Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cinema As The Adult Fairytale?

Watching Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, we get a fascinating glimpse into the London of 1960; the shops, the fashions, the architecture, the attitudes, so different from the London of today. I have  unintentionally learned about all kinds of different places from watching movies; France, Poland, the USA, Argentina, for example, seeing Milos Forman's A Blonde In Love we get a real insight to what it was like to live in Czechoslovakia at that time. Perhaps the cinema educates adults in the way fairy tales do children, that is, without them realising they're being educated?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Great Acting Blog: "Peter Mullan In My Name Is Joe - Acting Is Poetry"



Once in a blue moon a performance comes along which is so excellent it forces me to completely re-examine what it is I'm doing in my own work, and Peter Mullan's in My Name Is Joe is one such performance.

Mullan plays Joe Kavanagh, a recovering alcholic, who has got himself onto the straight and narrow with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Although broke and unemployed, Mullan seems happy enough, especially so when managing a hopeless and hapless amateur football team, which gives him a real sense of purpose and joy. And it is through the football team Mullan meets and falls in love with Sarah, a healthcare worker, who is helping ex-junkies Liam and Sabine with their new born baby. Liam plays for Mullan's team, and Mullan has a bond with him, he's protective of Liam, offering support and helping Liam stay clean. But it is also through Liam that Mullan's new found and hard won happiness begins to fall apart. Sabine starts using heroin again and racks up a £1500 debt with McGowan, the local gangster, who gives Liam the choice of having his legs broken to pay off the debt, or putting Sabine on the game. Mullan steps in and agrees to do a job for McGowan, which involves picking up a couple of cars within which heroin is stashed. Sarah, who has seen many young families destroyed by drugs, finds out and finishes with Mullan, who, in turn, frantically tries to get out of his deal with McGowan in a bid to win Sarah back.

But what is it that makes Mullan's work in this film so special? I could mention that it is of true technical brilliance and not the result of some flukey bout of inspiration, and I don't mean technical in the Charles-Laughton-Hunchback-Of-Notre-Dame sense, Mullen's performance is simple and direct, but technical in the sense that it is immensely disciplined and precise, he never allows, what is a ferociously emotive role, to descend into some kind of “actory emotional showcase”, no, Mullen is always serving the film, scene by scene, and in the end delivers a whole series of wonderful, provocative moments economically and truthfully and with control. All of this alone would add upto a great performance, but what puts it among the top handful of performances I have ever seen is the sheer force of Mullen's intentions, which are so great that they reveal acting to be poetry and Mullen a poet. Mullen's character is a tragic hero whose efforts to do good bring about the very disaster he sought to avoid, the problem lies within his own nature, he is the cause of the plague on Thebes as it were. There is a scene where Mullen beats up some of McGowan's goons with a basball bat, then turns and smashes up a nearby Vauxhall Cavalier, and he does so with a force so great that the action goes beyond emotion, beyond reason, beyond the material, beyond the individual, and can only be expressed poetically, as when our love is so great we might say; “my love is like an ocean”. It is an attempt to comprehend the awesome. Mullen gives form to mankind's rage brought forth by the knowledge that we are helpless in the face of circumstance and that even our best intentions may lead to tragedy. No mean feat.

What an actor.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Philip French Review of My Name Is Joe + Peter Mullan Interview

Glasgow strangers

My Name Is Joe (105 mins, 15)
Directed by Ken Loach; starring Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall

Philip French, The Observer, Sunday 8 November 1998

In Ken Loach's last two movies, the highly romantic Land and Freedom and Carla's Song, working-class heroes leave a stifling Britain to take part in distant revolutionary wars where the common people are briefly united by a sense of idealistic purpose.

In Loach's excellent new film, My Name Is Joe, scripted by Paul Laverty, author of Carla's Song, the eponymous 38-year-old Joe Kavanagh (Peter Mullan) has spent his whole life in a deprived area of Glasgow. He has come of age in a culture of unemployment where everyone is divided against each other and there's no prospect of participating in a revolution of any kind.

The film is a tragi-comedy of love on the dole. It begins with the resilient Joe addressing a group of fellow alcoholics at an AA group- therapy session and proceeds briskly to his meeting cute Sarah Downie (Louise Goodall), a middle-class health visitor working at a hard-pressed medical centre. She drives her car in front of the van in which he's collecting the amateur football team of long-term unemployed lads he manages, and they end up at the same destination.

