Wednesday, 18 March 2015

In Manchester: Full Stop, Cornerhouse

Over this last year I have come to know and love the iconic international hub for indie films and contemporary visual arts, known as the Cornerhouse, dearly as I am sure you are all well aware. But it seems our brief relationship was only meant to be that - brief - as it will be closing down this spring. However, having merged with the Manchester Library Theatre Company, it will be re-emerging as HOME which is only a few minutes down the road from the Cornerhouse. As a farewell, the last Cornerhouse Projects exhibition - a chance for aspiring artists in the North West region to share their work -has been put up to give a final nod to the building that holds so many memories for so many people and will be running until Thursday, 2 April 2015

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Source: Photo by Aliyah Hussain (Installation Artist) // Courtesy of Cornerhouse
Situated around the bar ground floor and the café-bar on the first floor you will find the work of 11 curators from various disciplines, who are also Cornerhouse Galleries' invigilators and hosts, that represents their sentiments towards the building for the exhibition aptly called Full Stop. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to not only know the Cornerhouse a lot more but also some of the artists whose work are dotted around the building. Below, you will find a few snippets of the exhibition with quotes from the press release that explain a bit more about Full Stop.

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Source: Photo by Anna Columbine (Textile Artist) // Courtesy of Cornerhouse
"Our invigilators and hosts are all artists working in a variety of disciplines, and the exhibition will bring to a wider audience many parts of our much-loved building the audience doesn't usually get to see."

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Source: Gemma Parker's 'The Writing on the Wall' project. Photo by Chris Payne // Courtesy of Cornerhouse 
"But it’s more than just a behind the scenes stroll down memory lane. From the cinemas’ projection rooms, to the brick-wall staircases and corridors which have been adorned with the names of hundreds of people who have worked here since 1985, the sights and sounds of the daily goings-on in the building have been brought to life by the people who know its every nook and cranny inside and out."

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"The result is Full Stop, a playful and affectionate homage to the Cornerhouse building and Cornerhouse staff, prior to The Storming, the final performance at Cornerhouse on 4 April, part of final Cornerhouse exhibition Playtime."

Clara Casian....................... ILLUSTRATOR
Anna Columbine..................TEXTILE ARTIST
Claire Dorsett......................PAINTER
Mike Harte..........................WRITER, MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST
Callum Stephen Higgins.......SOUND ARTIST
Alex Humphreys..................ILLUSTRATOR & PRINT-MAKER 
Aliyah Hussain....................INSTALLATION
Gemma Parker...................PAINTER & ILLUSTRATOR
Roger Quigley.....................VISUAL ARTIST
Michael Redmond................ILLUSTRATOR
Nicolas Saunders................ILLUSTRATOR
Andrew Sutton...................WRITER/PERFORMER

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So, if you are have a spare moment in your day and are looking for something to do whilst you are in Manchester, why not make your way to the Cornerhouse and learn even more about the work they do over there while you still can. 

Mo x


On the Edge: Theatre || Vol. 002

I know. It has been a while since I shared a theatre production related post but here we are at last. Now, I missed my opportunity to see this particular play I am about to talk about live even though it was held right here in Manchester. And I am sure many others did as well but I have some great news to share with you all. A screening of the very unique version of the Shakespearian play, Hamlet, loved by most if not all who saw it live will be held in selected cinemas very, very soon - like next week soon.

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Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare's most popular pieces of work and one I remember reading in school. His story is a rather sad but also quite powerful one. I cannot say that I have seen a film adaptation of Hamlet or remember every single detail of this play so I am most looking forward to getting reacquainted with this classic piece of literature. This take on the play Hamlet stars Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything; Silk; Shameless) as the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet and was directed by Sarah Frankcom whose productions for the Royal Exchange theatre include The Lady of the Sea (2010), Punk Rock (2009/2010), Three Sisters (2008) and many more.

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Source: Photo by Jonathan Keenan for The Royal Exchange Theatre
I am told it is more than 3 hours long so make sure you are well armed in the snacks department if you are also going to see it. Eek! I cannot wait. If you were fortunate enough to see it live please share your thoughts on the performance and what you like d most about it down below if you like. Hamlet will be out in cinemas on the 23rd of March here in the UK.

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And for those of you who have not read a theatre related post by me, then please feel free to check out the ones I did on the launch event for HOME's Romeo & Juliet as well as my thoughts on the play itself, 2014 West End production of Skylight (starring Carey Mulligan & Bill Nighy) and the production of Medea (starring Helen McCrory & Michaela Coel) at the Olivier theatre last year. One day I will get to the point where I report back on plays I have actually seen at the theatre... one day.

Mo x


Monday, 16 March 2015

Movie Mondays: Dot 2 Dot

A while ago I told you I managed to catch a couple of films that were a part of the Hong Kong Film Programme for Asia Triennial Manchester 14 which was hosted by the Cornerhouse. Along with Flowing Stories, I was fortunate enough to see Amos Why's romantic drama, "Dot 2 Dot" and me liked it a lot! As you all know by now that I thoroughly appreciate the romantic-drama-with-bursts-of-comedy-and-mathematics genre quite a bit but there was something about this film that set it apart.

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Courtesy of Amos Why
I persuaded my brother to join me on my quest to broaden the kinds of films I am exposed to using sibling currency (read: doughnuts) but by the end of this movie I got a full refund as he and I both thoroughly enjoyed Dot 2 Dot. This elegant, funny and heartfelt film that honoured the sense of belonging... the meaning of home... the past... had air of simplicity amongst the complexity of finding your place in the world as you stand up for what you believe in in your own unique way. Dot 2 Dot was directed and written beautifully by Amos Why and is his first feature; it has currently been nominated for two awards in the 'Best New Director' & 'Best New Performer' categories of the Hong Kong Film Awards 2015. Despite it being a relatively low budget indie film, Dot 2 Dot is rich in heart, culture and entertainment and in no way struggles to get its message across.

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Courtesy of Amos Why
Dot 2 Dot is the story about how people in a fast-paced Hong Kong become subtly connected as they try to figure out who is drawing the mysterious dot to dot graffiti near subway stations around the city and why. One Putonghua teacher's determination to find out who the mysterious artist with an affinity for mathematical puzzles is leads us to discover the history - and its significance - of the artist's home town. The cast for this project is really good and really make it very easy to connect with the characters. Moses Chan (When Heaven Burns; Can't Buy Me Love; Knock Off), Meng Tingyi (Crimes of Passion; August 15th; Reunion), Susan Shaw Yin-yin (Full Strike; Hei se xi ju; Run Papa Run), Lam Chi-Chung (Ultra Reinforcement; Shaolin GirlKung Fu Hustle), Candy Cheung (Lost for Words; Revenge: A Love Story; Invisible Target) are but a few of the talented actors and actresses in Dot 2 Dot who made the film even more of a joy to watch.  There are various aspects of the film that I love - its characters, the soundtrack, how down to earth it seems and even the colour palette - and I am glad my brother and I decided to go see it. And for those curious folk out there, 'crisp, clean and fresh' is how I would describe the film's colour palette which may be an odd thing to like but you'll see what I mean if you get the chance to watch it.

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So, if you are in the mood for a film that has a bit of humour, romance, a dash of drama, beautiful shots of different parts of Hong Kong and highlights the importance of taking things slow enough to appreciate where we've been and where we are now, then Dot 2 Dot is a movie you should consider putting on your watch list. And if you have seen this film already then please share your thoughts of it as I would really like to know.

Mo x

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