The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 13 February 2016

Image: Getty Images

Financial cliffhanger

A peculiar series of events has seen the drama of Sydney's Tropfest taking place not on the big screen but behind the scenes. Late last year the short-film festival, which is known for launching independent and up-and-coming film-makers onto a national stage, was abruptly called off. Founder John Polson told the press that he was forced to cancel due to “a terrible and irresponsible mismanagement” of funds by the company running the event, which is headed up by Polson’s Tropfest partner Michael Laverty. Now, thanks to a last-minute corporate sponsorship, the festival is back and will take place on Sunday. But questions are still hanging over the event and Polson didn’t offer many answers this week in a testy interview on Triple J radio show Hack: “The money is gone – I don’t know where it is.” Let’s hope the festival’s films are just as intriguing.

Image: Getty Images

Epic kale fail

It's official: kale is passé. That's according to the 2016 Canadian Chef survey conducted by BrandSpark International, which takes the pulse of the country's gastronomic trends. For the second year running, craft beers and microbrews clinch the top spot, followed by charcuterie and sauces such as sriracha and hoisin. Meanwhile kale and other leafy vegetables have withered down the rankings to number 10. "The Canadian culinary scene is unique and understated, much like Canada,” says Donna Dooher, a chef and the president of Restaurants Canada, a nationwide association representing more than 30,000 hospitality establishments. "I predict we will see leafy greens drop further down and root vegetables native to Canada, such as squashes, make a comeback."

Image: Ruben Diaz

Book a spot

New York non-profit Printed Matter first brought its beloved art-book fair to Los Angeles three years ago and was met with instant acclaim. The fair is going west again this weekend at the Geffen Contemporary in downtown LA. Last year’s edition saw 34,000 visitors and the fair is on track to welcome similar numbers this year. Recommended by the Printed Matter team is The Bus is Back: Mason Williams in Los Angeles, an exhibition on the artist, musician and screenwriter who spent time in the city in the 1960s. Also worth a look is Saturday's main address by Amsterdam-based Experimental Jetset, whose prints can be seen in Moma's permanent collection. Offsite there's the Floating Library – a wooden platform carrying a variety of independent-press books on Echo Park Lake – and plenty of spirited parties taking place at the Ace Hotel.

Image: Alamy

Headline news

Copenhagen’s slick waterfront is about to get even slicker. Architecture firm Cobe has won a competition to redesign Christiansholm, an island that for the past 50 years has been dominated by warehouses used by the Danish press to store old newspapers – hence the nickname Paper Island. The warehouses occupy prime real estate next to the Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse, and represent the last undeveloped part of the city’s inner harbour-front. While it’s a shame to see the destruction of old buildings with colourful histories, Cobe’s plan has plenty of merit: its redesign focuses on a string of new halls that include a swimming pool, art galleries, exhibition spaces and green courtyards. Denmark’s capital has long been revered for its purposeful, public-friendly developments; yet again it is demonstrating a thoughtful, community-minded way to overhaul a waterfront area.

From Monocle 24

Image: Margaret Napier

Noir

Spurred on by the paranoia of an America at war and the arrival of European film-makers in Hollywood, pulpy detective pot-boilers took on a genre of their own in the 1940s – and the classic film noir was born. Author and historian Eddie Muller discusses Bogart’s ‘In a Lonely Place’ (1950) and noir queen Lizabeth Scott. Plus: one Viennese cinema’s intimate love affair with 1949’s ‘The Third Man’.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Hong Kong

Hong Kong is more diverse than you’d imagine. Navigate the futuristic skyways connecting office towers and you’ll pass over temples from which incense smoke trails towards the heavens. The Monocle Travel Guide to Hong Kong takes you on a journey from the best dining spots and side-street food stalls to rich retail experiences.

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