Sarah's there to see Liam (David McKay) and Sabine Annmarie Kennedy), a pair of young ex-junkies and their small child; he's there because Liam is one of his footballers. She's a professional carer; he's an informal one, regarding the spirited, incompetent team (which he runs with Shanks, a close chum and fellow AA member) as his family; it's this which provides the moral and political basis of the film.

Sarah is trying to make the system work; Joe is trying to survive within it and also turn a confidently cocky face to the world, as we see in the sharp-witted quips they exchange at their first meeting. But as a teenager, Sarah lost her mother, her beloved father has died recently, and she is lonely and uncertain about the value of her work. Joe has been sober for 10 months after violently beating his ex-girlfriend and is constantly embattled with the social services. Their relationship begins when he and Shanks (Gary Lewis) are photographed by a spy from the unemployment office papering Sarah's front-room; they find a mutual bond in nostalgia for pop songs of the Seventies; they become lovers when she's accidentally locked out of her flat and has to spend the night at his place. There is a depth and tenderness in their relationship that we haven't seen before in a Loach film, where the erotic has generally been identified in the exotic, specifically with Hispanic men and women providing the romantic interest in his three previous movies.

And this love affair takes place within a rough, realistically observed world of poverty, but where the desolation of despair is tempered by a generous humour. As always with Loach, there is a set-piece sequence in which the anarchic heroes, subscribing to the precept that property is theft, rip off the petit-bourgeois world, in this case stealing a new strip for the team, transforming themselves from West Germany into Brazil, the shaven-headed Glaswegian Beckenbauer becoming an instant Pele.

The affair between Joe and Sarah is sorely tested by a choice that touches on class and morality. 'We don't all live in this tidy world of yours,' he tells her. Liam and his wife are in hock to a local gangster McGowran (David Hayman), who deals in drugs, prostitution and loansharking. Unless they come up with an immediate pounds 500, their lives are at stake.

When Joe intervenes, Sarah's life is also put at risk. To humiliate Joe, an insubordinate former employee of his, McGowran offers him the opportunity to clear the debt and, ironically, the only time Joe gets out of the grim city and into the beauty of the Highlands, he's on a corrupt and corrupting mission.

My Name Is Joe is a passionate, compassionate and magnificently acted film. The social situation it presents seems hopeless and none of the characters is aware of any practicable solution. All they can do is snatch a few moments of pleasure and survive. But the essential human decency embodied in Loach's film by Joe, a man with a sense of responsibility for himself and others, gives the movie a hard, unsentimental and positive core.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Jesse Richards On Closure Of Catharsis

Filmmaker and artist, Jesse Richards, offers the first critical response to Closure Of Catharsis.

"First of all I’d like to note that I am not a critic in ANY sense, but I have been so inspired by this film by Rouzbeh Rashidi that I feel compelled to speak out in support of it. Any failure to convey something accurately enough about this film lies solely on me and not on this film. The film has been such a powerful experience that finding any words that accurately describe it has been nearly impossible for me. Like the greatest films, its power comes through experiencing it, intuitively connecting with it, and not from describing it to somebody else. So I ask that you bear that in mind while reading the following comments. On that note…

Rouzbeh Rashidi’s new feature film, “Closure of Catharsis” has been the most inspiring feature films that I’ve seen since Bela Tarr’s Satantango. I don’t say this lightly- I consider Satantango to be one of the greatest of all films. Also this is not a positive bias because the opening credits note that the film was inspired by a film manifesto that I wrote in 2008- if anything I sometimes feel protective of that manifesto and might look at anything that references it with a more unforgiving eye. Further complicating things is the fact that Rashidi’s film does one thing that normally will annoy the hell out of me in a film, which is when an actor makes reference to being filmed. Normally this comes off to me as a post-modernist contrivance, however in this instance, we are sharing in an experience with a man on a park bench, who happens to be an actor being filmed. The fact that he would address the camera and reference being filmed, is then perfectly natural and only adds to the authentic experience that Rashidi’s film and James Devereaux’s performance provide for us.

While being inspired by the manifesto that I wrote, at the same time the film is not afraid to prove me wrong on something: in the manifesto I had some critical things to say about digital video being a poor tool for conveying authenticity, texture, and the deep-lying essence of life. Since writing the manifesto I’ve moved away from that view, realizing that the assertion simply was not true after seeing work by certain people using the medium. Rashidi’s film, with its moments of dreamlike, transcendent imagery is yet another nail in the coffin on my previous assertion.

