We’ll Walk Hand in Hand : Play Review

We’ll Walk Hand in Hand Lyric Theatre 21 March to 31 March 2018

We’ll Walk Hand In Hand is a new play by Martin Lynch marking the 50th anniversary of the Northern Ireland civil rights struggle.

Theatre Synopsis.

Vincent and Lesley meet at University in 1967. Two working class kids from Belfast, they find themselves at the centre of the explosive student reaction to the Civil Rights movement.

Their involvement in the movement leads to confrontations with their disapproving families and ultimately to conflict with each other. Vincent and Lesley are confronted with decisions that will mark their lives forever.

When the story leaps forward to 2018, their granddaughter, Michaela presents the older Vincent and Lesley with a different kind of civil rights challenge, the play then explodes in an entirely different direction. We’ll Walk Hand In Hand explores what civil rights meant in 1968 and what it might mean in 2018.

A co-production by Green Shoot Productions and Queen’s University, We’ll Walk Hand In Hand will have an exciting combination of professional actors and community participants.

Please note this play will contain strong language, potentially controversial scenes of protest and violence.

1968 to 2018

The scene is set by a wide landscape of deep reds blocks, powder blue sky’s, sunset orange and level blocks of layered platforms forming a road of many directions. The cast are all onstage giving a strong sense of community. Rainbow colours flicker and embody the cast’s vitality in the clothes fashion of the first era we enter into. The late sixties. The set is expansive and inviting many interpretations. In the second half notions of a big fish and the Titanic building give approximate identity. Belfast is the setting and a couple who are the centre of this play some fifty years earlier overlook and remark on this nostalgic view. The older pair are played by Lesley Gilmartin (Susie Kelly) and Vincent Maguire (Noel McGee) in this first half. They see their young selves develop and innocence shows in their grimacing or shock at their youthful exuberance and sometimes naivety. This trick by Martin Lynch is to play out the expectations and also look back with hindsight at wrong moves or right ones and the road taken. On another circuit of the story it might be found other relationships are reconciled with a faint nod to the ma’s & da’s finding love outside the ranks.

The play takes care to circumnavigate, death, victims, political unrest, post Good Friday killings and bombings and other issues such as corruption, racism, immigration intolerance and economic division and failing public services. But that’s OK as the nature of the beast is our own struggles to even understand what has come about.

Long view

50 years separate the half of this plays noble celebration of people confronting their lives in places still gripped in fierce prejudice and animosity. Now on the edge of right wing resurgence over Europe and in countries where no democracy exists we look down the road of the future and see intolerance looking back. Almost 50% of the world lives without a proper democracy and daily wars are fought in proxy villages and towns by despots of capitalism and fascism. Crown princes reign over the suppressed.

The narrator of this play is the group of many actors in multiple roles. The past of 1968 is illuminated by the roll call through Ireland’s back history in a short adjusted viewpoint. Anthems are the chosen messenger. Music is to flood the play with its more biographical shorthand. Songs of future past. The group are in the beginning introduced by their allegiances and a picture emerges of two families. The Catholic family and the Protestant family. Martin Lynch has put in place a structure which brings these two families into conflict through the aegis of their offspring. Lesley (Emer McDaid) is a Protestant girl, no siblings, who is set to go to The Queens University in Belfast. Her father is a tradesman working in a timber merchants. Conor Grimes takes the role of both fathers. Maria Connolly also gets cast as both mothers. Grimes also takes the role of a sage old pensioner whose outward glance at the whole shambles is a gravitas amidst the lighthearted skullduggery played for overkill and wicked humour in the absurdity of the circumstances each is entangled in.

Working class stereotypes

We visit the Catholic family and are met by the headscarf wearing, almost never without it, Joan who runs a house with only one in it working. Or most of the time. Conor Grimes playing the father Is a Dock worker. His time is spent in the house getting orders from Joan and she carries the burden of his narrowed choices with the humour he lacks, or the oddments such as an iron he walks out the Dock gates with along with sundry other items. None of particular use only occasionally. The discrimination spelt out in the opening sequences are stark and a political edge enters. The youngest in the family is Vincent (John Travers) who in putting up a case for going to The Queens University is mocked by his father whose choices never reached those heights.

Vincent is convinced he can act. Both lead actors are very expressive and do not fail to project their characters written trajectory. Emer McDaid has a greater task as she is in a women’s place already oppressed and without a voice. Her skills of speech and voice control give layers and gravitas to some otherwise dead lines. She lifts the whole on numerous occasions by the focus she brings in her highly animated choreographed and pure gestural effective acting skills. Nuance is present while that depth is lacking in other places. The ‘edge’ is taken to excess on too many occasions. In a city where there are weekly sectarian clashes among uneducated youths. Where punishment beatings and internecine neighbourhood criminality is rampant. Where the rich are immune to the poor state of the communities health and compromise is to go private door your health. Absence makes the heart go wonder. There are numerous breaches of historical strengths accepted by both sides now sold to the highest bidder.

Trends

‘Sold his soul for a soggy roll and a streak of hairy bacon.’ Flann O’Brien. Over the Bridge and tribalism still accounting for territorial rights and rituals to save the two poles of ‘state’ are uncontested in narratives here. A timid disclosure in the play that we are on the brink of equality is both a misconception and an unfounded optimism. The fate of those new to our shores and in need of refuge are neglected and treated abysmally as being without anything other than a presence. The play is short on this issue despite the later wedding scenario. Organisation and Institutions feed of their uncertainty while coining it for their own reasons. Some good some complacent and unchallenging to any degree. The outreach happening is treated as almost ‘state’ intervention yet it amounts outside to minimal assistance portrayed as proof of intent. Endemic camouflage in news control is massaged by those with their hands on power.

Learning across the void

One of the objects of the University is to stimulate his political knowledge and grand theatrics is a mode of entry. As a young Catholic wanting no part in his fathers battles with himself. His fathers lack of opportunity and a cause in national identity to atone for he is frustrated and is intent on avoiding the warring past. Like his father and family Vincent is aware of the Unionist vice like grip, vice being the operative word along with the Catholic Church, brothers in harm. Unions and workers rights are not mentioned yet these were among the Labour Party and Nationalist Party (pre Sinn Fein and SDLP for those not paying attention) united grievances also present in the People’s Democracy collective. Solidarity. No mention of G. Fitt MP shoring up a Labour Prime Minister or the use of a Governor to accommodate Unionists in a quasi colonial controlling role. No Shipyard baggage or ballot papers alongside the bombs, burnouts and bullets are roped in. Industry which was the technocrat Wilson’s suit and saving Labour Party vision brought no prosperity to Ireland.

Brickbats

Instead of political name checks, Terence, Michael, Bernadette, we get the Vincent Maguire’s elder brother known as Chip Shop and his orbit is to be a man on a mission to fight for his rights but his weaponry is not his wits alongside his beleaguered and rightly upset old da. The sulphuric on the matchstick.

A University may do the following for a young student. It might first inspire by the liberal humanism of professorial teaching, the contemplation of beauty and the cultivation of personal relations as a spiritual antidote to the rootless, mechanistic ethos of this age. Fruitful or fruitless. Both Vincent and Lesley are given hope and learning by the education few of their age or orbit attain or aspire to. Ideals were not just the pursuit of the radical activists in America and elsewhere. The notion of a set of standards to benchmark progress was initially their aim and unity was a key. The salutary words of those in the Civil Rights Movement were much sharper in terms of the deficit than Lesley and Vincent seem to confront or as envisaged by Martin Lynch to remain ‘le innocents’ for the stories feel good arc not upset anyone.

It actually denies their intellect and they get betrayed by the writers hand by being dressed up as ‘hippies’ on the first march they are to join. Another odd placement was the request of ‘actors’ to use some ‘international students’ flat for rehearsals in the first half when they were as rare as hens teeth except for the transient (Kevin Myers + journos + rads + escapists) who came out of curiosity and found themselves an education albeit a Unionist/Conservative institutional one. Heaney and Longley were a lifeline as the arts were at that time essential to the truth outside the University. Practicing status quo students got along just fine and made sure of securing their boundaries and pulled up the ladder securing divided education.

Unclaimed brutality

Politics was a dirty word except it was a proxy for their fortune come voting time. The awkward questions are avoided and the familial is, and it’s no harm in itself, made the drama, Few casualties are found in the debris though. Read on.

The American Samuel Adams’s saying that “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men” is presenting the prospect of a minority view gaining power. Trump’s deficit of 3 mill. points to that, therefore unified clarity of purpose and solidarity is how meaningful progress can take hold and we are wiser and better equipped down the ages, or are we? To see the past for its lessons.

Sholom Aleichem said: “Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.” Ironically those Jewish words are so directional they are not heeded in the world of Israel’s politics in pursuit of greater weaponry to destroy the back of a Muslim faith and push Christianity into further divisions.

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First Act Actions

In Belfast there is simmering interest in peoples rights with the far of city of Derry having put down a marker on the sectarian divisions and corruption of power which gerrymandering made housing allocation a major discriminatory practice for Catholics. The International Hotel was the first location of the stirrings of an encounter with the phenomenon of Civil Rights crossing the globe and enfranchising parts of the local body politic. This is the cause Vincent believes he needs to be a part of and join. His family have other ideas not least his father who is driven to set up a cabal of IRA volunteers, his son Chip Shop under his command. The OC is not for pacifist politics. For him and the rest of the core their time has come.

When the two worlds collide the tribes are divided.  Youth has in ‘68 the best ideas. They need change and the television is igniting the flame. For Vincent it is Martin Luther King being assassinated, for Lesley women’s rights to equality are an eye opener with her getting into University and politics is also opening channels where she is free to associate with the other tribe. Hippy ideals and civil rights are seen as the same thing in this view. The television beams out a world of information and vision of nations. The oppressed are kept off the screens and a diet of American pulp television invades Belfast and Irish homes. The stridency of The Peoples Democracy is seen obliquely as an odd doomed to failure mission with Protestant power foremost and initially the progression to marching is filling the stage with unfolding unity across divisions. Lead by student activists and rooted in minority voices now talking loudly of institutional discrimination the province is collectively at a place where it must decide to act or retreat to old divisions. O’Neill (Terence) gets mentioned several times. Michael (Farrell) leads the marches. Devlin (Bernadette) is chivied at the speeches in a minor role. The male prerogative is alluded to.

Incident anticipated

For authenticity the contestable origins are blurred and a general picture is shown without stridency or complexity. Strobe lighting cinematicallly conveys the B Special brutal confrontation with the peaceful marchers. The lights go out on the story. Michael is portrayed as having warned the marchers what to expect. It is from advice passed on by the police. The Free Presbyterian led onslaught of rabble with Police standing by and in the final concluding destruction at Burntollet Bridge top and tail the brutal attack on a mix of juveniles and passivist unarmed marchers. The destination Derry was not to be reached.

Worlds apart together

The American experience is running parallel in the intervening years.

King and the Kennedys are gone, Vietnam never ends, Nixon has been elected to roll Civil Rights back. Committed first and last to the classic rad-lib notion that rigorous thinking and precision journalism can seize the times and talk things better, Small Talk foregrounds the first two stages of Agitate, Educate and Organise.

The issues the second half highlight are transient and not knuckled down in the thesis. No Nama. No Money Laundering. No Drugs. No Poverty. No exploitation of Youth. No Back office Nation. No Holiday illusion. Just the very edges of the immigration story. Without the Larne Camps, Without the Home Office conditions, Interviews, and Living in Limbo, No Higher Level Education Rights. No rights to work in their field of training. No GFA Human Rights, Brexit and EU dawning and no word of a compromise. Homes not being built. Pig in a poke agricultural policy owned by big companies. Land grabs. Even Parliament being shut doesn’t make it to the stage. Marches abound. Women’s right to choose is shown to be a Marie Stopes confrontation – an overlooked and overplayed re-enactment – and the conflict of conscious is between airport announcements and a happy clapping form of worship. Out of many avenues these chosen roads are taken. They are not conclusive nor are they intended to be. Nevertheless they are not sufficiently robust enough to place other meanings on familiar issues as plays ought to obtain. In a minor scene or two – when the bickering and liveliness has died down only occasionally – that is there sufficient time for reflection and with the removed entertaining bawdy and adult humour device which is ratcheted up to often. There is also a misstep in having a Somalian woman swear in delivering what would be even a contested viewpoint that she would otherwise not deliver. Maybe it was hearsay or maybe a lesser being uttered it but I found it very regrettable that it even was included. It serves no purpose and misrepresented the tone as I know it, many others know it.

