Top image: Still, ‘High-Rise’ 2016 © StudioCanal
We bring you our guide to living well in the world’s capitals, from exhibitions to cinema, food, drink, fashion, music and beyond. Just call it culture and take it, it’s yours.
LONDON, FRIDAY 18th MARCH – SUNDAY 20th March 2016
Amidst Britain’s current housing crisis, J.G. Ballard’s novel turned film, High-Rise, is incredibly foretelling for a text written forty years ago.
Dr Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) lives on the 27th floor of a tower block built for the affluent. The well-off live in the lower floors, the rich – like Laing – in the middle and the super-rich reside at the top (sociologically symbolic, much?). All residents live a fairly perfect lifestyle until class consciousness triggers a mutiny Karl Marx himself would be proud of, and all hell breaks loose.
Here, the brutalist architecture is mirrored in the narrative’s realism. Ballard was pointing out the fragility and weaknesses of a capitalist society – what goes up, must come down.
High-Rise, 119 mins. Out now.
The good ol’ days
Capturing Britain’s idiosyncrasies is part of Martin Parr’s daily routine. The Magnum photographer has built a much acclaimed reputation on documenting everyday life and championing the ‘ordinary’.
Barbican have taken advantage of Parr’s sharp eye and tapped him to curate their latest exhibition, Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers. Featuring work by renowned lensers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Garry Winogrand, Tina Barney and Bruce Gilden, the exhibition boasts a stellar cast and presents a nostalgically romantic version of British culture.
From the coronation of George VI to surveillance photos of looters taken during the 2011 London riots, the exhibition’s scope is set wide, covering a variety of eras and regions to form a representative portal into aspects of life we often take for granted in our busy lives.
‘Strange and Familiar’ runs from 16 March – 19 June 2016 at the Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, EC2Y 8DS.
Out of mind
Back in the UK for the first time since the release of their sophomore record, Is the Is Are, DIIV are hitting up venues across the country with a bulked up live set and a revitalised energy.
“Hi, we’re DIIV from New York,” so goes frontman Zachary Cole Smith’s usual quick fire introduction. – allowing the music to do the talking. If you haven’t had a chance to catch this NYC four piece live, now is your chance and you’d be a fool to turn it down.
At the time of writing, tickets have sold out for their London show. But where there’s a will there’s a way. Beg, steal, or borrow, DIIV always warrant going that extra mile.
DIIV play at Heaven on Friday 18th March
Load it up
If your quest for DIIV tickets proves unsuccessful, don’t panic. We have a plan B ready for you, and it’s equally impressive. Six piece Cardiff outfit Joanna Gruesome will be headlining a special matinee gig at DIY Space for London with a little help from their friends, Cowtown and Crumbs.
Stick melodic thrust and abrasive riot grrrl throttle in a razor sharp blender, turn it to max and watch it splatter, Joanna Gruesome know how to mix a potent recipe for burgeoned rock. Plus, it all starts at 2pm and ends at 5pm, providing a 5* mid-day drinking excuse.
Joanna Gruesome play at DIY Space for London on Sunday 20th March. Tickets available here.
If you subscribe to the eternally fabulous words of Edina Monsoon (“You go to Marrakech for I don’t know, drugs, dirt-cheap plates and rugs”) and Patsy Stone (“Yeah, easy-going sex with gorgeous, under-age youths…”), then you know the virtues of Morocco. We’re talking about the local cuisine, of course.
Over in Portobello Road’s “Middle-Eastern quarter” sits Zayane, a new venue serving up a taster of Morocco. With cosy open-plan seating, incense scents and traditional sounds from the in-house live instrument, the Oud, the restaurant transports you to a Middle Eastern haven (think The Rolling Stones’ circa ’67, only less turmoil and more turmeric).
Well, this might not quite be the real deal, but it’s Marrakech on a shoestring. If we’re still tuned into the Ab Fab Moroccan school of thought (always), maybe avoid asking for the local delicacy (“Well, you take a pot of scented honey mixed with goat’s cheese yoghurt, sprinkled with almonds from the Atlas Mountains. You spread it all over your naked nubile young body, and allow a man old enough to be your father to lick it off. Just like her mother.”)
Zayane is located at 91 Golbourne Roa, London, W10 5NL