Weekly Digest: 18 August
Why did we enjoy the past week?
Because we saw…
Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London
Curated by Sir John Richardson and created in partnership with Pablo Picasso’s grandson Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the current exhibition at London’s Gagosian Gallery is a personal insight into the world and mind of one of the most famous artists ever. Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors uses mixed media (everything from paintings and sculptures through to a home video from 1929) to tell a story about Picasso’s lifelong fascination with bullfighting and symbolism of bulls, both in mythology and the modern times. It closes next week, so this is your last chance to see how this leitmotif influenced the artist throughout all of his periods and see his earliest surviving painting Le Picador.
Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors is on at the Gagosian, 20 Grosvenor Hill, London W1K 3QD until August 25. Admission free, find opening hours and more details at gagosian.com.
The Majority by Rob Drummond at the National Theatre, Southbank, London
Rob Drummond is a playwright that loves audience involvement. From live first dates to a quiz show, it’s all about creating the storyline in collaboration with you – the person sat in the audience. And his new show at the National Theatre takes it a step further and brings in a political factor – The Majority is a thought-provoking interactive play that challenges the ideas of public voting and democracy. You’re invited to give your opinion based on Drummond’s personal story in a scenario that combines the formats of television shows such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and contextualises it with real-life events like Brexit and the Scottish independency vote. Political theatre with an opinion? Count us in.
The Majority by Rob Drummond is on at the National Theatre, Southbank, London SE1 9PX until August 28. Find the tickets, show times and other details at nationaltheatre.org.uk.
The Odyssey at Curzon Cinemas
Thanks to The Odyssey, you don’t need to don a diving mask to take a trip into the beauty of the underwater world. Told as a biographical tale of the documentary legend Jacques Cousteau, this French flick teams up a stunning cast including Audrey Tautou, Pierre Niney and Lambert Wilson for a film that’s equal parts beauty and brains; it’s a story that shows a different take on a family adventure and makes for the ideal summer-in-the-city weekend viewing. Directed by Jérôme Salle, this is an underwater postcard with a strong French signature.
The Odyssey is screening at Curzon Cinemas. Find the tickets, show times and other details at curzoncinemas.com.
Because we read…
Optimists of the world unite. In an age when newspaper headlines look like something out of the pages of a dystopian novel, the Guardian’s columnist Oliver Burkeman notices a strong stream of positivism present in the media. Merging opinions of various influential thinkers including New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof and author Johan Norberg, Burkeman talks about the significance of the phenomenon of The New Optimists and nudges all of the pessimists (him included) to think of the world as a glass half-full.
“But perhaps it is the one genuinely indisputable truth on which the New Optimists and the more pessimistically minded can agree: that whatever happens, things could always, in principle, have been worse.”
As the world celebrates international Elvis Week, Kory Grow of Rolling Stone magazine looks back at one of the biggest comebacks in the history of music. The tale building up to the hour-long television broadcast in December 1968 is marvelous, emotional and cinematic with the outcome being the second rise of, arguably, the first global pop star. For sake of the full effect, play Suspicious Minds while reading it.
“Along with Moore and Fontana, guitarist Charlie Hodge and percussionists Alan Fortas and Lance LeGault joined Presley in what looked like an open boxing ring to play a loose, carefree set for a couple hundred fans.”
Even though it’s still summer, we’re deep into Autumn. The first British post-Brexit novel dealing with the vote’s consequence is a story about a transgenerational friendship between 101-year-old Daniel Gluck and 32-year-old Elisabeth Demand and how their relationship exists in the aftermath of the anti-EU vote. As part of The Man Booker Prize 2017 longlist, Autumn is a seminal piece of contemporary literature.
“All across the country, people felt they'd really won. All across the country, people felt they'd done the right thing and other people had done the wrong thing. All across the country, people looked up on Google: ‘what is the EU?’ All across the country, people looked up on Google: ‘move to Scotland’. All across the country, people looked up on Google: ‘Irish Passport Applications’.”
Because we heard…
The naivety of early 2000s Brit indie rock meets pop-infused psychedelia in Amy O’s newest album. Elastic is a deceivingly easy pop record with some personal lyrics that sometimes sound like excerpts from an award-winning coming-of-age novel. Honest, defiant and with a high level of girly sass, this is an album made for dancing on tables.
Because track: History Walking
Brooklyn-trio Flash Trading have returned to the rave sounds of the late 1980s for their latest EP. With its atmospheric drums, hazy synthesizers and under-the-breath vocals by Monae Freeman, The Golden Mile is caught between the dancefloors of then and now. Hitting that sweet trans-seasonal spot with its squelchy and funky acid-house sound, this record has a track for every mood – both chill and party.
Because track: Acceleration
One of London’s best record stores, Soho’s Soul Jazz Records is celebrating Tate Modern’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition with a compilation album of the same name. A unique blend of Afro jazz, street funk and the roots of contemporary rap stands for a 13-song soundtrack to a hot-summer’s day road trip in a hot red convertible.
Because track: Sweet Songs by Sarah Webster Fabio
Text by Dino Bonacic