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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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Spotlight

Sara Blomqvist: Sommarstället

The Model Steps Off the Runway and Into a Lost Weekend in Her Native Sweden

Sara Blomqvist makes her feature film debut in today’s bespoke excerpt of Sommarstället (Summerhouse), the latest from directors Marcus Werner Hed and Johan von Reybekiel. An exploration of frayed relationships and clandestine encounters, the film is set over a weekend of hedonism in a remote corner on the west coast of Sweden. “Acting is something I feel like I’ve done my whole life,” says Blomqvist, who has graced the catwalks of Chanel, Saint Laurent and Kenzo, and fronted campaigns for Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana. “But to really get into another person’s train of thought was something I’ve never experienced before.” Playing the lead protagonist, Stina, the actress finds herself torn between her fractured love for her boyfriend and her mounting desire for her cousin, Carl, whose birthday the group are celebrating. “We hope it captures some of our generation’s traits,” says Werner Hed, who with Von Reybekiel relied heavily on improvisation and used a handheld camera to achieve a realist aesthetic. “A generation who takes responsibility, but maybe only when it’s too late.”

Sommarstället premieres at Raindance Film Festival, UK, on October 3.

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Spotlight

The Last Boxcar

Chasing Levi’s and Doug Aitken’s Runaway Project Station to Station

The aspirational evolution of American mythology is documented in director Simon Cahn’s vivid film, The Last Boxcar. Captured on board Doug Aitken’s cross-country train ride and public art project with Levi’s, Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening, Cahn’s story celebrates the ambitious artists involved, including dreamy drone rockers No Age and creative technologist Aaron Koblin, who seek to deconstruct the myth of the American West. “Doug’s idea to bring all these people together to collaborate and share their talents was inspiring,” says French filmmaker Cahn, who has previously worked with Spike Jonze and Lady Gaga. “As a foreigner with a very specific idea of what America represents to me, it was important to mix archival footage with a very current depiction of life in the USA.” Propelled by discussions of pop ephemera and the USA’s changing face, the short finds a spark at the intersection between nostalgia of days gone by and the boundless potential of the digital world. “Aaron’s comments about technology being the new Wild West were really insightful and unexpected. They definitely helped me view the future of American art in a very different way.”

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