Another of the cinematic miracles that Rashidi and Devereaux accomplish in the film is to make some of the longest takes of an actor performing improvisationaly (that I’ve seen) and 1. for it to remain engaging throughout the whole take and more importantly 2. that it never for a moment feels dishonest or forced in any way.

In these long takes we share the experience of trying to remember a past event with Devereaux and these moments that occur within this experience- whether it be a cough, a slightly shifted gaze by Devereaux or a cutaway to trees rushing past a car window hidden within a possible memory, Rashidi treats these moments with a shared value. What we are experiencing here is something more real than cinema. This is something much closer to life, something closer to things than “neorealism”. We are sharing experience; we are sharing duration.

That someone like Rashidi can make a feature film this honest and beautiful with no money to accomplish it (the film cost the price of travel to London and digital tape- about 300 British Pounds Sterling) and others (including many “art” filmmakers) cannot do the same, furthermore cannot even with budgets of million+, and get PAID for their work is one of the completely insane failures of modern film culture.

We owe it to ourselves to support filmmakers like Rashidi in any way we can- whether that means through financially supporting future work if we are able to, or even just by making sure that work like this is acknowledged and experienced. This kind of works brings us closer to deeper understanding of many things- and we are lucky and become more complete people when we encounter such work."

Jesse Richards is an internationally collected artist and photographer; and as a filmmaker, he founded Remodernist Film.

You can check out the promo clip for the film below. Thanks, James.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Drifting Clouds Recommends: Where The Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Director: Otto Preminger
Producer: Otto Preminger
Cast:  Dana Anrews, Gene Tierney, Karl Malden.
Writer: Ben Hecht
Duration: 95 mins

From Time Out Film Guide
A weatherbeaten Andrews gives one of his finest performances as Detective Mark Dixon, a belligerent cop whose father was a crook and whose roughhouse tactics appal his bosses. He's a good man at heart, but the fates are against him and his behaviour becomes closer and closer to that of the father he abhorred. Mobster Merrill is always on hand to taunt him about his background. His plight becomes yet more desperate when he accidentally kills a murder suspect and then falls in love with the widow (Tierney). Preminger's superior noir boasts hardboiled and sardonic dialogue, courtesy of Ben Hecht, but also a surprising strain of pathos as Dixon fights against his own nature. Brutal, fatalistic, but desperate for redemption, he's just the kind of cop James Ellroy would write about so well a generation later. (Adapted from the novel Night Cry by William L Stuart.

Author - GM

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Great Acting Blog: "Don't Jabber, Man".

The clip is from the film version of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, it's a play I've always longed to do.

The work you do is a reflection of who you are, and they say we tend to employ people who are the same as us. Your personal culture selects the road you go down and will ultimately determine where you end up. One person may admire your point of view, someone else may ridicule it, and someone else may be repulsed by it. All actors have the experience of auditions where one panel on one day respond as though you are a genius, and another panel on another day seem irritated by the apparent poverty of your talent. Our work will appeal to some but not others.

This is why I say the actor must define the ideal work he wants to do, and strive to become an artist capable of attaining that ideal. The level of excellence reached is proportionate to your ability at the time (and anyone who refutes that notion or longs for a lucky break is not only deluded but grindingly unhappy, for their life is not their own). The alternative to pursuing an ideal, is to be a “general actor”, who just wants “an acting job”, playing a numbers game by sending out your CV dozens if not hundreds of times for anything and everything in the hope of getting an audition, and then going on audition after audition after audition and eventually landing work by virtue of simple mathematics. It's not a lot of fun, and it's pretty meaningless. The more precisely we define our terms, the more empowered we are to act and shape our future. If, however, there is no precision but only a general statement, then we shouldn't be surprised if we feel directionless and lack conviction.

By becoming the person we want to be, we might just find that the work we want to do comes our way too.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Closure Of Catharsis: Poster Art


Check-out the spectacular new poster for Closure Of Catharsis, designed by Pouya Ahmadi. Visit to view Pouya's portfolio.

And please do let us know what you think.