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Where the second half survives without a backstory that is presumed factual, the test comes to create a pathway for the characters. Archetypal cliched types aside there are a moment or two that hit expectation too closely. A reveal by Michaela is so evidently oncoming it is loudly received in its audacious stupidity. Therein it does a disservice to the actual characters solid craft of pacing out the troubled complexities of the abortion on her mind. Would she have been so gullible to fall into the trap and be so unwise? Later voices from her are contrarily astute giving her part a mixed mission. Emer McDaid deals with it extraordinarily well such is her flexible range and it is for women to assess if she is believable in this situation. I thought it was weakened by the ‘trip’ and later sympathy was hard to deliver.

October was cited as a point of no return or as the play had it where the change happened. There are straight lines and paths lead away from other choices. Peace versus War. Terrorising was an instrument for sectarian division to replace passive consensus and resolution. Noises off were the order of the day. Attendance to deals and trades were overlapping degrees of atrocities and the British state sought containment without regard to their overarching conservative colonial hegemony. Making itself important as a world leading force was of more importance than evenhanded delivery of rights. It still is.

The Revolution will not be televised

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The Global Scene for Civil Rights unfinished.

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Beruit and beyond

For an American take on Civil Rights you don’t go to the normal messages. The people sang about it in words rhyming and music embalming their wishes and worries. Gil Scott Heron one such writer whose words and music were vital and spiritual food.

These extracts from The Wire 108 (February 1993). Continuing racial tensions are apparent in the USA.

It’s Your World (Arista 1976)

Within an evolving, conscious, self-determining continuum – Afrocentric, politically cognisant, historically correct, forthright and indignant – GSH is the disciple of many traditions: of Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez making, in Larry Neal’s phrase, “juju with the word on the world”; of the flaming oratory of Malcolm X and H Rap Brown; of Coltrane and Ayler speaking in tongues ancient and cosmic; and of the fundamental Blues of James Brown and Curtis Mayfield. In the crucible of It’s Your World, these particles of Blackness explode. This is the hour of chaos (or rather, one of many) – Civil Rights is sidelined as America spirals towards the political and economic shut down of a world recession. GSH and BJ respond by steeling their people with sustaining words (“It’s Your World”), by summoning inspirational spirits departed (“Trane”), by reinforcing the power of communal celebrations (“17th Street”), and with bitter socio-political satire (“Bicentennial Blues”). Reworked versions of “The Bottle” and “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” preach abstention from alcohol and drugs on political rather than moral grounds – like, if you’re out of your head on malt liquor and crack, how you gonna fight the white man when he’s down on your back?” (NW)

They created song for their voice to be heard just as now rap and hip hop dominate music shouting out about injustice and disharmony when we are avoiding the obvious and relying on lies.

On a road never taken

From South Africa To South Carolina (Arista 1975)

“Whatever happened to the protest and the rage/and whatever happened to the voices of the sane/and whatever happened to the talks that gave a damn?/Did that justify dying in the jungles of Vietnam?” In the early 70s, even the most popular Black American music shifted into political gear (pop acts like The Chi-Lites, The O’Jays, The Undisputed Truth, War); shattered by defeats and retreats, the general mode by the mid-70s was frankly escapist.

Shakedown

Space Shuttle (Castle 12″ 1989)

Amnesia Express (Castle 1990)

For GSH, the 1980s were a personal wasteland, a long, dark night of the soul that matched pace with the deepening collective anxieties of African Americans as they watched the Reagan administration slap down Civil Rights and liberties. Throughout the 70s, he had chanted of the day-to-day suffering and spiritual degradation of a people trapped in a racist culture. Now he fell silent.

…….. he suffered the consequences of neglect and indifference. He developed a spiralling drug dependancy (which reached an apotheosis of sorts when he was deported during a 1989 UK tour for possession of cocaine). His occasional European appearances – one is documented on the two hour live set Amnesia Express – revealed a withered spirit.

……… on the song “Must Be Something”: “Tell you something, tell you something you can do/Keep on moving, keep on moving for what’s true.”

In Print

GSH began his engagement with creativity as a novelist and poet rather than as a musician; as a teenager in Jackson, Tennessee (he was born in Chicago) he was writing pulp detective stories. His literary direction shifted with his move to Spanish Harlem in the Bronx in the mid-60s, where he began factoring in a vivid socio-political dimension. He followed poet Langston Hughes onto the campus of Lincoln University (where he met Jackson), then took a degree in creative writing at Baltimore before moving on to the University of Columbia (eventually dropping out to pursue less academic callings). To date, his words have appeared across four volumes. The Vulture (World Publishing 1970) and The Nigger Factory (Dial Press 1972) are both novels. Small Talk At 725th & Lenox (World Publishing 1970) is a collection of poetry that provided much of the material for the album of the same name. So Far So Good(Third World Press 1990) reproduces the poems that originally appeared in a booklet that accompanied the 1979 LP The Mind Of Gil Scott-Heron.

When you read these words in conjunction with the play’s trajectory of this Islands history it is apparent there is still a world wide need for Civil Rights to be established representing the original Civil Rights needs and working to ensure battles won are reinforced and made available were they still remain absent. Attitude’s are changeable however the knowledge of this Information Age being much greater than the catalyst of Television broadcasting previously incrementally challenging those visions of National difference and harm has in these digital years, completely altered the framing of the issues. This itself is not generally accepted as a global societal tool outside of government but it is irresponsible not to engage in wider communications based on passive terms towards equality and sustaining our earth’s resource.

Conclusion ###3

For the arc of the play to cover fifty years in History made and being made it is a large task to contain the multi layered conflicted narratives of the past and narrowing on the present predicament of the absence of Civil Rights still apparent.

Reference is made to the outside world and some aspects of struggle s elsewhere are cited.  I have compared the diminishing local reporting of the period as far as the play is concerned but put in several wider elements to illustrate the huge importance of this movement of Civil Rights.  I believe it is the authors aim to show output past in the local sense but it is not challenging enough and never strays into too much contested territory.  The players on all levels do outstanding work lifting the moods of the play and acting roles which at times are stereo typical without the hard edge sacrifice of a dead body or two to mourn over.  It is an extremely difficult subject to handle and hopefully this will encourage other treatments.  The legacy is with us and will never leave.

About the actual work. Martin Lynch has chosen a structure which avoids the them and us polarised viewpoint but restricts it to a formula belonging to a certain sectarian riddled ‘everyman’ dialogue. Incidents fed the first half as hindsight fills the second. The central protagonists of Lesley and Vincent are pegs on a play board in a narrow working class range of experience. The wider community of the Lower Falls and Woodvale are locations where even the pigeons live shortened lives. Unlike the Woodvale Pigeon Club pigeons there are peacewalls and discriminating state institutions to navigate. The road taken is filled with choices. Location is predetermined division and the extremes are in 1968 unreconciled and badly lead by church and political powers. It was Ulsterman Thomas Hutchinson who was instrumental in fashioning ‘The Enlightenment’ in Scotland and the philosopher became a powerhouse with a hand in writing the American Declaration of Independence which happened to be the removal of colonialism from the North American continent. It came at a cost and is a settlement still contested. Black and Negroe rights were the Firestone of the Civil Rights Movement in America and the transgressions of the USA in other countries enabled by the ceding of voting rights to gain recruits to the mainly white armies, was a cause young Americans took to their knowledge driven Political ambitions. Television brought home the disgrace along with the actual witness of fighters and reporting which challenged the Presidential hegemony. The Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland had leadership and ideals which were quickly overan by violent republicanism which was met by a state which never ceded land without a battle and seldom relinquished power as it saw its place in the world, and still does as a force for good. Large built on the locality and condensed management of land, resources and scientific breakthroughs it built upon the assets stripped from around the world. Northern Ireland was and is a service star run from a distant attachment going back into the Street names.

John Graham

27 March 2018

Belfast

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The Final Year : A Film Review

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The Final Year

Cast : Barack Obhama, John Kerry, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes. Producers : John Battsek … producer, Diane Becker … co-producer, Alice Bristow … associate producer, Christopher Buchanan … co-producer, George Chignell .. Production Executive : Passion Pictures, Christopher Clements … Production, Executive: Motto Pictures, Ann Rogers,  associate producer, Kerstin Emhoff … co-executive producer, Julie Goldman … producer, Tyler Gurd … associate producer, Carolyn Hepburn … Production Executive Ann Rogers … associate producer, Andrew Ruhemann … co-executive producer, Nicole Stott … Production Executive: Passion Pictures, Erikka  Music by Philip Sheppard Cinematograph  by Martina Radwan, Erich Roland, Film editing by Joshua Altman, Langdon Page. Duration 1hr 29mins. Cert. 12a.

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The Final President

Home Box Office have created a documentary of the final year in office of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama’s tenure of service from 2009 to 2017 an inevitable expectancy reaching a form of closure.

THE FINAL YEAR is a unique insiders’ account of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy team during their last year in office. Featuring unprecedented access inside the White House and State Department, THE FINAL YEAR offers an uncompromising view of the inner workings of the Obama Administration as they prepare to leave power after eight years.  It is an ‘fly on the wall’ without the depth of the intimacy of private wrestling with the pervasive conflicting day to day manifestations of outfall not just of past history but managing the present.  It is inside and insightful yet is disappointing and troubling to watch.

News Management has soared to the top of everyone’s truth seeking senses.  It seems we are all on a course of becoming a component in an agenda of mismanaged futures through the choices made in elections everyone is on someone’s line of trajectory.  People as commodities.  Holding firm to truth and where it emanates from is as ever a pathos, as stories crush and compel arguments across Governmental desks.  Challenges are of unique carefully drafted message enveloped in media forms confronted by the reveal of history none were anticipating. Paradise papers and whistleblowers.  Julian Assange just recently became a citizen of Ecuador while the GB Government has him under house arrest.  Democrat disjunction, disfunction, is here to be seen also writ large ahead of the triumphalism of the anti-Athenian D. Trump.  Dialogue is free and interpreted instantly.  This film takes us up to that threshold and we are in the arc following when the choke was taken off the master tapes of the White House and Twitter accounts tell of internal wrangling.

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Term of Office

No longer is there a President of the United States but a franchise which is part an incumbent of enemies trading powers privilege staying off legislation. A News managed for the mass consumption in return for a route to launder currency is all it took to dismantle the final office frontier. Nations and boundaries no longer matter and instead a block chain of political dimensions untaught in manuals or educational establishments, for that is what they were, are grounded on blocks of power. High yield is a derivative played by arms provisions.

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Adjust the War

Barack Obama was the last President concerned with solving the long trail of a Rothschild type Imperialist agenda which saw the Gaza Strip as a battleground. He could not avoid it but it was not an analysis of sufficient gravity but a long held (dis)belief it was not a religious warp. So religion and it’s many dimensions never became part of the guidance on either side. Read the scholarly Saeb Shaath on the legacy.  Syria and The Middle East have held a long sword of unremitting horror over its own people extracting themselves from a century or more of exploitation through its  own tyranny.  http://saebpress.com/2013/08/saudi-arabia-funding-unrest-in-middle-east/. 20c Oil has been the catalyst for the resurgence of the Arab world to again become valid citizens in a fallible relationship with its surrounding neighbours and fellow followers of peaceful unity but it has harboured the hurt and damage caused by invasion and exploitation of corporate thieves. Now the calamity is in a frame of technicolour news as daily reports of intolerance, genocide and divisiveness saturate continents and infiltrate the outskirts of formerly untroubled Nations. Migration by displacement is a shared world problem.

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Calmness is a convoy of aid and here in the film of the round up of conventions and diplomatic dancing comes another narrative. Blaming and shaming. The aid literally is blown up by an actor for the world to react to, showing the failure diplomacy is. UN outrage is blunt and name calling. Putin is intent on alarming the world by showing here it is a crime to want peace if you do not accord with a rule of one Federation. The former Soviet Union is revengeful and Ukraine which barely gets a mention in this documentary is as near as we can place a truth of division outside of the Middle East used as a bargaining chip by both sides. The Hillary Clinton input is put aside also.

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Global Diplomacy

Heavily featured here is the Vietnam veteran John Kerry. He justifiable carries the burden of spokesperson for the nothing war which claimed and still does the lives of many of his fellow combatants and by mines left unexploded awaiting a victim. The Vietnam War follows through from Kennedy whose armaments fed the Vietnamese regimes fighting Communism to the Johnson and Nixon destruction both of their own troops and many civilians in Laos and thereafter came an legacy where there is still a long unbroken chain leading into Presidency after Presidency. Obama is intent on doing his peacemaking tour around the world and finds it gratifying and just in going back to the past and looking to repair the broken shattered peace and being a fitting memorial for drawing a line. Japan and Hiroshima will also feature.

