Victoria is a strange journey on which to go alone. It is entirely shot in one take and follows a young Spanish woman on a night out in Berlin, where she lives. I can’t really say much about it without giving any spoilers at all but the way the camera follows the actors, you really feel as if you are inside the film. That they are all real people and this is in fact all really happening.
The sound production was also really really special. There are very occasional moments in the film where music is used in such a perfect way, whereas mostly the sound is left alone as it is on the streets.
The performances are pretty much flawless and Laia Costa deserves every award she is given.
To finish watching and walk out into a busy city in the middle of the night was perfect. I thoroughly recommend this!
Sadly, the Curzon Soho is under threat as they want to build part of the Crossrail 2 where the building stands. The cinema has been around since the 50s and holds a lot of memories for the film industry in the UK. I really hope it is saved in time. Please sign the petition if you’re that way inclined.Tags: Berlin, Curzon Soho, Laia Costa
What a week!
I’ve mostly been hanging out with friends and chilling in my April room in South London, which is much fancier than anywhere I’ve ever lived (yes, even including The Penthouse back in the day – because it’s got some soul, rather than just being a charisma-less flash new building).
Anyway…on Wednesday I had the honour of accompanying two BAFTA Games nominees to the pre-awards party.
Twin brothers, Peter and Robert Curry have a New Zealand-based game development company called Dinopolo Club, under which they released a game called Mini Metro. It lost out (at the awards the following night) to Her Story, the much lauded game by Sam Barlow. I also met a pair of Canadian game developers who were there as nominees for their game Keep Talking Game.
Although he wasn’t at the event, it’s important to note that Mini Metro’s sound was designed by the wonderfully talented Disasterpiece and I now have dreams of heading over to New York on a pilgrimage to ask him to make me his apprentice.
It was a great night in a super glamorous location with lots of champagne and nerding out. I was basically in my heaven.
On my way home, in a magical twist of fate, I crossed paths with the first fox I’ve seen since being back. It was beautiful and we held eye contact for a long time before it toddled off to find a late tea.Tags: BAFTA, Foxes, Games
I have been treated very very well since arriving back home from New Zealand. The biggest highlight of being so spoilt has definitely been the food.
My brother-in-law is an absolutely brilliant cook, so luckily I got to eat lots of yummy homemade meals when staying with my family, this included a wonderful surprise of smoked mackerel salad, as he knew I had missed mackerel very much while I was away.
I’ve eaten a few delicious home-cooked roasts, including the best roast potatoes I’ve ever had, courtesy of my friend Jen.
A visit to Honest Burgers in Soho, was a must, I chose their classic beef burger and rosemary fries, which were large in portion and would’ve been better if they were bigger in size like chips but they were beautifully crispy. The burger was really good, not as good as the best burger I’ve ever eaten, which was at Paddock in Cambridge near Hamilton in New Zealand but better than the burger at Burger Liquor in Wellington.
And then of course, there is The London Particular. I really don’t have the words to describe how good it was to be back in this place. It goes without saying that the coffee is still impeccable. My first meal was a beautiful mix of salads, both vegan, accompanied by beautiful sourdough bread and olive oil.
On my next visit I had the vegetarian brunch bowl, which included the London Particular’s signature baked beans. I’ve never tasted beans like them, so so delicious.
Since I left, the management have expanded and set up the LP Bar next door, decorated with old bits of aeroplanes, complete with actual old aeroplane seats. It’s gorgeous, I can’t wait to try their cocktails some time.
I am considering going vegetarian again or even vegan. It is harder to find ethically-sourced meat and fish here. Quality food is also much more expensive. The thing that most holds me back is finding adequate sources of B12 and Ferritin to ensure I don’t get really sick again like last year. That was really scary.Tags: Burgers, Food, The London Particular, Veganism
I’ve spent my days so far wandering the streets again, going on long bus rides on my own, seeing all the old buildings I missed while I was away, and reconnecting with close friends.
My first week-and-a-half back in London coincided with BFI Flare. I can’t say this was pure coincidence. Queer Christmas, as it is comfortingly called by some of my favourite queers, is an annual celebration of what it means to be LGBTIQ+ in London. There are films galore and DJs play most of the nights in one or both of the bars.
So some of my evenings have been mis-spent, in the best possible way, at the BFI surrounded by gorgeous sexy people of all genders and sexualities.
Femme Brutal is a documentary about an Austrian burlesque troupe based in Vienna. The documentary included interviews with groups of two or more of the seven performers. These interviews were conversational and relaxed, showing the humour and shared chemistry between the people involved in the brutal, kinky burlesque shows.
