22 June 2005

The Coral Sea, Patti Smith's Meltdown: 22nd June 2005

The Coral Sea, Patti Smith's Meltdown: 22nd June 2005

The Coral Sea was written for Robert Mapplethorpe and performed as part of this years Meltdown curated by Patti Smith.
I arrived slightly late, Cat Power had started and was doing 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' accompanying herself on guitar with no other musicians. She did a couple of other songs and alternated between guitar and piano. Then came what was essentially a reading of The Coral Sea by Patti Smith with guitar accompaniment by Kevin Shields. At times I was reminded of the early tracks like 'Piss Factory' and 'Hey Joe' and the guitar worked very well alongside, sometimes I thought I heard echoes of 'Loveless' in the style of play. At the end all three were on stage for a song Patti Smith performed at Mapplethorpe's memorial service.

This is definately one of the better Meltdowns, speaking to a Royal Festival Hall Marketing person afterwards it seems Patti Smith has been much more involved than say last years curator: Morrissey. The fim list went up late but included a couple of Bresson films and Jacques Rivette's 'Paris is Our's' which I'd really like to see.

16 June 2005

Jim Marshall Photographs - Blink Gallery


I went along to this tonight. It was the opening night, show runs from tomorrow (June 16th) through until July 16th 2005 on Poland Street in Soho and is well worth a look.
Jim Marshall was there chatting to the visitors which was nice. He took the covers to the Johnny Cash prison LP's 'Folsom' and 'San Quentin', I chatted to him a little while says he prefered 'Folsom' as that was rawer and if he'd asked the prisoners to leave with him after the show they would have all got up and leave and left with him, the guards wouldn't have been able to stop them.

Some great pictures, the Johnny Cash one is quite famous but some of the others are not often seen which is quite nice. Free to attend, open to the general public.

Michelangelo Antonioni season at NFT pt 2

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith and Mark Cousins were on BBC Radio 4 film programme last saturday afternoon discussing the season. Sadly it looks like 'The Passenger' aka 'Profession: Reporter' will not be show. Apparently Jack Nicholson owned the rights and it could only be show in the prescence of Antonioni himself. He was at the opening night of the season but is not well enough to travel back. Nowell-Smith was saying that the rights have now passed to Sony and there could be a theatrical release later this year.

So it looks like an uncomplete season, what a shame surely one of the great unseen films of the last 30 years but potentially a wider release on the horizon.

15 June 2005

Jim Marshall Photographs - Blink Gallery

02 June 2005

Laura Cantrell: Jazz Cafe 1st June 2005.

Laura Cantrell: Jazz Cafe Wednesday 1st June

I hadn't seen her live before. I haven't been to many performances this year but this was definitely one of the best, the band (guitars, mandolin and double bass) sounded just excellent live. The sound was warmer than the CD's I'd heard and based on the songs I heard last night the new album (out 20/06/05) has a more melancholic feel and includes some covers including George Jones and Lucinda Williams. She comes across as an honest performer, not afraid to confess when she forgets the lines to her own songs and genuinely happy to be performing.

I haven't seen a review of the album yet [Humming by the flowered vine] but on the flyer there is a quote from Elvis Costello; "If Kitty Wells made 'Rubber Soul' it would sound like Laura Cantrell". I can only guess Costello is a fan, Laura Cantrell did a great cover version of 'Indoor Fireworks' from The Costello Show/King of America LP.

I'd completely forgotten that she was born in Nashville and then moved to New York and before taking up singing and songwriting she worked on Wall Street....


Pitfall by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Following on from 'The Face of Another' which I recently caught on DVD I also rented 'Pitfall' by Teshigahara. This earlier film from 1962 was also an interesting, almost experimental peice of cinema, for me similar to watching 'The Face of Another'.

Pitfall tells the story of a murder, only the victim then inhabits the earth and wanders amongst the living. The film uses sparce almost minimalist music, superb black and white photography and almost no special effects. The action revolves around mining and there is a strand about unions and strikes. The story is almost told from the child's perspective who seems to look on as events unfold. What I quite liked was the matter of fact way in which the death and 'ghosting' for want of a better way unfold. Just like the air of science fiction was very different in 'The Face of Another' in Pitfall the way Teshigahara deals with the after life is very unusual.

The DVD contained a commentary from the excellent Asian Cinema critic Tony Rayns.

Michelangelo Antonioni - NFT season poster

Michelangelo Antonioni season at NFT


I couldn't go but apparently Antonioni himself was at the opening night of the NFT season last night. The season looks good but for 'The Passenger' aka 'Profession: reporter' apparently NFT can only show this if Antonioni accompanies the screening.

Good to see that NFT have Geoffrey Nowell-Smith doing some of the intro's, he had written the book in BFI classics series for 'L'Aventurra'. I hope to get along to see a couple, especially the ones I haven't seen on the big screen.