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John Kerry is on the alternative narrative of dealing with today’s catastrophe while ignoring the elephant in the room of USA defence weaponry manufacture and industrial warmongering industries. Safe to say he is not a pacifist as late on he declares and at the same time purports to be seeking peace. On USA terms. The other handgliding drone in the room is a UN Ambassador whose job is to make the obstinate squirm and show up the fallacy of their ways. Samantha Power has the unusual insight of an Irish Immigrant background; disqualified from running for office by that origin but equipped by having been recruited on the basis of a journalists approach and her book on origins of war and where they are taking us, at least that was my original take on its premise. The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (sic) was the institution Samantha Power established a Human Rights Foundation in. From writing about how 20th century genocide was ignored (wide generalisation given the WWII and continuation of The Great War) is lost in narrative with the title The Problem from Hell. Women’s issues are highlighted and it is neither seen as a fashion thing about wearing hijabs or subjection but a basic lack of equality. Religious dogma is not writ large. Kidnapping and slavery and terrible abuses are documented while the daylight of a USA where a form of women’s subjection is to open on news fronts across industries in a #me too narrative is in the shade here. Truth will out eventually. One of the guides they fail to recount is John Stuart Mill, not only on divinity recalling the individual broadly used not as freedoms footnote but as a economic distribution ethos.

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Unintelligible is the strength and power of religious idealism and internally humanity overdoing any ‘value’ hierarchy brought about by trade. JSM relies on ‘constructive empiricism’ while seeing or rather not seeing ‘nature’ – the storms of civilisation alongside the natural phenomena of our daily bread – constantly putting us in our rightful place demanding reconciliation with it and ourselves. For JSM his wisdom also produced solutions peculiar to himsel& and in his relationship with Harriet Taylor evidenced an equality of existence even the Church could not form. Itself a ‘periclesian’ mode which was denying no one their individual freedom. The suffragettes at the same time conducted wicked and detestable bombing and created a scourge still not acknowledged as a means to an end. Democracy. Enemies were many and often with good cause. So this is a backdrop History is failing to include in the breath of those forces confronting the so called ‘leaders’ this film seems intent on eulogising in a passing river of consciousness as it reaches down rebranched tributaries and flows continually caring the waters which it will always carry.

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Dressing wounds

Narratives are forms of life and no history of the world can be written without the diaspora having a say. From the Anglicised retention’s of rule in a Fedralised America to the Religious strength consumed and abused in the USA and nations from the tip of South America up to Alaska, Canada, across Europe and spread dishonestly as a rhetoric of truth comes another will. The will of America to prevail and be prevalent as values which we are overhearing in the everyday talk of the rooms of power.  No mention of the G20 or Peter Sutherland, Goldman Sachs or any taint of monied America getting its hands dirty?  Just another HBO narrative with displacing counterpoint in soundbites hurled with intended anonymity into the whirlpool of chaos two steps behind the developing story.  At the beginning of the film comes a follow me routine. The feet fast and well shod on prepared ground. The diplomats timetable run out as prescribed in advance but always a beat behind. It’s as though they are insistent on not being their on time so as to disown the past.

Imperialist allies

Britain invented Israel as a removal of a family of languages and people. the afroasiatic form called Hamito-Semitic, a family of languages including as subfamilies Semitic, Egyptian, Berber, Cushitic, and Chadic.  Syria is Palestine and holds a bitter division in opposition to the Imperialist Israel Project with Lebanon as a hideout. An interesting novel character is found in a speech writer whose compass matches Barack Obama’s.  Ben Rhodes is an under forty master of spin and incisive vective. This is a part of Obama’s person he (Obhama) can’t devote time to so has allowed a surrogate to unfold his theories and unlock his wisdom. Unwittingly or is it intent, he is cast in the mound of a Jewish intern general with a false past which is possibly denuded of the Religious might he is from.

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Religion is swerved here. His Episcopal Father and Jewish Mother are tongues he listened to and listens internally to now it would seem safe to assume. No faith is to undo the legacy of an infant Israel heresy. Muslim or Christian. Judaism in a bold type of monotheistic reason is adhered to in American eyes.  Both these travellers, Obhama, Rhodes, are Religious in degrees privately it has to be assumed from other media but often as not it is left outside the Oval Office. Neither seems to realize their part is based in Religious heirachy and they are beholden by virtue of their cloth. That sets them apart and mitigates against their understanding of others values not matching theirs. Fundamentally in the Middle East.  Winston Churchill is apparently their mentor or past leader of choice for guidance. He was beholden to America also and Blenheim Palace became the gift of the British Crown for his persuasion in getting the USA to enter WWII and send supplies into a Europe which was under siege from that genocide The Problem from Hell. More like the problem of Hell. How not to see it. How to not recognize its advance.

Hell is in the clouds and earth.

Speeches set the tone and every new room entered has a pathos to be delivered. For Barak Obama it is the American Declaration of Independence and is foremost in lectures to the gathered. It was what a Congress was derived for. July 4, 1776, and the words were set in Washington’s Presidency. Those words were conscripted from Ulster’s Francis Hutchensons philosophy brought forth by Thomas Paine as exiles of the yoke of imperialism they so detested.  Unitarian in thought and principle their ideas were nevertheless based on individuals allowance of free thought. Less words would carry such might as those distilled here. Yet where are the notions of the Declaration in assignment against the tours of combat since embarked on. Only the hideous genocide of future generations in Africa and Asia would equal the waste of WWII and its legacy borne world wide. Now the countries are being stripped of their assets by new entrants from China and the G20.

Conclusion ###3

Rich as this film is equipped with the sensory media behemoth of the United States of America in history mode it fails to direct the camera in any decisive illuminating way while illustrating a West Wing narrative which is high on ideal and lacking in scuprles or any game changer dynamic.  The anticipation of office has been swamped by time advancing with greater perils opened up through truth emerging in histories recall.  As a mission to complete the 44th Presidency many repairs were sought to be made by Barack Obhama while his steadfast troops both suited and fatigued were deployed on present day flanks with much of the common talk broken into slow burning flames of hope.  It is a film worth seeing as a reminder of the removal from the political sphere a genuine worthy experience of mankind reckoning with their own failures and beholden by powers immensely conflated and misunderstood.  Philosophy is in its a bit but it is a failure to define politics as a motor of governance for the common good which is all too clearly absent given the extremes of the states and actors involved at the heart of our world order.

John Graham

18 January 2018

Belfast

Opening at Queens Film Theatre Belfast 19 January 2018 until 25 January 2018.

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Chi-Raq : A Film Review


Chi-Raq

Director. Spike Lee.  Written by Spike Lee and Kevin Willmot.  Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson. Music by Terence Blanchard. Cinematography Matthew Libatique. Edited by Ryan Denmark.

End of

Prevent war remove sex. How does that work when women enjoy it much the same as men do and can be just as distraught if it’s not on the horizon?  Based on the 411bc play by Aristophanes it tells the tale of one woman’s mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata played by Teyonah Parris who projects a sexualised image, convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace.  In the blink of an eye this scenario presents in Chicago as a modern day philosophy on manhood in the hood with the female carrying the fall out of violence as most of them choose not to carry a gun being polar opposites.  Renaming it as Chi-Raq which is one of the leading gangsters name, that part played by Nick Cannon, is explained in the opening frames which are launched as a set of rap lyrics with smooth multi-faceted lessons on the reality in slanguage spoken by rappers.  The old Dr Johnson meaning – to rap – speak violently augmented in a slick roll of red print on black introducng then the figures of deaths in Afganistan, Iraq then America which are in ascending order and deaths by gun crime amount to more than the other two combined over the period up to the present.  Chi-Raq is in a feud with Cyclops played by Wesley Snipes. The killings go on through their turf wars.

Ammunition

Spike Lee is on the case of Gun crime being a act of community self annihilation by recreating a  closely fixed tragic-comic opera to the cinema screen for consumption by all those wise enough to see the message as relevant to the times and a picture of disconnections between white and black/brown Americans in inner city environments.  Taking a play from 411bc is a act of performance totally formulated on a stage with us as the audience and we have a MC – one Samuel L. Jackson as a compete who is an invigilator expressing to the wide audience range anticipated the shape of the drama as it unfolds.  He is snappily dressed with a cane who comes on between acts. The fourth wall is like a pro-cesium arch with real backdrops.  Spike Lee filters into the set progression reality.  The actors themselves are frequently those who suffered and their injuries are explained whereas the dead don’t speak.  They are forgotten.  Yet into this is reality in the form of memorial with portraits of real live lost shown as a memorial tapestry, a mural of the lost victims.  Like any memorial March, say the Bloody Sunday victims these images are not for suppressing but remembering.  This is our Selma a roster shows.  


Configuring Chicago 

Profanity, sexual patois is dispensed like everyday language, it is layered and layered in effective meter as in Classical drama.  This is Titus Andronicuos with violence a daily experience.  Here it is confined to neighbourhood slaughter off screen with innocent victims – central to the story is the death by a ricochet of Paula a ten year old child.  Her loss is a figurehead cause bringing in a local Ministers involvement, Father Mick played by John Cusack as a man on a mission, who instead of explaining the Christian view of suffering having no reason or purpose other than to examine our own life gift.  He uses the criminality as a signal to mpower the people and entreat their brotherly/sisterly love.  In this there is no cliche.  No make love not war, no woman on cry, no peace no love, but the stirring of the women leader Lysistrata who in meetings and rallies has persuaded many to withhold sexual privileges or options in their relationships, whether lovers, husbands or casual acquaintances.  It is immediately about the sexual politics prevalent in the age then and now.  

The speech and address to the Congregation gathered at the funeral of a child victim, is neither a sermon nor an admonishment.  It is a monologue on the ills of society in his outreach and is a plea muted, support of Lysistrata as the focus is on the child and its loss through gun crime.  It is a brilliantly delivered tirade and is about the only thing I found merited credit in the film.


Single issue combat

It is not about domestic violence, feminine rights, child sexual abuse, procreation rights which the original play also excludes.  The simplicity of the scenario therefore limits the narrative by making it almost comedic and farcical.  Never are the roles assessed or the possibility of programmed lives as culture dictates.  The sexual behaviors outside this community is not challenged.  When child abuse was prevalent in the upper classes and boys, girls were regularly ‘bed warmers’ the destible practices pervaded all strands of society.  Herecthe play is focusing on the powerless.  Restoring unity among warring factions of society is the aim of Lysistrata.  

It is at once a problematic issue in reconfiguring the premise of the ancient story to a vast group of people in present day Chicago.  Firstly the role of females is crudely stereotyped into different characterisations with the leader 


Methodology

Many parallel plays come to mind in respect of war and methods of creating peace.  The recent film Napoleon while being a War film illustrated a lesser accepted fact that religion has less to do with wars (Ricky Gervais please note) than constantly  trailed out as fact.  The Academic record states otherwise. Napoleon the film might even gesture towards being anti-war.  The Silver Tassie by Sean O’Casey, (banned by W.B.Yeats as being too anti war and anti-British also) is another.  So much for the sentimental poems as sophisms of sense of place.  More than any I’ve seen I constantly return to the Ballet/Play I first seen performed by the Batheseba Ballet Company of Israel perform.  It first was performed in 1934 and is a solemn link to the past and presses the vision of peacemaking without arms.  Powerful as this is similarly powerful.

The use of sexualised imagery is both like a bad rap video exentuating all the hot spots including a rating of women afraid to loose their lovers if they do not fill the stereotypes they occupy.  Relationships are not a battleground but a mutual place for love to flourish in a home and rewarding in all parts.

 The Spike Lee choice to hype up the sexual ramparts of bling culture, rap culture and neighbour hoods presence and effect is definitely overplayed and it saturates the film with profanity a needless representations of misogyny.  Lysistrata is plastered in bling and their are repeated visits where she is visiting every corner of the neighborhood drumming up support.  There are stand off replicating city gun stake outside and delivered operatically.  These are juvenile in concept and over simplification at which point I began to realise – the people who this film is supposed to be about, and the roll call of ‘one eyed monsters’ – Cyclops is indeed sightless in a jeweled one eyed eye patch and carries it to oversimplified responses when confronted with the dynamic.


Americas dilemma

The rest of the country is as recent elections have show are a mirror of racial tensions born out of discrimination, oppresiveclaws and poverty which has a large majority livecin below the poverty line in the disenfranchised communities of non-white background with about $12,000 an annual income to live on for most non-white Americans which includes non state health care provision.  The point quickly made that the poor are a business generating incomes across the board from, welfare workers, lawyers, schools and healthcare which compare unfavourably with the high tech prisons and state bureaucracies leveraged by the poor.