Many thanks.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


The following is taken from Ted Hope's Truly Free Film blog on Indiewire, I love it so much I thought I'd share it with you. Check out


"I was invited to speak in Amos Poe’s “Media & Mavericks’ NYU Film School Undergrad class last month.  Salman Rushdie and Abel Ferrara spoke before me.  Patti Smith was set to follow (so does that mean I’ve opened for Patti?).  How could I say no to Amos?  Particularly when it was in such illustrious company?  His offer to speak got me thinking about what have been the underlying philosophies that have helped me enjoy a prolific life in a capital intensive mass market art form.  I entered the film world with the belief that I would be denied access to my lack of connections, class, and rarefied tastes & desires. These “philosophies” that I found, be they mantras, or just helpful reminders,  have driven me through the decades and continue to fuel my fire.  I hope they help to inspire more good work of yours and want to hear what additions you have to this list.

To understand the underlying principals that guide me though, requires the proper context.  Producing is a much different pursuit than pure artistic creation; producers bridge art and business.  We facilitate many voices.  Our work is as much about helping the work connect with others, as it is about getting it made, or made well.  What we create, enables others to create—or just the opposite: our failures make it harder for the next to step ahead.

Producing remains a difficult pursuit to both get started in and to sustain—particularly producing independent films, or truly free films.  The mantras I tell myself have done a great deal to both get me started and to maintain.  The forces that are out there that are motivated to discourage you or corrupt you are quite powerful.  The bad often gets more attention than the good; it certainly makes more noise.  How do we fortify ourselves to sustain in face of the negativity?

In an industry populated (thankfully, not exclusively mind you!) by narcissistic, deceitful, misanthropic, malcontents, that rewards repetition and encourages defensive action, how do you maintain a commitment to diverse and ambitious work of all forms?

1. Know that what you have to say matters.  Make sure you communicate it.
2. Remember that the world can be better and work to take it there.
3. Don’t ask or wait for permission.
4. Creativity is the essence of life—so create.
5. What people want most is to connect and to relate (and having fun and learning rate pretty high too).
6. Don’t wait for others to lead, succeed, or even try.  Leap forward and over.
7. Subscribe to authenticity, and emotional & political truth.
8. Believe in the wisdom of others, and listen to them.
9. The outside has a clearer vision of what is really inside than those in the center; those on the periphery are the ones who really know what is going on.
10. Focus on the reality of the present.  Power lives in the past and can’t see the moment you are living in.
11. Question Power’s authority.  The Status Quo is always the most conservative.
12. There is no security to be had—there’s no reason to strive for what doesn’t exist.
13. Action is always a good alternative; stop waiting.  Let impatience be a virtue.
14. Never be ashamed of your passion.  Let your exuberance show.
15. Learn and take, but don’t climb.  The ladder leads to the plantation.
16. Will to fail.  Don’t deliver proofs but strive to be the eternal student/amateur.  Don’t settle for your work to be a proof of what you know, but make it a proof of your desire to know more.
17. Embrace your limitations.
18. To hell with your limitations!
19. Don’t worry what others think (about you, your work, the way you look, act, speak, write, etc.)
20. It can never be about the money.
21. Lend a hand; it’s not just about your work.
22. Get it done and move on.  Next!
23. There’s a much bigger world than just what you do.  That’s what really matters.
24. Pet the sweaty; don’t sweat the petty. 
25. Power comes to those that work.
26. Don’t ever expect to get it all done; there’s just too much to do – and that’s a good thing.
27. We are mayflies on the windshield of history.
28. Time is our most limited resource.  Value it. And respect the time of others.  Most of, don’t squander it.  You are going to die soon.
29. Respect your & others’ labor; it is how we use time.
30. Respect the results of your labor; give them proper context.
31. Encourage choice (vs. impulse) even if that choice is not yours.
32. Process shapes more than intent does.  How you do it needs more effort than what you want to do.
33. Enjoy, wonder, respect, revel, & rejoice.
34. You are obligated to and responsible for the world you live in.
35. Don’t let others’ bad ways effect your good behavior.

If I can have my every action reflect these beliefs, then everything is going to be okay."

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Great Acting Blog: "Boring! Boring!"



I love reading interviews with actors, filmmakers, playwrights etcetera, infact. with anyone of note who I admire, it gives me pleasure, and sometimes I gain an insight or hear something articulated which makes sense of something I felt but couldn't understand, and sometimes these interviews are simply entertaining, certainly I hope to gain a greater understanding about the work of the person being interviewed. I also accept however, that when these interviews take place within mainstream media, they usually serve as part of the marketing effort for whatever product the interviewee is involved with at that time, and this is especially true of movies. There is nothing wrong with that, this is the way of things, afterall, word needs to get out, livings need to be made, and if I am reading an interview with someone who interests me, then chances are I want to know if they have new work being released. Ultimately I suppose, the marketeers want my interest piqued to the extent that I buy whatever they're selling, whether that be a film, or a book, or a gig, and so on.

