Recent Articles

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

'The Internship' (2013) directed by Shawn Levy

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

The Internship is incredibly bizarre.  A mainstream comedy that spends two hours giving a loving, soapy titwank to an enormously wealthy multinational corporation.  A film that gets down on its knees and with a song in its heart commences giving Google the best blowjob of its life.   Maybe it needs one, the rampant tax dodging and secret NSA spying programs  have taken much of the lustre from the Google brand.  But this isn't going to heal the company's image -it's more like rubbing salt into the wound. This is a powerfully lame film. 

Read more »

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer' (2013) directed by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

A defining symbol of the modern age is an individual standing in opposition to vast, oppressive state machinery.  Perhaps the defining image is Tiananmen Square's 'Tank Man', an unknown individual standing in front of a column of tanks, a simple protest that reverberated around the world, becoming one of the iconic images of the 20th century. There's something both inspiring and terrifying about individuals who are prepared to throw themselves into the gears of a vast machine, becoming a thorn in the side of men with Mammon-like financial resources, literal armies of goons and very dark and miserable holes that they can throw you in.  

This documentary follows the process by which a state brings its full might to bear on Nadya, Katya and Masha, three members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk rock art collective famous for their guerilla performances. Their most notorious and effective invoved them invading the soleas of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and singing a "punk prayer" to protest the Orthodox Church's support of Vladimir Putin.

Read more »

Monday, June 24, 2013

'Die Antwoord' at the Brixton Academy, 24th June 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

The first thing you have to realise about Die Antwoord is that they're simultaneously the realest thing ever and utterly, totally artificial.  The second thing you have to realise is that that distinction means absolutely nothing.  Die Antwoord (Afrikaans for "The Answer") are a rap/rave group from South Africa.  The primary members are; Ninja, a tattooed, wirily muscled aggressive rap gangster/superhero; Yo-landi Vi$$er, a screeching, foul mouthed machine-gun spitting, jailbait trash-princess; and DJ Hi-Tek, master of beats, prone to wearing freakish masks and angrily yelling about sodomy.

Read more »

Sunday, June 23, 2013

'Death Ship 666!' at The Courtyard, 21st June 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 1 Comment

I've always felt that comedy works best in as stripped down a form as possible.  A general rule (and one with obvious exceptions) is that the more money you throw at a production the less funny it becomes.  Intricate staging, expensive props and pyrotechnics are all great at creating spectacle, but spectacle isn't funny.  On the other hand, all you need to make them laugh is a stage, a script and some talented actors.  Death Ship 666! goes a long way to proving this rule

Read more »

Friday, June 21, 2013

'Renoir' (2012) directed by Gilles Bourdos

Friday, June 21, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

Renoir is beautiful.  The French Riviera becomes a colour-saturated, delicately textured paradise.  Bourdos has succeeded in bottling sunlight, constructing an impossibly attractive cinematic hyper-reality that makes the grey world outside the cinema impossibly drab.  This is a Garden of Eden, and is host to a fabulous Eve, who spends large portions of the film  naked, lounging around in nature, tangled red hair falling sensuously around her breasts.  This is visually intoxicating stuff.  

Read more »

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Viramundo' (2013) directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

Cultures colliding can lead to wonderful things, a fusion that combines the best of both worlds.  Unfortunately, as history tells us, these clashes tend to lead to destruction.  Power imbalances are exploited, the enormous weight of one colonising culture begins a conscious erasure of what it's landed on.  This global cultural desecration was carried out with gusto for most of the last century, ethnic cultures systemically being converted to a Western model: languages forgotten, traditions abandoned, rituals blown away like dust in the wind; a thousand years of culture destroyed in favour of Christianity and capitalism.

Read more »

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Man of Steel' (2013) directed by Zack Snyder

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

“I'm as American as it gets.” - Superman in Man of Steel
He sure is.  Superman is the quintessential 20th Century American fable.  He's the ultimate immigrant, an orphan blasted across the stars from a literal Old World.  A man trying to reconcile his ethnic heritage with his apple pie Kansas upbringing.  Though it's been 75 years since two working class Jewish high school students put pen to paper and created him, he's never strayed too far from the original conception; that of someone who beats up bullies; be they slumlords, wife-beaters and corrupt politicians in the thirties, to Hitler and the Axis powers, to alien overlords and supergeniuses in the modern day.

Read more »

'LUPA Fete' behind James Campbell House, 15th of June 2013

- by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

From my first visit, one thing that always impressed me about LUPA is the willingness to engage with the local community.  It's arguable that they don't have much of a choice; running a monthly (and occasionally pretty noisy) performance art event out of a garage surrounded by people's flats is the kind of thing that gets the council cracking down on you in a hurry.  But I've never sensed that LUPA's community ties are an obligation; this engagement both a source of pride and something that strengthens the work on display.  The world of performance art can seem impossibly insular at times; the same hundred or so artists performing almost exclusively to each other in a mutually congratulatory circlejerk.  

