Saturday, 25 January 2014

What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen.

Oh the joys of shared living?! I mean when you live in a shambolic excuse for a house ( the fact that I'm calling it a house is miss selling it, it's more of a squat I pay rent for) Anyway i share with six other people meaning there have got to be some random conversations and happenings that occur while just eating dinner alone. Casually eating my falafels and salad the other evening.... " no we threw away those syringes" yum. (I think she wanted them for some photography based project) I endured a debate about beat poetry, another concerning are nerves pushed or pulled? And finally a impromptu performance of my housemates latest play in which he is talking to his hand. Surprisingly good. Anyway this got me thinking about the luxury of our own home and the acts that we indulge in when we know the general public can't sneak a peak. Whether that's me eating my dinner accompanied by a disgusting amount of grated cheese, my housemate drinking so much that he gave us a gorgeous fifteen minute rendition of Meatloaf's A Bat Out Of Hell, or just wearing a unicorn onsie with a considerable amount of coffee split down the front. These are not activities that would be allowed outsides the safety of those four shabby walls. However I wouldn't change it, people are much more interesting when they think no one is watching. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

New Hollywood, Old Directors

As you are no doubt aware, Martin Scorsese's latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, opened in the UK on Friday. Reviews have been largely positive. Empire magazine even stated it “is the first Martin Scorsese film in some time that feels as though, in a few years, it will join Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas in the canon.”

At the end of the last century the crown kings of American film were the directors of the “New Hollywood”. This was the term given to the gang of young directors who rose to prominence in the late 1960s and early 70s. Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, William Friedkin et al. Martin Scorsese was still back then referred to as “America's greatest living film maker”. It's a label that is less used these days, partly because there are new pretenders to the crown (for example David Fincher and PT Anderson), but also because nothing Scorsese has done since 1990 has reached the dizzy heights of his early masterpieces.

Many of his contemporaries have fared much worse. The same issue of Empire quoted above also features Francis Ford Coppola's latest movie Twixt – which has gone straight to DVD in the UK after two years in limbo. It's a rarity these days for a film by Brian De Palma to not go straight to DVD. William Friedkin spent nearly 20 years languishing in the world of TV. Spielberg's obviously doing well for himself, but most of his recent work is still a long way from the glory days of Jaws and ET.

This is not a phenomenon exclusive to film. How many musicians, writers and artists blaze a trail in their early careers before sliding slowly into mediocrity?

I believe that most human beings really only have a few profound observations they can make about life and the world. Once they've made those initial statements, where do they go? They can either repeat those same few statements over and over, with inevitably diminishing returns, they can quit and do something else, or they can work for hire, which might make you money but is unlikely to lead to too many awards ceremonies.

There is, however, an exception to the rule that artists usually do their best work early in their careers. The great American directors of the 70s are now in their 70s. They are in the final phase of their working lives, which gives them a new perspective, and perhaps a new artistic impetus. As stated above, The Wolf of Wall Street has been getting strong reviews. William Friedkin's Killer Joe was warmly received in 2011. Terence Malick has made more films in the past four years then he made in the previous forty. Spielberg's Lincoln is widely regarded as his best film since at least Schindler's List.

I think we're beginning to see a resurgence of some of the greatest film makers who have ever lived. And I can't wait to see what they do next.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

There is nothing worse than cold tea.

Seriously, there IS nothing worse than cold tea, and with the perpetual cold it is inevitable. Sorry it's January, the month of no money, crap weather and a serious lack of inspiration as everyone's cogs start to slowly whir back round into action just in time for spring. So this makes me think, what do I want from this year? Vague plans are always helpful, when I say vague plans I mean wondering mindlessly around desperately clutching a diary full of lists, plus a ton of incoherent thoughts scribbled on my hands, which of course make no sense the instant the pen separates itself from my skin. 

So I have decided to draw some ideas from places I wouldn't normally look. And push myself to try out some creative mediums that I would not touch, for fear of them being stupid insulting attempts at other peoples precious art forms! I'm talking drawing, manual photography, using new software. Don't worry no human eyes will ever be able to scan this work, it's far to naive to unleash on the world! 

However these new mediums has made me look for excitement and inspiration in different places and I've got back into magazine culture once more. For years I have been disillusioned with the vile mass produced mags, which cover nothing of interest if you have more than two brain cells however here are my three latest favourites...

- Boon magazine, a Brighton local, covers local culture without being wanky, the coolest article being one on The Brighton Photocopy club, a fanzine society. 

- Oh Comely, a ├╝ber cute if a little whimsical. A magazine whose latest edition is themed around space! 

- Frankie Magazine has the coolest photography, latest edition had mega sweet illustrations there for your colouring  in pleasure. 

You know I'm not even going to put their web addresses here, because nothing beats the smell and the feel of a magazine in your hands. 

So there we are, grasping at inspirational straws. Roll on February. Must be bad if we long for February. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Why does it have to be New Year to make a resolution?

So as I sit and type this off my phone, my laptop has decided to have a funny turn, annoying as i have been saying for ages that I will get it fixed. I was thinking that New Years is always used as a excuse to do the things you have been meaning to do your entire life, lose weight, go after your dream job, start a new hobby. So I sit here in my damp smelling floral sweatshirt and I think to myself, I make new resolutions on a nearly daily basis. The wonderful friends that I spent New Years with all stated that they were not going to make any resoloutions when I asked them. Like it was a crime against coolness to want to improve yourself and your life. But what they meant was why bother on this particular evening? Come January the 1st half the population were swearing off booze and eating salad. You can do that any time. Like fabulous mothers and grandmas always say. There is no time like the present. So whether you made any New Year's plans this year or not, you do not need a excuse. Whatever you want to do, go do it. I'm off to fix my laptop, I think I will always smell of damp though, I like old houses too much.