3 themes present in all seriousness.  It’s a serious matter from 411 bc.

The three themes are: peace and unity, power and gender, and politics. Peace and Unity The main theme of Lysistrata is peace and unity. This is the main theme because the goal of the women is to create peace and to restore unity in Greece.

Instead of a group of Old men and Old women choruses we have a nifty police force and military.  They are the power base.  There is then the Trojans and Spartans with religious oversight stuck in the middle as moralists.  The wooden fires of the separate factions is replaced by ear defenders and loud music of indifferent and stereotypical soundings.  The Mayor role covers the Commisioners role who is played as an overaxous to please congressman type who is both a fascist and realist.

The opera is rather long and drawn out and strange choices are made by Spike Lee to put up the resolution and gravitas in a conclusion.   The absence of a workable conclusion makes it presumably be termed a Comedy and one of 11 surviving plays of Aristophanes.

Conclusion ###3

Giving this time to develop and for it to piece together without demeaning Chi-Raq citizens is a tall order not achieved by Spile Lee.  He patronises his possible audiences and maybe communities with the stereotypes of people who actually experience the deaths visited in the city of Chicago.  The jigsaw pieces are large and fitted together but it’s all bling and gung-ho and does not do justice to the people who actually are in the community.  It uses their experiences and mirrors them back in a disfigured, profane and facile way.  Sure it hits hot spots and reconfigures, contextualoses the notion of life there but it is a lost opportunity given the – and the choice of play is merely ironic – might of film and the reach to audiences.  It will offend plenty and it will get lots of plaudits but it fits into a category of being too sensationalist and crude representation of very proud people who have come through a lot.  Greek wisdom is partial as a projection of a problem not a summation and fresh viewpoint.  The overall display pace and look of the film despite some repatativeness os a work finely crafted.  It is such a shame the contents are supplanted by mockery and lack of soul, Minister Mick excepted.

There are lots of good performances and one of the standouts is Angela Bassett in the role of Miss Helen who is one of the more articulate joiners and has less ‘rhyming s language to slaughter the ordinal pay with and its audience.  There are plenty of interesting provocative one-liners but they are scattered in the middle of a ‘slanguage’ contest for who can be the profanist unfortunately.

John Graham

1 December 2016

Belfast

On at Queens Film Theatre Belfast from 2 December through to 8 December 2016.

Gimme Danger : A Film Review

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Gimme Danger Cert.15 Duration 1hr 48mins.

Directed by Jim Jarmusch Produced by Carter Logan, Fernando Sulichin, Rob Wilson
Written by Jim Jarmusch, Cast Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Steve Mackay, Mike Watt, Kathy Ashton, Danny Fields
Cinematography Tom Krueger, Edited by Affonso Gonçalves, Adam Kurnitz
Cert.15
Duration. 1hr48mins

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Established

The Michigan pharmalogically challenged unhinged performer of Rock and Roll Mr Iggy Pop is the subject of this chronologically travel through the late 60’s, the formative 70’s and the drop off in subsequent decades is given a whole set of musical, storytelling, life narrative so that we can readjust our ideas of him and those times.

How he has survived is something only he can offer solutions to and in most life threatening occasions it’s probably likely he has little direct recall of.  Iggy is a mosaic, a jigsaw of American traditional culture growing out of itself.  The cultural bridge of Michigan is because of its location midway at the place in the USA people would stop on the way between New York and …  The radical center ot became through the fertility of the moving USA drawing newcomers in and their influence created a nature of the cultural America was choosing for itself.

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The film format

This really is a chronology and reconstruction of the poorly dismissed Iggy Pop history and fulcrum of pioneering influence in the rock music cannon.  From Sonic Youth through Primal Scream, Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Ramones and many rip offs of rip offs, The Adverts, The Buzzcocks, you can trace Iggy’s influence as a performer once he got of his butt and became a showman, director of performative music.  The ripped, slim, small body shape of Jim Ostenberg is all over this film as a visual clue to the make up of the man.  We see (feigned privacy greets us first in the narrative roll of the film making) the surroundings.  His own large painting of (himself?) it a primary childlike oil painted strokes of him in a full face startled state, which I think is his default for me anyway, with a carton of Marlboro, creeping in to the screen as drug of choice, fits the 4×3 screen ratio (most of the film is in this ratio as a knock back to the timeshift) as the talking and brilliantly detailed storytelling is like a live musical autopsy those books nor much else could replicate. In documentary terms it has numerous holes.  We get plenty of revisited footagecofvstagecperformances, band member recollections and still frame reminders of who is being spoken of Warhol, Pattie Smith, Elvis, Nico, etc.

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Pieces missing

What is missing is footage of backstage or even dressing room insights (more an undressing room in Iggy’s case.) or road footage, the type of thing frequently found with various performers, from Sex Pistools, Amy Winehouse, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones and interestingly and definitively offering many specs of the wordsmith, writer performer Bob Dylan of course alonsodeceven The Band narrative.  Another one would be Neil Young and his entry to the Woodstock inner world.  This maybe was a choice made early on and necessary for a survivor.

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Codes of Visual art performance.

As a performer he was stripped and able to burn his energy in acrobatic crawling gyrating and body flipping movements which and a photo fleetingly shows (or was I imagining) the balletic figure of Nico and him capture the Rudolf Nureyev of his psyche.  I’m obviously not suggesting for a moment there is any pretensions of ballet within his performance but the essence of the dynamic the body provides was another instrument to his band which he undoubtedly savoured and exploited within his confines. His bare torso is in homage to the projection of pharoehs and one of Nureyev’s favourite Russian ballets which I saw him perform in a very large tent in a London, and also at the Coliseum was The Rite of Spring, he also performed The Firebird.  I find it a small step to connect these artists.  Another aspect of performance is Iggy’s compulsion to crowd surf. Did he invent it?  Probably!  This is in my view his commune with the audience.  Once he’s in the audience he can act, can respond to what’s on stage like a political act.  It portrays his political statement, his being one with the audience or democracising the engagement of audience and artist.  So close to these influences – the bisexual Isadora Duncan was another American he must have  seen as aspiring to new art and he has invented the interaction many try and replicate.  Theatrical work alongside the tenors of the music penetrating the people.

Chronology as a history lesson

If you think of the Rock family tree books with their graphics and pages of chronology of the Bands and their personnel transformations then you will find this film is on the same lines structurally.  The beginnings of the bands Iggy Pop belonged too are a cocktail of fledgling teenage musicians.  Jim Ostenberg (Iggy) the drummer was a keynote figure in all the first bands and he carried along with him – Jim Williamson is one – and it is something of a similar middle American youth attitude – spawning an original direction.  They all railed against the sentimental and the commercial bombardment of Americana.  The black music first encountered by Iggy was on the demise of College band hopes and his 1969/1970 introduction to back music where the vibe and sound pulsates through the rough cut and sharp cut rhythms of flesh on bone of Soul and a kind of spiritual transcendence music was capable of, allowing a trip without the drugs if it reached the heights.  Miles Davis obviously the pioneer of new black jazz venturing out as small an instrument as a trumpet.  Iggy made a few dollars playing as a club drummer.  He became aware of others such as The Velvet Underground and everyone’s influence, including Any Warhol.  Nico.  After a turbulent few years of finding what made them, their music tick it became obvious the band needs a formative disposition rather than being a cast and crew of hangers on to other bands and influences.  The MC5 were their saviours.

Distinctions

It is noted by Iggy as a composition of the refusing to accept the given.  Extraordinarily he points out the Peace and Love era in which the band he was and is most associated with, The Stooges, were at their lucurative beginning.  Outside Detroit and in middle America such freedoms were seen by some, Iggy included with cynicism which gives us a clue to the historical memory and the form of real America.  Take the film Selma and its portrayal of Black activism then it is also a fact the rejection of the peace – of junked up sexual freedoms, TV, contraception and monetised youth of the backdraft of post war advancement of their parents.  So strategic to Iggy’s development were his parents who got his creative needs – he managed to drum insessently and loud in their long yellow trailer.  His father was an ex-WW2 veteran along with what were to become his band associates.

Back to his roots.

His father had a large Cadillac while his needs were simple and Iggy presents his family situation as loving and one were he was able to connect with his parents which is classic the traditional inclination.  It was not a case of his parents not developing alongside him as people aware of how America was shaping.  It is somehow realistic and cynical given the hogwash of the impact media and cultural politically structural art forms.  Buying into the fashionable Velvet Underground – Andy Warhola projects, the iconography of the neatness of all visual Nuances.  Typefaces, photographic primary art and freedom of speak – it had its Marilyn Manson and crazy criminal immigtrants, Italian, Irish – to be a cultural resilient pathway for all musicians cinema and artist, newsmakers all buddies.  The Jack Kennedy trust in peace was of course a misnomer.  His hands in arming anti-communist Vietnam factions in the early sixties,  presaged the L.B. Johnson war paced intervention.  This is allied to the Johnson tactic of giving democratic access to the Black community in order that they could be drafted into the Vietnam war.  We of course hadcthexlilexof Cassius Clay – a man who fought so no others need to -bridged racial divisions.  Iggy discovered for himself he was no songwriter or storyteller of the Bob Dylan kind.  Jim has a neat way of describing the difference.  He was no great thinker and mused on the preachy types he was amongst.  Thecpeaceniks, the social reformers, the activists and he displays a realism or shortcomings in a) his own ideas of values were not fully formed and besides he pharmisiced his mind to deconstruct humanity. b) the basis of active participants.  Bob Dylan has been a soundtrack along with the Beatles to the generations filling the machinations of industrial technological America.  Iggy stood apart from the industry ‘Stooges’ of corporate America.

Conclusion ###3

I have reservations recommending it as a four/five top rating due to the feel of an Official Biography going down as they say.  It is however a brilliant dialogue insiping film for all music lovers and anyone dipping into past eras especially the New YORK, Chicago shapes of the Seventies and Eighties and Iggy is a product as most of the Stooges were from Ana Arbor in Michigan, the radical state.  It follows the chronology related to many genres but particularly Punk and I have my views on the origins of the whole lot as I’ve tried to explore above. There is a good viewing well worth taking in and very interesting take on the good and evil sides of music.

 

John Graham

14 November 2016

Belfast

 

Macbeth : A Film Review

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Macbeth The players – Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, David Thewlis, Paddy Considine, Jack Reynor, Elizabeth Debicki
Directed by Justin Kurzel UK/France 1hr 53 mins Cert. 15

Macbeth the concept.
In telling the story of Scottish Generals and Kings Shakespeare provides the genius construct of the weakness of all mankind.
Corrupted by evil at once the pyramidic value set in dominions across the world are cast forever into repeated downward failure to imagine the world without violence.
The repetition is beset long before the play is written or it’s many formulated interpretations, some set on distant continents, in modern as well as medieval times.
Without fail it is easily the most accessible work created by Shakespeare and here is a version put to film as another contender to open our wounds.
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Stunningly gripping
It is a mesmeric version, full of visually stunning broads-cape earthbound gravitas. It is full of magical otherness with the Witches tale, – and Thomas Middleton it is often said, wrote for theatrical guile the well known witches scene, Act 4, Scene 1 having Macbeth, now empowered with the formation of rule over all of Scotland, an encounter with the three witches who in the very first scene of the play had foretold his future.
They stir the cauldron – a Scots Broth of root of Hemlock, Gall of Goat, Finger of birth-strangled babe amongst other delicacies. “Though Palaces and pyramids do slope, Their heads to their foundations, though the treasure Of natures germen tumble altogether Even till destruction sicken : answer me To what I ask you”
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This asks Macbeth as the apparition of the witches, the satan like opposite ‘God’ he turns in his head, provide the prophesies wildly but close to the fate he will endure.
First apparition, “Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth; beware Macduff” An excellent and explosive Sean Harris.
Mercurial Macduff.
The potency of the prophecy equivalent to Caesar’s deliverance.

This film too has at the beginning another thing in mind.
Pay attention from the very beginning in other words!
It begins with a funeral scene which attests to the blood Macbeth and Lady Macbeth conceive as their future.
Justin Kurzell obviously wants us to not only consider the treacherous nature of alliances but the fruits of the unions chosen.