Read more »

Thursday, June 13, 2013

'Stuck in Love' (2012) directed by Josh Boone

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 1 Comment

Stuck in Love is a film where an idiot, writer/director Josh Boone, tries to imagine what smart people act like.  I hated this film.  I really, really fucking despised it.  I despised it to the point where my head was throbbing with sheer hatred.  I sunk down in my seat lower and lower as it went on, a black aura with hints of crimon forming around me.  I was a gravitational black hole of sheer unadulterated anger that someone out there would have the nerve to make a film this godawfully shitty.  I was glaring at the screen with such ferocity that I half expected it to catch fire, so strong were the dark, negative vibes streaming out of me.  

Read more »

Competition: Tickets to see 'Pussy Riot! - A Punk Prayer for Freedom', 23rd June 2013

- by londoncitynights · - 1 Comment

Competition time!

The Open City Documentary Festival has kindly given me a prize of a pair of tickets for Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom on 23rd July at 3pm in the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

The film is a documentary produced by HBO, being screened as part of the Open City Docs Fest.  
"On Feb. 21, 2012, members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, donning their colorful trademark balaclavas, or ski masks, participated in a 40-second “punk prayer protest” on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral before being detained. Arrested and tried for trespassing, wearing “inappropriate” sleeveless dresses and disrupting social order, Nadia, Masha and Katia were accused of religious hatred in a trial that reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society. 
An official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit, PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER tells their story with exclusive interviews and unprecedented access to courtroom footage. 
Filmed over the course of six months by directors Mike Lerner (HBO’s “Afghan Star”) and Maxim Pozdorovkin, PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER reveals the real people behind the balaclavas. Through interviews with band members, family and the defense team and unprecedented footage of the trial, the film highlights the forces that transformed these women from playful political activists to modern-day icons, exposing the state of Russian justice in the modern era."
This is a subject close to my heart.  I've attended protests at the Russian Embassy in London and theatrical recreations of the trial.  I've written extensively about the case here: 

To win these tickets: 

Simply email me or comment below with the most abrasive, punk-rock as hell all-girl band name you can come up with. Something that'll strike terror into the hearts of misogynists! Something that'd look great on a faded t-shirt! Something that the very sound of will make the patriarchy shudder in panic and run for the hills!

Admittedly 'Pussy Riot' is hard to beat - but I'm sure you can come up with something great.

I'll post the best ones on Monday morning and announce the winner.

The competition is CLOSED.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

'Black Rock' (2012) directed by Kate Aselton

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

Black Rock is a cinematic Frankenstein's monster: a movie stitched together from elements of indie mumblecore relationship drama and exploitation survival horror, two genres that mix about as well as oil and water.  If you've ever watched a film where two girls in turtlenecks listen to Belle and Sebastian while working out their relationship issues and you thought "dammit, I wish one of these girls would just jam a knife through someone's throat" this might be the movie for you. 

Read more »

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Stone Roses at Finsbury Park, 8th June 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

It’s one of those moments I never thought I’d live to see.  Before my very eyes Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni stride onto a stage to rapturous applause and launch straight into I Wanna Be Adored.  The Stone Roses are a band tailor-made for mythmaking; their first album is widely (and correctly) regarded as one of the greatest British albums of all time and their monumental concert at Spike Island in 1990 is considered a pivotal moment in British musical history.  Following this triumph the band descended into a murky gestation period for their followup, Second Coming, which was eventually released in 1994 to mixed reviews.  

Read more »

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

‘This is the End’ (2013) directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 1 Comment

Just who do these Hollywood types think they are?  Surely it’s the ultimate in vanity to produce a blockbusting disaster film about your social scene, casting your friends as themselves and filling the script with in-jokes and references? This is the End reeks of  the worst kind of narcissistic exercise. But, dammit, it almost pains me admit it, but it’s also the funniest film I’ve seen in a very long time.

Read more »

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

‘State of the Art Cinema’ at the Getty Images Gallery, 3rd June 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - by londoncitynights · - 0 Comments

A swarm of peripheral imagery surrounds every movie: trailers, TV spots, production stills, costume shots and, most eye-catchingly, the movie poster.  In purely utilitarian terms a movie poster is simply an advert for the film.  To be successful a poster should quickly communicate the name of the film, who’s in it and something about the content of the film.  Yet there’s an indefinable quality about movie posters that can elevate them above mere advertising; a great poster creates its own iconography; think of Jaws, Scarface, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting or Ghostbusters and their posters instantly spring to mind.

Read more »

© All articles copyright LONDON CITY NIGHTS.
Designed by SpicyTricks, modified by LondonCityNights