Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Arvikafestivalen

28 March, 2009

Click here for poster at higher resolution

Now that March has seemingly flown by without a trace, little obvious sign of the winter workload relenting has brought on the desire to fast-forward to the summer and some semblance of a real vacation. After thoroughly browsing through the summer festival pickings up for grabs, the selection has finally been narrowed down by the help of a friend who knows exactly which musicians to whom I’m most likely to fork over my hard-earned cash for three memorable days of performances and crowd revelry in celebration of some of the most talented acts on the festival circuit. And in this case it’ll be 1195,00 kronor (roughly £100) channelled for the Arvikafestivalen 2009 line-up that is massively (if not absolutely) unparalleled. Of course others such as Hultsfred, Roskilde, The Big Chill and Glade festivals are all fantastically enticing alternatives in and around the UK. But with this one being in Arvika — not to mention the inclusion of Nine Inch Nails on their ‘last tour‘ alongside new material featured by Fever Ray, Depeche Mode, Röyksopp, Jenny Wilson, KoRn, The Mars Volta and the eclectic list goes on — it’s almost impossible to pass up on the opportunity. Having said that, it might also be worth applying for a press pass prior to the 31st May deadline for some exclusive insights if you’re a photographer or journalist.

So if you’re reading this and already planning on going, feel free to get in touch for some fun camping coordination in July. And don’t forget to switch off your lights tonight at 8.30pm local time for Earth Hour!

Sarah Badr © MMIX

See also: Fever ray (pieces at random)

Beginning the end (pieces at random)

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Beginning the end

28 February, 2009

I absolutely refuse for this to be the last time I write about Trent Reznor — and it won’t be. But what I’d like this to be is an open letter, less for protest, but rather more for clarification. Because the phrase ‘disappear for a while’ is certainly one of the last things you’d like to hear being spoken by the man responsible for producing the music you discovered you couldn’t not love the first time you watched Mark Romanek’s ‘Perfect Drug‘, then enamoured by its absinthe-coloured allusion. Indeed that was also the same year I had listened to Bowie’s ‘I’m Afraid of Americans‘ and eventually figured out the connection amongst others that bound NIN to the 1997 hit single as well as to Tool, Jane’s Addiction, Aphex Twin, Mötley Crüe and producer Bob Ezrin. But I know better than to plead, for as any fan of Nine Inch Nails would know, Reznor’s announcement at the end of last year doesn’t really come as a surprise. Any exacting musician has good sense of when a break is needed. And the ongoing decline resulting from the industry’s marginally adaptive 1990s MO further backfiring in the face of the tightening of fans’ purse-strings in difficult economic times hasn’t exactly made it easy to fill concert halls to the brim.

So the news of an impending and indefinite hiatus has again resurfaced lately, in preparation for what may be considered the final assembling of NIN on-stage, touring alongside resurrected fellow Alt-Nation legends Jane’s Addiction. In an earlier statement issued by Reznor on the band’s official site, he wrote ‘2009 marks the 20th anniversary of our first releases. I’ve been thinking for some time now it’s time to make NIN disappear for a while. Last year’s ‘Lights in the Sky’ tour was something I’m quite proud of and seems like the culmination of what I could pull off in terms of an elaborate production. It was also quite difficult to pull off technically and physically night after night and left us all a bit dazed. After some thought, we decided to book a last run of shows across the globe this year. The approach to these shows is quite different from last year — much more raw, spontaneous and less scripted. Fun for us and a different way for you to see us and wave goodbye.’ He asks, ‘Will it work? Will it resonate in the marketplace? Who knows. Is there big record label marketing dollars to convince you to attend? Nope. Does it feel right to us and does it seem like it will be fun for us and you? Yes it does.’

And perhaps he’s right. After all, the NIN canon has continued on strong since 1989, and the last few in particular have led to milestones that would be best kept untarnished in memory. The output of Reznor’s multifaceted genius coupled with his ever-changing team of musicians, engineers and producers has survived a spate of conflicts facing music corpocracy since as early as the 1990s with TVT Music up until Reznor’s decision to split with Interscope in 2007. As he puts it, ‘Corporate rock still sucks.’ That considered, an intimate tour allowing fans to remember and revel in the previous twenty-seven halos would be just the thing that’s needed at a time like this to celebrate all that’s been put forth since Pretty Hate Machine. As such, there’s a real chance that I may fork over a large sum of money I don’t yet have for a ticket when the tour schedule is announced. I had the opportunity to see NIN perform in Brixton back in October 2007 whilst on the European leg of their Live: With Teeth tour, and my memory of the performance which culminated in a profoundly moving keyboard solo for the very same ‘Hurt‘ that Johnny Cash himself later re-interpreted to great effect is reason enough to see them again. And the Beside You in Time DVD (clip below) provides additional incentive, though unlikely needed.

