Just time to recommend a good Halloween film for anyone still trawling ‘best horror movies’ sites for inspiration. ‘The Village of the Damned’ was the one I plumped for (a little early) last night. It’s brilliantly grim and, with its opening scene of an entire community falling asleep at the same moment, it slightly reminded me of Mike Bartlett’s current play ‘13’ at The National Theatre. Anyway, I won’t spoil the story for anyone, suffice to say it’s a good antidote to anyone who thinks that children are the future.
Over the last few days, I’ve seen two other films worth recommending. ‘Midnight in Paris’ is the new Woody Allen movie, about a writer who finds himself transported back to the 1920s. It’s incredibly light, but also shows what you can do if you have the strength of your convictions. Just when you think the story’s backed itself into an impossible corner, it manages to raise things nicely to the next level. (Trying to make another link to ‘13’ here may be tenuous, but I had a sense whilst watching that production that it didn’t know quite how to do this. It has a similarly extraordinary premise, but ultimately retreats to safer territory, rather than fully expressing its potential.)
I also saw a screening of a fascinating new documentary ‘This is Not a Dream’ by Gavin Butt and Ben Walters as part of ‘Trashing Performance’ – a series of events looking at how artists and performers have explored the moving image. The film was at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, a great venue if you don’t already know it: http://www.timeout.com/london/clubs/venue/2:18800/bethnal-green-working-mens-club Amongst many of the revealing insights and bon mots provided by interviewees (including the likes of Dickie Beau and Scottee) was this, from American performance artist Vaginal Davis: ‘I prefer bad reviews. Especially the vitriolic ones. They really show that someone was paying attention.’ I’m not sure when this documentary will next be shown, but I’ll repost when I have more info…
Finally, a quick mention of April de Angelis’ new play ‘Jumpy’ at The Royal Court. Again, this felt very ‘light’, although there were lots of poignant moments. It’s a very enjoyable watch, and Tamsin Greig is great as the mother approaching 50, and meltdown, simultaneously. If you’ve seen it, though, it might be worth checking out Michael Billington’s Guardian review, which addresses the question of what sort of play a theatre should be producing... http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/oct/20/jumpy-review