Jul. 2nd, 2007 10:17 pm
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On Sunday I went to the FIlmhouse to see Conspirators of Pleasure as part of their short Svankmajer season, and very fine it was too. It came out about ten years ago, and I didn't see it at the time. Mostly live-action, with only a little animation, it concerns the strange and obsessive secret activities of six Czechs, and the connections between them. For some reason it got an 18 certificate, and I'd love to know how that was justified - there's no violence against people (although a couple of straw-stuffed effigies get it fairly nastily) and no nudity stronger than a couple of shots of a guy's arse. Nevertheless, it's a deeply diseased piece of work. As this review has it, "I don't think I've ever seen a film that is quite so obsessively fetishistic - almost everything that passes in front of his camera is given a weirdly erotic charge [ . . . ] it manages to present a portrait of human sexuality of unusual complexity and philosophical depth without once resorting to spoken dialogue". Perhaps they used the same phrase as for Crash - "general tone".

Fantastic stuff. Massively recommended.

Mr Inglis has given me the OK to tell you about his Writers' Bloc MySpork page, where you can listen to a few of the clips recorded at their readings. Currently you can hear Hannu Rajaniemi reading his poem "Numbers" (the bit about numbers stations existing is entirely true) and Gav himself reading "From a completely unexpected direction" (you should probably, for best results, know that before starting he had left a selection of carrier bags on and around all the tables). I know for a fact that he has an awful lot of excellent material he could put up there, so it might well be worth keeping an eye on that for developments.

In a slight surprise, the Subway is closing. The management, and apparently all the various clubs, are moving to the Hive, on Niddrie Street. Apparently the Hive is nicer. That would not, to speak frankly, be difficult. The place has always been a noxious little dive of poor reputation, and what higher recommendation could there be than that? Many years ago some friends of mine saw the Clash play there. Rather more recently (but still not actually recently) I and some friends saw Radiohead. At around the same time (perhaps even that night) I saw a support band (Tinkerbell's Dope Ring, IIRC) do a mad thrash version of Groove Is In The Heart, with (if memory serves) vocals verging on the yodel during the chorus. Someone said they'd heard that it was likely to become an R'n'B (or what passes for it these days) venue. I can't see it. Bling? In a hole like that?

In the runup to the new smoking ban Doon Sooth, the Guardian dropped into a Hull pub to record a couple of prize comments from disgruntled tobacco devotees:

"I smoke 100 to 120 cigs a day. The ban will kill us"

. . . and . . .

"They'll be banning sex next."

Now, technically speaking it hasn't been legal to get it out and get on with it in the middle of a busy pub for quite some time, but why let sanity get in the way of a good rant? Well, either that or Hull's a more fun place than I've been led to believe.

And finally, and definitely not raising the moral tone at all, thanks to whichever of you it was who posted this link - file under "Don't children make you laugh?" Not necessarily worksafe. Entirely textual. Neither big nor clever. A couple of my friends have a story that would fit in neatly there . . . but I'll let them decide whether to share it.
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