However, in the past few months I have read interview after interview with leading actors in the mainstream press, which have been so dull and content-less that I have hardly been able to get through the whole article, and worse from the interviewee's point of view: the interview was so boring I lost all interest in seeing the movie that the interview sought to promote. One would assume that the filmmakers want the opposite and offer a thrilling interview, ie: if we've been thrilled by the interview, then we might think we would be thrilled by the movie, and so buy a ticket to see it (unless any marketeers out there want to correct me?). So, it is in the filmmakers' own best interest to ensure the marketing materials around the film are a reflection on the film itself (right?).

So what use is an inane interview with one of the stars of the film? Surely that would drive people away? Or would it? Perhaps the interview is intentionally devoid of any real content. Perhaps that is exactly the point the filmmakers are making with their marketing materials, it's as if they're saying: “Roll up! Roll up! Come and see our film, it will not threaten you, it will not confront you with any awkward truths, infact you will feel nothing, you will simply buy a ticket and go through the motions of watching a film, you will experience absolutely nothing, and at the end you will leave as though nothing has happened because nothing did happen, and all will be rosy in the garden. Roll up! Roll up!” These interviews with leading actors in mainstream media are intentionally inane because the films themselves are intentionally inane. Inanity in our culture has become a virtue, a selling point.

Now, I dont know how much of this inanity can be placed at the feet of the individual actor being interviewed because I don't know how free they are to speak, but I'm guessing not very, and must work at the behest of their paymasters. Fine. So must we all. However, our leading actors in the mainstream are seen as the heroes of acting, generally they are the ones who inspire young people to become actors in the first place, and it is they who set the standards, and surely must do more with the platforms they are given. This week I posted an interview with a young and acclaimed actor on Twitter, and someone remarked that the most interesting thing about it was the actor's jumper.

We don't need anymore vaccuous gossip, we don't need anymore “celebritizing”, and our culture is overloaded with ungenerous careerists. What we are short of is true heroes, leaders, we need to see real courage enacted and not it's facsimile, we need greater seriousness, genuine rigour and not the blustering waffle we have come to accept. We need to see conviction. The art and craft of acting is under attack from all angles, most actors are seen as airhead poodles or amiable buffoons, certainly few believe the actor's intention is to become an artist. This has got to change otherwise the currency of acting will continue to fall. We cannot wait for our leading actors to set an example, we must take it upon ourselves to speak about our work as seriously as filmmakers and playwrights do theirs, with wit and genuine insight, without self-regard, but to enrich the listener, as is the object of all our work.

During the early 19th centrury, when the great Edmund Kean (pictured above as Shylock) was playing all of Shakespeare's tragic heroes at Drury Lane one after another, actors were pelted with rotten fruit if their work was no good, and would beg the audience to forgive them for the poverty of their effort. Aye, they were actors then.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Photo Promo For Closure Of Catharsis

<div class="fotopedia_widget_dark_unframed" id="fotopedia_widget" style="width: 400px"><script src="" type="text/javascript">
</script><p><a href="">Photo Promo for feature film "Closure of Catharsis" 2011</a> on <a href="">Fotopedia</a></p></div>

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Great Acting Blog: "Chishu Ryu In Late Spring"




This week, I watched Yasujiro Ozu's 1949 masterpiece, Late Spring, and was immediately captivated by the performance of Ozu regular, Chishu Ryu, who plays a widower called Professor Somiya, and spends most of the film trying to get his daughter Noriko (played by Hara Setsuko) to get married as she is now of an age where she is expected to do so. However, Noriko is content living the single life and tending to her father's needs, and resists being paired off. Ryu eventually tricks Noriko into changing her thinking by pretending he is to re-marry.


I was immediately shocked when Ryu first came on screen, as I am by any great work of art, and shocked not because Ryu was doing anything outrageous, on the contrary infact, his character here is gentle and reserved and loving, but shocked because of the vividness of his expression which comes from within and makes the actor appear to glow. And this expression is, of course, driven by the strength and purity of the actor's intentions.