We see the witches proclaim “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”, in thick garrulous Scottish dialect which immediately requires your utmost attention.
It is language made to conceive ideas, truths, dilemmas, reversals and all kinds of twists and turns. It is without compromise we are fastened into the iambic pentameter of the astonishing insightfully transposed emotions brought through linear 8/10 vowels and dialogue. Instinctively Shakespeare has wrought and stretched occasional verses and speeches into everlasting contemporaneous floods of thought washing like Macbeths hands under the waterfall of natures presence.
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It is from a battlefield where we encounter the savagery of the generals Macbeth and Banquo played by Paddy Considine slaying the Norwegian enemy and his ally Thane of Cawdor. They return to the Scottish King Duncan the head of the slain for picking on the Castle battlement.

From that moment forth the darkness descends even more black and the figure of Duncan, an amenable righteous King, friend and fair governor, though how he achieved his own status is itself overlooked, – is played brilliantly by David Thewlis. Amiable affable David Thewlis is tall and ideal as this seemingly benign King.

The casting on all fronts is astute and faultless. Michael Fassbinder without one flaw is Macbeth the troubled hero. Lady Macbeth likewise. Marion Cottilaird is stunning portraying the malice as the evil cohabitant of the joint liaison both have summoned to seek for their contentment, symbols of their combined wisdom.
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It is faultless as soon as the conspiracies and parameters are set. They are set in the context of King Duncan’s choice of a successor which shocks Macbeth and is seen by Banquo as a fate with which there can be no real contest. Banquo has his son Theance in mind it seems and as his sons protector shows only practical contempt of Duncan’s actions.

Not so Lady Macbeth.
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The Pivot
The Castle interior is not a lavish set on a fairly low budget film but there is little to denounce as the story unfolds in speedy courses of original dialogue and scene setting speeches. The memorality and cadences are very clearly interpreted and the swift edit cutting, present from the beginning where we see sufficient landscape and facial expressions as to be wholly convinced of this period interpretation. The tonal colourscape of the film is as the highlands of Scotland have appeared it seems for millennia.

For modern Shakespearian audiences it is in film entirely manageable (will a directors cut fill in all the absent dialogue?! Hardly!) to absent, omit certain scenes, for example Lady Macduff and Ross and their metaphor laden discourse.
We are instead delivered immediately to the cut and thrust of the pulsating pace of the outcomes from the major characters.
Breathtaking and troubling nature at once mocking and providing lush life and long genus loci.
That’s Scotland for you and Macbeth is at home at best it seems in Inverness. From England will come to the other Lowland Castle an army set by Malcolm and Macduff.

Evil unleashed
The loss of self control and judgement is fast enveloping as indeed is the protagonist of evil, Lady Macbeth, herself while alone subjected to self doubt and conspiracies of internalised composition. This is in itself a power play of acting and actorial genius first imagined by William Shakespeare himself a doubter of the sovereignty in his midst.

Alternative themes
Primarily to be successful it was necessary for him to quell his own judgement and only to slightly if that infer the cosmos of his beliefs. After all The Tempest being his final play, act spoke of the alienation, not an underrated descriptor, of his own mostly hidden or overlooked Catholicism. I believe he had realised the difficulty of criticising the Monarchy as the reformation began to take root.
This play set when a period of calm in religious fervency was destabilized by these acts of ‘play’ evoked Kings pyramidic violence laden betrayal of the ‘truth’ seen in a possible ‘outlier’ of religious discovery, instead is encroachable and lost in this human failure seen in the dramatic form with an intensity never encountered before. (Or since you might argue)
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Justin Kurzell has excelled in delivering this drama so effectively and accessibly to the big screen. This is were it is meant to be seen – it so happens TVs are becoming so big as to encroach on Cinemas singular and specific medium! So see it in a large space on a large screen and be dragged into it without distraction.

You will see – for no other reason than visual stimulus – play on the majesty of spaces – the serenity of the truly unique environment of Ely Catherdral is invested and charged to acquaint us with ‘awe’. The light streams into a space which happens to be so close to London it’s almost Home Counties and therefore distinctly not Scottish or Glamis as to provoke the directors determination to satiate our thirst for context and meaning.

Conclusion ####+ 4+
Mesmerising, convincing and superbly acted and directed film of a classic narrative which will envelope all drawn into it, those repaired to be immersed in the surreality of the use of language, metaphor or other driven of a tale resonant still in this millennia. It is never open or close to acclaiming itself as a definitive version. That will never be possible as the whole circuit of present day culture hovers around subjects Shakespeare has left as a jumping off point for ‘the story’, our meaningful human quest of a meaningless or impossible act of judgement of origin and place.

Such is the deserved acclaim warranted of a film which has expanded the thinking and not wasted its opportunity to shift minds and awaken things long left to sleep – that we may turn to anew – to something that is already there unknown.

John Graham

1 October 2015

Belfast

Showing from Friday 2 October to Thursday 15 October 2015 at QFT Belfast
and over wider distribution venues.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya : A Film Review

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
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Director : Isao Takahata Japan 2013
2hrs 17mins. Cert. U.
For matinees at QFT on Saturday 11 (3.25pm) and Sunday 12 April (3.15pm) the English dubbed version will replace the original Japanese with English sub-titled version shown at all other times.
There will be a pre-screening talk given by Laura Shearer, Film Blogger, on Saturday 4 April at 6.00pm.
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Story telling in Long form Cartoon
This is a tale of discovery. Set a child down in front of it without them able to understand language, subtitles or the mixture of both with an English version thrown in and for two hours they will be mesmerised.

Albeit very confusing to see a child grow into a juvenile, be taken from what seems like a paradise and to see them proudly develop opportunities such as skills with music they could relate to the grim Lady hired teacher of all things proper. At every opportunity Takenoko (the name meaning L’il Bamboo) refuses to be Bidden by the Lady of her parents choosing. This Governess is caught between the post and the willfulness of the child.

The kids will relate to this. They may find the halting nature of the progress and attainment of happiness and may recall and miss the rural bliss left very much behind after Takenoko has become nearly woman.

One part of this Japanese animation directorial dynasty is Seventy Three the other Seventy Nine.
They give us a vision of indescribable Japanese culture. It assumes the form of the simplest graphic. Such that two dimensions seems a moving book opens in front of you.
The sweep of a pen lovingly held just so on the page where it is not word as Kipling choosing … don’t look too good .. Watch the things you gave our life for … of the story travels.
Miyazaki, who directed Spirited Away and studio’s acclaimed chief, retired last year, at 73, with his ninth and final film The Wind Rises.
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Drawing it out
Takahata’s time at 79 do the same arrives to this extraordinary painstaking animation drawn as an exquisite allegory for Japanese minimalism which I discovered in the Japan Exhibition some decades past in the British Museum compellingly exotic.

As mythical and as maddening as any Irish Lore
Around the same time I was considering how Yeats was drawn to No theatre and what that said about the theatre of Ireland as well as contemporary Beckett plays.
Did we citizens of the world recall through minimal line and mythological thanks portrayed to a creation we so fragile hold? Yes. The escape into imagination is ours to perceive.
Isao Takahata the renowned Director finds here the tradition of Studio Ghibli’s animation technique as ancient scroll-painting coming to life in water painting as a fusion of air and balance of colour and line.
Put over as charcoal it becomes recognition of our carbon, the human element of these sketches.
The mystical properties of the story are very evident. Even in the final act. The narrative is serious and altogether on the fine line between sadness and acceptance.
The charcoal emanates from the willow bamboo an internal minutiae seldom visited. The evocation of landscape also brings memory of forest smells.
The willow is, I call it whittling, cut to reveal not a point but an inhabitant.
Our Jonathan Swift is Lilliputian and visceral complexities – this is instead 10th century fable.
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Has it moral and folkish lore?
Out of the bamboo the whittler finds a naid to be taken home to his family home. The Mountain from which the Bamboo is drawn has but a short time to provide and a decade is required once a harvest by the population is gathered in. Those ten yars occupy the middle segment and the Mother and Father recreate for themselves, selflessly in the midst of their new surroundings some representations of the old life.

The parents are endearing and also confounded by what this peculiar world they are encouraged into developing as though given instruction from the Heavens.

They are unquestioning.

The children find the earth full of things which renew whereas the uh obtainable is how the wider world sets out its goals. Takenoko sets a task once the skills and assertiveness of her life takes hold.
That is in order to have someone win her heart which is the dearest wish of her family and the city expects she puts out a call impossible to answer but the elitist suitors overwhelmed in expectation of the hidden love of The Princess go forth on the task.

The kids have seen it all before in many a movie and cartoon. The floundering of adults in pursuit of the impossible and the inevitable volte face in failure.

But is it learning and why is it the insistence of The Princess who surely knows their is that thing called love to be satiated.

Beginnings
There the foundling becomes Takenoko who within a very short period identifies as a fully grown Princess.

Discounting thus rural bucolic existence as being her real life or natural home she veins to observe otherness laying beyond this majority view of Japan.

So what Japan do we see?
What psychology of Japan rises above the personal?
What authority of restraining the personal growth Takenoko is privy to there in the space frame of this illusory vestage of Japan’s primary pathos and art form. The format of Scroll enveloping the No dynasty of story telling in fable as religious instruction.
Variously within this genre is encountered all of Japan’s life. It’s corpuscles amphibious then earthen and token pots mathematical guile as form arrested on geometry.
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Pots are formidable excelling art trusting in simplification as domestic, well what is it rectitude, certitude, alacrity, hubric control?

That is an entire subject 73 and 79 year olds are familiar in exhausting but not running low on cabling their story driven creation of illusory cultural landscape.

The pen fades out the image of landscapes as they escape from or reach to the edges of Cinematic frame. It is reduction in cerebral thinking brought to make space for another non realised or unseen presence.

Where Gilbert and Sullivan feared to venture with their Mikado Emperor, looking like a Seventies power dressed pirate here, in the attempt of the Honoured family who take their dared for charge to the city begin to find
Takahata put back the child into the Princess whose rejection of the material forms advanced by city and patronage as her beauty revered and sought becomes burdensome is curated Japan in the animator a hands.

Takahata requires and sees this water level tunnage.
The under cut line of human the frog eye cut by a sight line we know – when we observe it split by the horizontal – it has both in mind.

Two parts to us Takahata’s us that is here imparted through timeless skilful animation.

Only animation could show this flourishing as Takenoto becomes a custodian of flowers for the life makers here prescient ancient creators planting her in minutiae along with the dreams to fulfill it are not dream archers but come to retrieve the life lived once the dream has another form to return her to her true will. The return to childness forever – Buddas are Indian and the Angel’s Christian emblematic symbols some are familiar with in these allegories.

I find this aspect of glory very wishy washy – all the films colour has gone – the new moon (and on 4 April 2015 a seventh appears!!!!!) is benign and over white and and primarily tiresome.

The world is not only screamingly beautiful in so many contexts – not this one – we manage not to see, the image of arrows as flowers penetrating solids or what lies next to the bedrock of trolls and goblins harvested in greater and more formidable accounts. The likes of Brian Cox need do the kids a programme on this one or Matthew MaConaghy explain how he manages to traverse the wormhole or black hole of whatever it is he finds in space outside his space suit in ‘Interstellar’.

Other Narnias are available as are quasi religious symbiotic attempts at national analysis fastened to cultural expression.

The immersion is acceptable but without the ability to feed the senses the Japanese themselves are advantaged in staging their exploration of their gathered historical collections are we westerners ever likely to presume anything other than a cursory appreciation.

Configure. Go figure.
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Conclusion ### 3.
It is a shape shifting movie in the sense it is splendidly harnessing a genre of which there is no equivalent. It is beautifully and evenly rendered throughout and sees us disappear for a while going along with its long depredation of a life long tale. It encompasses the entire ‘universal’ life of Takenoko – variously L’il Bamboo, the Princess of Kaguya and we spend quality time with her lovely parents.

We also learn crafts never dreamt of and the axiomatic of beauty in the simplest forms of nature as well as the most complex unknowns we encounter and appear to ignore that concept of for our immediate gratification. The splendid rendering is what acts as a cohesive form and in the story is to be found many meanings some inpenetratable and some no doubt traditional faithfully held forms of expression/belief.

Be careful you seek some prior story heads up if you intend to have it as children’s cartoon entertainment. Or use it to ask them what it’s all about.

But don’t be daft.

John Graham

3rd April 2015

Belfast

On at QFT from Good Friday onwards SEE QFT CALENDAR FOR EASTER CLOSING DAYS IF ANY. A SPECIAL SCREENING TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015. With an introductory talk.

The following is useful for kids show times though a child’s ticket price is not advertised or is it?!

For matinees at QFT on Saturday 11 (3.25pm) and Sunday 12 April (3.15pm) the English dubbed version will replace the original Japanese with English sub-titled version shown at all other times.
There will be a pre-screening talk given by Laura Shearer, Film Blogger, on Saturday 4 April at 6.00pm.

