Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

6 February 2015

PHOTOGRAPHY: Wim Wenders: America

“A melting pot of a cultural exhibition – a melancholy view of America.”

Luca Mastrantonio, writer for ‘La Lettura’ Sunday culture section, ‘Corriere della Sera’

Film director Wim Wenders, pioneer of New German Cinema, turns his cinematic eye to photography at Villa Panza, the 18th-century retreat overlooking Varese near Milan in northern Italy. Wenders’ images of the US taken between the 1970s and 2000s capture a feeling of space – both its potential and its vast emptiness – in a country where, as the director himself has learned, life can be whatever you choose to make of it.

THEATRE: ‘The Ruling Class’

“Very up to the minute, very angry. You’ve got to hand it to James McAvoy: this is a play that no one does”

Matt Wolf, London theatre critic of ‘The International New York Times’

James McAvoy takes a break from Hollywood to star in ‘The Ruling Class’ at London’s Trafalgar Studios. The play directed by Jamie Lloyd is an eccentric piece about a paranoid-schizophrenic aristocrat grappling with the idiosyncrasies of being well-to-do but a bit wrong in the head. Despite the lead’s struggles, it may come as no kind of spoiler that the play’s message suggests those of us who are not part of the ruling class might not be in the best place either – mentally or otherwise.

PUBLICATION: ‘Granta 130: India, Another Way of Seeing’

“It is extraordinary to see these elements of India; a portrait of a nation”

Arifa Akbar, literary editor of ‘The Independent’

Granta’s collection of new Indian writing aims to hold a mirror to the nation – one held by those who live and experience it on a daily basis rather than visiting voices. 'India, Another Way of Seeing' mixes fiction, non-fiction and imagery such as the work of Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad (above) to comment on nationalistic nuances including the rise of the Hindu right, historic snobberies between rich and poor, and a new perspective on Gandhi’s goings on as young man in London while striving to live up to the image of the quintessential English gent.

MUSIC: Double Knots: ‘Double Vision’ (Toby Tobias Remix)

“Somewhere between uplifting and melancholic”

Paul Noble, Monocle music specialist

London DJ and producer (and compiler of the ‘Underground Disco’ compilations) Toby Tobias has had his eye on the more sublime sounds of the dancefloor since around the turn of the millennium. With production partner Daniel Mode, Tobias has formed Double Knots and the duo’s “Double Vision” is a smooth-sailing piece of sunburnt electro that wouldn’t seem out of place on the deck of a yacht or perhaps soundtracking that other notorious double act – the cops from 'Miami Vice'.

FILM: ‘Still Life’

"Beautiful - a compelling drama on an unusual subject. Wonderful insights into solitude"

Karen Krizanovch, film critic, journalist and broadcaster

Italian director Uberto Pasolini’s ‘Still Life’ is a sombre yet subtly comic reflection on the big questions in life – what happens when we die? And who picks the tunes for the big day? Eddie Marsan plays John May, a council worker tasked with locating relatives of those who die alone, while also asking some tricky questions about who might step in to do the same for him. Poignant, touching and with no easy answers.

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