Sneak previews of indies and features, and conversations with the most compelling luminaries in literature, photography and film

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April 24, 2014

Joanna Hogg: Exhibition

Viv Albertine is an Artist Unleashed Between Four Walls in the Director's Study of Domesticity

“I had absolutely no fear,” says former Slits guitarist and punk icon Viv Albertine of taking on the role of artist D at the last minute, at the behest of her close friend Joanna Hogg. “I said: ‘I’m putting myself completely in your hands, I’m like your baby, do what you want with me.’” The writer and director’s third feature film Exhibition depicts the often-silent relationship of her two protagonists—D's husband H is played by conceptualist one-time YBA, Liam Gillick—who are readying to leave their home. Defying the rural settings of 2008’s Unrelated and 2010’s Archipelago, this work led the former apprentice of Derek Jarman back to her home city of London. “I wanted to push myself into new territory,” explains the director, who premiered the film at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival. “I was interested in looking at a marriage, a husband and a wife of a certain age existing within the space in which they live and work.” The third protagonist of the story is the setting itself; the property’s staunch angles and walls of glass form one of the only private homes built by late Modernist giant James Melvin, to whom the film is dedicated.

Exhibition opens in the UK on April 25.

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Estelle Hanania: Glacial Jubilé

The Parisian Photographer Roams Europe’s Primitive Corners

The chimerical figures and bestial masks of rural Bulgaria, and remote caves of Northern France and Italy, form the adventurous backdrop to this series by photographer Estelle Hanania, taken from her forthcoming monograph Glacial Jubilé. “Europe is a perfectly non-exotic background to document these traditions,” says Hanania, who embarked on the series after coming across a folk art exhibition in Paris. “They transport you to a surreal dimension, but I like the fact that they happen in very common places.” Taken over the course of five years in more than six countries, and on breaks between commissions for the likes of Opening Ceremony, Maison Martin Margiela and Issey Miyake, the photographs shed light on the lesser-known rituals of local communities: the winter festivals of the Appenzell region of Switzerland and traditional customs of the Basque Country. Known for her sun-faded, incidental approach to photography that embraces the natural world, Hanania was the recipient of the photo prize at the 2006 Hyères Festival. “I hope to immerse people in a particular atmosphere,” she adds. “When fantasy slips into reality.”

Glacial Jubilé is published October 4, 2013.

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Shorts on Sundays: The Repton

Ray Winstone Revisits His Old Boxing Club with Director Alasdair McLellan to Launch Season Two

Ray Winstone reminisces under a wall of heroes and former sparring partners in the first installment of Shorts on Sundays, Season Two. Directed by leading fashion photographer Alasdair McLellan, today’s evocative film stars the rogue veteran of Scum, Nil by Mouth and Sexy Beast, who tells stories about old haunt the Repton Boxing Club to the establishment’s current star, Ryan Pickard, who also wrote the screenplay. “My dad boxed, my grandpa boxed and everyone where I lived in the East End was involved in boxing in some way,” says Winstone, who was awarded the club’s coveted John H. Stracey award after winning all 13 fights in his first senior year at 17, retiring soon after as his acting career kicked off. “You would meet kids from all walks of life,” says the actor of his influential early days. “Repton boys have gone on to become government officials in Africa, and photographers and writers. It gave you the confidence to mix and learn how to behave socially—it was my education.”

Do you ever daydream about a parallel universe where you have achieved accolades in boxing instead of acting?
Ray Winstone:
“No, I did everything I wanted to do in boxing. I was a lucky boy, as I had another choice and found something I could do. I was never good enough or dedicated enough to be a professional. We had three world champions while I was around but the most important thing for me is the boys who come through that club and take something away with them, in the form of a discipline and social behavior.

Do you think that is the legacy of the Repton?
Yes. I wasn’t deprived but there were plenty of kids who were. There were a lot of people who through boxing aren’t in prison today. They found something else to do and stayed off the streets.

Are you quite surprised it’s survived this long?
I think it’ll last forever; it would be a travesty if something like the Repton collapses. People would have nowhere to go. I can’t imagine the area without it. The boss Mark Newman is sorting out the club’s own clothes line that will put some money in and hopefully keep it going.

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