Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Where's my Nutshell for 2011??

The British Library and many of you would like an answer to that question, it turns out. And indeed it seems a very reasonable question to ask. Where is the much awaited Nutshell for 2011?

Well, it doesn't exist. That's right, a few unexpected things have happened, and a few delaying agents have popped round to the Nutshell headquarters, so now that we're ready to roll, we find that the year is coming to an end, and that it really would be much better if we called the whole 2011 thing off and went for 2012 instead.

That's the thing with being all independent and free (yes, we're back to free for the next issue, it turns out we really don't like charging for Nutshell), you don't have to come out when the office decides, you can pretty much come out whenever you like. That is not to say that we only like coming out sporadically, far from it: we'd like to come out weekly! But it does mean that when it's only one person working on a project like this, helped by people that are also doing it in their spare time, the timeframes expand, the delays increase and accidents are absorbed much more slowly. This is why we don't say yes to people asking to subscribe to Nutshell. We love the thought, but we don't want to disappoint.

This is also the proof that Santa doesn't exist. One big red man alone would never manage to keep that Christmas deadline every year, coordinating all those helpers who really have their own projects going (most amazon sellers are, in fact, Santa's helpers. Same goes for good sellers on Ebay.)

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Having said all this, I am happy to update you letting you know that Nutshell is in very good form, it is scheduled to come out Jan/Feb 2012, it is absolutely packed with amazing stuff, it will be the first issue to be printed in full colour, the new graphic designer Mauro Sommavilla worked on it for ages and did an amazing job... it's all going swell. Unless of course you're pissed off we're late. Please don't be! The way we see it, all other aspects of life require us to worry, hurry, lose sleep etc. This really really shouldn't - we hope you agree!

Much love,


Saturday, 25 June 2011

If only Angela Carter wrote the news

One of my all-time favourite authors, Angela Carter, started her working life as a journalist in south London, reporting local news for The Croydon Advertiser, before she achieved literary success. Reading her rich descriptions of a world that only she had the eyes to see has made me wonder what it would be like to open a newspaper and read an article written in the style of The Bloody Chamber or The Magic Toyshop.

Since 2009, one Israeli daily has given its readers a chance to read news written by fiction writers and poets. For one day a year, timed to coincide with Hebrew Book Week, the journalists and editors of Haaretz, a publication often referred to somewhat derisively as Israel’s “thinking man’s newspaper,” give up the reins to a selection of Israeli and international writers, who take over on every section of the newspaper for an edition where “writers write the news.” Even the weather forecast is a poem!

I awaited the day of the 2011 Writers Edition, 15th June, with the kind of excitement that I used to reserve for birthdays when I was a child. This year, 53 writers had come on board to cover current events and give readers “a look at the news through literary eyes,” as the newspaper says on its masthead.

So what does “news through literary eyes” actually look like?

The news section echoed the Israeli public’s sense of ennui over the Arab-Israeli peace process, and the widespread sense of disappointment among the electorate in its government, much like the newspaper’s usual political stance. Four writers were featured on the front page.

Novelist Nurit Gertz used Sartre’s famous line “Hell is other people” to express her dislike of Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman in a scathing analysis of his stubbornness and myopic take on Israel’s foreign policy. “With Lieberman,” writes Gertz, “since there are no other people, hell is I – and one can imagine how hellish it is to live in a world where, at every corner, as in a hall of mirrors, one can see just one image – that of Avigdor Lieberman.”

In what read more like a short story than a typical newspaper article owing to its use of the present tense, short-story writer and graphic novelist Etgar Keret reported on his experience accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on an official visit to Italy the week before the edition was published. At a press briefing, Keret ask Netanyahu a question about the perception that Israel is passive and reactive in the peace process, and the feeling that people either love or hate Israel. Netanyahu answers partly with “this conflict is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory,” and says that a practical plan for resolving it is to reiterate this idea at every opportunity. Keret speaks for many Israelis when he says “I try to smile, but after this conversation I just can’t summon a smile, or hope. Just despair.”

Poet Haim Goury laments the “withering” of Israeli socialism “in the face of privatisation, and the rise of the national and religious right” in a piece discussing the relationship between Zionism, Communism and the Soviet Union in the years leading up to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and throughout its history. Today, he writes, “Israel is undergoing haredization from within, and is shunned, and cursed at and delegitimized from without.”

On a more positive note, Sami Michael, novelist and prominent Israeli activist, reported on plans to make Haifa, a city with one of the most mixed Jewish and Arab populations in Israel, a member of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), an association of more than 20 cities around the world that give refuge to persecuted writers, in partnership with International PEN.

The Haaretz editorial, “It’s all thanks to reading”, reminded readers of the centrality of reading and writing to the accumulation of knowledge, and challenged them not to abandon books in the Internet age “which presents an opportunity and a challenge to reading’s future.”

The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa adds his two cents with an op-ed originally published in the Spanish daily El Pais last year. Here he advocates for the legalisation of drugs to end the violence caused by drug cartels, particularly in Latin America. Although the beauty of the original Spanish is lost in translation, his assertion that drugs should be legalised because no-one has the right to criminalise the things they don’t like, “including people picking their noses in front of you,” transformed the piece into a comment on the safeguarding of individual liberty in general, and the dangers of paths that can lead “to the suicide of democracy.”

American novelist Jonathan Franzen’s editorial piece, an adaptation of a graduation speech originally published in The New York Times, started off as an ode to his new BlackBerry, and turned into a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of true love and heartbreak in an imperfect world in which people are growing more and more accustomed to the narcissism and mediocrity of “liking” things, Facebook style.

Is there actually a difference between these writers, and normal journalists and editors? Could fiction writers permanently replace the entire staff of a newspaper? I would like to think that they can’t, that word limits and editorial guidelines would be too much for your average writer of fiction. Aside from that, aren’t journalists meant to carry the mantle of objectivity? Isn’t their main role meant to be guardians of the truth, as opposed to masters of the written word?

Postmodern theorists ask whether there is in fact a world out there which exists objectively for all of us, and question the extent to which a newspaper is a reflection of this world “out there.” In a way, I think I would prefer to read a newspaper that did not print breaking news from its local reporters, or reprint stories straight from the wires, but instead featured beautifully written, thought-provoking pieces by a hand-picked selection of the kind of writers that I like to read, dead or alive – which sounds, I guess, a little bit like that game where you name your ideal dinner party guests.

The Haaretz Writers edition is a creative, innovative stroke of genius, and I wish that more newspapers would take such a risk, or indeed, that Haaretz ran the edition more than once a year.

The idea, however, seems better than its execution. I was disappointed at how similar in style the articles were, at how little I got to see of a writer’s individual literary style, and at the absence of creative risk-taking within the articles themselves, with the exception of Keret, whose piece felt as if it was structured like a story. The world seen through literary eyes did not seem that different to me than the world seen through the eyes of Haaretz's regular reporters, and I did find myself thinking, as I read, "if only Angela Carter wrote the news..."


Alona Ferber

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Tempest - Little Angel Theatre

It is with tears in my eyes that I set upon writing this review, for The Tempest at the Little Angel Theatre in Islington was such a wonder and joy to behold that I am still moved now.

What a sweet, unassuming place the Little Angel Theatre is, hidden in a little court off Cross street it would be impossible to just walk past it and notice it unless already on your way there to see something. Tipped by a friend, we managed to catch the last night of this sold out production of The Tempest and I am so glad. A mixture of puppets and people, this child friendly production was superbly acted and never patronising. All the actors not only perform multiple roles impeccably, with an ease that leaves the audience not quite sure just how many actors are in the play and a transport that makes their throats knot and noses tingle; they also double up as master puppeteers, dancers and excellent singers and musicians, playing a variety of instruments.

Gross Caliban is here a clunky, 2-people puppet that is utterly frightful when enraged and sweet when in a more delicate, vulnerable attitude. The other main puppet, the floaty Ariel, is fine and subtly animated and its interaction with Prospero is one of the most moving elements of the play.

As well as deeply moving, this production is terribly funny at different levels, sweet in the father and daughter moments between Miranda and Prospero, exhilarating when Trinculo and Stephano are on stage, and unpredictable when the actors leave the stage and interact with the public. Even the seagull puppets are riveting!

Finally, the lighting and sound effects were seamless and essential to the atmosphere, particularly fine were the shadow play, and choral and orchestral moments that seal the union of Miranda and Ferdinand; as well as the particularly suggestive opening, which sees Prospero light up the tempest with his staff as if with a giant match.

It's sad not to be able to tell you to go and watch it as alas! it is no more. But as a huge part of the charm came from the theatre itself, so intimate and special, and the puppets, which when well made like in the Little Angel Theatre, are twenty times as magical to behold as any computer generated thestral, I feel confident that you'll be just as ecstatic as we were tonight to see any of their future adult productions. Alternatively, you if you have any young friends between 3 and 6, you might seize the opportunity and catch the forthcoming production 'The Magician's Daughter', running from the 28th of May to the 10th of July.

After going to the Little Angel Theatre once, I am sure you'll also want to take one of their adult puppet making courses, so I guess we'll see you there!

-- Faye Fornasier

Friday, 6 May 2011

Latitude 2011

Today might not be sunny and warm, but surely you can remember the cleverly timed string of sunny days that blessed this country over Easter and the Royal holiday, if you can’t that’s probably because you are still sun stroked or were abroad on an anti kingdom trip. Either way, we're here to tell you that now it’s officially possible to envisage hanging out in a park and sleeping in a tent of your own free will and not just because you’re homeless. For a few months coming up we can confirm that the outdoors won’t kill you… it’s time to start thinking about festivals, and we’re thinking Latitude.

The Nutshell team went to Latitude last year for the first time and it was wonderful so this year not only we want to go again, we want you to be there too. Here’s a list of 5 indisputable reasons:

1. Sheep the colour of rainbow and the most bucolic of settings. I’m not sure why, but blue, green and pink sheep do exist outside the realm of hallucinogenics and they’re at Latitude, sprawled about on the field by a sleepy river, looking happy and chewing grass. Thick forest surrounds the main stages, with some smaller stages deep inside among the trees… We have to say, the location is perfect, and it kind of makes the festival.

2. The literary presence. There are several tents dedicated to poetry and literature. These are large, cool areas sheltered from the scorching sun and equipped with comfy cushions. One can very well wake up early in the morning, have a quick shower and then come here and settle on a cushion to see who’s reading what, not exactly dozing back to sleep but waking up gently to the sound of a poem or a story. If this doesn’t sound blissful I don’t know what does.

Later in the day, things warm up and the tents get packed, and the good thing is: they get packed with lovely people. The line up is super and the atmosphere great. Damn we do love those shady tents!

3. The comedyyyy. How blissful rocking up to the comedy tent at random times and finding ourselves sitting there in stitches for hours. The comedy tent is huge and really crowded, you’ll have to walk over people to get to an empty patch and that’s probably when you’ll be picked at by the comedian on stage. A tip: outside the tent we found some sofas lying about, if you see a free one, drag it all the way to the tent and use it. They’re the most comfortable way of watching comedy, they'll swallow you whole and you'll literally forget yourself.

4. The music. This year we feel like we're in a time warp, it's just a jump to the left and a step to the right and Suede appear, together with Echo and the Bunnymen. Those of you brave enough to admit it can join us right now and get really excited about these comebacks, what a treat! Also, remember when OMD meant Original Manoeuvres in the Dark and OMG absolutely nothing? We do, and we can't wait to be there and see how they hold the stage. The great thing about this year's line up is that Latitude combines good oldies with really fresh new bands, without forgetting the sweet inbetweeners like Paolo Nutini, The Cribs, Paloma Faith, KT Tunstall, The National, Eels, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan and British Sea Power.

5. The rest! Theatre, Cabaret, Film, Ballet, Contemporary Art... who knows what will impress you and capture your imagination, what will Sadler's Wells and the English National Ballet will come up with or what will happen at Pandora's Playground. One of the best things about festivals, and what it should be all about, is discovery and experimentation. Wandering the grounds finding new things to like.

We can't wait!

Paolo Nutini - Headlining on Saturday at the Obelisk Arena

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Sunday, 24 April 2011

By The Rivers, Brixton Hootananny

I’d never been to the Hootananny in Brixton before. From Brixton underground you walk down a road unpromisingly lined with council estates and massive car and textile units. The venue has a peripheral outer gate and a pair of typically truculent bouncers. There are fried food stands in the front garden and a man wants to know if I’m on the weed tonight. Inside the dance area fills up quickly when the first band of the night, By The Rivers, arrives on stage. They deliver a really bright energetic set that has the whole house dancing. When not themselves playing, the wind/brass section of the band do their own little dance in one corner of the stage which is really fun and amusing to watch. The whole band looks so comfortable and happy performing and of course that lifts the audience. A few clips below.


Ian McLachlan

Monday, 11 April 2011

Pepe Belmonte involved in serious bike accident - tour cancelled but support event organised for the 16th of April

On 31st March Pepe Belmonte was just about to start off on a tour to launch his critically acclaimed debut album 'The Hermit's Waltz' but was involved in a serious bike accident after being knocked down by a speeding police van.

On Saturday 16th April, he was supposed celebrate the final night of his UK tour. Instead his friends are hosting a very special fundraising night for the Beatroot Rendez-Vous founder who is currently recovering from the accident.

We friends hope to raise some funds to help him do his tour once he's better.

The proposed line up is set to include:

Jenny Lindfors
Benjamin Folke Thomas
Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou
Frank Doody
Jack Day
Trent Miller
Grace Banks
All the Queens Ravens
+ many more!

When: Saturday 16th April 2011

Where: The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, City of London, EC1R 3BL

Time: 8pm - 11.30pm

Price £4

**Make sure you get there early if you definitely want to get in because we expect it to be packed out!**

News about the crash


Some early 'The Hermit's Waltz' Reviews


Pepe Belmonte

Pepe Belmonte 'Family State Blues' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS5S3MI8GOU&feature=related

Pepe Belmonte 'Mountain With a Moving Peak' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwScnGZ28EE
Pepe Belmonte 'The Hermit's Waltz' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBiHy4ghmOI&feature=related

Pepe Belmonte 'Glory of Love' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV7Xn10S24E

Pepe Belmonte 'Pending on my Mind' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnAM-PLGm_c

Pepe Belmonte 'Mistletoe Kisses' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU14wlcFxWc&feature=player_embedded

For more information about Pepe Belmonte and Beatroot at the Betsey please contact Jody VandenBurg



Sunday, 3 April 2011

Patch William at Nambucca

What the hell happened to gig audiences? I’ll come back to this. First time I’d been to Nambucca since the fire that gutted it. The insurance money's created a new spacious look I like. I get a drink and wait for the DJ to stop playing and the bands to start up out back. After a protracted period of this not happening I go round the back to investigate only to find there’s now a separate closed-off room where the bands perform. Who knew? I see a band who don’t do anything for me, wonder if I’ve missed Patch William, the band I’ve come to see. Luckily I haven’t. They do a cool set ending with a really rocking indie tune called Skinny White Boy which I’m considering ditching the camera for in order to dance to. Glancing at the audience they’re as static as hypnotised cult members, apart from two couples in the corner who seem to think they’re attending a barn-dancing contest. To my dismay, the table I’m filming from starts to rock slightly – one attendee’s contribution to the night is a bit of swaying against the furniture. In fairness the audience gives decent verbal feedback. Couple of clips below.


Ian McLachlan

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Brought to you by Beatroot Rendez-Vous, The Support Your Independent Record Store Tour in association with Record Store Day is under orders. Pepe Belmonte - the delightful opening act of our latest event at the Old Queen's Head - will be travelling by camper across the UK playing in-store shows followed by gigs the same evening in local venues supporting local acts.

If he's coming to your town, you should not miss it, if he's not, it's worth the trip!

Here's the schedule:


4pm @ Ziggy's Basement, 29 Gloucester Rd &
7pm @ The Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester St,£1/£4

Red Rose Records, 3 Royal Arcade
Chaplins Cellar Bar, 529 Christchurch, Boscombe

Acorn Music, 3 Glovers Walk

5pm @ Rise Records, 70 Queen's Rd, Clifton &
7pm @Mr. Wolf's, 33 St Stephen's Street

1-2pm @ Kane's Records, 14 Kendrick St
7pm @ Star Anise, 1 Gloucester Street, £1/£4 (with HERONS and HERMES)

13th FLINT
12-2pm @ Mold Music, 27 New Street
7pm @ Y Pentan, 3 New Street (with local acts)

5pm @ The Music Exchange, 18 West End Arcade7pm @ The Golden Fleece, 105 Mansfield Rd, FREE

2pm-4pm @ Brill, 27 Exmouth Market
7pm @ The Betsy Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Rd, £1/£4

There is a small door charge at some of the evening shows but collect a magic mystery item at the in-store gig for £1 entry!!!

More info here...

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Underground Poetry (UP)

Underground Poetry (UP) is a new movement founded by Nina Ellis that distributes poetry leaflets to London Underground travellers. More information here: http://undergroundpoetry.org/

UP have run three events so far this year (two in London, one in Cambridge) which feature poetry readings and musical performances.

The most recent event was held on 2nd March at Proud Kitchen, Stables Market in Camden. I shot a few clips on my Flip-cam. Here’s Nina Ellis and George Worsley reading poems, and Will Adlard and Benjamin Compston performing together on guitar. Cool.


Ian McLachlan

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Howl did they manage to make it so boring?

For those of you hoping to see the daring, honest, brutal, sexy, filthy and scandalous on film, choose something else as you will certainly not find it in Howl, tonight, at the Curzon Soho.

Howl is rubbish. But let’s take a closer look. This film is made of scenes of Ginsberg reading Howl, scenes from the obscenity trial, an interview with Ginsberg, and HORRIBLE animation. Aside from the horrible animation, the ingredients for a decent film are there. But at a certain point film makers need to stop and think about how they're doing what they’re doing, who will end up watching it and whether it will work or not. Here it just looks like this wasn't done. Putting together all the ingredients is not enough, you must have some kind of vision, an instinct, something that will make it all gel together - and it should involve the ability to hire a better casting director.

Turning Howl, poem poet and crowd, into a film didn’t work - let's see why.

First of all, this is like being at school, the poem is paraphrased either visually, via horrid animation of people shooting up or mating (heterosexually), or through endless repetition, or – final straw really – through dialogues, literally explaining, in the trial scene, what the words might or might not mean. Surely to find out about Howl, one would have rather read the poem itself, or the relative wikipedia entry.

Second: there are times in which films set to tell stories we already know the end to, like the obscenity trial in this case, but these films generally manage to create some sort of tension, work their magic so even if we know the outcome, we might either put it out of our minds or wish to see how we got there anyway. Not here, this is not a film about the trial, nobody gives a crap about it. This is a film where the trial is thrown in for good measure, no tension is built around it and nothing justifies it even being there. Oh, and did we have to cast Don Draper as Don Draper? Doesn’t the fellow want to try something else for chrissake?

Third and final, third and main: excitement, or the total lack of. If you go and see Howl you are either a Don Draper/Franco fan, or know Howl. If the former, you are dismissed. If the latter, you are expecting at the very least cock and balls, insatiable ecstasy, or both. As on screen Franco fails (was he even trying) to look less like the badly cast unremarkable hotshot he is, and more like Ginsberg reading Howl to an enraptured, galvanised, and adoring crowd, people in the auditorium start to leave or fall asleep.



This might have been acceptable or even a source of pride for, say, Antonioni or Pasolini, Bergman or Haneke, at times, knowing that this or that film they made was not designed to be immediately accessible to all, but just to an élite; but here?? That such a blood pumping, all shaking, whirlwind of a poem (and of a poet) [and of an era] should be translated so tamely into film that people fell asleep is in itself a certain failure.

All this film needs now is a subtitle, a caption:

‘Howl, by Disney'

‘Howl, was it in fact censored? I can’t remember’.

‘Yawn..’ sorry I meant ‘Howl, soon on a plane near you - for those who fear flying and would rather be asleep’


Faye Fornasier

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Nutshell Winter Boum, Islington

Family performing at the Nutshell Winter Boum, Sunday 27th February 2011. Much of the ambient noise is provided by Faye yacking away about something or other. The decision to shoot directly at a pillar is an innovative one, but I think artistically it paid off.

Having shot a few clips of Family I then forgot about my flipcam until Faye went up to take a photo of These Furrows, at which point I retrieved it and captured their dying moments on stage. I realise such a short clip is of no use to man or beast and present it here for perusal by amphibians.

Luckily, early on in the evening, I did manage to record a clean audio track of Josh displaying a worrying absence of knowledge about his siblings’ work in our magazine. It wasn’t clear he’d looked at either Kat’s or Alex’s poems in Nutshell 1, and, though he claimed to have read Kat’s story in Nutshell 2, damningly, he then failed to recognise the issue it appeared in. How distressed Josh’s poor mother will be to hear this tale of fraternal impiety I can only imagine. Now I’ve never been one for blackmail. Faye, however, has no such reservations, as one might expect from the national of a country that routinely elects Berlusconi to power, and we’re hoping a financial backer for Nutshell has at last been found.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Never Let Me Go - Film Review

My friend Siobhan and I have started going to the cinema together, there seems to be one implicit condition though, we can only see unbearably depressing films. It's unbearable or nothing. Which is fine, I guess, since we both enjoy that kind of pain, and we seem to bear it all right. Recently she suggested Blue Valentine, then I suggested Never Let Me Go. You can see them both and let me know which one you found to be the most depressing.

First of all, let me admit that prior to watching them I had no idea what they were about. Of Never Let Me Go I knew the cast, and the only reason I suggested it is that I quite fancied seeing pan-faced Keira and pig-faced Carey in action together again. It might be a bad habit but in the past few years I have started deliberately avoiding reading plots and reviews of films I might want to see at the cinema. I am far too put off by genres, so not having a clue what it is that I am about to see makes it easier to actually go and be surprised - sometimes. This doesn’t, of course, explain why I knew nothing of NLMG, since it's based on a novel which I own but i haven't read yet. I won't apologise for that though, I am busy, get over it. It's on the pile of books to read, I keep adding to the pile and keep reading the last book added. I was going to read it at the right moment and the moment hadn't come yet, so, from the poster alone (I don't read back cover plot outlines either) I assumed I would be a coming of age smooch fest, a boarding school version of Pride and Prejudice, only modern and therefore – I hoped – more explicit.

Imagine my surprise seeing Keira play the part of the selfish bitch in what turned out to be a really disturbing story scripted to spin sci-fi on its head and free it from any sci-fi elements bar one, microchip bracelets, a cinematic addition apparently. As it was a Q&A, I had the chance to see that the book lovers had no objection to the filmic rendition, and Ishiguro himself – I hear – is fairly happy with it, as he was consulted every step of the way to make sure everything felt right and nobody got pissed off. The casting worked really well, the children, in particular, were well trained to mimic their adult correspondents; and the Japanese aesthetics were well respected. What annoyed me, I have to say, is the exasperated cinematic cliché of colour representation of emotions. Blue, gray, green and the combination of the three equal sadness and hopelessness. Great, let’s turn this film into the winter installment of a knitting catalogue. In fact, let’s also design our intertitles to match that and turn the film locations ans time placers into knitting chapter openers (Hailsham: child wear, The Cottages: farming housewives, Completion: er... shawls?)

Anyway, enough technicalities, what is the film about? Should you see it? You should read the book first - you should always read the book first unless we're talking of The Girl With the Pearl Earring - but if now is not the right time yet, I'll be happy to spoil it for you. NLMG is the story of three children who meet in a special boarding school for clones who are created and raised for the sole purpose of becoming organ donors in their 20s. As the three protagonists grow up friendship, love and resentment get tangled, until Completion time approaches (death, that is) and they have to let go. The sadness is constant and justified: just like normal humans the clones know their existence will come to an end and hope to postpone it, the difference is that unlike that of most humans, their life will terminate in their prime and they don't get a chance to forget about it. Their desperation is not the raw, uncontrollable one of the replicants in Blade Runner, which is probably why this film didn't do well in the US market. The fact that the characters don't run much, reveals Romaneck, has displeased some critics over there. There is only one run in the film and not much screaming and confrontation; this is down to Romaneck's desire to remain close to the Japanese concept of Yūgen, according to which emotions should be expressed subtly, elegantly, like a small ripple on the surface of a river troubled by very strong, deep undercurrents. Not in the screamy, snotty way we go about things.

Ignore the remark on the overindulgent photography, I recommend this film because it surprised me, and also because not watching films only because Keira Knightley is in them is no longer a good excuse.

Good for you, Keira.

-- Faye Fornasier

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Circalit Launch Crime Fiction Competition with Leading Literary Agency

Circalit, the new online hub of the literary world, has just announced a competition to find the next big crime fiction blockbuster with winning entries being submitted to the leading literary agency, A.P. Watt.

Circalit, whose social networking and digital distribution platform aims to bring writers and agents together, are hosting the competition online where the public are able to read all submissions and vote for their favourite novels. The top submissions will be read and considered for representation by A.P. Watt. The competition is free and those wishing to enter must start by creating an account at Circalit and posting their work online.

Raoul Tawadey, founder of Circalit, commented, “There is a wealth of literary talent across the globe, only a fraction of which gets the recognition it deserves. Crowd-sourcing is a great way for the publishing industry to find literature that already has a proven readership. We hope this competition will give talented new writers the opportunity to get their work noticed and demonstrate the power of the internet to create a global talent pool.”

To enter your script please visit www.circalit.com.

About Circalit
Circalit is the world’s premier social networking site for writers. Originally launched in February 2010 as a place where screenwriters can showcase their work to film studios, Circalit is now also home to novelists, playwrights and short story writers across the globe. Its free service allows writers to have their work reviewed by peers and professionals, enter into free writing competitions, create a fan base, make industry contacts and market their work, and apply for professional writing jobs online. Circalit’s mission is to digitise and democratise the way that good literature is discovered by agents, producers and publishers.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Cool For Cats presents the Nutshell Winter Boum

Cool for Cats and Nutshell Magazine team up to bring you the perfect Sunday do. Expect to stuff your belly with the best Sunday roast in town while watching live acts that are the pick of the crop, then the night will escalate both in beat and in heart rates as drinks replace food and it all turns into a massive party… without the hassle of a late night.

Aside music, food and drink there'll be a crafters' couch, and a Nutshell mag corner to keep your hands busy.

The line up includes: The Palpitations, Chapter 24, Microdance, These Furrows, The Inevitable Pinhole Burns, Raven Beats Crow, and Family

FREE ENTRANCE - you can't miss it!

Old Queen’s Head, Essex Road, Sunday 27th February, from 3.30 until night falls