Watch….35 Shots of Rum (DVD), a film made by one of my favourite directors, Frenchwoman Claire Denis. It’s about a side of Paris that most tourists (and maybe many Parisians) never notice; African workers. The main character is an African man, who is a train driver and single parent. Central to the film is his existence as a worker, and his relationship with his teenage daughter. When a colleague retires and then commits suicide, it makes him question his life and his future. As with most of Claire’s films, it gives the viewer much to meditate on, and no easy ending.
Read…..Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury). Romania isn’t a country I know much about. I do buy the Big Issue from the many Romanian women who now are a significant part of the community in the northwest. This book is the story of two young people pre and post the Second World War. It not only tells their story but also that of Romania during this period. Although a fictional account of this period of history, the author has travelled in and written about Romania. This book made me want to find out more about its history and why Romanian women are moving to this country.
Listen to.. Playing With A Different Sex (1981) by British punk band the Au Pairs. A mixed band of women and men they wrote and performed some of the most interesting lyrics and music about sexual politics.From songs about heroin addiction to the political protests of Irish republican prisoners in Armagh prison, their music showed their intellectual view of the world. It’s not just that it is political but also that they sing and perform with great emotion; angry and principled. catch them live on this Youtube clip
Visit…Salford Museum and Art Gallery for David Dunnico’s exhibition 1984 Looks Like This (17 March to 1 July). It’s a combination of black and white photos of CCTV surveillance and ephemera of George Orwell’s book 1984, different editions of the book, film posters etc. There is also William Robert’s painting of The Control Room, Civil Defence Headquarters, (1942) which was used as the front cover of 1984. It’s a scary exhibition which asks the question; why do some people feel safer with CCTV watching their daily life? Is it a weird twist on the celebrity status factor???????
Next blog post…exclusive interview with Ken Loach!!!