25 September 2019
Though I love film, I don’t usually write to you about ones I have seen. However, this film is really special. Please try to see it in Vancouver if you can.
It has always really annoyed me, how two or three film companies have a monopoly on film distribution. So, if you want to see the latest idiot Hollywood blockbuster, you can go to any cinema in the city and it’s playing several times per day. There are ads everywhere. When it’s not in the cinema, it’s all over Netflix etc. Access is definitely not an issue.
However, independent films like “For Sama” only have a tiny proportion of the distribution that the commercial films have. I was finally able to catch this, but had to leave work early and travel into central London. Anyway, all this to say that I wish independent films were as accessible as the Hollywood ones. So try to see it while you can!
“For Sama” is a film about a Syrian student documenting the siege of Aleppo, even after she became pregnant with her daughter (Sama).
As activists against the Assad regime, Waad al-Kateab and her husband stayed behind in Aleppo as long as they could. It was heartbreaking when they had to finally leave, giving up the fight for freedom. Waad al-Kateab’s husband worked as a doctor in the last remaining make-shift hospital in Aleppo, so the footage here is devastating. To me, it was a good supplement to the footage you see on the news. This was the reality of the war in Syria.
16 September 2019
Hello the MLE,
I left the exhibition and stopped to watch all the people everywhere, each with their own particular identities, their own particular façades, each looking like a Cindy Sherman character… One of those special moments when you can really feel that art has slightly changed your outlook on the world (as cheesy as that sounds).
I was lucky to catch this major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery here in London, that covered the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to present day. Sherman is famous for her use of make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to create complex and ambiguous photographic images. She invents fictitious characters, photographing herself in imaginary situations, inhabiting a world of pure appearance.
My sister commented about how she always likes to imagine what the artist behind the work is really like as a person. Would she like to be friends with them? But she had no idea what Cindy Sherman would be like, judging by her art. And that is the point. Her art is “a lesson in throwing followers off a trail, keeping up a legend and putting on a disguise, hiding in plain sight and going undercover.”
My favourites were the series called, “Socialites,” a series of well, ageing socialites (a few featured here). I found the description particularly funny that it was a bit of a sensitive issue, as these characters could easily resemble some of her art collectors!
Posted in: art