2012 top ten, 4: Simon Field

2012 top ten, 4: Simon Field

Our cultural top tens for the year continue with this selection by our colleague at Illuminations Films, producer Simon Field.

Simon: This is not so much a top ten, but more a selection of memorable events and experiences over the last year from January through to December. (The image above is of No. 2 below.)

1. James Benning’s Small Roads and Heinz Emigholtz’s Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete

In a year when I visited fewer festivals than in previous years, two complementary highpoints from the festivals of Rotterdam and Berlin by two film-makers whose work I try to follow and which these days is most reliably caught at festivals. Benning’s is a characteristic study in landscape, of roads in the American west and south in different weathers, making subtle use of the digital which he has now embraced after years of commitment to 16mm. (For more, see Robert Koehler’s review for Variety.) Emigholtz’s film is part of his remarkable on-going series of detailed studies of major buildings by modern architects from the well-known like Adolf Loos and Louis Sullivan to the less familiar, like Bruce Goff and Rudolf Schindler. They are subtle and constrained works concentrating on the visual with sync sound, no commentary. (Neil Young reviews the film from Berlin for The Hollywood Reporter.)
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2012 top ten, 3: Todd MacDonald

2012 top ten, 3: Todd MacDonald

Boxing Day sees the continuation of our lists of 2012 top ten cultural experiences. Today’s contribution is from our colleague Todd MacDonald.

Todd: I started trying to rank these in order but it started to strike me as being a bit unnecessary. These are my top ten things in no particular order, just ten equally great things at ten different times during my 2012.

1. Bugsy Malone by Secret Cinema, The Troxy, London E1

An interactive cinema experience that involved dressing up in ’20s gear and travelling to a ‘secret’ location. In this case Fat Sam’s speakeasy was located at the Troxy in Limehouse. Outside the rear door, the queue was sceptically watched over by a policeman in period costume walking up and down the line and casually swinging his baton. The librarian gave us a book each and we all walked through an actual pivoted bookcase. We finally came out into the Grand Slam with Fat Sam himself on stage. We took our table and enjoyed Leroy Smith boxing for the first time, playing Blackjack with a corrupt dealer and Tallulah chatting up one of my mates. The film itself was then screened and we ate and drank until the finale. The answer is yes. Yes, we did have a foam pie fight and, yes, it was total carnage.
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Language, land and love

Language, land and love

Wednesday evening, and the digits on my mobile show that it is a little before midnight. After hours of relentless rain, this is a moment of respite. The wind has dropped too, and the sea is calm tonight. Editor Todd Macdonald and I set off to walk back across the coastal fields to the Northumberland village of Craster. Behind us looms the ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle, in front is a sloping field of illuminated bell tents. In the air is the murmur of a soundscape combining the undulating sounds of composer Mel Mercier with some of the most beautiful love poetry in English – and in Welsh. Welcome to one of the eight locations of Peace Camp, an celebratory installation created by Deborah Warner in collaboration with Fiona Shaw, and realised by event producers extraordinaire Artichoke. I am wet and I am cold and I am tired but I am most definitely contented.
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