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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester book reviews

Baphomet's Agony by Marta Skadi

Baphomet's Agony by Marta Skadi

To be reviewed by Simon Belt July 2012

 

With a back cover pitch of:

 

"The mere fact you’re reading this means that it has all gone wrong and I’m probably dead so excuse all the blood.

 

This is a love story; my love story. Girl meets boy, she starts up a Norwegian black metal group, they have satanic orgies, everyone tries to murder them, people die and churches get burned. It’s just what you’d expect of a black metal love story. It’s going to be loud, outlandish and gruesome."

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Manchester film reviews

Shame with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan

Shame starring Michael Fassbender

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan January 2012


How do you make a film about sex that is not sexy? Some of us might wonder how you make a film starring Michael Fassbender that is not sexy. But following their collaboration on Hunger, the story of the IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, Fassbender and artist/director Steve McQueen, have produced another harrowing experience.

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Manchester book reviews

Nothing Matters by Ronald Green

Nothing Matters by Ronald Green

Published by Iff Books 2011

To be reviewed by Charles Brickdale July 2012

 

Is nothing everything? As strange as that question looks at first sight, it will definitely make sense after reading NOTHING MATTERS. Provocative and accessible, free of jargon, NOTHING MATTERS shows that there is more to nothing than meets the eye. History, the arts, philosophy, politics, religion, cosmology - all are touched by nothing. Who, for example, could have believed that nothing held back progress for 600 years, all because of mistaken translation, or that nothing is a way to tackle (and answer) the perennial question 'what is art'?

 

NOTHING MATTERS is a genuine attempt to look at the world in a different way, to give new angles to old problems and so to stimulate new thoughts. Sure-footedly, with flair and enthusiasm, Ronald Green takes the reader on a path through nothing to everything it touches, linking facts and information that lead to surprising conclusions.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ian Curtis ©Kevin Cummins

Exemplar: Joy Division by Kevin Cummins

at Manchester Photographic Gallery, Tarrif Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Mark Iddon January

 

33 Years ago, on 06 January 1979, Kevin Cummins spent the day photographing the legendary Manchester Band Joy Division. Many pictures from that snowy day in Manchester feature in this current exhibition alongside photos taken of the band, its members and associated images over a 3 year period from one of their first gigs performing as Warsaw in May 1977 to the memorial stone of the singer, Ian Curtis following his untimely death in May 1980.

 

The exhibition includes around 45 black and white images, on three floors of the gallery, that capture a range of aspects of the band from the intensity of their performances, to relaxed and contemplative stills during rehearsals to the well documented Hulme bridge photo. There are also images of the Factory Club in Hulme and the Russell Club in Manchester where they played early gigs and of an anxious audience queuing outside The Electric Circus.

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Manchester film reviews

The Artist

The Artist

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan January


This film opened to such universal praise I was almost afraid to go and see it for myself. Tipped for Oscar success – it has moved strong reviewers to tears of joy – could it really be this good? The short answer is yes!

 

It is easy to think that a French made silent film in black and white could be a festival success, but The Artist has gained popular success as well as critical plaudits. And the reason is simple, The Artist reminds us of the magic of cinema.

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Manchester film reviews

Denis (Jim Broadbent) and Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep)

The Iron Lady at Cornerhouse

Reviewed by Simon Belt and Anne Ryan January

Simon Belt's view..

For those involved in politics in the 70's and 80's, and many others besides, Margaret Thatcher had some very distinctive personal characteristics and mannerisms, which Meryl Streep captures delightfully in The Iron Lady. Meryl's refined acting twinned with some highly effective make-up artists of the production team, allow us to repeatedly believe, for brief moments anyway, that we are actually watching the Maggie many of us grew to hate.

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Manchester film reviews

Also Ran: A Spider Project Production

Also Ran: A Spider Project Production

Screened at FACT, Directed by Paula Currie, Produced by Phil Thornton and Peter Naylor

Reviewed by Denis Joe December 2011

 

Also Ran is the latest production from the Spider Project in Liverpool and the Wirral, a grassroots organisation with a a consistency in producing quality work. Relying on people with no prior artistic experience, the Spider Project has shown itself to be amongst the most creative organisations of its kind in the region.

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Manchester film reviews

Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan December 2011


Rooney Mara attempts to fill Noomi Rapace’s big black motorcycle boots
On approaching the screen adaptation of a favourite book, one is invariably filled with some trepidation. The power of the image is so great that it can overwhelm the pictures we have in our minds. For my generation Mr Darcy will always be Colin Firth, for our mothers and grandmothers he is Laurence Olivier – and for a pre-cinema generation, well they had to make their own pictures.

 

I loved the character of Lizbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson’s crime trilogy and felt that Noomi Rapace perfectly embodied this memorable heroine. Talk of a Hollywood remake filled me with foreboding, but as 55 milion copies of the original trilogy have sold the US version, it seemed inevitable - as we know American audiences do not like reading subtitles.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ladies and Gents Golf in Derbyshire more on a Par

Ladies & Gents Golf on a Par in Derbyshire?

Review by Marie-Anne McGibbon December 2011

 

I've been playing golf for the last 10 years at a variety of courses across Derbyshire and Cheshire, perhaps more social than competitive for most of it, but great fun none the less. For the last 8 years I've been playing Ladies golf in Derbyshire as a member of New Mills Golf Club just south of Stockport - a very down to earth club owned and managed by its members.

 

Thankfully, golf in Derbyshire more generally tends to keep the funny handshakes and stuffiness often associated with golf to a minimum, so a merger of the Ladies and Gents Golf Unions in Derbyshire comes as no surprise, albeit somewhat overdue.

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Manchester film reviews

Zawe Ashton as the tragic Joyce Carol Vincent

Dreams of a Life

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan December 2011

 

In a week in which Hollywood spent millions publicising the multi-stellar film ‘New Year’s Eve’ this British production succeeds in showing the real message of the festive season – the importance of our common humanity.

 

Carol Morley’s drama documentary attempts to solve a mystery – how can a young, vibrant woman die alone, surrounded by Christmas presents and lie undiscovered for three years. At a time when people have hundreds of ‘friends’, it makes you wonder how connected we really are.

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