Tuesday, 31 January 2012

randomness part 2: out there something is stirring

When we thought shopping centres were the future; before we wanted this back ... 1963 Hartlepool, demolished 1968 to make way for the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, uploaded to flickr by the Museum of Hartlepool

Having accepted I listen to BBC Radio 4 so much I feel like it's giving me messages (see previous blog post), I might as well continue to spread the word. In March the AV festival takes over the north-east of England with an impressive schedule of film, art, talks, walks and music that includes Sunn 0)))/Mayhem singer Csihar's alchemical audio ritual, Scrying, which explores time and local geography past and present. Tickets go on sale soon for Edinburgh's Dead By Dawn festival later that month, and also in March, at London's Barbican, is Complicite's radical theatre version of The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov's tale of the devil wreaking surreal havoc in 1930s Moscow. I'm rereading it just now, along with Somerset Maugham's Aleister Crowley-inspired The Magician. The latter is increasingly unsettling, the former light relief. By the time I've finished the Maugham I might need some Meg and Mog.

On the headphones Blanck Mass and Raime have been filling my ears with clubby, eerie, horror-style soundtracks. Raime, along with his Blackest Ever Black record label chums offer an online tour of their favourite dark, occulty corners of London, among them the Atlantis bookshop and the Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead. Luca Blast Forlani takes the audience on a similar tour by video in Intruders: Urban Explorers, creating an artful mix of sound, vision and machines moving Svankmajer-like by themselves in abandoned Italian factories, psych wards, theatres and more.

The Hauntological Society blog has covered lots of interesting things over the past year, including most recently the Changes (which has been in my draft posts for a year and a half - ahem, no rush, plenty of room for more about it), JG Ballard, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Rounds of applause in particular for trumpeting the magical Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, the cult 60s Czech fairytale-horror that inspired Broadcast among many. Valerie's a spellbinder and I never tire of it. But I do still have room for new films. Or waiting for them. Like Jim Jarmusch's vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive, which will apparently have John Hurt and Tilda Swinton among the cast. Not so much we all scream for ice-cream as we all just scream.

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