Weekend Combo

Jane Campion’s cowboys, Caribbean inspiration and some hot spice
3 December 2021
This article is part of Weekend Combo – What to do this weekend

FRIDAY 3rd December – SUNDAY 5th December 2021


The west just got wilder
We’re kicking the weekend off with the latest project by Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog, which beautifully unpicks, subverts and reworks the classic Western portrait of the cowboy: away from John Wayne’s bow-legged portrayal of masculinity and towards a more authentic story of overworked, underpaid wanderers who thrived in the freedom of the wilderness.

An adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, Campion’s vision sees Benedict Cumberbatch as the devilishly charismatic yet incredibly cruel Phil alongside his soft-hearted brother George (Jesse Plemons). When George meets and marries struggling widow Rose (Kirsten Dunst), bringing her artistic teenage son Peter (Kodi Smitt-McPhee) into their family, Phil’s tightly controlled world is penetrated and he embarks on a campaign of psychological torture birthed by his own insecurities.

A powerful retelling of the American West that fits neatly in a film-a-thon alongside Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff and Chloé Zhao’s The Rider.

The Power of the Dog is streaming now on Netflix.


Chaos into beauty
Politcally-charged banners, ceramic COVID masks and jewellery inspired by the Hindu Goddess Kali Ma are just some of the exhibits on display at The Bow Open Show, curated by gal-dem founding member Leyla Reynolds.

A powerful demonstration of the way artists can channel times of disaster and uncertainty into works charged with humour, optimism and power, the exhibition includes works by 24 artists covering key topics spanning from gender identity to the digital overload. “This exhibition is a testament to the humour, craftsmanship, and tenacity of its makers,” says Reynolds, “as well as their ability to capture an overwhelmingly determined spirit of collective joy and resilience.”

The Bow Open Show runs at The Nunnery Gallery until December 19th, more info here.



Culture wars
The political punditry of 60s America is arriving on stage at London’s Young Vic this weekend as Best of Enemies tells the story of the divisive televised debates between the opposing ring and left-wing intellectuals William F Buckley Jr (David Harewood) and Gore Vidal (Charles Edwards).

Although a somewhat niche piece of recent history, the debates held by ABC television changed the way politics and the media interacted forever, and the subject matter of the culture wars that waged in 1968 are still reflective of today’s anxieties. Written by James Graham, known for West End hits This House, Ink and Labour of Love, it’s the first time the British playwright has put his finger on the US political pulse, but going by his repertoire, this is going to be juicy.

Best of Enemies runs at the Young Vic until 22nd of January 2022, more info here. 

Best of Enemies by James Graham, Young Vic Theatre


Two nations in tune
Having opened this week at Tate Britain, Life Between Islands offers an extensive look at Caribbean-British art from the past 70 years: celebrating Caribbean artists who formed new identities and communities in a post-war Britain alongside British artists who draw inspiration from their Caribbean heritage. Over forty different artists work feature in the exhibition spanning mediums such as painting, sculpture, film, documentary photography and fashion. Names on display include Grace Wales Bonnar, Aubrey Williams, Vanley Burke and Claudette Johnson.

Documenting the immeasurable impact Caribbean culture has had on British society and culture, we advise putting a good few hours aside for this one – you’ll want to take your time.

Life Between Islands runs at Tate Britain until April 3rd 2022, more info here

‘Young Men on a Seesaw in Handsworth Park’ by Vanley Burker, 1984

Food + Drink

Tucked just behind Spitalfields market in a very unassuming little doorway you’ll find some of the best Indian inspired dishes in the city. Having opened this branch in 2015, Gunpowder now has two other sites in London Bridge and Soho, but the charm of their intimate first home remains.

Small plates include their signature spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut, okra fries, and egg curry masala while sharing plates offer up pork ribs, kawari soft shell crab and saag with tandoori paneer. The Spitalfields branch is walk-in only (London Bridge and Soho take reservations) but it’s well worth the wait, especially on a drizzly evening when all you want is a bit of spice.

Gunpowder is located at 11 White’s Row, E1 7NF, more info here


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