Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Surfacing Again

My second extended break from sharing random shtuff has been due to my starting a new job at Hotcourses. (I actually work for this part.) The first couple of weeks have involved a mass absorption of information, so I haven't had much spare brain capacity for anything else. Not to mention I've had many fun and fascinating commitments to fill the evenings as well!

Of these, the following were particularly well doused in the proverbial awesome sauce:
  • Art & The Brain - a fascinating discussion at Royal Institution with the type of panel that makes you want a collective noun for polymaths. The discussion tried to focus on art and creativity, but almost inevitably, began to wander to considering the nature and origin of consciousness, a topic that's fascinated me ever since I read this.
  • Not Quite Hollywood - a fantastically fun blitzkrieg tour of the wild world of Ozploitation.
  • The West End transfer of the pitch-perfectly fabulous Chocolate Factory's production of A Little Night Music. See it. Hear it. Love it.
  • The London premiere of Objectified. I've been a font bore ever since seeing the London premiere of Gary Hustwit's wonderful documentary Helvetica. I was already excited to see his follow up film, but the icing on the design cake was the post-show chat with Hustwit, Marc Newson, Alice Rawsthorn and none other than Jonathan Ive. The latter is head of industrial design at a certain fruity computer company, and one of the key reasons behind their resurgence in the past decade. He basically designed iEverything. He rarely gives interviews so it was a treat to see him in person.
  • The Living End @ Koko. I've seen these guys from my hometown several times over here and back there: they never fail to put on an absolutely barnstorming show. Their music isn't always what I want it to be - especially lyrically - but live their energy, tight musicianship and sheer desire to win over the audience transform everything into fantastic unabashed rock magic. Seeing a guy play a double bass over his head Hendrix style never gets old.
  • Raiders Of The Lost Ark: The Adaptation - I'd heard this amazing story before, via the venerable movie site Ain't It Cool originally, and then floating around the internets for some time after. I've hankering to see it for years, and only realised recently that the paucity of screenings is because they can only do them for charity. Taking any cash for a flick that's such a blatant ripoff puts them in dodgy legal territory, despite Spielberg loving it. Thanks to a random twitter from one of Jason's followed, I was lucky enough to attend the London premiere! Vue cinemas and various other organisations did a bang-up job of the whole event, catering Temple Of Doom stylee with monkey brains, eyeball soup and snake! All money raised went to MediCinema, one of those nice little single purpose charities that does one very good thing well. The movie itself? Simply wonderful. Ingenious and inspiring. Testament to both the greatness of the source material and the dedication of two fans who followed through.

And that's just the really good stuff. Enough to be going on with, eh?

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