The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 12 December 2015

Image: Getty Images

Warming to the theme

The nominations for January’s Golden Globes were announced this week and amid the recognition of celluloid excellence are the shoehorned-in categories of best soundtrack and best song. They are, though, awards with the capacity to occasionally elevate obscure musicians’ work whose background tune might just be the reason you made it all the way to the credits. Obligatory and deserved soundtrack nods for this year’s Globes have gone to Italian maestro Ennio Morricone and Tokyo’s Ryuichi Sakamoto. But the list for best song is a predictable race to the syrupy bottom with US rapper Whiz Khalifa and British pop singer Ellie Goulding figuring highly. A glaring omission from both lists is Paul Thomas Anderson’s beautiful documentary Junun in which Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur and Indian ensemble The Rajasthan Express escaped to the Mehrangarh Fort in India to rediscover the simple pleasure of gathering unusual musicians in one room together.

Image: Robert Levin

Shooting Andy Warhol

The late pop artist’s persona lives on in a new exhibition at gallery Maison Gerard in Manhattan, which showcases a time capsule of the arch provocateur’s habits with Two Days in the Life of Andy Warhol. The shots were taken by former New York Times snapper and fine-art photographer Robert Levin, while on assignment for German magazine Stern in 1981. The 15 striking images, chosen from 11 rolls of black-and-white Kodak Tri-x film, convey a staged feeling. “What was so compelling was the theatre around the exercise,” says curator Jim Hedges. “He moved the photographer through these aspects of his life with a very specific agenda.”

Image: Getty Images

Towering reputations

Terminals normally get the glory when it comes to airport design but the new Istanbul Grand Airport is putting its air-traffic control tower in the spotlight. Six designs have been shortlisted for the 95-metre-high building, including plans by Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas and Moshe Safdie, all referencing symbols of Turkey. Safdie’s proposal recalls geographic patterns in the Turkish design vernacular, while Fuksas offers a modern interpretation of a minaret design. Planned for completion in 2017, the airport is expected to become the third largest in the world with up to 150 million passengers passing through. That’s quite some traffic to oversee.

Image: Maria Ballester

Palace peer

There seem to be about as many film festivals as there are cities but few are held in such regal surroundings as In The Palace, Bulgaria’s international celebration of the short film. Now in its 13th year, the event is moving from the Balchik Palace in the country’s south to the capital’s National Palace of Culture. Until 13 December, visitors can catch shorts (strictly 27 minutes or less in length) from emerging and established creatives from Bulgaria and the rest of the world. For a taste of Bulgarian cinema don’t miss Mom’s Calling by film-maker Deyan Bararev, about a brother’s quest to find his missing sibling. Bararev won the prize for the best Bulgarian fiction work at the festival in 2013.

From Monocle 24

Sushi sensation

A new international competition, the Global Sushi Challenge, seeks out the world’s best sushi chef. After a number of regional competitions, 14 finalists met in Tokyo to be challenged in the art of sushi making. We find out if the Japanese can be beaten on their home turf.

From Monocle Films

A Bohemian toy story

The Czech Republic has a rich toy-making history that dedicated collectors and craftsmen are committed to keeping alive. From the atelier to the Christmas market, Monocle films discovers an inspiring toy story where art meets craft.

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