Interspersed was footage from performances, shot as artistically as possible, with close-ups of bodies and the performances adjusted to work to camera, which ensured the people watching the film were as involved and included as if they were in a live audience. The final sequence was an elaborate power-play of sexiness between two of the performers.
I left flabbergasted, overwhelmed with joy at being home where I belong.
That weekend I went to the Roundhouse to see some performances as part of Roundhouse Rising, most of note was a stunning improvised collaboration between sound artist Gawain Hewitt and countertenor Patrick Terry, based on the theme of ‘water’. The set-up included a bowl of water containing a hydrophone, into which Patrick sang, and a large soundboard with waves painted onto it where the triggers were.
I couldn’t believe it had been improvised, the whole piece was so perfectly delivered.
I was lucky enough to be able to visit some of the young people’s pieces of work down in the Roundhouse Studios too. Audio Collective, made up of 11-25 year olds, has been working over the last few months on some sound art of their own, developed around the idea of water. The three pieces of art I saw were stunning and in great contrast to one another. It was easy to imagine them all within a gallery context, being interacted with and critiqued by pretentious art-types. My favourite was a piece created from sine waves and hospital drips, it was genius.
Then, back to the BFI for a night of three short films as part of the Glitter, Slush, Neon, Cake selection.
The first was a beautifully touching German story about a young teenager spending the summer with her younger maths tutor and her older ballet teacher. The second was a trashy Brazillian high school drama full of magic and lust.
The final film of the evening was a perfect honouring of femme sex workers set in a fictional American building called The Palace. It was just so wonderful, I wanted to dive into the film and spend the night adventuring with them.Tags: Film, Music, Sex and Gender, Sound Art
Just over 27 hours later, I stepped off the plane in Heathrow Airport after 3.25 years in New Zealand. It was 4.50am.
I’m grounded. At peace inside my own body and mind. It’s a strange feeling after spending over 30 years being a crazy Tasmanian-Devil-style-hyperactive-ball-of-mess.
I’m calm now, I listen. These are the things Aotearoa New Zealand gave me, along with the seeds of understanding about what colonisation is and the impact it continues to have on indigenous people around the world.
But aside from these changes, I am hungry. Hungry for a city, a real city. With all the dirt and diversity and dancing.
And I’m writing again…Tags: Home, Writing
December 17th, 2015End Of Year
This year has been amazing, of course. All years seem to be amazing!
It started in a pretty special way with a visit to the famous Riff Raff statue in Hamilton, NZ. The year continued in its magic: I became a DJ, started learning Te Reo Maori, took my clothes off in public, bench coached some more roller derby (even skated around a little bit too), watched a lot of horror movies, talked about sex education and gender everywhere I went, got some gorgeous new tattoos and started learning to drive.
I met some incredible young people, some incredible old people and a few incredible medium people.
Technical issues plagued my music-making throughout the whole year and I thought more than one time that the universe was trying to tell me something bad.
But then I did some Maths and it told me that it wasn’t.
Here’s some links to some things:
Thanks to everyone who was a part of 2015, especially Maim Town, Skittles, Homo and Colleen; Lola and the Boom Boom Room lovelies; Trissel and Palmy YOSS; and of course the Swampton whanau. Y’all saved my life in more ways than you can ever know.
And yet again a plane ticket sits on my bedside table daring me not to leave.
I realise I haven’t done a 2014 post so I should probably do some shout-outs right now to make up for it. Last year was full of many exciting things, new friendships, adventures, music, laughter, and lots and lots of food.
Massive thanks for the inspirations everyone, especially: Buska Dimes, Big Friendlies, Vera Williams, Given Names, Fantails, Slower Motion, and all the people at PBS (Melbourne) and Radio Control (Palmerston North) who introduce my ears to music I hadn’t heard before.
The next 11 months will be mostly Maths and Physics. There will be more music but for now I must go shove my head in some books so I can try to make sense of the universe.
Remember, go outside and look up.
Peace xTags: 2014, 2015, electronic, Palmerston North, Radio Control
2013 was spent in the glorious, most beautiful, breathtaking yet easy-going place I’ve ever been. The year at the Edge Of The World.
I watched some films, some TV shows and read some books. I even listened to a bunch of new music and some old music. This year though, my lists are just one and the theme is just me. And I am proper grateful for everything the universe has sent me.
