a big row, and the inevitable fight leads to Ma getting a smashed up face. Paps knows is one step too far, and he grabs his bag and leaves, telling the boys that their mother had teeth removed at the dentist and they should stay quiet around her.
From the outset, the main focus is Jonah, who as the youngest is his Ma’s little treasure. However, with two older brothers and an unpredictable Paps, he has conflicting views on what is right and wrong; The violence, followed by consequent passion and tenderness is a cycle which is hard for anyone to get to grips with, and puts pressure on his relationship with his mother as he tries to work things out for himself.
In order for Jonah to try to understand his feelings, he crawls under the bed with a flashlight every night to scribble in a notebook, frantically creating illustrations which come to life as realistic animations. Depicting violence, sex and his family, this is a clever way for the viewer to bond with him, as however close he is to his brothers, he is perceived as more delicate and sensitive; Adamant to keep his journal secret, he stashes it carefully under the mattress so no one can see his true feelings, and sexual thoughts.
Being the youngest of three brothers, and having a mother who is suffering from depression, and a father he is not sure he should like, makes Jonah grow up fairly quickly; So when he accidentally meets the stoner grandson of his neighbour (after attempting to steal from his vegetable garden) he finds a comrade. This teenager, from Philly, who is nice to him, represents normality. Even though his life involves around watching Iron Maiden videos, porn and smoking weed, he provides an alternative reality to what Jonah knows, and is a beacon of hope.
With confusing guidelines (his parents have yet another passionate reunion) and his brothers seem to be developing way too quickly and growing into versions of their father, Jonah feels even more of a misfit. And after being bullied by his siblings, he acts on impulse and takes refuge in his neighbour’s basement, where his desire takes over and they kiss.
However happy his first kiss should make him, his life implodes when he gets home, where he finds his bed ransacked and his diary has been read. With his deepest secrets exposed, and the whole family waiting for an explanation, this ten year old boy has a decision to make.
A totally mesmerising story, which will touch and infuriate you, and make you wonder what you would do in the same situation.
By Eureka Films! On general release now.
Arts Editor: Christopher George
The Opera Gallery exhibits original art works from Keith Haring between June and July, during its American Icon exhibition, coinciding with the TATA Liverpool retrospective untill the 10th November.
Renowned artist and activist Keith Haring is at the forefront of this iconic exhibition who, alongside his close friends and fellow artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, collaborated to shock and amaze people all over the world with their accessible yet hard-hitting subjects and animated colourful artworks that explored the political chaos of this era.
On a mission to change the world, Haring used his platform to enable research and to raise awareness about AIDS. Using ideals from the 60s popular culture to inject positive symbols and political messages into creating evocative art for the masses
American Icons displays a large number of his best original works that epitomise his well-known absurdist style.
Though Haring tragically died from the AIDS epidemics of the 80s, his legacy and optimism lives on.
Thursday 20th June, 10am – 2pm
134 New Bond Street,
London W1S 2TF
Review: Christopher George
For the summer season, Applebee’s Fish restaurant has opened a pop-up dining experience in the heart of The South Bank next to The Royal Festival Hall.
Set underneath the South bank rail track, and pretty much next to the river Thames, it’s possibly the coolest place to be during the summer months. Capturing the urban side of Londons South Bank, along with the atmosphere of this great city that has revolved around the railways and the river Thames for hundreds of years. Applebee’s Fish set within both, with the regular trains rattling over head bringing the senses to life while listening to chilled music and live acts. Gone are the stuffy interiors, this is the British summer, so get outside. Fortunately Applebee’s Fish has the luxury of cover from the train bridge, so when that sky gets a bit damp, all is fine.
Applebee’s Fish a family business at heart, has its permanent restaurant just a stones throw away in Borough Market. This is the first year the family have branched out with a pop up restaurant to great success in a fantastic location.
With lots to see and do around South Bank. Applebee’s Fish is the perfect place to stop for exquisite relaxed and casual food, along with some champagne or cocktails. Yes Please!
See you ‘Underneath the Arches’!
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Proud Galleries presents "In and Out of Warhol’s Orbit: Photographs by Nat Finkelstein", a compelling and intimate exhibition revealing the complex characters behind the well-documented tensions and hedonism of Andy Warhol’s studio.
Photojournalist Nat Finkelstein spent three years as the house photographer at the Silver Factory, documenting this fascinating and pivotal moment of cultural history in 1960s America. Finkelstein captured the many artists, producers and musicians who frequented the infamous Factory at the height of its prominence.
In 1962 Finkelstein to meet Andy Warhol, and stunned by the apparent decadence of life at the Factory, Finkelstein resolved to capture this environment teeming with the underground bourgeoisie. His fascination with the countercultures of the era led him to stay on as photographer at the Factory for three years, resulting in a collection that has the glamour, energy and edge of a 1960s film set. Upon falling out with Warhol and his turbulent circle, Finkelstein left the Factory in order to pursue a more politically engaged lifestyle.