Sent from my iPhone

Religion : Something New

imageThe Disquisition.
For an idea to take shape it requires some exploration.
It happens as I was an attendee at a rare Sunday Evening Service at the Church I go to; it last had evening services a very long time ago, it shall remain nameless as in the following you will see convergence and assimilation is what matters.

The service was, as is often the case, the means to accessing and discussing these things.
I related to a reflection from a book I had just finished in which it had me considering the larger questions. Then came bigger questions once I began writing and coincidences started to occur.

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Something New?
From the heading to this opening section I have added a question mark.
Having read in a book of a reference made by the author concerning ‘Something New‘ I came to realise in the phrase something’s , that came in the later stages of the ‘The Pillow Book of Eleanor Bron’ a hidden detail. She has it seems accumulated, been holding back!, some of the more confounding things for this part of her book, like an actor having taken you through the immensely satisfying passages of the play – the pillow book has opened and insights that have not escaped her, she brings momentous challenges of thought as the heart of the ‘play’ in its denouement.

This observation by EB is the final act, but you are conscious it is only one book in her life and so much more is not revealed.
She is not going to spill the beans about the important stuff; namely her character assessment within herself and her opinions, true opinions on things past and present. No, only the bigger picture anecdotal entitlements we are able to access now we have them here written in this casual form!
Pillowbooks
Pillowbooks are essays on any subject that occurs to you in the course of writing. The object is to arrange the thoughts into common themes and to loosely take things chronologically give a rhythm of structure. The practice is ancient.

Something new? Well, when she has been rehearsing and improvising,as the American acting style of learning developed into, she notices something which illustrates much more than just acting.

In the manner of the writing of a Pillowbook a short title is used.
It comes in these last passages as ‘startling things‘ neither with capitals or bold but italisised.
em>startling things
‘….another actor who takes a piece of text or of behaviour and opens doors and lets in light that makes everyone, hilarious, with that delight that comes almost always not from finding out something new, but a shock of recognition of being emended of something so obvious that you know it, somewhere, all the time. If you can offer something back, and something back, and yet again, and on and on – wonderful.’
Other Meanings
From this you can take much besides the simple recognition Eleanor Bron is making as a ‘startling thing’ ‘something’ which climbs to a higher place. She leaves it at that while being exhilarated by the insight.
She has taken it, as it means so much more. It is reason for acting and portraying ideas before people as a kind of witness giving energy to every thing it touches.
To act out the intention and meanings of mere words is a glorious concept which assists our understanding of many things. The continual – see the repetition in the last sentence of her piece – is what she describes in leading up to this recognition as exhilarating.
Time
More can be gathered by looking into this thought deeply and in the context of mere religion and the universal.
Not being something new shows the existence, the prior truth as being the only something that matters. The truth inherent is that all already exists and it is finite not to be added to.
Therein is everything that ever will be in the future already here.
It is simply not yet fully uncovered.
The saying nothing is new under the Sun is only partially accurate.
The universe which we look back upon, through the achievements of science, is of past times.

The modifications we make through uncovering things and destroying things is a cycle within the existing time that is still. It is a stationary timeless essence of our existence. No time exists. Time being a concept.
The passage I refer to has in it the essence of this thought.
That all is in existence and as some prefer to reason, ‘ye must be born again’ that seems to mean return within.
There is no conflict in this saying as it contains the other thought or truth that is often referred to ‘nothing can be created nor destroyed
So in the saying, it unveils some truth as it was otherwise intended.
The Big Bang theory is complete. The theory is that the creation of – and the creator is the universe itself beyond the creation – time is nothing.
To envisage this concept of no such thing as time and we are within the creation which is without time is the central form which has to be perceived. (In a later part I refer to time as it is used scientifically as a means of connection and measurement.)
To conceive of the theory there is a Big Bang is the culmination of an unravelling of the constituent parts of our existence.

It has become so evident that there existed a moment when we ‘came’ into being – except from what we know of ‘mankind’ that part of the fluidity was not there in the exact ‘creative’ Big Bang – our existence was determined because of it, in and out of the Big Bang. It is what we are.
Creation
We will never have the capability of discovering the ‘creation’ of existence because we are within it. It exists as us and is the entirety of the universe seen and unseen for which there are to be no subtract ions or additions.
Our reasoning is to make discover what is and not to discover what will be.

The fluidity in the above paragraph is in reference to the form we take.

In this form It is as though we exist within the the two reflective faces of two mirrors each unseparated and each containing all the light.
Our universe being within those mirror faces melded and inexorably in the infinite moment continually rearranging in a time which is inconceivable.

Our own world is methodically based on lineage which casts back through exploration of a universe of billions upon billions of years in the formation.
It is our concept of time without any other instruction. No external, and that is all that we see, knowledge is transferred.
The sense of scale is ours through measurement alone. Even the nano level shows temporal differences around any measurement due to the fluidity of all that is in existence.

Our thoughts are conceived around firstly an understanding our own world and life within it. The conditions in which we exist and the powers of spiritual thinking adapt and provide the necessary formula for existence by our reliance on each other and on the regulation through ‘days’ of our lives.
Gaia
Whether you call this the theory of no time or of our phenomena is not of any importance. We live in a time within ‘no time’ where we have despite the insignificance of it ‘invented’ seven days for a week by division of a ‘calendar’ found in the behaviour of the planet in relation to the sun and moon. It is a stretched time where we have seasons and the planet ‘Gaia’
as a model of the earth self-regulating organism is a closer recognition than the one which is adhered to that has seven days. A day is the same in Gaia as the next day and the day after that.

In other words there is no need for a day to have a name and seven of those days advance and the same days name arises. It is not logical but a mechanistic set of conformities which deny us true revelation.
The possible explanation is that we fear that uncertainty while seeking uncertainty through destructive and immoral behaviour.
That of war and that of up recognition of Gaia as a base elemental truth.
Perceived
The cognitive pressures to learn and be able to create ‘everlasting’ conditions, the life after death hypothesis is but one as enlightenment and social realism which are forms of elucidation. Meaning is our questioning reasonings prevailing purpose.
We are the inhabitants in that moment of no time and within it we exist as the quantum parts of that creation.
To act on things we need some certainty and as constituent parts we evolve, are evolving within a frameless universe. The manifestations are a return to our earlier existence through the dissolution of this planet. The planet is a gathering of an immobile part of the universe.
Finite
It may seem as an infinity but it is of no time and the infinity exists only as a creation within something that is already here but we know nothing of.
For Gaia we assume the ‘laws’ of Titan, that ancient Greek god of the sun, represented as driving a chariot across the heavens; identified by the Romans with Sol.
Computed
There is a sweeping away of the many layers of our self deception and it is through the ‘advancement’ of theory which has collected and been revealing new things to us as our advance has led to new methods of learning, the patterns obtained through computing and the relevance of the anti-fragile world is pulling us into the centre of the Big Bang as it is key to our own understanding.

To not look for something new is a positive and it also defines for us a future which does not exist, only our cycle within the already existing is our life.
Now
In the Pillowbook it is the idea that something exists that you knew all along.
The recognition and revalation is exhilarating and it is driving you closer to that ultimate knowledge of your own existence and of not just something but everything. It is as is now.
Adam and Eve
Another aspect in the Pillowbook which drew me into this exploration, this examination of the thought it provoked is concerning the basis of all Religion. Love of one another above all else.
Primarily in putting the case for God as our proof is the greatest proof of all of our capacity to love in the beginning. From Adam and Eve, she explains in passage 203, –
‘Dorna insists there is only one sin. And that is not loving someone enough to be perfect – that is to say, to obey them perfectly. Starting of course with your parent, or parents. Adam and Eve did love their single parent -as much as any uncomprehending child, in those first days of life, does love the Being that feeds and succoured it; but if you disobey that Being it is akin to not loving it and this – seeming not to love duly – is the strongest spring of guilt. This is the real Original Sin.

Gods case and the case for all parents, is that Creation itself is the greatest proof of love.’

Here Eleanor Bron, whose Jewish sensitivity to Religious thinking has enabled and brought her a very well honed and considered approach to discerning hinges in light of her accrued life’s experience, again touches on elements which although totally without proof of concept or realism are harbours of faith of God as creator. They are disproportionately valuable in their wisdom. It is also a probable cause of the authors ability to perform complex roles in virtue of her disposition for learning and drama as a means of delivering understanding. It is warming to realise this singularity of direction is but one of the vast number of directions peoples lives take them.

Knowing your limits of love is a failing in the perfection known through God.

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Action at a Distance – Dice or No Dice

A History of Brief Time
In this time, several reflections can be made of advancements in science and by a small coincidence an exhibition opens this week in Belfast on the theories found by John Stewart Bell.
If a small explanation of his principle theorem is made it is this – Our world is non-local as sub atomic particles act on each other no matter how far apart. Regardless of relation in time or light.
Problematically it has of its relation to quantum theory one thing most evident.

The experiment of separation is achieved through fine distancing which in continuing the separation exacting care enables the exclusion of other forces. It is noted there is still elemental properties within a vacuum so for Jonathan Bell to create an experiment which removes all other elements apart from the sub-particles which ‘bind’ ‘repell’ is the outstanding advance which confirmed the theory for further proofs to emerge.
Event
It is only probability and has no certainty. It is not a deterministic theory in which the future can be predicted. In the circumstances Einstein was philosophically correct in believing the ‘old reliable’ does not play dice.
In this he acknowledges the very eventful – the proximity to being determined through all available present knowledge – as being immense.

Only the absence of this proof is deepening the void and creating an unbridgeable divide between this and the light connection unseen.
The chromatic sciences of art and nature, seen in the film ‘Mr Turner’ as prismatic light obtained through diffusion in glass.
That light passing through air which itself dissipates its colour and scatters before us principally blue which is the light we walk through.

Think of each oxygen particle and four other nitrogen colourless particles which we read through and breath in. Our connection to each other is made through the links of us sharing the same air at some point in different particles of the same element.

It is as though we are linked not only by design, homologous parts are shared between species and our ability to compress and arrange air through our larynx is what makes us able to communicate in a higher order.

That is all that separates us from other species and principally the chimpanzee. It is a reality which environment has stimulated.

Out further is the construct of our finite world within the Big Bang.

Rearview Science
Standing not in front of us but behind us – no science is found in – ‘the future’ – is what is to be uncovered. Swept away by continual trial and error we can connect things as they indeed form their principle.

The dimension of connectivity is physical and JSB John Stewart Bells theorem is the belief not the certainty that each sub particle influences the behavior of another far distant sub particle – [of the same composition?]

In measurement theory there is a held condition needed to allow value to be determined. It is the observance of sub-sets of conditions as they differ minutely. In such small size of variability and in continual flux that they are made invisible to the measurement and for its use.

Science is the discovery of the past not the discovery of the future.

John Graham

4 November 2014

Belfast

The Four Quartets by T.S.Eliot contains this beginning passage.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves I do not know.

Art : Object

We are the object. Nandos or Art.

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Lots of Art to see One Night Only
except for some of the lesser works.
UPPER LEVELS IN THE FRAME
KEYNOTE
The currency of the Platform Arts exhibition Keyframe suggests we take a journey or pathway separately and Sontag like we also cross into other realities.
Susan Sontag ‘when crossing spatial borders, the photographer becomes “a tourist in other people’s reality” and eventually in his own.’
quoted in Colin Martin’s leaflet where the writer attempts to introduce us to this and asks further how reliant a capture of the time and place it actually is? How repeatable it is? Both these questions entirely subjective but for the individual normally answered negatively – another unexplored film meaning. Then axiomatic.
These key topics in the installation are enticed out on 5 floor mounted screens with sequenced cycle of the same film are according to the above reading of the leaflet, its own little film synopsis page, complete with actors, the room, subject , the Irish Film archive, the jeopardy, the unknown behaviour of you the viewer, the money shot, the key frame. As a film show the leaflet is meandering on the content and does little other than outline objectives. Not the artists fault but the editorial of the film is very narrow and unchallenging.
Why chose 5? 100 +- is theoretical as are worn images the archive presumably obtain.
It might even have worked in a supermarket. Or even Rita Duffys pop up shop an archive of experience packaged and all for sale POA.
Do you think any other significant variables are missing from your consumption equation according to standard consumption theory?
Estimate using what you consider to be a more corehensive formulation of the consumption function.
Give reasons for the inclusion of additional variables and discuss the economic and econometric results.

