Just Step Sideways: Dogging Tales

Like a fever dream taken directly from the pages of Viz comic but created by Chris Morris, Dogging Tales from 2013, remains one of the most unforgettable TV documentaries of the last twenty years. Screened as part of Channel 4’s True Stories strand, and in actual fact directed by Leo Maguire, it was more JeremyContinue reading “Just Step Sideways: Dogging Tales”

Edinburgh Festival Review: Agaxart- Future Temple

This beautiful short film follows Butoh performer Emiko Agatsuma as she crawls like a little sprite of the afterlife clad in a white bodystocking and white wig, through bustling streets, eventually entangling in a billowing pile of plastic. At once a dance and ritual, Agatsuma is a capricious figure, with human and animalistic characteristics. SheContinue reading “Edinburgh Festival Review: Agaxart- Future Temple”

Annie Griffin’s Festival

It’s that time of year again. The Edinburgh Festival is both a blessing and curse, as it can make or break careers. Even The Guardian recently acknowledged that it’s increasingly pricing out young actors, playwrights, directors and so on as landlords hike prices up to astronomical levels, meaning you’d better have rich parents or patronsContinue reading “Annie Griffin’s Festival”

The Ghost of The GTOs

Strange, isn’t it, that there are no male equivalents in the lexicon for the word ‘groupie’, even now? Perhaps groupies aren’t a thing anymore, or simply a more covert concern. Maybe it’s more likely there are more female artists making headway now- and about time,too. The GTOs fascinate me, simply because they’re a time capsuleContinue reading “The Ghost of The GTOs”

DVD Review: The Sparks Brothers

Edgar Wright’s The Sparks Brothers is more than a traditional rock doc. A visually glorious pop art paean to the shapeshifting nature of pop music, Ron and Russell Mael, aka Sparks, represent longevity, invention and playful erudition. From their LA childhood on the beach, absorbing their artist father’s paintings, and being driven by their motherContinue reading “DVD Review: The Sparks Brothers”

TRAINSPOTTING AND GLASGOW

We all know Irvine Welsh’s classic novel, play and film Trainspotting was set in Leith in Edinburgh, but for Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of the mid- nineties, a couple of pivotal scenes were shot in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. One infamous shot of the pub where wee ned psychopath Begbie (Robert Carlyle) casually tossesContinue reading “TRAINSPOTTING AND GLASGOW”

Overlooked Classics: Wisconsin Death Trip

James Marsh’s masterful Wisconsin Death Trip is not like most documentaries. Based on the 1973 book of monochrome photographs by Michael Lesy, it focuses on a decade of bizarre events in and around Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th century. There’s suicide ; teenage elopement, religious lunacy, errant eccentric opera singers, window smashing,Continue reading “Overlooked Classics: Wisconsin Death Trip”

Pink Flamingos at 50

Nothing- now or ever- arguably, will be as outrageous as John Waters’ Pink Flamingos. Celebrating its half century, this film from Waters and his team of miscreants, AKA the Dreamlanders, tackles every taboo you care to mention. Ostensibly a mockumentary gone rogue, the deranged masterpiece still holds up with its questionable mores centring around theContinue reading “Pink Flamingos at 50”

Techno Tinkerbell: Bjork at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 1997

This film marks Bjork’s transition from the “shy girl” from Debut, as she put it, to the bolder, almost cartoonish Techno Tinkerbell ( my term) of the Post tour. The whole band are on fire here. From Leila Arab mixing, Ed Handley and Andy Turner on keyboards to Guy Sigsworth making ambient sound, to CobaContinue reading “Techno Tinkerbell: Bjork at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 1997”

The Enduring Appeal of Wings Of Desire

A lovelorn, sad-eyed angel, Damiel, played by Bruno Ganz, longs to be mortal. Marian (Solveig Dommartin) a trapeze artist in a small circus could be the answer. Wim Wenders’ masterpiece owes a little to Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life as it’s almost an inversion of the story, but it owes more to the rebuilding ofContinue reading “The Enduring Appeal of Wings Of Desire”