It may be worth mentioning that I respect Trent Reznor as much as I enjoy listening to NIN, for his understanding in the complexities of groundbreaking composition as much as for his having endured twenty years whilst making progress through well-made decisions rather than following a falsely lucrative spiral down. Having stood his ground in regards to both preserving his creative independence and being outspoken with his view of the previous US administration (to the extent of choosing not to perform), Reznor has come a long way in achieving the career he has whilst also evolving into the man he is today. He’s known for having told fans to ‘steal‘ his music. And upon finding out that the US Military had reportedly been using his music in the torture of detainees, he immediately issued the following statement: ‘It’s difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you’ve put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture. If there are any legal options that can be realistically taken they will be aggressively pursued, with any potential monetary gains donated to human rights charities. Thank God this country has appeared to side with reason and we can put the Bush administration’s reign of power, greed, lawlessness and madness behind us.’

But I must admit that I dislike to even think that the word ‘final’ fits into this equation. Deep down, I still have a sneaking suspicion that a special edition DVD will follow, alongside a greatest hits round-up and perhaps some more of that phenomenal instrumental dreamscape composition from Reznor as seen on Ghosts I-IV (the first to be released under a Creative Commons license under his independent imprint The Null Corporation, accompanied by a visually successful video competition about which I shall be posting shortly). Maybe Tapeworm will be brought out from under the dust and revived, or maybe Reznor will produce IDM under an alias, to be released on his own net-based label to continue the trend he helped to begin with Radiohead and that now Portishead is considering to follow (more on that soon). Or maybe he’ll help to turn-out a few more protégés to combat the increasingly uninspired ‘twee‘ sound of the industry mainstream. Or eventually (ideally) this would culminate in a reunion tour of sorts, five or so years down the line…Who knows? But I do know one thing: This is most definitely not the last time I will be writing about Nine Inch Nails.

Sarah Badr © MMIX

Nine Inch Nails – ‘Beside You in Time’, 12 of 19
North America, Winter 2006 (
Halo 22)

See also: The slip (pieces at random)

Downward spiral (pieces at random)

Rainbow revolution (pieces at random)

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Crush on you

14 February, 2009

Just in time for St. Valentine‘s day of reckoning and the launch of Virb 2.0: From the wonderful people who brought us Fifty People, One Question comes yet another inspired idea that aims to bring us together through the spirit of love and generosity. Only this time, the Crush + Lovely creative studio based between New York and San Francisco have narrowed the number down to two lucky winners in their offer of  a round-trip, all-expense-paid ‘nerd-core’ getaway very aptly dubbed ‘Crush on You‘. The designated destination? New York or San Francisco, for some webernet schmoozing and dining over a fourteen course ‘tasting’ menu (mezzes anyone?) with two of the six eligible bachelors and bachelorettes on show: Julia Allison ([non]society), Brad Smith (Virb), Dan Rubin (Sidebar Creative), Emily Doubilet (Sustainable Party), Kenneth Chu and Jina Bolton (both Crush + Lovely). Now basically what would have to happen in order to win this chance to, as they say, ‘meet them face to face to flirt, frolic, and make out to your heart’s content with mutual consent’ is to follow Crush + Lovely on Twitter (@crushlovely) in order to help them reach their 14,000 target.

The refreshingly not-so-small and rather people-friendly print for eligibility in this special rendezvous extravaganza is coordination of travel dates whenever most convenient for all those who will be involved (offer void where prohibited), whilst guaranteeing good fun, i.e. ‘not in any way creepy, sketchy, or oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-he/she-just-touched-me-there-y’. This is also ‘including but not limited to […] hay making, rick rolling, play faking, code doling, tongue lashing, hash tagging, the over under, the heart asunder, shotgun weddings, or the taking of toast and tea’. As I’ve already entered, fellow Twitterers next-door will already know who I’ve chosen (see reason for choice in tweet followed by #crushonyou) — though admittedly when the odds are 14,000+ to one, the chances of actually getting to meet one of these young and fetching web wizards is slim. It’s still a lovely idea, nonetheless — not to mention that congratulations are due for the launch of Crush + Lovely’s beautiful new site. And so it is on that note that I shall leave you with Édith Piaf‘s classic ‘À quoi ça sert l’amour ?’ featuring Theo Serapo.  Have a happy (preferably not sappy) Valentine’s!