Through his documentary style photography, Finkelstein discreetly recorded the milieu of creatives and socialites who were regulars at the Factory including Edie Sedgwick, The Velvet Underground, Nico, Brian Jones and Betsey Johnson.
Finkelstein had constant access to this unique mix of characters and focused on their idiosyncrasies as artists, rather than their emerging celebrity status.
"Iam a situational photographer,” he once explained; “These unposed images were made when Andy Warhol et al were people, not products; young artists, not celebrities. Enjoy, but don’t venerate."
In and Out of Warhol’s Orbit: Photographs by Nat Finkelstein presents highlights of this three-year period in Finkelstein’s career, where he had extraordinary access to a cultural revolution that shook the very foundations of society. Through his time at the Factory, Finkelstein's photographic style evolved from photojournalism to fine art; though he often positioned himself too close to the story, it was this intimacy which led to a creative liberation and desire for freedom of expression.
The exhibition includes rare vintage and unique signed prints of Andy Warhol and ‘the Factory Girl’ Edie Sedgwick, along with screen tests of a young Bob Dylan.
With acasual and frank, yet thrilling insight into the era, Finkelstein’s work has a distinctive, candid style. His determination and ingenuity allowed him to capture private moments within an exclusive circle, one which was constantly on display to the outside world.
11th April 2019 – June 9th 2019
32 John Adam Street London
BY SARA DARLING
Head to Regents Place in central London to catch ‘Sisyphus in Retrograde’ a showcase of five contemporary artists.
Exploring themes around the relationship between technology and the environment, the exhibition poses questions about the impact of human behaviour.
Featuring a range of art from ADELINE DE MONSEIGNAT who explores the way inanimate objects trigger emotional responses and alter the psychology of built environments
HARRISON PEARCE whose installations evoke a metaphorical relationship to familial and societal structures
EVY JOKHOVA who explores the invention of tradition, memory, personal histories and relationships through film
SOL BAILEY-BARKER whose kinetic and sonic-sculptures reference a lineage of sacred objects dating from the neolithic axe to contemporary machines
NISSA NISHIKAWA whose work involves movement and ritual using glass and ceramic objects to reflect the current crisis in ecology and community
Regent’s Place is dedicated to offering an ongoing programme of accessible art to its local community.
Regent’s Place, 17-19 Triton Street, London
For future shows check out http://www.regentsplace.com/
Article: Karolina Kivimaki
Put this date in your diary: Saturday, May 11. The Women For Women International #SheInspiresMe car boot sale hosted by The Store’s Alex Eagle in partnership with TheOutnet.com has invited its celebrity supporters to set up their tables in Soho’s Brewer Street car park. That’s where shabby car boot reference ends, this one is definitely more glam than bric-a-brac. Just to name a few, Charlotte Dellal, Eugenie Niarchos, Maria Kastani, Hikari Yokoyama, Tiphaine De Lussy, even Dame Helen Mirren will be there to sell their wardrobe clearouts. Not to mention past season collections from brands like Manolo Blahnik, Nicholas Kirkwood, Cashmere In Love, Temperley London and Jane Carr. There will be definitely some shopping binge-worthy pre-loved and bargain priced goodies. Shoppers will have the opportunity to restore, personalise and upcycle pre-loved pieces and have a quick makeover by Charlotte Tilbury’s team as well. “This year, we have an even more incredible offering than ever before, with wonderful donations some of my most stylish friends and chicest brands. It’s an honour to work on this event and help make a difference for women who live in some of the world’s most dangerous places,” gushes Alex Eagle, Creative Director of The Store.
All proceedings from the car boot sale will go to Women For Women International, a charity which has helped almost half a million women survivors of war rebuild their lives. With over 40 brutal armed conflicts across the globe and unprecedented levels of violence against women, Women for Women International’s support is ever so crucial. There’s an urgent need for more funding to give women who have suffered the trauma of war the practical skills and knowledge they need to rebuild their lives for brighter futures for themselves and their families. Last year’s event raised over £236,000, so let’s be part of raising even more money for a worthy cause.
WEOMEN FOR WEOMEN
#SheInspiresMe car boot sale, Saturday, May 11, Brewer Street car park, W1
To buy tickets, visit www.womenforwomen.org.uk
Arts Editor: Christopher George
Santini will be unveiling a selection of new works concerned with the human condition, the choices we make, and the struggles we face. His work is a journey, an-ongoing fascination with the grey area, and what goes on in the ‘in-between’.
The new Solid Forms series portrays the alluring and sensual transition of smoke abstracted, which encompasses Santini’s fascination with fleeting observed realities, earlier examined in his water pieces. Inspired by his spirituality and Metaphysics, through this work he takes us right to the beginning of life itself - an essence of water and light and of our connection to nature.
