:: Buzzwords Archive: March 2010. Click here for the latest posts.
R.I.P. Alex Chilton (published 20/03/2010)
Saturday Night at the Movies (published )
By Andrew Stevens.
There’s no link sadly (possibly conscious of inevitable online ridicule) but this week’s New Statesman carries a review of Hanif Kureishi’s Collected Stories by former Sun editor David Yelland. There’s something deliciously twisted perhaps about the notion of Yelland, who also toiled under the tabloid’s notorious Thatcherite editor Kelvin McKenzie, heaping praise on Kureishi as he, like Alastair Campbell before him, makes that post-breakdown transition from burnt out newsman to novelist himself and gets trotted out onto the publicity circuit.
Such surreal irony provides us with the opportunity to reflect back on that era. London Kills Me (1991) is a difficult film in many senses. Difficult to get hold of now, sure (a DVD release is both overdue and keenly anticipated). Difficult for Kureishi’s reputation as a screenwriter, as it has failed to secure anywhere near the critical attention of his mid-eighties work with Stephen Frears or The Buddha of Suburbia television adaptation in the early nineties. The film does however segue beautifully into the likes of Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993) and Patrick Keiller’s London (1994), both of which adroitly survey the ruins of the capital following the ravages of Thatcherism and act almost as a triumvirate of post-Jarman Kureishiland, an era which was in itself swept away by the synthetic (or naive) optimism of Britpop and New Labour. Chris Petit recently claimed that on reflection his own Radio On (1979) “ended with a car ‘stalled on the edge of the future’, which we didn’t know then would be Thatcherism.” The tragically misfortunate characters of London Kills Me find themselves staring right back into that void. The film includes Steven Mackintosh as a lead, him later going on to feature in Kureishi’s Buddha of Suburbia and The Mother, and most recently as Peter Mandelson in a TV docudrama (Yelland famously arranged for a sly wink homophobic war of words against the Europhile cabinet minister through the pages of his paper, declaring that Britain was run by a “gay mafia” and taunting Mandelson as the “Dishonourable Member for Copacabana East”, water under the bridge now, both claim).
David Yelland has his function here, but it’s as a stoker in the New Right’s boiler room during much of what transpired in Kureishi’s books and films, not a peer hopefully seeking to achieve a modicum of equivalence.
Urban film (published 18/03/2010)
The Bartlett UFS are running a series of events on urban film in association with PocketVisions, starting this afternoon. Of particular interest, Sandra Shevey‘s talk, ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s London Odyssey: Location Art in the Capital’, at the Westminster Reference Library and En Construcción at the Architecture Foundation, as part of the Architecture on Film Season. Full details here.
For You (published )
We have two tickets to give away to a lucky 3:AM reader for tomorrow’s talk between Ian McEwan and composer Michael Berkeley at the Purcell Room (7.45pm) on London’s glorious South Bank. You save 20 quid! Just send us an email here. Be quick!
Author Ian McEwan and composer Michael Berkeley discuss their artistic collaboration on the opera For You and reveal plans for a forthcoming opera based on Atonement. This event also coincides with the publication date of Solar, Ian McEwan’s latest novel which he will be signing post-show.
For You, is a tale of sexual obsession exploring a complicated relationship between a mature, boasting artist, his youthful self and a deluded, murderous woman. McEwan, who has often movingly evoked music in his fiction, and Berkeley, presenter of Private Passions on BBC Radio 3, discuss the interweaving of text with musical composition. They explore the distinctive means each strand brings to the narrative, as well as the particular power of opera in conjoining the different media.
The evening is accompanied by taped excerpts from For You, and is chaired by broadcaster and writer Dennis Marks, former General Director of English National Opera.
Nice Day For a White Wedding… (published )
Gerard founded Flowers in the Dustbin in the early 80s. He then became a music journalist, writing for Sounds and Melody Maker. Besides being an early member of the 3:AM team, he is the author of two books — one about the Levellers and the other about Crass.
ampere’s and (published )
Today’s quick lit [& alt.cult] links from around the web:
& Coming soon, the new Dwang
& HTMLGIANT bring word of some new Georg Trakl
& Hilobrow on David Cronenberg
& Cronenberg’s commentary for the Andy Warhol retrospective 2006
& Welcome back The Midnight Bell, you have been missed
& A new national anthem for Ireland [Happy St Patrick's Day everyone]