Film by Louis Clichy and Cube Creative based in Paris.

Sarah Badr © MMIX

See also: To wake up… (pieces at random)

Parlement of foules (pieces at random)

Winter wrap-up v.1 (pieces at random)

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Mideast unveiled

9 February, 2009

Untitled from the Like Everyday Series
by Shadi Ghadirian, 2000-2001
C-print, 183 x 183 cm

Following the rather successful inaugural exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery last October, the time has come for yet another show to take over the gallery’s stunningly spacious new home over at The Duke of York’s Headquarters in Sloan Square. Still in line with the geopolitical themes presiding in The Revolution Continues: New Art from China, the second installation sees Charles Saatchi travelling to the Middle East to compile the latest additions to a collection of work steeped in the controversies of history, politics, ideology and tradition. Unveiled: New art from the Middle East presents a group of artists primarily from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia, many of whom are based in the United States and throughout Europe. And it comes as a result of this variance that their work is diversely broad in scope, style, and media all ranging between full-room installations comprised of industrial materials to more intimately-sized abstractionist paintings. Having visited every Saatchi exhibit since The Triumph of Painting in 2005 (Wilhelm Sasnal’s Girl Smoking portraits are still firmly placed amongst my favourite contemporary pieces today), I am certainly looking forward to attending Unveiled this season.

Though admittedly as someone who has long been exposed to the art scenes of both Mideast proper and that which has situated itself around expatriate communities abroad with a connection to the region, I am curious to see how viewing such works chez Charles will impact my perception of the nature of these pieces as well as the general state of the thriving art markets of cities such as Cairo, Beirut and Dubai. And as was the case with The Revolution Continues, there are several artists whose work I will be particularly wanting to see: the photography of Shadi Ghadirian (image above), Kader Attia’s Ghost installation, the quilted mixed-media piece of Sara Rahbar, and the highly stylized paintings of Hayv Kahraman. Also in light of the beautifully clean canvas that is provided by the vast walls of  The Duke of York’s HQ, the collection will without a doubt be very much in line with continuing the Saatchi Gallery legacy of housing the work of artists not conventionally shown in other contemporary art institutions in London, and as such once more shaking up the art world to launch a trend that will sweep through the marketplace with just as much controversy as the talent that it serves to showcase.

Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East runs until 6th May, 2009.

Sarah Badr © MMIX

See also: USA Today (pieces at random)

New Saatchi home (pieces at random)

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Going indoors

4 February, 2009

As the young Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude overlooked the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, a tag was described in narration as being ‘a reply, a call to those who heard, like a dog’s bark understood across fences’. Set on the Heights Promenade in The Fortress of Solitude, a sentence from that chapter still lingers with me years after having read it: ‘Under oblivious eyes, the invisible autographed the world.’ It was through this monumental saga by Jonathan Lethem that I first began to understand street art and the multifaceted history that has brought it off streets and into galleries today. In a plot spanning generations in Brooklyn’s Gowanus projects between the 1970s and 90s, the Solitude‘s story was one painted by graffiti as representation of cultural identity, musical heritage and gentrification. Tags representing names were the artists’ signatures sprayed on the sides of  buildings and trains, to be displayed to the world en route to the next destination. A fine line running through the graffiti underground defined the segmented yet not entirely separate areas of self-expression, vandalism, and street culture that were so richly diversified by an impoverished creative youth and their livelihoods often stereotyped by gangs and crime. Yet since its very inception, the cryptic messages alluding to the characters bearing credit for colourful blurbs and stencilled imagery were just as much a mark of their own brands as it was their ideas.

