Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Reviews: May 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any reviews of anything at all, which is very remiss. I shall aim to put that right. As usual I’ve been spending way too much time jetting about and seeing stuff and being cloistered with a good book or two, so here’s a few of my favourite things of the last month or so.

Motionhouse: Scattered

This company put on an absolutely amazing dance show which defies description. I saw this at Deda, the brilliant dance centre in Derby, last weekend, and it was awe inspiring. I’ll try to describe it but watch the clip below too as that makes it clearer. The group of dancers performed on and against a huge ramp on which was projected a series of images and films. The dancers ascended, descended and became part of the images. It’s always a worry when a production relies heavily on technology that this will detract from the performance and the technology will be better than the dancing or vice versa, but this was superb. I actually sat open mouthed watching it. Paul loved it too. They’re performing in Birmingham in June for part of the cultural Olympiad so catch them if you can. There’s a link below.

Of all the people I know who saw Scattered, everyone was suitably impressed and they all said how much they’d love a go on the giant ramp. This didn’t even cross my mind. I’m intrinsically fearful of physical activity as ever. I’m happy to watch.

Tiny Furniture

This film made me howl. If you like uncomfortable moments, a glimpse of what it’s like to be the  daughter of a famous artist and sister of an over achiever and relish a hideously uncomfortable sex scene then I recommend this. It appealed to my darker side. I found it hilarious.


I’m a total Francophile. I love the French and their funny little ways. They’re just so not English which is, of course, fantastic. I love their romantic comedies especially. This one is like most of them, full of implausible plot holes and slightly twee in parts but lovely none the less and very moving. I actually almost cried a little bit and my companion wept her mascara off.


One of the first films I ever saw at the cinema was “Candleshoe” starring a very young Jodie Foster in 1977. I was six. We hadn’t chosen this film but in the 70s they often showed two films so we got this one free along with a Disney one. I decided I’d quite like to be her when I grew up, especially if it meant I could be as slinky as Tallulah in Bugsy Malone. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and I like to think that Jodie’s neck is a little scrawnier than mine now anyway. This film is bloody great though. I love a wordy film and this met my expectations. I thought it was very funny.

Shappi Khorsandi

Living in my own little bubble as I do, I’d never heard of Shappi but was lucky enough to catch her at the Leicester Comedy Festival. Definitely a brilliant range of stuff at the festival again this year and I managed to catch a few acts. I’ve never seen her on TV due to my avoidance of comedy shows, especially those hosted by really annoying smug people (aka Michael MacIntyre). I loved her show though. Very quick witted and dark in parts.

Helen Dunmore

She’s a brilliant novelist and poet who won the first ever Orange Prize for fiction and is much overlooked, I feel. She written a lot of books with a historical base for the stories. The thing about her works is her incisive prose. She writes so beautifully that I don’t always care what the plots are. I could just wallow in her words. Not that her plots aren’t stunning. She often looks at the more sinister aspects of the human psyche and does this with aplomb.


The Family Fang

I didn’t expect to like this novel by Kevin Wilson but was sucked in by it. It’s the story of two dysfunctional siblings who are the offspring of two celebrated performance artists. It actually made me laugh aloud with its absurdity but is also quite poignant.


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