Santini says about his work “Film is the other medium I covert, the power of suggestion and universality of film is truly awesome, equaled only by the abstract and arresting beauty of a photograph. What brings these worlds together, spawning its own beguiling incarnation are lenticular’s. On one side I love the specific-ness of film but love equally, the abstractness of photography. The lenticular world encompasses both these dictums, and hence its growing fascination with me as a technique and medium to create and communicate with.”
He adds about the forthcoming exhibition, “They are a reflection of the world as we see it, a synthesis of film, fashion, art and photography. Undoubtedly playful, bold and provocative, the works represent the limbo of looking at the mirror and starring into the void in-between of split realities.”
His lenticular process layers a series of still images into one file before printing them on a textured sheet of plastic, creating a transition between the images. The final product acts as a response to the contemporary world’s desires to have more interaction, motion and speed.
From the 25th April 2019 The House of Fine Art (HOFA Gallery) will launch Derrick Santini’s solo exhibition entitled ‘Time Forms Solid Space’ at their London gallery on Maddox Street, Mayfair. The show will feature a series of 17 spectacular lenticular works by the artist.
58 Maddox Street, Mayfair,
London, W1S 1AY
Arts Editor: Christopher George
The creative industry has progressed drastically over recent years, however despite this growth it appears that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic artists still have low visibility in the arts. Seemingly, this lack of racial diversity reflects an incredibly poignant issue as progress appears to be somewhat stagnant.
Data released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport revealed that 286,000 people were working in the performing arts, music and visual arts in 2015. Yet, in the same year, just 19,000 creatives employed in music and the performing and visual arts were BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) workers. Evidently, BAME employees make up just 6.6% of people working in the creative industries; whilst the arts might appear to be entirely inclusive, this highlights a persistent lack of diversity within a supposedly all-accepting area of show business.
More needs to be done if the performing arts are to flourish in a more inclusive manner. To help discuss the importance of this matter, offering insight into a topic that must be addressed, performer, choreographer and the owner of international talent agency ‘RnD Creatives’, Royston, has expressed with honesty and sincerity why BAME creatives need better representation in creative industries.
“For me personally, we need to bring it back to the grass roots when it comes to performing arts. Diversity has to be encouraged and this happens when the opportunity to explore the performing arts is made accessible to children of all races, backgrounds and cultures, so that being scouted can actually become a reality.
If we focus on promoting and increasing representation early on, giving all of those within the BAME community an equal chance, we can increase representation overall. As the statistics have shown, if there’s just 11% of Black, Asian or Ethnic artists in the whole working industry, it would be safe to say the percentage in schools is even lower. This needs to change if we’re going to see a difference within more experienced performers.”
“Much like in any industry, the more culture and overall representation we have, the more creative and diverse we become. This is particularly important within the creative arts community, whether it’s through the performance of hip-hop, street dance, singing, acting, the list goes on. Our inspiration and creativity can only be improved with the introduction of different cultures and backgrounds, bringing a new lease of life to our performances.
Certain races shouldn’t be pigeon-holed to particular arts. For example, ballet notoriously lacks diversity and appears to still have a certain elitist culture. Training is often expensive and usually only accessible to the upper-middle classes. It is down to schools and companies to provide support for young dancers of colour and ensure there are role models for aspiring dancers to look up to.”
Support from within the industry
“The arts should be a collaborative and supportive community for creatives where individuality and being progressive is championed. For the BAME community that have worked hard to forge their path in this space, a continued lack of diversity can be isolating, demotivating and disheartening despite being more than capable of making a name for themselves. The community should work hard to ensure that setbacks or limitations based on colour are a thing of the past!”
Royston is a singer, dancer, choreographer to the stars, and owner of talent agency ‘RnD Creatives’.
By Sara Darling
Head to Chianti this summer and you can enjoy art, along with your wine.
A new initiative is set to take place in the Chianti region of Italy, will transport art lovers through vineyards and Tuscan landscapes, to soak up the sculptures of French artist, Nathalie Decoster. Celebrating spirituality, freedom, human rights and the environment, sculptures and artwork will be set out on a trail for guests to soak up and enjoy.
A proud beacon of spiritual values since the Renaissance, the sleepy village of Panzano has retained a connection with nature and the universe and is the perfect location to celebrate an artist who explores serenity and modern humanism in her works.
From 22 June – 18 September 2019, this open-air exhibition will unveil ethnological sculptures by Decoster, across four vineyards, which will be open to visitors during the event; Her works will also be shown in public spaces of the village of Panzano. This also coincides with Organic Wine Festival which takes place on 12 – 15 September, and is a reminder of our connection with nature.
The project is the brainchild of local art lover, TV personality and businessman Dario Cecchini, who is pioneering the village of Panzano as a destination.
Along with its organic vineyards and sustainable agriculture, there is plenty to bring international tourists to appreciate art in the stunning surroundings.
A curated catalogue of things to do and see - exhibitions, events, films and galleries.