The cover of the Faber edition of the Solitude pays homage to the tags within: ‘DOSE’ etched in black, sprawling in its myriad ways. Anyone from Gowanus would have known that it was the work of Mingus Rude. And Dylan Ebdus’ as well, although he himself had no ‘name’ of his own, and therein lay the metaphor of his personal conflict. Since before the time of Christ, the etches and inscriptions on surfaces (‘to scratch’ in Italian’s graffiare) served as signage to communicate messages for public consumption (initially believed to be that of prostitution). It’s interesting to think that even the current revival of graffiti in the Middle East, for example, can be drawn back to examples of proto-Arabic Safaitic in the Arabian peninsula region in prehistoric times. But ‘modern’ graffiti as we understand it today began to take its overt shape in the late 60s on the streets of cities such as London (‘Clapton is God‘), Philadelphia and New York. Implemented by music-lovers, activist ideologues and groups protective of their urban territories, New York City came to the fore as a graffiti centre in the 1970s, where the use of tags as ‘bombs’ was introduced onto the subway network, and the mirroring of a growing hip-hop music scene in both competitive quality and source of inspiration was undeniable. It’s this street sub-culture with its off-shoot terminology and music that’s conjured the names of Lethem’s characters (Bob Dylan and Charles Mingus) and the likes of Bomb the System.

Written by Adam Bhala Lougha, the award-nominated film features a group of New York graffiti artists and coincidentally enough, a fantastic score composed by alternative hip-hop artist El-P. But it took until halfway through the 1980s for street art to go indoors and formally enter the art world. The very foundation of the United Graffiti Artists in 1972 served the eventual purpose of drawing artists into a gallery environment that would spotlight their work with a respect often lacking in its habitual haunts of the urban built environment. Neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was the graffiti artist formerly known as ‘SAMO’ (Same Old Shit) whose work bore the ‘wildstyle’ combo of hip-hop and spray-paint. Graffiti artist John Fekner was said to have demonstrated the plight of New York’s deteriorating standards in urban living through ‘art interventions’ portraying many concerns towards the social and political welfare of the city’s inhabitants throughout the 80s. Fekner is well-known for these word installations underpinned by contemporary urban issues and stencilled on buildings throughout New York. And consequently, as city officials moved to drive forward ‘clean-up’ campaigns to rid the streets of what they viewed to be vandalism, graffiti became more commonplace in galleries overground.

It is this move that helped to continue the ‘culture jam’ of political and socio-economic subversion dominating as artists’ themes. While a debate raged on as to whether or not graffiti was ‘art’ in the first place, Basquiat and others like him exhibited in their own studios. A show at the Brooklyn Museum in 2006 has since paid tribute to such graffiti legends, and designer Marc Ecko has long been an advocate of graffiti as art. Increasingly popular in the commercial mainstream over the years, advertising has picked up on graffiti in tactical account planning to push product hype: IBM launched a campaign in 2001 which saw the spraying of sidewalks in San Francisco with tags such as ‘Peace, Love and Linux’. Last year, Youdoodoll founder Sarah Lu launched a ‘paint-off’ in association with Pepe Jeans, stencilling some colour onto Portobello Road’s façade. And of course who can forget Obey Giant’s Shepard Fairey (headline photo) and his iconic posters for Barack Obama? Widening acclaim for his cross-hatched propaganda and street art has landed him at the Irvine Contemporary with Regime Change Starts at Home, and Manifest Hope over at the DC Gallery. Fairey has also collaborated with Syd Garon and Paul Griswold on N.A.S.A.’s debut promo for the track ‘Money’ — once more seeing the meld of hip-hop, street art and bold political statement.

The current exhibition of subversion artist Brad Downey over at StolenSpace‘s Dray Walk Gallery in East London is another fine example of street art being contained within the confines of a gallery setting. Titled An Honest Thief and running until 8th February as his first solo show in the capitol, Downey presents visual challenges to urban archetypes through the mangling of street signs and riddling of traffic markers (photo above). His concoctions of ‘found art’ in the urban spaces of Atlanta, New York, London and Berlin are founded upon his being a member of a family within which his upbringing inextricably bound him to the US Marine Corps’ itinerant lifestyle. As such, Downey’s understanding of varied systems of regulation endemic to geopolitical landscapes is one of the reasons why he is so fine-tuned in producing provocative displays of de-regulation in the public setting. Currently a lecturer on ‘unsanctioned public artwork’ (himself a graduate of the Slade School and Pratt Institute), his understanding of urban art within a framework of social context is translated into his assembled pieces. By removing the facets of mundane objects succumbed to the status quo, he re-interprets them only to then put them back in — infusing re-instalment with a new-found sense of meaning still relevant to their initial metropolitan situations set out by political city officials and ‘official’ urban planners.

