Weekend Agenda 21/22 September - Monocolumn | Monocle


A daily bulletin of news & opinion

21 September 2013



Released on DVD and Blu-ray this weekend is Populaire, the debut romantic comedy by French director Régis Roinsard. The lighthearted film set in 1958 will appeal to those with a soft spot for retro, focusing on the story of Rose Pamphyle – a secretary played by Déborah François – who wins a series of speed-typing competitions under the watchful eye of Romain Duris’ character, Louis Échard. Shot in vibrant, vintage tones that echo Technicolor scenes of eras gone by, Populaire is a dutiful homage that also delivers a fresh story – having won Best Narrative Feature at the San Francisco Film Festival.

Populaire is available to buy now on DVD and Blu-ray.


The Divine Is In The Detail

Turning the cliché “the devil is in the detail” on its head, Pakistan-born Aisha Khalid’s latest exhibition at the Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde in Dubai celebrates the intricacies of geometric design. Khalid’s belief is that there can be great beauty in the disciplined arrangements of simple shapes, with the painstakingly painted grids of triangles and squares on show displaying juxtaposing images and values. “West Looks East”, depicts spores next to flowers in bloom, yet both images are constructed from the same exacting, methodical approach.

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Unit 17, Al Quoz 1. Open Saturday to Thursday, 10.00-19.00. Until 8 November.



The Royal Academy of Arts’ autumn show, Australia, covers more than 200 years of Australian art expressed through works borrowed from the nation’s most important collections – most of which have never been seen in the UK. The exhibition runs like a road trip through the island’s history, from the optimistic gold rush through to Melbourne’s 19th-century economic crash, as well as the country’s later search for identity and its return to embracing aboriginal culture. It’s clear that creating a catch-all sense of “Australian-ness” might be an overwhelming challenge but Australia’s vast landscape offers a rich palette to begin from.

The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Open Saturday to Thursday; 10.00-18.00, Friday; 10.00-22.00. Until 8 December.


A Thing or Two about the Bed

Local curator Tang Ling Nah has pulled together nine mixed media installations by Singapore-based artists at Fost Gallery to celebrate an object that sits in the backgrounds of countless artistic masterpieces – the bed. Singaporean engineer-turned-artist Yang Jie and jewellery designer Mavis Seah’s “If the Bed is a Machine, Does it Produce Sleep?” breaks a bed down into its component parts. The playful results include fluffy cotton sheep – something a few insomniacs might well be familiar with.

Fost Gallery, 1 Lock Road #01-02. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00-19.00. Until 3 November.


Crystal Stilts: Nature Noir

Brooklyn’s ramshackle garage-pop revivalists Crystal Stilts return with third album Nature Noir this week. The duo of singer Brad Hargett and guitarist JB Townsend, plus a revolving door of surrounding musicians, have been plundering a rich vein of 1960s-indebted guitar melodicism for nearly a decade but each release throws a new angle on the old sound. Nature Noir has an ear tuned to more pastoral folk leanings but still manages to maintain the inner-city hum that the band have perfected. It’s a stroll in the park, rather than a full move to the country.

Nature Noir is available to buy now.


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