1. I saw lots of mountains and the ocean. I saw things I’ve never even dreamed of. I did real physical outdoors work for the first time in my life. I wrote about some of it on the internet: Bimbling Along
3. I played a packed gig in an important bar
4. I played a tiny gig to an audience of one in a very very important bar
5. I taught some incredible people how to speak and sing, then I set up a choir
6. I went on lots of beautiful, funny roadtrips and weekends away
7. I saw a screening of a film that changed my whole perspective on the world and I made the filmmaker become my friend
8. I was bench coach for 2 roller derby bouts with some of the best skaters in the country
9. I set up a new jeerleading squad the Rumbles and then let them fly by themselves
10. I survived the biggest storms I’ve been in and My First Ever Earthquakes (peaking at a not-too-shabby 6.5). I looked at the biggest, most stunning skies and sunsets I’ve ever seen
11. I filled in heaps of seemingly boring but actually exciting long forms
12. I made a whole bunch of new friends and learned how much I love my existing ones
14. Cats. Lots and lots of cats.
15. I spent some time with a very special, kind and generous Hot Boy who repeatedly changes my life and who is, before you ask, definitely a Harley
The year ahead holds many incredible surprises and I am filled with hope and reinvigorated ambition and thirst for more travel, adventure and bravery.
2014 will be The Year Folded In Half and it will be THE BEST YEAR EVER.Tags: 2013, Lists
East London’s sweetheart Anna Madeleine, leftfield electronic musician, vocalist, songwriter, listmaker, jeerleader, is gracing Aotearoa with her presence for the first time to co-headline the C.L.I.T.fest (Combatting Latent Inequalities Together) gig at Bodega on 2nd June 2013.
The gig, organised by BOX events, is Anna’s debut New Zealand performance and includes sets by other local and national acts Melting Pot Massacre and Fantails, plus others.
DJs Trixie and Leilani will also be dropping some tunes for the dancefloor.
While Anna works on her first full album, which will be a parallel release in New Zealand and the UK, she is bringing her breakbeat, electro, atmospheric, drum ‘n’ bass/hip hop world to your ears in this fantastic live show.
You can have a mesmeric and magical aural peek into her ‘built at home’ sound by heading down to Bodega on 2nd June or you can listen/buy her music online at http://annamadeleine.bandcamp.com.
(photo courtesy of Rachel Carr – copyright Countessian 2012)Tags: 2013, Bodega, CLITfest, New Zealand, performing
January 1st, 2013End Of Year
WOWEEEEEEEEEEEE! WHAT A FUCKING STUPENDOUS YEAR THAT WAS.
I hope y’all had amazing times and did all the things on your to-do lists. I have had to start all sorts of new lists to prepare myself for 2013, a new to-do list, a new ambition list, a new crush list.
2012 has been full of more love and more fun than just one little person deserves. Adventure, inspiration and excitement are the focus of the next 12 months and “Just Get Really Good At What You Do” is my 2013 motto. Meeting lots of new people and cherishing the ones I already know is number 1 on my agenda.
Best Bits of 2012
I played Broomball, Jeered at some incredible London Rollergirls bouts, facilitated singing sessions with kids who are non-verbal, saw my artistic development programme for disabled musicians get funding, guested on the She Makes War album along with some other amazing artists.
I was commissioned as a composer twice, hung out with some brilliant life-changing people, tried to play ping pong, danced a LOT, laughed (so hard I cried) every week.
I finished working with the wonderful Drake Music after around 7 and a half years. I’ve never been prouder of anything as much as being a part of changing this failing organisation into a progressive leader in the field of music, technology and accessibility. The people I met while there and the experiences we had together will stay with me for the rest of my life. I hope I will work with them again in the future.
I danced on some tables at the BFI. I met some of the amazing people involved in the Barcelona post-porn scene and watched a hot boy stick needles into one of them. I was an extra in a fascinating photo project and got filmed licking a sign saying “Hot”.
The Fattylympics was one of the best, most life-affirming days of my whole life. Fatties and their allies gathered for fun and games including Twirling, Rolling and the wonderful Chubrobics. Zines about how to love your body the way it is were alongside yummy food and gorgeous clothes and fun stuff on the stalls.
I watched Empire Records on a roof with some of my favourite people. I watched Kate Tempest’s play Wasted at the Roundhouse with some more of my favourite people.
I learned to ride a bike, put on a party in an empty pub, tried to bowl, ate a LOT of cider and chips.
I didn’t sleep enough but had lots of bed parties, talked to some of my heroes and crushes, went to a book launch on a boat, went to some film festivals and saw Cirkus Cirkor, Boom Boom Club, Penny Arcade and La Soiree. I saw Nigel Charnock’s beautiful Haunted By The Future.
