To see “Look Mickey” in person, Roy Lichtenstein’s breakthrough painting, is like looking at a lost relic – the root of all things Pop: his early, definitive style and satire already visible in his controlled brushstrokes, comic-book aesthetic and signature hand-painted Benday dots. This is a precursor to the most comprehensive exhibition of Lichtenstein’s work, spanning 13 rooms of the Tate Modern, which include his famed War and Romance works such as Whaam! And Oh, Jeff… I Love You, Too… But…. In spite of their notoriety, these works formed only four years of the artist’s expansive career, and in a wonderful conclusion to this thorough retrospective are presented his large-scale and lesser-known nudes and Chinese landscapes. Conceived towards the end of his life, Lichtenstein’s palette has paled, the tone is serene. There is a lack of speech-bubbles and the scale used is paramount to gently tease the viewer with a hint of quiet honesty that his earlier works exchange for their hugely influential commentary on mass reproduction and the mechanical age.
This remarkable and captivating retrospective is a masterful nod towards Lichtenstein’s oeuvre that changed art forever, showcasing his work contextually through the chronology of his life as well as allowing the viewer to understand the times and influences of his work. Notably the Art about Art room highlights Lichtenstein’s adherance to his formal training, his composition of line, form and colour, seen in his homage to Picasso’s Femme d’Alger and the reproduction of the Vatican’s Laocoön: within this idiom is embedded infinite creative potential to stylise anything. This is emotionalism pre-packaged in accordance with the masked outlines of his work (Plus and Minus VI) and the finite edges of the canvas as comic strip panels (Masterpiece): this is the legacy of one of the central figures of American Pop Art.
TIME AND PLACE
Daily from 10am – 6pm,
Friday and Saturday until 10pm
Stalker (1979) is a stunning and complex film, close to 3 hours of slow-burning shots and Russian dialogue examining human conciousness, faith and fear. Yet, A Nos Amours managed to present a sold out Sunday morning screening in the beautiful but hidden, Curzon Richmond. This was the second full house of 2 screenings, all eager to watch Tarkovsky’s Stalker on a well-maintained 35mm print sourced from Russia.
A Nos Amours invited Geoff Dyer to introduce the film that his recently published book, Zona, is all about. It was an engaging and passionate introduction that was also honest and funny; Dyer could have easily delivered a deluge of praise for the film he has so meticulously written about, but instead he warned first-time viewers of his early indifference, only then to gently hint at the magnitude of what was to come.
What was apparent during the screening was the atmosphere created by the audience’s respect for what they were viewing. I also heard that some had come back for a second time. I have a feeling this buzz was not only for the film itself – although excellent and integral – but an expected following of unsuspecting cinephiles, created from the ethos of A Nos Amours to program “over-looked, under-exposed or especially potent cinema.”
Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts, the two filmmakers behind the A Nos Amours collective, stayed after the film to speak to guests, many of whom they will no-doubt see again when they introduce their next film, Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, on Sunday 27th May 2012 at the Lexi Cinema.
On Saturday I went along to a midnight screening of PIECES (1982) at Rio Cinema, presented by Cigarette Burns Cinema. Although not literally at midnight but close enough for me (it started a bit after 11.30pm), Cigarette Burns Cinema are bringing back late night horror movie screenings for the cult film audience. It’s rare these days that cinemas will screen new releases late at night, let alone older and more obscure films.
Slightly tipsy or just slightly buzzed with the idea of watching a 35mm uncut print shipped from Europe especially for tonight, the atmosphere inside was upbeat and fun. The extreme gore and gratuitous nudity were fully appreciated by the audience, particularly the loud guy at the back with the booming laugh. Post-film drinks were accompanied by the music of a waify, suited DJ who looked like he could’ve come out of the film himself. As with every CBC event, film-goers could also browse and buy hard-to-come-by horror DVDs, soundtrack vinyl and prints courtesy of Psychotronic UK.
Aside from screening classic to obscure horror that I might never watch otherwise, what makes the Cigarette Burns Cinema events special is that they oblige to the tradition of the midnight movie – cult films with an audience who keep coming back. And I’ll be back on May 19th for The Return of the Living Dead.
PS: short person tip: the auditorium of the Rio is one of my favourites because I can sit back, comfortable in the knowledge that the guy’s head in front of me won’t block off a large portion of the screen.
The team was invited down to the second run of One Man Two Guvnors and we were definitely entertained.
The new cast never dropped the ball in this pacey production and Owain Arthur did a great job taking over from James Corden.
Owain especially shone in his moments of improvisation as he played with the audience and kept it rolling with the variety of hilarious gags.
My colleague was especially bewitched by the slick band that played at the start and through out the show. Ben Mansfield who plays Stanley Stubbers did a fantastic job and kept me in stitches.
The production is based on Goldini’s Italian Classic Comedy and is oozing with slapstick humour.
I would recommend this for all families and if you’re going on a date, this would get you in the good books.
The InFormed London team was invited to visit David Hockney’s latest exhibition. We visited on a Friday evening which allowed us to go home to freshen up first.
Once in, we could see it was a extremely popular exhibit, we picked up our audio tour aid, which my friend didn’t seem too keen on. I later realised why, the audio tour is cool, but I wanted to take the tour without: as it became intrusive and annoying to the experience.
The exhibition came in waves for me. At first you would get a current pulling you in, then slowly it built up to the climax of his larger pieces. Hockney’s view of the Yorkshire countryside made me want to escape in this smoothed over view of the world. His iPad drawings have a texture that will seduce you into touching them and make me want to download an app to start my own masterpiece. The video-wall was impressive and beautiful, although after a time it wasn’t as engaging, however I appreciated the simplicity of the idea.
I would definitely recommend this exhibition to all Londoners, and it particularly convenient that they offer late night Friday and Saturday viewings. The exhibit might help you forget about the weeks work and you can still catch a meal or drink afterwards or catch a party.
Let us know what you think of your visit
and don’t forgot guys… Stay InFormed
Hip Hop Shakespeare arrives in London for the first time and we’ve got to tell you – it’s a smasher! The ultra-modern musical takes Sharespeare’s traditional tale of love and misunderstanding and turns it on it’s head with energy, funk and urban slang.
This exceptional hip-hoptation delivers a performance that pushes the boundaries of musical theatre. You’re not going to find anything as unique and fun in the West End so book tickets now at Stratford East and prepare to become a huge fan. We guarantee you won’t regret it.
Watch the video below by the creators and directors The Q Brothers: