Sunday, April 09, 2006

Londres List

London, March 25 2006.

So, wake up the next morning from the late night with Ladytron to find myself a stone's throw from the Dan Flavin retrospective at Hayward Gallery. This exploration of light and colour has been widely touted amongst the broadsheets as London's current best cultural cure for hangover, so give it a try, and while it's difficult not to be impressed by the minimalist power of some of the installations, can't help but conclude that, with an entrance fee of £7.50, a couple of tabs of Nurofen would've been cheaper.

Then go and see Alexandre (Switchblade Romance) Aja's remake of Wes Craven's horror classic, The Hills Have Eyes. The first half of the film is promising, and the nuclear radiation-testing theme is subtle but integral, yet killing off the most sympathetic character half-way through might seem like a clever idea but leaves the film to carry you quite a long way with people you care little about. Maybe it's just being the wrong side of 40, but Dead Kenny finds himself increasingly desensitised to this kind of slick, relentless gorefest - when your own mortality and that of those you care about is painfully plain before your eyes it's difficult to get too excited about overpaid phallocentric geeks playing around with special FX. Smart performance from Vinessa Shaw, though, who's always worth watching.

Meet up with Tim early evening, who gives me a quick tour of some of London's historic pubs via some disused wharfs, which look the sort of wastegrounds where gangsters take their victims for a quick beating. Dead Kenny half-expects to hear the squealing tyres of a motor and a gang of brutes heading in his direction to cosh him over the head for one tepid review of an upcoming indie band too many. Thankfully, this doesn't happen, but we do bump into a nice Los Angelene Nick Nolte look-a-like in The Mayflower, who needs his pretty blonde wife to explain that camembert is 'a kind of French cheese' (bien sur, the waiter surrenders).



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