Someone very special invented a delicious cake for me and then some famous people tweeted about it.
I travelled into The Future. The world didn’t end.
So, all that’s left to do now are the lists:
Top 5 gigs of 2012
(7 this year!)
Fever Fever’s final ever show, Lexington London
Bright Light Bright Light, Cargo London
Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing the whole of Graceland, Hyde Park London
Dry The River, Shepherd’s Bush Empire London
Micachu and The Shapes, The Arcola Tent London
Slow Club and Spaceships Are Cool, Village Underground London
Zombie Zombie, the Lexington London
Special mentions for Band Band at Pony, Melbourne; Midwinter Picnic at West Hill Hall, Brighton; Chris T-T singing A A Milne at King’s Place, London; and the Bermuda Triangle Transmission set at the Resonance FM party.
Top 5 albums of 2012
I haven’t listened to a lot of new stuff this year so I found this category tricky. I adore Dan Le Sac’s Space Between The Words, Jack White’s Blunderbuss and Michachu & The Shapes’s Never.
Most other new stuff I have heard recently has been pretty boring to tell you the truth. I’ve listened to a lot of older stuff, rock n roll, 90s punk/emo, riot grrrl, hip hop, 60s girl bands, doo-wop. Some of which I’d heard before, some of which I hadn’t.
2013 is the year for getting everyone back into music that sounds like there are bits falling off or it’s been stuck together from things found in skips. There hasn’t been enough drum ‘n’ bass in my life (I’ve missed it a lot). It will be the year for real music and real musicians, for finding new sounds and making beautiful songs.
Top 5 books I read in 2012
Venus As A Boy, Luke Sutherland
Short Stack, For Books’ Sake/Pulp Press
Assume Nothing, Rebecca Swan
Nights At The Circus, Angela Carter
No Room For Secrets, Joanna Lumley
Best TV shows I saw in 2012
Generation Kill, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons Of Anarchy, Doctor Who, Mad Men
Best films I saw in 2012
Far ahead of the rest is the stunningly beautiful The Adventures of Prince Achmed. See it if you’ve never seen it. Get a projector and watch it with friends.
Whale Rider, But I’m A Cheerleader, Boy, Eagle vs Shark, No Country For Old Men, The Girl Bunnies, Drive, Once Were Warriors, Keep on Livin’ and Extracting The Bomp.
Top 5 Welsh people of 2012
The Tiger Bay Brawlers
The owners of Dragon Bar, Wellington (which I haven’t been to yet)
Top 5 bars of 2012
Matterhorn and S & M’s, Cuba Street
The Swan, Southwark
Bar, Lower Marsh, Southwark
The Old Haberdasher, New Cross
Mr Lawrence’s, Brockley
Best shops/places of 2012
Bad Rep at the Resistance Gallery (monthly) was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time
Unskinny Bop at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
Prick Tattoo, Shoreditch
Te Papa, Wellington
The London Particular, New Cross
Most embarrassing moment of 2012
Hiding behind one of my very favourite rollergirls while a female performance artist ejaculated on us. You can’t make this stuff up.
Food, Maps, Nature/Weather, Harley-Davidson, New Zealanders, Roller Derby, Kittens and Ponies, Nerds.
Normal clothes as fancy dress
There’s not been enough of this this year. I think my favourite has to be when I was A Parcel.
Biggest lessons I’ve learnt
When good stuff happens, enjoy it. You deserve it. Don’t second-guess or over-think. Appreciate the positive things. Be bright and bold. Do stuff. Life is long. Go on adventures. Listen to lots of other people’s stories. Ask questions.
Show people how much you love them. Hold on to the good stuff. Keep in touch. Geography means nothing. Write In Real Life letters and cards.
Have high standards. Expect good things. Keep your integrity. Everything is funny if viewed from the right angle.
extra special Thank Yous for bringing me magic in 2012
Charlie Brown, Jane Bradley, Cassie Vallance, Roseanna Everitt, Becca Horn, Melanie Clifford, Vikki Von Vixen & T, Kayleigh O’Shea, Eva Monkey & Kate Ellis, Kyle Gibbens, Holly Casio, Nicholas Graham Smith, Jen Macro, Annette Barlow, Kathy Taylor-Jones, Chud & Ruth, Becky Davey & Brad Perry, Gawain Hewitt, Emma Hogan, Penny Lane, Lola & Mariana, Nathan Harrow & Malika Mezeli, Tom Snowdon, Alex Anderson, Colin & Paula McCracken, Hera, and all my family.Tags: 2012, Lists