Piled dated goods. Content labeled, commodity presumed, entirely disposable and incomplete and removed from the marketing effect the label induces. Recycling. Packaging. Semantics?
Supermarket as archive, not so strange. Our consumption is cultural, produce is repeated and reinvented, contains such laden baggage dating back to its invention. Labels are King. Experience.
The installation is extremely dull and un reaching towards the supposed goal.
It was minimalist art at a minimum.
Posed as being derivative of the Michael Snow Wavelength, given the gravestone token of seminality, from the vesicle sak, as if any one has a clue what that actually is – highly original? Influential certainly hence the laboured reproductions and mis treatments, very much this a case in point.. So it shall rest. It is untechtonic, unexpressive, unmachineness, pure rolling – and most likely as Wavelength, planned to be shot un chronologically. When did anyone perceive the eye cannot be duplicated even in watching film?
You might draw a distinction through this being ‘film’ of ‘film’ but that is a lame derivative adventure.
The film is itself an archival work without a reach into the organic processes of the room. Taking and making a film into another technology unseen, unsaid, its at the rooms most inert functionless time, when it is without the archivists, time locked, it merely depicts the room, dimensions though partially, the wall and door furniture, it’s shelving, nostalgic nods to library of reels, names of series adored in CinemaScope once again.
Of course reactions and memorial will be different and Keyframe lacks that acceptance everyone of us has when they lift a camera point and shot. Unlike Sontag who never made films but participated in others as an act of disturbing her own biography by performing within, you have got to believe it entirely within her own set limits for the filmmaker who however appears in these works on Sontag to have enabled freedoms. Like hell she has, it is impeccably orchestrated by the photographer who knows what the lens pointed towards her produces. Sontag gorgeously commits this part of herself, her own skill, knowledge and mercurial image onto the film big time.

Sontag was aware and Colin Martin presumably endorses the leaflet writers take on it – uses the word ‘parlance’ implying reading the huge difference instructing the course of ‘transition.’ Film is of course transitory. The frames shown could also been retaken on different days, where are the rough cuts, the trial runs, the debris of EDITORIAL on the floor?, instead we get the lifeless materials of the front and back – meaningless, perhaps that is an out, – keyframes. The film or leaflet is titled Thousandfold it seems.

PEPPERED DOTS
by Sean Guinan also at Platform Arts is a small display of paintings gathered under this title.
They are intensely worked oil both texturally and conceptually. Sean Guinan begins his painting without a motive but placing a mark as artists will assert begins the unfolding of motive, direction, intent, time, statis, act, turmoil and then that word again employed here as a jolt, transition.
Everything changes as the cliche tells. The Mac exhibitions also going off at the same annoying time are time referenced with transition dealt with hugely. More on the Mac later.
Sean Guinan has produced art intentionally bordering the figurative.
Nature, that then – it has since altered – complete evolution , is stuck to the canvas (some appear canvas I assume all are) in developing spiraling only occasionally dots and in the process what emerges is a graceful very calming set of works.
The sleeping giant without being aware of the title did evoke in me a conscious of religious repose. It is an ‘element’ at rest, animal or spiritual with a skin of many colours.
Spiritual Presence
I had a sideline conversation on the place of spirituality which in the frame of God, does not go down in artistic circles, except for the binding relation with patronage through the progress of art. It didn’t strike accord.
Ruskin put it better than I ‘dramatic circumstances‘ that covers many art ventures, ‘…place of art in the discovery of God.’ Meaning of course the art is the route but is it not also the search of a discovery. Not plain representation mistaken hugely as art. It is a vector to separate and make seem un reachable and beyond mankind. Therefore I maintain, it is the discovery of the artist being conscious of the limitations, only reaching a certain and often ultimately that ceiling, cathedral like?, which signals the end of that artworks mark physically. Transition as Sean Guinan ‘Signals’ to me a viewer that stretched moment. A fixity in time.
This work is certainly worth seeing in its confined space.
Had a bit more imagination been shown the risk could have been taken in giving the larger space to Sean Guinan. He may have formulated a connection with the room. Keynote discards this and uses only a quarter of the space which in my mind is not an artistic or curation choice but bad choice or a lack of communication. Sean Guinan has the challenges of his occupation and is very, very, commissionable. Many Platform works are responsive to the space, the main gallery, Top level I call it. The art therefore grows and the space adds its proportional strengths and proprietorial genus loci – its exhibitions always seem to have something to say of the ethos of the gallery.
The work produced by Sean Guinan is heavy on the medium used and unless the work of artists – the ability to write off large chunks of materials in their tax breaks – given that proprietorial extension for the work is advanced it will be increasingly difficult here in Ireland to develop the talent that is seen expressed in spiritually maquette form.
This is essential for the advancement of the society we live in.
Understanding art leads to so many levels of understanding which are not simple accumulation of theory, electronic or otherwise but world affirming.

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SETTLEMENT OR SUNKEN
AT TIMES LIKE THESE MEN WHERE WISHING THEY WERE ALL KINDS OF INSECTS
The Mac has an ill considered space, the sunken gallery which attendance is for fit persons or those prepared to once again deign to the discrimination of a elevator especially tee for them.
If you go there thence forth you will see the very surreal piece of commemoration in the work by Graham Dingles. His work also features in the constrained Art of the Troubles (as if we hadn’t the capacity as natives to digest our own lives) and in the sunken space a building of memory is elegantly provocative of the sense of touch, materiality, amber cast
He generously filled in gaps in my reading of the work which were considerably given Graham’s ability to explain the intellectual theory and to offer its expression of limits of the subject and it’s here obituary.

Where I got to was the vase or chamber in which the lilies were decaying and emblematic. The amber context I got from the whites, pale yellows and browns. The amber is the amber of corn fields in which the wind blows and symbolised the dying raked from straw. The smell is intoxicating as the lilies give up their life as cut flowers do. The amber again is the aspic sign of plant forms in behind a glass framed cabinet elongated or in other places more formal with again memorial content. The lily is a relative to the aspidistra of many wartime communal front sitting room gathering to remember a family member whose life was taken and no body sent for burial. The aspidistra almost taking the place as it seems to suggest in Graham Dingles piece the already cut and now decaying person of whom this whole is for.
A tribute it suggests can be made after the style of the deceased or as an excursion of emotions surrounded by artifacts. On further thinking and continued consideration and I wish to go and revisit it, I find it extremely evocative of the crime of war, the irregularity, the disconnection, the disfiguring of the soul, the body rent of life. It is composed to build this formulation as an antidote to war.
When the flowers are – Eurydice – Edith Sitwell (I referred to it before in my last film review) says
‘Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.’
They will be replaced. Everyday a child, woman and man is killed by war.
There are three. No exception likely ever until we return ourselves to God replacing hate with love.
The exhibit should be toured and placed in the joins between all wars and it has a derivation arising locally and in particular reference but that is the strength of the personal that it carries remarkably poignantly.
It seldom seems fitting to be holden to a memorial as in most cases they are less fragile and more direct in their delivery. When it becomes a cause for our concern through its immediacy or it’s greater and greater obscenity of human depravity it is necessary to, in lieu of reflecting through the God given emotions and life’s instinctive ness from the one source, these pieces are an act of courage and exclamation against lies and myths creating such wars.

The main gallery at the Mac , again an Upper level gallery, is below the children’s section. The children’s area and sometimes corporate recruitment hot housing days in the space is in a badly designed location.
It has no apparent staircase and no apparent means of escape in case of fire. It instead looks out from the ivory tower into the courtyard below with its gaudy po-regency fronts. Its rear backs onto the dual carriageway of Victoria Street, all car park and no design giving away its preposterous facsimile architectural conceit.
If ever two new buildings were juxtaposed opposites this would feature highly.
The upper gallery is an immense space with generous ceiling heights and well lit. It is evening when the opening of the exhibition of and sunlight has passed light is softly caught in the roof glazing openings set in the west side of the room.

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Colin Darke : GROTESQUE MEDIOCRITY
That theory is contained in text is a theory; that it can be made pretty by transposing it on a medium that intensifies or subverts its meaning is superficial. The he superficiality of this work is that relation.
Possibly that is an avenue to be explored in this very large and handwritten version of Marx’s treatise, a small book on Bonepartes Revolutionary ideals.

So Colin Darke takes the bourgeois artifacts of the everyday. Fine China, White Fashion boots, highlighter pens, cutlery of the finest quality and de seminaries the books across the variety of objects into or is it out of, well in reads inward but you can never be certain. Rather tedious to read the book in this manner even if it is pretty and the handwriting is carefully and meticulously imprinted.
It struck me as having the ‘hallmarks’ of a Turner Prize wannabe exhibit.
Marx’s own middle class background affected his own outlook and the academic in him thought through theorizing on historical materialism.
The book in its beginning chapters and even from the outset call the 1848 revolution a recasting and playing out of Bonapartes revolution.
We are without any other context.
The subsequent revolutions which saw the end of monarchy and the Church’s hold over France is another story. In
Centripetal and Centrifugal
So why this one and told in such a way? I have no idea. It is another exercise in mortality. The centre is a disintegrating set of we are told 666 apples. He forgets the tragedy of the the first and that Engels said of the second revolution it was a farce the line appears on the first tiles but the meaning is unresolved through this piece. The mould of a spiral is always the centre.
What Colin Darke is creating is in fact the idiom of centrifugal politics. The Marxist theory, never expressed by him or subsequently through the so called Marxists is that it seeks a model of centripetal politic reform.
The prognosis of the book is that it again highlights the people are vexed with the economics and factors of that time the revolutionary instinct for radical change sets in is in fact Parker’s practical needs.

The liberal set we know today are in charge or so they believe though essentially they are in concert with the capitalist few in order to maintain a live above the proletariate.
Revolution Stall Holders
Under the socialist fusion of democracy and Marxist theory came a Jewish Socialist Leader, Leon Blum, who refused to join the Left Governments in 1924 and 1932, on the intellectual basis of denouncing any Communist led revolution for its failure to recognise the necessity to educate the people politically without which a dictatorship would arise.
An all important clear message that under the Claude Peguy expression, ‘socialism will be moral or it will not be at all‘.

He also perhaps recognised that the ‘imagination‘ of the people was a fantasy climaxing in the theatre of what in many countries are myth shaped marches and commemorations, the habit forming of attacking the Chamber.
The Veterans (nationalists and ‘Great War’ veterans) March of 6 February against the Third Republic was highly significant and marked the beginning of 10 years of instability. On Bastille day 1935 ‘Revolutionaries’ linked arms and marched in an orderly way down the Champs Élysées then were joined by a vast crowd from all parts of Paris. When it came to Government though the Communists they declined being a part of it preferring to (and destabilising progress) criticise and avoid any responsibility. Their position was strong enough to have the ‘ruling class’ – the Freemasons, propertied people, Factory owners become concerned and strikes ensued.
The reforms these obtained did nothing for the economy of France however and the German rearmament was to prove even more concerning.
Demands
The causes of Marxism and a new phase were subsequently hoisted by election into the programme. The ‘Popular Front’ with the communists having taken over the unions were seeking : Defence of Liberty, Defence of Peace, Economic Demands, these incorporating a forty hour working week, an employment fund with extensive investment in public works. International relations were a divisive element with the German rearmament under Hitler threatening all of the above.
Emblematic
Colin Darke is expressing in a grotesque form that theory which Marx’s cuts down his own revolutionary concept that need not ideas drive mankind.
Or something to that order. In Marx’s search for a system for all he takes the element of exchangeas the key ingredient.
What followed was a massive uplift in the capacity of mankind to produce through incredible advances in design and engineering; the location where ideas where the currency every capability was pushed culminating in a political act of landing on the moon.

What happens on this floor is pure grotesque bourgeois art canonised.
For it to be of an inconsequential book, even in Marxism is a poor outcome.
Marx and Newman
Francois Mauriac and others politicised France and led it collectively into the twentieth century which was also actually the cut off point for the pre-held grand order of art.
He said of Marxists that they forego the rendering of consciousness as dealt with, for example, by Newman in Apologia pro vita sua?
He even relates the most important thing of all which Newman famously raises, and raising it is, …’confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and of making me rest in the thought of the two, and two only, absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator.’ Francois Mauriac uses this to show a large part of society has this philosophy or faith ‘fetichism’ which largely Markism extirpates is ever here. He realises the complexity that is ‘The Kingdom of God is within us’ and indestructible. Francois Mauriac despairs of the – (he says nothing of the other religions Sufism, Muslim, Judaism, others which constricts his thesis) – Protestant and Catholic ‘impossibility of communication between the two spiritual families.’ but he is fundamentally ‘prophetic’ as his time defined it.
Then he follows this immediately with the sentence which has for me summed up Marx and Newman.
‘I imagine Marx reading the Apologia, Newman reading Das Capital, and each heaving a sigh, amazed that any man should be so blind and so absurd.’

