Finished Kiki de Montparnesse by Catel and Jose-Luis Bocquet. Comic book biography of Alice "Kiki" Prin a model, dancer, artist and singer in pre-war Paris: best known for her lover Man Ray's photographs of her.
It romanticises her to some degree as a free spirit. Doesn't quite go for the full Manic Pixie Dream Girl treatment though: it treats her as important in her own right not just as an inspirer of men; and it has some downbeat content about teh more tragic aspects of her life, especially her middle age and her relationships with her family.
Nicely drawn with some expressive postures.
Overall , good comic, worth reading.
Saw There has possibly been an incident at the Soho Theatre. Interesting play/poetry thing where three actors alternate between dramatic monologues. One strand is about an Anders Breivik-type killer, one about a revolution turning sour, one about a plane crash.
Very good. Was compelling despite the minimal set-up thanks to the well-paced script, and powerful staring performances from the actors.
Only thing I didn't like was the volume: there's painfully loud music as you enter, presumably to try to generate an intense atmosphere, and the performers are miked and amplified which shouldn't be necessary and I think removes some subtlety from the performance.
Overall though, an intense and powerful show, well worth seeing.
What I'm Watching
Saw Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln on disk. As so often with movies of the last decade or so, get the feeling there's a gripping 90 minute movie buried inside a lugubrious two and a half hour one
The movie focuses on Lincoln's attempts to get the House of Representatives to pass the 13th constitutional amendment banning slavery as the American Civil War grinds to a close. That's an interesting choice of focus, putting the emphasis on Lincoln's practical skills in the messy world of real politics. He has to deceive, dissemble and dole out sinecures to get votes, carefully balancing conservative and radical factions. Despite Daniel Day Lewis, the movie is almost stolen by Tommy Lee Jones as the radical Congressman Thaddeus Stevens forced to compromise his ideals.
I really liked the idea of that focus, making Lincoln a recognizable, modern political operator rather than a saintly inspirer. I suspect that was the focus of an original script which got pressured to become a more conventional biopic. Which means more inspiring Oscar-baiting speeches, more flashbacks telling the backstory, more tearjerking over the assassination.
Overall, a bit too long and hagiographic, but with some points of interest. Probably worth watching for political junkies and history buffs, but a bit dull for everyone else.
Saw the Mira Schendel exhibition at Tate Modern. Brazilian artist, started out unpromisingly with some muddy Mondrian-like rectangles but got a lot better in the later stages with some stark, textured black and white paintings, and then some good ethereal sculptures made up of hanging threads and papers. Worth a look.
Socioeconomics. Rules vs. discretion. Help to work. "Average is Over" review:
But it's a very different forecast from the forecast that automation and the rise of the machines means that "average is over." The actual forecast is that the political system will be under the control of a relatively narrow elite who will stomp on the interests of the median household.
Articles. Mary Magdalene. Malcolm Gladwell. Norman Rockwell. K. J. Parker on sieges. Knight v. Snail marginalia, via.
Politics. Con/UKIP pact would boost Labour.
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