Tag Archive: Radiohead

Why Woolf Works works

woolfworksIt might seem an odd notion to base a dance performance on three novels by Virginia Woolf, but Wayne McGregor is a choreographer who makes his own rules. He proves that great prose can inspire and captivate in the same way that the rhythmic flow of lyrical poetry can.

Woolf Works was premiered to huge acclaim in 2015 and is divided into three sections: ‘I Now, I Then’ is based on the themes in Mrs Dalloway; ‘Becomings’ takes its cues from the surreal wit & vitality of Orlando and ‘Tuesday’ is inspired by The Waves, Woolf’s most experimental novel.

This final section is also named after the heading to the suicide note Woolf left for her husband. This letter, which begins “I feel certain that I’m going mad again”, is beautifully read by Gillian Anderson as a preface to the profoundly moving conclusion.

The revival of these pieces was a hot ticket at The Royal Opera House but has now reached a wider audience thanks to a live worldwide broadcast in over 1,500 cinemas and more than 35 countries on February 8th 2017. Continue reading


SEXY BEAST directed by Jonathan Glazer (UK, 2000)

While waiting impatiently to see Under The Skin, I decided to take a look at director Jonathan Glazer’s earlier films.

I was familiar with his inventive work in advertising, notably the Guinness ads as well as his innovative videos with Radiohead and others but hadn’t seen either of his previous movies, Sexy Beast or Birth .

The boldness of Glazer’s debut on the former demonstrates the enormity of his talent. Not only does he assemble some fine actors but he also has the courage to cast against type.

Before seeing this movie, I wouldn’t have put Ben Kingsley down as an obvious choice to play an evil, villain. On paper, Ray Winstone would be more convincing as a violent sociopath. You only have to see Winstone’s charged performances in Scum or Nil By Mouth to know that such a role would have come easily to him.

Instead Winstone plays Gary ‘Gal’ Dove, a washed out hard man who has decided to take early retirement from his ‘career’ as a safe-breaker. Gal has moved to a Spanish villa to escape the “grey, grimy shithole” of England.

In the opening scene he suns himself beside a swimming pool to the sound of The Stranglers ‘Peaches’. A sign that this Mediterranean idyll is about to be cut short occurs when a huge boulder rolls down the hillside and narrowly misses flattening him. The rock splashes into the pool.  Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) as the human boulder is equally disruptive. Continue reading


The Crying Of Lot 49′ by Thomas Pynchon (first published in 1967)

This is not a review because, having struggled with this novel, I can’t think of anything meaningful to say that hasn’t already been said elsewhere on the net. It has the feel of a novel written while under the influence of LSD and probably makes more sense if the reader is tripping too.

Here are two quotes from pg 66 of the Picador paperback edition I read :

“Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end) she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements. intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly; leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back”.  

“I’m not sure I understand, Oedipa said”. Continue reading

runner in fieldSummer is officially the time to celebrate the great outdoors, so sport and exercise are frequently promoted as fun ‘al fresco’ activities for all the family.

I’m not a fitness fanatic but in recent years I’m become more proactive in fighting the flab that is the inevitable consequence of entering middle-age and beyond.

Aside from being more careful with my diet, I aim to do at least an hour’s exercise every day through a combination of power walking, light jogging, leisurely swimming and gentle workouts in the gym.

All of these could, in theory, be done in the company of others, but my independent (read anti-social) streak means that for the most part I sweat and strain alone.

I find that August is the cruellest month in which to pursue my modest programme of fitness related activities in and around my home in Northern Italy. Continue reading

In the first video for ‘supergroup’ ,Atoms For Peace , Thom Yorke gets his dancing shoes on again.

“Ingenue” is taken from the band’s debut album, Amok, and Yorke performs with beautiful contemporary dancer Fukiko Takase.

This witty and stylish piece was directed and choreographed by the same team that gave us Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower” .

It was directed by Garth Jennings  and choreographed by Random Dance founder,  Wayne McGregor.

Continue reading

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