Monthly Archives: August 2010

Some Very Nice Music

Two lovely songs with great videos to blow away the final-bank-holiday-of-the-year-so-bye-bye-summer blues:

Arrgh – the next one won’t link to my blog but trust me it’s worth clicking through too 🙂


Dennis Severs’ House – 18 Folgate Street

My lovely friend took me out for a surprise birthday treat last week and succeeded in the challenge she had set herself: to take me somewhere I hadn’t been / didn’t know about in Shoreditch – the result: Dennis Severs’ house, 18 Folgate Street: Well done her  as it was fantastic!

Dennis Severs bought the derelict property in the then ‘slum’ of Shoreditch 30 years ago and immediately set about creating his extraordinary house, which is a slightly spooky, but highly realistic and engaging time capsule of Victorian London. 

Each of the ten rooms in the house are decorated to a slightly different historical period. The accute attention to detail, combined with the fact that visitors are asked to look around in complete silence makes for an amazing experience. The brutal poverty of 19th-century London becomes shockingly real – exasperated when you realise that Severs himself lived in his ‘still life’ museum, without electricity, heating and modern appliances right up until his death in 1999.

There were elements of the tour that were slightly naff / contrived. There were signs strategically placed in the various rooms saying something along the lines of “Are you still looking? You should be feeling the story by now…” which I found a bit off putting (read: irritating). I also couldn’t help but laugh as, upon arrival, we were met by an artsy Shoreditch ‘doorman’ who told us very sternly that talking inside the house was absolutely forbidden as was any unnecessary noise – as he brought his condescending speech to a close his mobile phone started to ring and he was SCARLET as he reluctantly turned it to silent and let us in to the house! Oooops!

The Illusionist – Back to Basics

I don’t know about everyone else but as much as I am in awe of the advances in animation technology, I am nevertheless very excited about The Illusionist – a return to ‘old fashioned’ hand drawn (*gasp*!!) animation. The subject matter (Edinburgh, the dying days of the music hall, an illusionsit who specialises in rabbits and hats) is right up my street, hurrah!!

It’s received glowing reviews: “a small, shining gem: a perfectly beautiful and heart-breaking film” (Tim Robey for The Telegraph) and “utterly distinctive and beguiling, with its own language and grammar of innocence: gentle, affectionate, whimsical, but deeply felt and with an arrowhead of emotional pain.” (Peter Bradshaw for The Guardian).

If you need a gentle and undemanding start to your week then this sounds like just the ticket!