3:AM'S 5th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Saturday April 23rd, from 7pm
68 Amwell Street
London EC1, England
020 7837 6067
Angel or Farringdon tube stations
Toby Litt fronts a selection of readings by authors featured in the forthcoming New Writing 13 anthology, including Paul Ewen, Vicky Grut, Tim Jarvis, and Martin Ouvry.
Music by Simon Beesley of The June Brides.
A selection of films curated by Richard Cabut: Akatombo & Bob Short.
Paul Kirk on his Akatombo films:
"These three short films came about after a request from Colin Newman, (Wire frontman/Swim Label owner), who was, along with his wife and label co-owner Malka Spigel (ex-Minimal Compact, now Githead bassist), putting together an evening's 'entertainment' at the ICA to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Swim label. Due to the prohibitive costs involved in flying me halfway across the world to do a 25 minute set, I suggested that I could try to make some kind of visual representation that would hopefully go some way to explain the who/what/why/where/when and how that is Akatombo. It also gave me a fine opportunity to attempt to dispel a few of the multitude of urban myths that abound, re; the 'mystical' land known as Japan. 'Blade Runner-esque' it certainly isn't. Or is it? You can be the judge of that. Presently, I'm in the editing stages with a series of short films, again shot in and around Hiroshima city by my good/bad self, which will provide the visual accompaniment to the tracks on the eventually forthcoming new Akatombo CD/DVD entitled, Portable Pariah."
Akatombo is Paul Thomsen Kirk, an expat Scot living in Hiroshima. 'Akotombo' is the Japanese name for a very beautiful species of dragonfly. Akatombo is currently signed to Colin Newman's (from Wire) Swim label. The debut Akatombo album, released in late '03, Trace Elements (WM24), was met with much critical acclaim. The theme of urban alienation is recurrent throughout Akatombo's recorded works. Even though I live in Japan, I will always be looked upon as an outsider. Not too dissimilar from being "on the outside, looking in". At one time or another, I have been some, if not all, of the following: mechanical engineer, hi-fi salesman, record store manager, Punk Rock +Positive-Punk rock* drummer (* =® Richard Cabut!), flying doctor, tour manager, production manager for San Francisco's leading independent distribution company, label owner who put Idlewild's first record out, band manager, promoter, bouncy castle technician, kindergarten teacher, bricklayer's assistant, English teacher, heavy plant mechanic and milk delivery-boy. Many thanks to Richard Cabut and the 3:AM staff for this opportunity to introduce myself.
2. BOB SHORT
Bob Short on Makers of the Dead, Jesus Christ Almighty and My Bright Future:
"The Moving Image is an enormously powerful medium. The pictures that flicker past our eyes stun us almost as if we had plucked the stuff of dreams from the air. Films seem to be the very stuff of liberty. The contradiction that faces us is that the moving image has become one of the most controlled and controlling of arts. We are told that this is a medium which we only have the right to access as consumers rather than creators. The industry spends money to make money in an ongoing upward spiral that they would have us believe makes the cost of production beyond our reach. Technology, however, is opening up many new avenues for creators. A digital handicam can easily produce a film which is at least watchable. Without the watchful eye of focus groups and accountants, the film you make may even be interesting. These films were made without any kind of budget. I am not talking about Hollywood's idea of no budget either. These films had a budget of less than what a studio spends on coffee in an hour. No one was paid. Tapes were reused and lights and cameras carried on buses and trains. All it really took was the decision to just go out and do it.
Makers of the Dead is a modern fairytale reinterpretation of the Dracula myth. Mina, bored and pissed off with her arsehole of a husband, wishes for a love that will never die and thus brings a vampire into the world. The realisation of the fantasy, however, raises moral dilemmas. What is the price of love?
Jesus Christ Almighty was made for Sydney's Channel 31. The left-wing programme Actively Radical Television played on Sunday Nights and was followed by Christian programming. These programmers made various complaints about the "ungodly communists" sharing their airwaves so, it was decided to give them something to really complain about. Mimicking their style, this film was broadcast immediately before the Christian programming on Easter Sunday where it could cause most offence. It begins quietly. I was once told that if you throw a toad into boiling water it will jump out. If you put it in a pot of cold water and bring it to the boil, it will cook to death before it notices.
My Bright Future is a short film prepared for an environmental film festival. Guerrilla filmmaking sometimes requires you lower your camera into a storm drain in the middle of a flood.
Bob Short claims he has not only heard the chimes at midnight, he has stayed up past dawn to hear them again the next time around. Before being old enough to drink, he haunted Sydney's beer barns with proto punk band Filth. Later on, he gained some notoriety in the UK with the band Blood and Roses when he was described as everything from a "shambolic messiah" to a "long, tall streak of piss". He has been a DJ and worked in a sex shop, the civil service and as Musical Director for a theatre company. He claims the only thing ever to surprise him was seeing his thirtieth birthday. Currently, he lives in exile in the penal colonies of New South Wales with his son, Billy. There he makes low-budget films and works on a novel entitled Red. More here.