So much of contemporary acting is false and manipulative, we see actors continually narrating the character's “feelings”, as though they had taken acting lessons from Tony Blair – they show us how heroic they are by acting “heroically”, and how earnest they are by acting “earnestly”, serious by acting “seriously”, and perhaps they allow their bottom lip to quiver just to let us know there is “sensitivity” beneath the “strength”, and why not go the whole hog I say, and do it in a Welsh accent so that the actor can show us how versatile an artist he is and be doubly sure of extorting a compliment, afterall, there are careers to be made, “personal brands” to build, artistic truth is way down the list if it's on there at all. No, Chishu Ryu wouldn't know a personal brand if it came up and slapped him in the face with a wet kipper, much less would he care, he's too busy wrestling with the demands of the scene to worry about what people think of him. He is committed to facing up to the demands brought forth by true creative effort, and doing so with honesty, simplicity and integrity.


Ryu's performance in Late Spring is startlingly vivid and delicate at the same time. And it's this combination which produces such powerful results. When Ryu explains to Setsuko that happiness is not something you expect but something you create, a moment of genuine meaning is brought forth, the writer's words are made to reveal a truth whereas in the hands of a lesser actor they may have become a cod philosophy. Ryu's work is about being reserved, and withholding emotion or not concerning himself with it, or even how he feels at all, he's simply doing the tasks presented to him as well as he can scene by scene, and what we witness is true courage and true strength.


So what?


Well, it means we, the audience, take a stake in the character's trials and tribulations, their fate becomes important to us, and, crucially, we commit ourselves to the same process as that of the character which is also the same process as that of the actor, and we are, at the film's end, truly moved, in our hearts, the same way the actor/character is because their struggle is our struggle, and, finally, we enjoy that sense of peace brought about by the cleansing process of the struggle. This commitment to a process is very different from, and an infinitely richer experience than, having our attention held by a constantly flickering stimulation.


Finally, I can think of no better way to sum up Chishu Ryu's work in this film than by quoting something Simon Callow wrote about Sir John Gielgud : -


“...perhaps the word is grace, in the theological as well as social sense, a kind of effortless radiance stemming from some profound ground of being”.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Great Acting Blog: "Man In A Box - Part 2"


Up until this week, the question I have been trying to answer in rehearsals for 66 Signs Of Neon is: “what the hell am I doing?”, or, put another way: “what is my action?” When working from a scripted text, it is a question of understanding literally what is happening in the scene, and then converting that understanding into an action that is meaningful to you as an actor. When building a piece through improvisation however, as we have been doing here, the actor doesn't have anything as concrete as a script to work from, only a bunch of ideas, and, therefore, he must invent the thing  before he can convert it into a meaningful action. Of course, when working from a scripted text, the inventing has already been done by the author. However, once that period of invention in improvisation has drawn to a close, the work is then very similar to when working on a script, which is to say; once the actor understands (or has at least made a choice about) what is happening, he then chooses a concrete action for himself, and practices doing the action until it becomes habitual, and then the actor can perform with full intensity, unlocking his own personality.
That's where I'm at with 66 Signs Of Neon, the action is habitual and I no longer have to worry about it because it's working for me, which leaves me free to play. And it is at this point acting becomes the greatest thing there's ever been. Why? Because of the sheer intensity of the moment. Each and every moment of performance is an ideal, it's life properly lived, to it's fullest, stretched almost to breaking point,  nothing is wasted and everything carries meaning, and the routine life outside of performance seems dull and half-hearted, it pales in comparison. And this quest for the intensity of the moment, is really an obsessive search to find the absolute truth and baton it down once and for all, and it is this obsession which keeps us actors, adrenalin junkies that we are, chained to this crazy crazy business.
66 Signs Of Neon goes up tomorrow at The Purcell Room. Our last rehearsal is today. It's been fascinating seeing the different strands of the piece come together over the weeks into what is now a provocative whole. The work is neither cinema nor theatre but somewhere in between. My scene has been influenced by the old “Play For Today”, ie – the notion of a performance being filmed and transmitted to an audience simultaneously. But we've also got a voice artist, a montage of cats for sale, we've got a live drummer, oh and a “bad” Mickey Mouse...

If you do happen to be around the Southbank on Thursday evening, come and see the show: -

Gail Pickering

Screening: Sixty Six Signs of Neon

Gail Pickering’s performed fictions take specific historical sites or political events as points of reference. For British Art Show 7, she presents a performance transmitted from a remote studio. This live film montage extends her interest in forms of socio-political theatre whilst working within the tradition of live television broadcasting.
Thursday 3 March, 8pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Admission free