Category: Italy


CAROL directed by Todd Haynes (USA, 2015)

carol_film_posterI borrowed this film from my local lending library in Cesena, Italy. This excellent ‘mediateca’,  somewhat anachronistically, continues to maintain a healthy stock of old and new DVDs.

In a card inside the case of more recent acquisitions you are invited to write what you think of the movie: “Lascia un commento, potresti convincere qulache indeciso” (Leave a comment – it may convince others who are undecided).

For Carol, there is just one review which (translated from Italian) states that it is “the story of an upper class woman who destroys the life of her husband and, not content with this, also ruins the life of a poor young working woman. All this in the name of a presumed sexual liberation. A film of homosexual propaganda”.

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The offending review of ‘Carol’.

This blinkered and spiteful reading of Todd Haynes’ elegant and intelligent movie illustrates that, despite some encouraging advances in LGBT rights, this is no time for complacency. Continue reading

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David Byrne live at the Ravenna Festival (Pala De André, 19th July 2018)

band in motion

The band in motion

Expectations for this show were raised when David Byrne announced that this was his most ambitious stage project since the celebrated ‘Stop Making Sense’ Talking Heads tour which has been captured for posterity by Jonathan Demme’s groundbreaking 1984 concert movie.

Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint.

It is a visual and aural treat from start to finish not least because all the conventional trappings of rock gigs are radically reimagined and redefined. The show is based on the core idea of enabling singers and musicians to be mobile on an empty stage. Continue reading

Jonathan Wilson’s hippy dream

RARE BIRDS album by Jonathan Wilson (Bella Union, 2018)
JONATHAN WILSON LIVE AT THE BRONSON CLUB, RAVENNA 20th April 2018

rare“There’s no fear, no hatred, no killers, no guns”. This is the hippy dream of Jonathan Wilson – songwriter, producer, musician and all round gentle spirit. It comes from a line in ‘Over The Midnight’, one of the many highlights from his latest feel good solo album ‘Rare Birds’.

Mellow LA vibes usually leave me cold but this record has really warmed my soul this year.

We are so resigned to expressions of cynicism and negativity that it takes music like this to remind us that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like this. Wilson admits that he wrote the ELO-esque ‘There’s A Light’ as a conscious antidote to the darkness that surrounds and inhibits us. Continue reading

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE directed by Lynne Ramsey (USA, 2018)

you_were_never_really_hereThis breathtaking and riveting film is based on a novella of the same name by Jonathan Ames. As the title suggests, it is the story of a man (Joe) deep in the throes of an existential crisis.

We see him hovering on a train platform evidently contemplating suicide and in a very real sense he is already half-dead inside. Ramsey described Joe as “a ghost in his own life”. Continue reading

ASK ME ASK ME ASK ME by Patrick Potter (Carpet Bombing Culture, 2017)

ask meI have no idea how this little gem of a book got to be stocked at the shop of Bologna’s Museum of Modern Art but I’m grateful for some employee’s initiative and vision.

Its subtitle is ‘Random questions for awesome conversations’ and that, together with some lively graphics, is exactly what you get.

The content recognizes the sad truism that the human race is rapidly losing the art of conversation. It promotes the notion that asking and answering questions is a step towards reviving this vital social skill.

The zombie-like addiction to screens of all shapes and sizes means that we risk forgetting the pleasures and perils of ‘real’ human interaction. Left unchecked, this will leave us increasingly technologically connected and physically isolated. Continue reading

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