Liz Walkling: Graffiti Classics:
I can’t remember an evening where I came away with my face aching from laughing and my hands sore from clapping so much. Our local Arts Centre hosted an evening performance by Graffiti Classics, a professional string quartet of four (two guys, two girls) who met in 1997 when busking in Covent Garden and now perform worldwide. Playing beautifully while dancing and singing energetically, from Ravel’s Bolero and Strauss to McCartney and Gershwin, cannot be easy. But they made it look so. Great entertainment, very interactive with the audience, wonderful music performed to a lively stand-up-fall-down routine. Catch them if you can. Or look them up on Youtube if you can’t.
Eleanor Cooksey: Four Lions
Smothering laughter whilst hiding my face behind hands was how I watched Four Lions, a film directed by Chris Morris about a group of Bradford-based jihadists who try to plan their own UK suicide bombings.
Why did it have this effect on me? I think because it represented the creative equivalent of ‘uncanny valley’ – a term used in robotics to describe how when a robot looks and acts almost like a human, it makes people recoil. Four Lions painted a scenario which seemed so believable and close to reality, it was frightening and almost unbearable. And still terribly, terribly funny.
Lindsay Kunkle: Food, Inc., by Robert Kenner
A documentary that could change the way you eat forever, shines light on the messy politics of the food industry. Channeling popular food author and activist Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Kenner highlights the not so appetizing origins of our food. Genetically modified produce that refuses to rot, cows raised on unnatural diets of indigestible corn, the sheer over-abundance of corn in the marketplace, and the backhandedness of the soy industry are leaving us the victims as we battle food-borne illness, an out-of-hand obesity epidemic, and an economy that rewards unfair business, literally starving the small farmer.
The picture of Graffiti Classics is by Astralsound, and is used here with thanks.