Another exhibit I’ve visited (although almost exactly a year ago to date) was an Urban Angel retrospective in East London. The primary grassroots urban art dealer comprised of a small group of private collectors and affiliated artists diversified in the creative styles of stencilling, urban sculpture and contemporary street art is set firmly amongst my favourite of creative London rosters today. With the work of street artist PURE EVIL‘s Charley Edwards and his vampire bunnies featuring last year with pieces such as the pink-sprayed ‘FUCK ART LETS DANCE’ and infamous ‘LIVE EAST DIE YOUNG’, the space presented many more examples of graffiti artistry. Edwards, influenced by San Francisco’s skateboard culture and graffiti artist Twist, launched a spray-campaign in London to examine what he states as being the question of the ‘big picture’: ‘What does evil look like?’ The  positive reception it received is certainly far from surprising: February 2008 saw the industry puritan Bonhams‘ first auction dedicated to urban art, further anchoring the style in commercial mainstream. Having newly opened its permanent Art Lounge space on Redchurch Street this past December, the show titled XXI is previewing tomorrow by invitation and will run throughout the month with original features from artists such as Copyright, Derek Albeck, Dotmasters, Inkie, Know Hope and Zeus (of the distressed Chanel graffiti given mention here a while back).

And bidding us return back to New York is yet another specimen of London graffiti via the world-trekking Banksy. Obviously not needing any more formal introduction, Banksy exhibitions taking place since 2000 and his recent selling of works at auctions for unprecedented sums in the urban art world is news buzzing regularly through today’s media circuit. He is, of course, one of the most recognizable icons in the graffiti street art movement; and with a reputation that precedes him, he’s acquired fame despite his adamantly maintaining pseudonymity. In October last year, Banksy’s comical ‘Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill‘ sprang up in New York’s West Village (see video below), taking his incredibly intelligent style of satire to even higher levels. The tongue-in-cheek guerilla installation, as filmed by the talented filmmaker Seth Brau, pokes fun at everything from consumer culture and fast-food, to surveillance society and its own self-deprecation. The animatronics involved so greatly departs from anything else seen on street art’s urban horizon that it nearly inadvertently demonstrates the great diversity and potential in street art as an artform in its having done so.

And so it is in the midst of all such irony that it appears the artworld’s institutionalized industry of traditional, ‘un-street’ setting most famously adorns the greatest visual impacts of artists whose autographs are no longer invisible — and whose audience is not so oblivious after all… Filmed and edited by Seth Brau. Music title ‘Barefootin” by Daniel Holter and Kyle White of the Burst Collective. Courtesy of Burst Labs and Extreme Music (Sony/ATV).

Sarah Badr © MMIX

See also: Street value (pieces at random)

Warhol v Banksy (pieces at random)

My playground (pieces at random)

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Great unveiling

28 January, 2009

Like The Medium‘s Virginia Heffernan, I too am a self-confessed TED addict. Sparked by my first viewing of director Jehane Noujaim‘s presentation after she received the TED prize in 2006, I’ve since been keeping close tabs on the various speakers specialized in a wide variety of disciplines encapsulated by the ‘technology, entertainment, design’ cachet that the conference series has set out for itself from the time of its inception. Held annually since 1990 after it was founded by graphic designer and architect Richard Saul Wurman six years prior, the lectures limited within an inspiringly rigorous eighteen-minute time-frame offer over 300 insights of expertise freely available online today. Focused on a marked contribution to contemporary issues related to the sciences and humanities, the TED talks culminate with the awarding of the TED Prize each year, giving three individuals $100,000 alongside their being granted one wish ‘to change the world’ (Noujaim‘s wish had been to organize Pangea Day, with an aim to foster cross-cultural understanding through film).

Ordinarily held in Monterey, the TED 2009 Conference will be held in Long Beach, California this year. And commencing in five days, the programme is set to bring together an unrivalled set of speakers throughout its four-day duration, including Bill Gates, marketing guru Seth Godin, futurist Juan Enriquez, musician Herbie Hancock, and many more. A few of them have already been featured in previous years, though there’s no doubt that the calibre of discussion created will be as unprecedented as ever. I’m particularly excited about the upcoming lecture by maestro Dr. José Antonio Abreu, one of this year’s recipients of the TED Prize, and the founder of El Sistema in Venezuela. For some comprehensive insight into his revolutionary system of music education and its reformative socio-economic impact over the past thirty-four years, I strongly recommend you get your hands on BBC’s Imagine episode featuring music director Gustavo Dudamel and airing this past November.

As usual, the talks will soon be available on the TED site, YouTube and Miro. And another to look out for on the TED calendar will be the TED Global Conference, which will be held in Oxford this year. So luckily for fellow TED addicts who might be stranded in the UK this summer, registration is still open for those who would enjoy a less virtual viewing venue.

Sarah Badr © MMIX

See also: Seth Godin’s Blog

Pangea day (pieces at random)

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Sweet sixteen

16 December, 2008

With last Monday, 8th December, having been tipped as the UK’s ‘busiest day‘ for online shopping this year, it is no wonder why Christmas shoppers should want to avoid the annual social exercise in commercial sadomasochism we know all to well. Absolutely no amount of indoctrination can distract from the silly if not mind-numbingly tiresome fact that what awaits is the biohazard of elbow-in-side queuing for thankless, hours-on-end competition for that [insert popular children’s toy here], only to find stock inevitably obsolete despite retailers’ prior knowledge of the oncoming onslaught of afterschool TV-driven demand. Not wanting to develop this ranting polemic on the institutionalisation of the season any further, I’ll refrain from complaint. Fortunately for adults, the gift-giving affair can be foregone entirely without insult or childhood trauma. And for those bold enough with seasonal nostalgia, it is indeed nice every now and then to get or make a little something special for friends and family as a token of one’s unyielding appreciation. Year after year, my family and I have re-interpreted the holiday ritual in an arts-and-crafts spin-off of Santa’s workshop at home, a sort of open-ended project for the Advent calendar and something to which I most look forward every year — even on occasions we’re not actually able to spend it together. But as this year’s recipient list incorporates several additions for whom cutesy cards and crazy-glued undecipherable objects won’t be wholly appropriate,  I must confess that I too have joined the hoards of online shoppers. After all, if the government hopes to stimulate consumer spending by a meagre 2.5 percent cut in VAT, why not humour them?

Now whether or not my contribution in shopping-list format will actually help the economy is a point in moot. But as they say, it’s the thought that counts — and this year, my most sought-after stocking-stuffer of choice is the indispensable CINEMA 16: European Short Films. For movie buffs with various tastes (especially for shorts with international flare), this DVD film collection showcases some impressively captivating classics and award-winners, each averaging at around twenty minutes long.  Compiled on the same CINEMA16 platform that has released World, American, and British short film variants over the years, these sixteen films spanning the European continent would otherwise be rather difficult to come by on their own unless hidden somewhere in the YouTube archives. Including fascinating early works of European directing legends such as Jean-Luc Godard (1957), Krzysztof Kieslowski  (1968) and Jan Svankmajer (1971), it juxtaposes over a dozen cinematographic styles and storylines that — albeit limited in time — explore in great detail the depths of the human condition and social realities. All films included are subtitled and accompanied by audio commentaries in English (often by the directors themselves), altogether providing nearly four hours to marvel at their visual mastery thus making for a welcome addition to both the filmmaker’s and aspiring filmmaker’s libraries alike.

With my irrefutable inclination towards French and Scandinavian cinema, Lukas Moodysson’s Bara prata lite and Jan Kounen’s Gisèle Kérozènea are amongst my favourites so far; and though up until now I’ve only had time to watch thirteen of the sixteen, I can safely say that it has been worth my while and I do hope that some of my friends will also enjoy despite my elimination of any potential surprise once this post goes to press… In addition (and to try to re-instill some festive spirit of suspense), a few other Christmas gift recommendations if you’re still planning to brave the high street in the upcoming week of no return: a reservation of the Typographic Desk Reference pre-release, a Moleskine 2009 edition diary, pepparkakor and glögg from Totally Swedish in Marylebone, and practically anything from Magma Books or Neal’s Yard Remedies in Seven Dials, Covent Garden.

Sarah Badr © MMVIII

See also: Cinema 16

Seven Dials