The projection being Marxists have refused to confront the that which every man born with and which Newman summed up in four words – ‘myself and my Creator.’
At that time the art world and creative talent of France became inward and self analytical to the extent new wave cinema and some elements of jazz – Einstein’s theory – became the principle higher means of expression. ‘I often think in terms of music’ and
‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.’
Prettiness and Picasso
Prettiness with persistence only goes so far and in France it is signified along with the Marxist failures in perhaps one element. Picasso escaping fascist Spain brought his sense of art to Paris at a time when it had foregone the stimulus and direction as a centre of significance.
The Guernica piece being that recognition of all war. No artifice there.

This Upper Gallery is to have this work until October and it is not by any stretch anywhere near the attached hype surrounding it mainly postulated by the Gallery and not the Artist. It is a case of SO WHAT Miles once sowed.
Bicarbonate of Soda should remove the text and the letters can be reassembled to form a mist to then become part of another element.

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TERRA FIRMA
The Ps2 space is a counterbalance to art that is a triviality and of inconsequential ideas presented with hubristic intent.
This time Rachel Campbell-Palmer has location and the perception reached through process that is repetitive, creating that place for each of us to inscribe in our minds, the effectiveness of the formulation conceived.
It is extremely and significantly embedded in the ‘construction’ task and the architectural outcome is the choice allowed by the constraints of site.
It is the same process undertaken to achieve all ‘good’ architecture.
As landscape architecture is dependent and this is both realised independently – inside/Ps2 – outside/people.
The fact is it is protected by the gallery walls and its containment which will bring little elemental damage.
Only the people will alter it.
It turns out – the methaphor of a cast mould – as a beautiful work. Never are each piece alike with the – in architecture and construction they are known as tolerances – specification of material and its method of casting being intuitive in the first instance, based on research and then in the act of using a cement mixer and creating each via, a mould. Terra Firma is a horizontal concept withstanding mountains which are adverse to buildings. It does not readily support human life forms.
The scale of the each element is perfect for the human to handle and the place. It is perfect in its engineering limits being neither over massed or slim to be in-durable. The diamond is capable of expressing width or length.
It is straight out of the move away from the orchard of design that dwelt in nature and of the machine contemporaneous structural forms which knocks influences, F.L.Wright Japanese, C.R.Mackintosh, Art Noveau, V.Horta, Naturalism, and previous decorative motifs into a consigned historical narrative with no value in repeating.
Those were of their time yet we continually see mediocrity emerge with all the collected misunderstood elements of the decorative age. I once worked on a project which was a lasting reminder of the Post-modern period which I dislike and like in equal measure. It was conceived in a global context with work concerns remodeling cities. Not a bit like The Titanic Building which I destest and detest in equal measure. Likewise there is an awful foot bridge in Omagh which defies beauty and design. It is a metalworkers dream.
I saw about twelve hard hats watch the ugly bow bridge being set in lace.
Beauty Fusion
F.Leger ‘Purist’ once said ‘ when Renaissance artists began to paint their mistresses because they are beautiful, art was betrayed.
An argument of sorts but without free expression of those artists, patronized or not, we would without the beauty of those paintings.
It does not explain either how it relates to the prolific works of homosexual artists whose work more or less would not have been as involved in that arena and it is trivial to make that as a point for art to suffer.
Where Dadaists could not build they captured shapes and technology combining the place and people within their art.
Forms and Formula
The works of architects such Walter Gropius made connections of forms which were poetic and beautiful. Le Corbusier as well saw nothing new in art merely that machines could extend the composition of beauty poetical and rhythmically, a thing also recognised by Leger.
Vers une architecture by Le Corbusier collects a fusion of influential buildings and objects to produce his narrative of thought for the evolution of the forthcoming Modern Movement. More readily he would have used the analogy of DNA had that organisation of organisms been as prominent.
In my mind it, design and architecture, need be associated in this mathmatical way (health is a great element in his thinking) with the combination of geometric shapes always conscious of their visual appearance and foremost their functionality – the justified means.
Justified and Ancient!

That it seems, is the realm of Rachel Campbell-Palmers piece operates, in that it again uncovers that collective of beauty – the scale as I mentioned above being human, liftable, – plain and regular is beautiful and the act of that theory is measurable in people reacting to it warmly and delightedly.

The texture is variable! the constraints not pushed into it or by the factory process of production is also illuminating.
The bubbles of trapped air on some fully filled blockswhen cured appear as the Italian specialist plaster Marmorina.
The Venetian plaster Marmorina (the word derived I think from of or like marble: skin of marmoreal smoothness.) is a beautiful grained finish which again is seen by the artist as an expression of the process. I love the finish and its variations are very something sought over in many an interior.

This work is very well accomplished and is combining the relations sought imaginatively and almost as importantly, as well as any sculptor may have worked on a similar piece in a Smithsonian way.
I loved the work and it will prove up to the exposure to people as it welcomes and invites you to walk on it.

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EX TALK
Catalyst Arts. Jonah King, Frank Wasserstein, Ian studio director.
The words spoken are below noted. They have others in between but for reasons of uncertainty, intended, I write those which appeal most.
One word was added. Rehearse. It replaces the actions of the third component The Gallery.
In order to use space created by the list I have written alongside some.

I have also not stayed on the discussion, taking each word as it comes outside of discussion to form my own narrative.  This will also allow the artists an artist to use the   Words as I give them for their own point of departure.  It seems a natural way to act

MAY
REALM       There I was in the room with an expectation of hearing of the work
REACT            of Frank Wasser and Jonah King. The talk was begun by Frank.
REJECT
REHEARSE
EMBRACE
WATER    Font is needed by the writer of tales in text. A5 notebooks
IN
QUEUW   were never mentioned. Especially Fjall.
COMPLIANCE     I wonder if I have complied. I have I believe.
VERVE
VERB    I have remained silent listened to every word. Johan has a
SEARCH ME    subtext in mind.
OUTFIT    Later a security detail will be deployed in the Gallery.
PALPABLY           actors act the part. No one is suspected or targeted.
SEMBIOTIC    I don’t remember the context. Maybe semiotic, signs.
UNIFORM                Sembiotic is unreal but it comes from the
INVISIBLE    vesicouterine pouch which is where semen is lubed
MANIFESTATION
LONDON    This is late rain is falling
MARINA                        Oh what happened
ABROMOVITCH                        lights the night sky which illuminates the
RAIN                            carpet of cut grass making up the soft spaces between
SERPENTINE    lake the buildings cafe restaurant and paths
WAVESECURITY       Bob. B.   water spills and breaches are security on hand
SENSITIVE
OH
FIRE
KATY
STATUS
VOCABULARY
FONTS
FRANKLIN
INACCURATE           Words cannot describe what just went on.
CURATE         I take home a leaflet EX. It is white A5. 4no. A4 120gsm.
CRITICAL                          It appraises the work without becoming the main
EXHIBITION.                words to be spoken of the collection.
PROJECTS.       I hate the fact I miss the Nothing Happens. The
OPPOSITE                         Is true for some. Google your life to see if you have a
SLIM           chance of survival without scrutiny by someone.
TEXT                              Definitely. I caress text. I adore words. They must have
REASONS    to exist. Communication without the body is word based.
RATIONAL                  Sublimity overcomes subtlety sublimely.
UNDERLINED     It simply does no need to underline.
FULL             Happens.
STOP             You notice a change from a dot telling you to finish
KURT                              Reading his dairies.
SANDYCOVE                     The walk is over past Nora and green snot. O’Casey.
COBAIN                                         Is lost on an island
SLICE                    of torture fills inside veins
CUT                                knowledge comes with deaths release is only a song turn
OFF                                           start
WRITING
NOT.         writing but singing inside your head Einstein thinks in music.
COLLUSION              Of the garden of Gods angels overcoming Marx.
ATTEMPT             Thought, allow it in as truth
STATIC                             Lives do not exist. A Security detail has seen you standing.
INTERDEPENDENT                 Is the rule which must be satisfied so sex is
UTOPIAN          Narcissism encroaching outside the body onto another.
EXCLUDES.                    hate and crushes complacency. All else is
ANTAGONIST                       born. Settlement will take an age.
EDGINESS          Is a fear of the negative Jonah library of angst.
TENSION        Is essential our bodies are elastic our buildings plastic.
RECONVIGURATION              Happens to each individual and is sucked in to
REEVALUAAE        ‘ted so much by others they say, lie its every generation.
LLFET
PROBLEMS
BUROCRACY
GEOGRAPHICALLY
POLITICS
DISSATUSFACTION
TOTAL
CAPITALISM                Is harmful. do no harm.
IDEAOLOGIES      are a cornucopia of Utopias underestimated.
1977
PUNK     Is remastered rebellion in sonicses with copious drugs
SUBLIMATION
JUBILEE.                              2012 Is gone.
JESSIE J
POP                        art never became mainstream so how is it popular art.
CHARTS      of colour are handed out like chits giving access to emotion.
HOW.                            To acquaint your neighbours with Farrow and Ball
DIY                is bricolage and cant.
MANTLE.                                                              Is a lintel in a wall over a fire
VOCABULARIES                 can explain things more clearly but use poetry.
FISHER
MARK
JOY.       begins with the wonder of children knowing nothing of our ways
DIVISION.                                     Is a lane between the fields.
BEATLES                            negate the need for hardback books that
FUCKED
OVER.              writers in exaggerated respect for the subject they wrote on.
TIME         Is uncoupled from the past and future.
WORK                                         happening without planning becomes waste.
BIG.         Is not good an invention for self manipulation of Edmund Burke
SOCIETY                                which he thought empty.
FEED                the hungry of all races and denounce war done in your name
SWEEP
STATE.              meant truth but gave us lies
IDOLISES
STRANDS
FASHION.         A room into a domicile to escape the rain of frogs and
ULTRA.                           swings in climate and live close to soil that richness of earth.
ANARCIST                     Is really Anarchist but it is so like Antichrist I must
ARGUE.             Christ is that anarchist we need believe.
WITHIN            The word is the word. The word is like jazz the music of life.
RELIGIOUS.    Apathy brings sectarianism and looses out on loving God.
MYTH                           replaces truth see F.Ni.Mh piece hanging at St Mary’s right now.
CHICAGO            Is full of northern bigots despising southern bigots              TOTALITARIANIBM     Alister Cooke said much the same of  this

ESCAPE      From hype and rely on your own

POSITIVITY           and when you learn to distrust
SCHOOL
NEGATIVITY                  turns to a positive and a critical mass
TOOTHPASTE         Only enhances the smile of realisation.
CHANGE
POPULIST
FEAR
CHRONOLOGY               is realising words have as numbers set relation only visible
WEALTH     through reading will enumerate the
BUSINESS                   of communication while prose contains poetry in
ODD.      inexhaustable fresh recognition making it a place of
FACT      belonging outside reality with a mind to envision
PARADISE
RECREATE     first in your mind
INTERUPTING    societies reliance on regularity replacing
NOSTALGIC                     notions of culture. Culture is
BLACK                                              without art.  The
FLAG        of the White Star hangs over our arrogance.
DEFENSIVE
SHRIVES
CONTEMPORARY     art is full of resolutions on this
ART     as distinct from that
MARKET                           which is our
WORLD
NOTHING exists without God.

EX on Thursday 7 August opened with the escalating security piece Nothing Happens by Jonah King and I missed the experience entirely. It was to be the orderly of controlled space with the response of the viewer bearing the surveillance and tension of the presence of ‘protection’ of the almost empty space. It was intended to stir emotions of self infringement and the growing authoritarian elevation of security as an everyday fact. I am very disappointed not to have experienced this valued piece.

The above is opinion only it has limitations of access and monitors a reaction that is a personal reflection.
If it happens to fit aspects of your own views, literal and experienced it is very welcome. I hope you are inspired in some way.
The writing follows a night of consumption which was as a day full of unsettled weather. Elmore Leonard has a rule. Never start a book with the weather. It is impossible to avoid it as words are as amorphous as clouds.

The sun provides the light be it from the elements captured in the earth.
For ever and ever we gather light.

As the work of Graham Gingles reflects on the War Diaries of Robert McGookin from Larne his chosen title speaks of and is the strongest perceptive art seen to breach the minds boundaries. It is indescribable ultimately.

At times like these men where wishing they were all kinds of insects.

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John Graham

11 August 2014

Belfast